Tag Archives: country music

What I think are the best albums of 2011

I have listed and discussed what I think are the best albums of 2009 and 2010. Now I will give you my third yearly list of best albums of the year.

At number 4 we have “The Road” the debut solo album by Tricia Brock lead singer of the Christian rock group Superchick. It is not as rocky as the releases put out by Superchick being as it is a Christian pop/worship album. The standard release has 11 tracks and the deluxe edition includes an additional two songs. The themes on the album include trusting in God and, finding sanctuary and strength in The Lord (Jesus). The stand out track is the rocky number Everything In Me. I give this album 3.5 out of 5.

At number 3 we have “16 & 1” by country group Doc Walker. This is their seventh and most rock flavoured album to date. I would say the tracks on this project are a bit less stylistically cohesive compared to those found on their past albums which for me is a bit of a draw back. The major themes of the album are love of where you are from, in the case of the men of Doc Walker that would be rural Manitoba, rocking out and being in love. The stand out tracks are the Eagles sounding love song Hard Act To Follow and the slow and most traditionally Doc Walker style love song Do It Right. This is not the album I would recommend if one was to be getting into the band for the first time. For a first intro to the group I would instead recommend their 2001 album Curve or their 2009 release Go. I give the album 3.8 out of 5.

At number 2 is “Lady & Gentlemen” by country singer LeAnn Rimes. It is the second album of hers to feature classic country country songs. The stand out tracks are Swinging, When I Call Your Name, The Bottle Let Me Down, and Give the only new track on the album. I give this album 4.5 out of 5

And at number one is “On the Evening Side” by country singer-songwriter Charlie Major. The songs on this album are don in Charlie’s signature heartfelt style and feature his usual themes of love, living and life. For those that have heard his other albums this album doesn’t offer any new takes but just more of the same wonderful honest songwriting and deliverance. And for as an intro to his music this album would make a fine chose. The stand out tracks are Though Gods Eyes, Keep an Eye Out for Me and Keep On Living. I give this album 4.8 out of 5.

In addition to these 2011 albums I discovered some wonderful ones this year from years past. Here is a list of some of them.

  • The 2010 album “Hanging On By a Thread” by Christian rock group The Letter Black.
  • The original 1995 UK release of the album “Did I Shave My Legs For This?” by country singer Deana Carter. It should be noted that this version of the album only shares three songs with the later 1996 North American release.
  • The 2010 album “Speak Now” by country pop singer Taylor Swift
  • The 2007 EP “Lanae’ Hale” by Christian pop singer Lanae’ Hale
  • The 2009 debut album “Big Sky” by country music duo One More Girl
  • The 2006 pop album “Whatever We Wanna” by country singer Leann Rimes
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My favourite 40 songs, numbers 30-21

Last time I brought you numbers 40 to 31 of my 40 favourite songs. Now I am going to continue counting down my 40 favourite song by bringing you numbers 30 to number 21.

At number 30 we have a remake of the Eagles song “Desperado”. It is the Clint Black version from the 1993 album called Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles. In my opinion this album is one of the best albums of the 90’s and if you don’t already have it go and get yourself a copy today you won’t regret it. Plus you will see what made 90’s country so rocking good. This version of Desperado is admittedly not that different from the original but some times you just like the one you hear first the best even if it is not better then the original.

At number 29 we have “Somebody New” by Billy Ray Cyrus from his 1992 album It Won’t Be The Last. I must of listened to the cassette tape copy of this album I had growing up so many times ’cause I eventually wore it out. It Won’t Be The Last is by far my favourite Billy Ray Cyrus album and my favourite country album from the 90’s. This song is about a guy who is wishing his ex all the best and he even admits he hops she never finds somebody new.

At number 28 we have a stirring version of the Celtic folk song “House Carpenter” by the American acoustic progressive bluegrass group Nickel Creek from their 2002 album This Side. This song is about the Devil who temps a women to leave her husband a house carpenter and their new baby to go off to see. This leads to her feeling regret and longing for her husband and baby and to her eventual drowning on the sinking ship foll of gold. It is just so moving with wonderful picking and singing.

At number 27 we have the song “I Will Be” by Lila McCann from her 1999 album Something In The Air. It is a song that speaks about not giving up in the face of danger or hardship. It is just a really nice song of encouragement.

At number 26 we have the song “1999” by The Wilkinsons form their 2000 album Here and Now. It is About a lover who is urging her lover not to constantly reminisce about he’s ex lover he had back in 1999 and focuses on her or risk losing her. It has fun catchy lyrics which are a blast to singalong with.

At number 25 we have “Nobody Gets Too Much Love” by Canadian country singer Charlie Major from his 1993 album The Other Side. This is the first of several songs by Charlie Major on this list. it’s about the world and how it’s people are struggling to get enough love. Its chorus goes:
“Nobody, nobody gets too much love.
Nobody, nobody gets too much love.
Well, it’s never enough; No, it’s never too much;
Nobody gets too much love.”.

At number 24 we have another entry by Billy Ray Cyrus. This time it is “Casualty of Love” off of his 1994 album Storm in the Heartland. This songs features a hunting cautionary message from a mom to her son about the pitfalls of love. Its first verse goes:
“Mama used to tell me tales
‘Bout a part of town
Where people cry the blues
Most everyday
She said don’t go down there boy.
You know, love will cut you down
And you ain’t yet a man, hear what I say
She said listen to me, son, it’s so
Let me tell ya, I’ve been down there
And I know”.

At number 23 we have another entry by Nickel Creek. This time it is the song “Out Of The Woods” off of their self titled album from 2000. This song is one of those that is best listened to siting quietly in the dark. It is so so moving that it will give you wonderful chills.

At number 22 we have the second song by Charlie Major. It is “It Brakes My Heart” from his 2000 album 444. It is a stirring sad song about a Dad how is upset that he and his daughter’s Mom could not work things out allowing all of them to still live together.

At number 21 we have “You Were Mine” by “Dixie Chicks” from their 1998 album Wide Open Spaces. It is a song about the breakup of the parent of Dixie Chicks members and sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison. It is like the last song a stirring piece of music.

My favourite 40 songs, numbers 40-31

As I promised in my last post I will be counting dawn my 40 most favourite songs from number 40 to number 1. Today I will kick it off with the bottom 10 songs (40-31). But before I begin I think I ought to take a moment to tell you what I think makes for a great song and how I determined this list. For a song to be a great song I think it most have lyrics to which one can either relate to and or that makes them feel something. As well the more one desires to hear a song the greater I feel the song is for them. But it is not just lyrics that determine the relisten potential of a song, it is also the quality of the music. Good music can help the lyrics move the listening individual, but bad music can cause them to never wont to hear the song again. Also one can come to like a song regardless of the quality of the song and rather because they heard it during or at an impotent time or event in their lives. So this list is a list of songs that have spoken to me and caused me to keep coming back to listen to them time after time. As I don’t have listening stats and the fact that one tends to slant such a list a bit towards past listening habits and a bit in favourer of current listening desires it should be noted this list isn’t any different. So with out further ado here is the bottom 10 of my 40 favourite songs.

At number 40 we have the sole entry from Garth Books. It’s the song “The Change” from his 1995 album Fresh Horses. It was his tribute to the rescue workers who worked to save people from the wreckage caused by the Oklahoma bomber. The reason it resonates with me is the fact it speaks so well about the human desire to not let the hurtful acts of others bring us dawn.

At number 39 we have “Forever” a song by Fireflight from their 2008 album Unbreakable. The bands lead singer Dawn Michele says the fallowing about the song; “This is a song about being broken. It’s about being so torn down that you have to hear God’s voice to be able to go any further. But, it’s also about knowing without a shadow of a doubt that God will speak to you.”. Now I say is this not a message we all need to hear, I for one know it is one I need to consistently be reminded off.

At number 38 we have the song “Angels Working Over Time” by Deana Carter from her 1998 album Everything’s Gonna Be Alright. It tells the story of a girl who was born in the back of a Dodge who eventually ends up happy and in a place right for her, thanks to “angels working overtime”. I say who can not get socked in by this kind of story. If someone would expand it and make it in to a movie I am sure it would be wonderful as well.

At number 37 we have “Jimmy’s Got A Girlfriend” by my favourite group The Wilkinsons from their 2000 album Here And Now. Their song Jimmy’s Got A Girlfriend is a fun catchy little number about a guy named Jimmy who gets a girlfriend and falls in love with her and as a result has no more time to hangout with the guys. Brother Tyler and sister Amanda share lead vocals on this song. I wish more groups would use two vocalists like this in their songs. Like I said it’s a fun catchy little song and some times you just wont to hear something fun and catchy and this song sure fits the bill.

At number 36 we have “Gone Crazy” by Alan Jackson from his 1998 album High Mileage. It’s about a guy who is expressing his feelings about his lost love. It is a moving song. What more can I say except say again it is a moving song.

At number 35 we have “Brighter” by Paramore from their 2005 album All We Know Is Falling. Its about someone struggling to keep their love relationship from falling apart. It is just a great rocking little song with wonderfully cautionary lyrics.

At number 34 we have Avril Lavigne with “Tomorrow” from her 2002 album Let Go. It’s a song about someone who is thinking about tomorrow and musing about the fact they are not sure weather it will be good or not. This is definitely a felling a can relate to.

At number 33 we have “Perfect” by Flyleaf from their 2005 self tittled album. It’s lyrics say;
“Perfect in weakness.
I’m only perfect in just your strength alone”.
The “you” expressed in this lyric I interpret as referring to God. Hens this song is about the fact we sometimes fall short but we still are beautiful in Gods eyes and we have the strength to cary on wen we trust in him. Another of those song with a message I feel we would all do well to be remaindered of more often.

At number 32 we have the song “Fire In My Eyes” another song by Fireflight this time from their 2010 album For Those Who Wait. According to their lead singer Dawn Michele “Fire in My Eyes is about triumph. It’s about the overwhelming passion that consumes you when you fully accept the freedom that God’s unending love for you brings to your life.”. This is one of those songs about where we would like to be. I like many out their struggle to be where we would like to be and listening to this song well it reminds me that even though we struggle we can still hope for the better that is waiting out their for us to grab.

At number 31 we have “Patsy Come Home” by Billy Ray Cyrus from his 1994 album Storm In The Heartland. It’s a song abut a guy driving who sees a cardboard sine that simply reads “Pasty come home” and as he keeps driving he thinks about who loves her and who may be weighting for her return. This is one of those story songs that just hokes you in and gets you sympathizing with the character in it. But unlike most story songs this one is more of just a fleeting moment but still I find it quite powerful.

A BC summer update

I enjoyed going into Kelowna not this past Tuesday but the one before that. I saw most off a Doc Walker show. It was being filmed for Country Music Television (CMT) here in Canada and Wilk-TV in the US. Wilk-TV was filming it in 3D. I won’t be seeing it in 3D because modern 3D uses polarized glasses which I fond out when I went to see Avatar this past winter and polarized glasses hurt my eyes. But I will try and catch it on CMT. I also finished a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (ST:DS9) book that same day called “Wrath of The Prophets”. It is only the second novel that I have read and finished, well that is if you exclude all the ones my mom has red to me and the ones I have listened to on audiotape. It was a good book staring the second in command from ST:DS9 Kira Nerys and Ro Laren from Star Trek: The Next Generation. On Saturday evening all of us here on the farm we went to the Komasket Music Festival on the Okanagan native reserve near Vernon. We all had a good time. The headliner was The Wailers of Bob Marley fame. I danced a lot at the fest, because it was just that kind of fest. On the farm I had been picking a lot of raspberries but I won’t be anymore because raspberry session is over. So now it is on to Apricot picking session. Also today marked the end of pea (shelling and snow) session with me poling out all the pea plants. Yes I am having a good time for the most part here in BC but I am looking forward to going to the young adult camp at Unicamp in southern Ontario in early September. That is all for now folks until the next update.

What I think are the best country albums of the 2000s

Here is another in my series of lists of best albums. This one features what I think are the best country albums from the 2000s. Again this list is not based one sales figures. Rather it lists the twelve country albums I have listened to and continue to listen to the most with number one being the one I have and continue to listen to the most.

1. The Wilkinsons – Here and Now
2. Charlie Major – 444
3. Nickel Creek – Nickel Creek
4. Doc Walker – Curve
5. Nickel Creek – This Side
6. The Be Good Tanyas – Chinatown
7. The Wilkinsons – Home
8. Dixie Chicks – Home
9. Dolly Parton – Little Sparrow
10. Dolly Parton – Halos & Horns
11. Billy Ray Cyrus – Southern Rain
12. Alan Jackson – Drive

What I think are the best country albums of the 90s

If you follow me on Twitter or my Twitter feed over on Facebook you’ll know that all weekend I’ve been on a retro 90s trip. Well more accurately a retro 90s country trip. In fact all weekend I have been playing all my old country CDs and cassette tapes (tapes). Yup if I had the album on tape I did not bother to then go get it on CD. Well now if one of my tapes dos die then it’s time to download it onto my computer in MP3 format. Yes in MP3 format ’cause CDs just like cassette tapes are now on their way out. So you may be thinking what would he say are the best country albums of the 90s? Well even if you’re not asking yourself this question I will answer it for you anyway. How would I determine what are the best country albums of the 90s? Well I could go look up which ones have sold the most copes and rank them accordingly to those figures. But that may not give you any indexation of what I think are the best country albums from the 90s. So then what would? Well if I gave you a list of the ones that I have listened to and continue to listen to the most you may get a better indexation of what I think are the best ones. So here is my list of the 15 best country albums from the 90s.

1. Billy Ray Cyrus – It Won’t Be the Last
2. Various Artists – Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles
3. The Wilkinsons – Nothing But Love
4. Deana Carter – Everything’s Gonna Be Alright
5. Dixie Chicks – Fly
6. Lila McCann – Something in the Air
7. LeAnn Rimes – Sittin’ on Top of the World
8. Charlie Major – Everything’s Alright
9. Billy Ray Cyrus – Storm in the Heartland
10. Alan Jackson – High Mileage
11. LeAnn Rimes – Unchained Melody: The Early Years
12. Charlie Major – The Other Side
13. Chris Gaines (AKA Garth Brooks) – Greatest Hits/Garth Brooks in…. The Life of Chris Gaines
14. Jason McCoy – Playin’ For Keeps
15. Prairie Oyster – What is this Country?

“Nobody Died” – a song about bullying

My favourite music group The Wilkinsons do a song called “Nobody Died” on their latest album Home. The reason I bring this up is it deals with the subject of school bullying in what I feel is quite an honest way. And so dos the accompanying music video, to which I think is really worth seeing. So here is the video for The Wilkinsons, Nobody Died.

So what do you think? Well I hope by me, The Wilkinsons and others addressing what in my opinion is one of the most serious issues of our time in frank and honest ways we might even find better ways of dealing with it.