Beat Surrender A to Z 2011

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So here’s the alphabetic by album title list of some of the fine recordings it’s been my pleasure listen to in one form or another during the last twelve months, as ever there’s a crossover on some albums due to differing release dates in the UK, Europe and the US and the pre-order / fan funded releases affect, probably one or two I’ve missed too and indeed some I’m just getting to or they’re are sitting somewhere in my bespoke filing system…….

LP’s

The Black Lillies – 100 Miles Of Wreckage
Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know
Austin Lucas – A New Home In An Old World
The Cute Lepers – Adventure Time
Emily Barker & the Red Clay Halo – Almanac
Star Anna & Laughing Dogs – Alone in This Together
Mekons – Ancient & Modern
Ryan Adams – Ashes & Fire
Israel Nash Gripka – Barn Doors & Concrete Floors
Tim Easton – Beat the Band
Angela Easterling – Beguiler
Peter Bruntnell – Black mountain UFO
Lucinda Williams – Blessed
Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion – Bright Examples
The Wailin’ Jennys – Bright Morning Stars
Old Lost John – Bringing Down the Sky
Rita Hosking – Burn
JT and the Clouds – Caledonia
Centro-Matic – Candidate Waltz
Amanda Shires – Carrying Lightning
The Felice Brothers – Celebration Florida
Rachel Harrington – Celilo Falls
Abigail Washburn – City of Refuge
Low – C’mon
Maggie Bjorklund – Coming Home
Chuck Ragan – Covering Ground
Naomi Greenwald – Darkbloom
The Imperial Rooster – Decent People
The Redlands Palomino Company – Don’t Fade
Rachel Brooke – Down in the Barnyard
Kimmi Rhodes – Dreams of Flying
The Horrible Crowes – Elsie
Frank Turner – England Keep My Bones
Exene Cervenka – Excitement of Maybe
Cerys Matthews – Explorer
Fearing & White – Fearing & White
Shiny and the Spoon – Ferris Wheel
The Carrivick Sisters – From The Fields
The Lucky Strikes – Gabriel, Forgive My 22 Sins
Natalia Zukerman – Gas Station Roses
Jonathan Wilson – Gentle Spirit
Piney Gir – Geronimo!
Boca Chica – Get Out of Sin City
The Loose Salute – Getting Over Being Under
Hotel Lights – Girl Graffiti
Drive-by Truckers – Go-Go Boots
Madam – Gone Before Morning
Lanterns On the Lake – Gracious Tide, Take Me Home
Old 97’s – Grand Theatre Vol. 2
Sarah McDougall – Greatest Ones Alive
Emmylou Harris – Hard Bargain
Gillian Welch – Harrow & the Harvest
Kasey Anderson & The Honkies – Heart of a Dog
Danny & the Champions of the World – Hearts & Arrows
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit – Here & Now
Diane Jones – High Atmosphere
Richmond Fontaine – High Country
Jeffrey Foucault – Horse Latitudes
Band of Holy Joy – How To Kill A Butterfly
Steve Earle – I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive
Lydia Loveless – Indestructible Machine
Jar Family – Jar Family
Otis Gibbs – Joe Hills Ashes
Mr Plow – Joyful In Song Are We
Blackie & The Rodeo Kings – Kings and Queens
Laura Cantrell – Kitty Wells Dress
Hayes Carll – KMAG YOYO (& other American stories)
13ghosts – Liar’s Melody
Betty Soo & Doug Cox – Lie To Me
The Reverend John DeLore – Little John the Conqueror
Glossary – Long Live All of Us
Grayson Capps – Lost Cause Minstrels
Lian Dullaghan – Making History
Marissa Nadler- Marissa Nadler
Emma Hill and Her Gentlemen Callers – Meet Me At the Moon
Have Gun Will Travel – Mergers and Acquisitions
Cusack – Mild Sensations
Jayhawks – Mockingbird Time
Mark Jungers – More Like a Good Dog Than a Bad Cat
Emily O’Halloran – Morphine and Cupcakes
JT Nero – Mountains & Forests
Lauderdale – Moving On
The Innocence Mission – My Room in the Trees
Dawes – Nothing is Wrong
Nell Robinson – On the Brooklyn Road
Robyn Ludwick – Out of These blues
Lizzie Huffman – Pretty Old Soul
The Dead Exs – Resurrection
Shelby Lynne – Revelation Road
Catherine MacLellan – Silhouette
The Low Anthem- Smart Flesh
Oh Susanna – Soon the Birds
Zoe Muth & Lost High Rollers – Starlight Hotel
Jim Dead- Ten Fires
Patrick Sweany – That Old Southern Drag
The Decemberists – The King is Dead
Matt Woods – The Matt Woods Manifesto
David Lowery – The Palace Guards
Joy Kills Sorrow – The Unknown Science
Anna Cougan – The Wasted Ocean
Wilco – The Whole Love
American Gun – Therapy
Malcolm Holcombe – To Drink the Rain
Turn Off Your Television – Turn Off Your Television
The Rosellys – Two Much Like Trouble
Doc Dailey and Magnolia Devil – Victims, Enemies and Old Friends
The Quiet American – Volume II
Leadfinger – We Make the Music
Trent Miller & The Skeleton Jive – Welcome to Inferno Valley
Rod Picott – Welding Burns
Hurray For the Riff Raff – Young Blood Blues

EP’s
Paper Aeroplanes – A Comfortable Sleep
Ronnie Fauss – Any Lovein’ Way But Wrong
Beat Surrender – Beat Surrender
Bethesda – Dreamtiger & Other Tales
Ponyboy – EP
Mat Gibson – Forest Fire
Belle Plaine – Hello From
Melody Walker – III
James Walbourne – Drugs and Money EP
Roscoe Wilson – Lip Services
Great Pacific – Rainfall
Rosco Levee – Self Titled
Larkin Po – Spring Summer Fall Winter
Leland Sundries – The Apothecary EP
South of Lincoln – The Monsters / Bathroom Sessions
Whitney Mann – The Western Sky
Quiet Loner – There Go Ghosts
Paper Aeroplanes – We Are Ghosts
Nat Johnson & The Figureheads – What The Heart Pours Into EP
Mia Dyson – You and Me
The Payroll Union – Your Obedient Servant

Best of the the rest
Counting Crows – August & Everything After: Live at Town Hall
Flying Burrito Brothers – Authorized Bootleg / Fillmore East
Buck Owens – Buck Owens – Bound for Bakersfield 1953-56
Marissa Nadler – Covers Volume II
Rosanne Cash – Essential Rosanne Cash
Paul Kelly – Greatest Hits Songs from the South Volume 1 & 2
The Jayhawks – Hollywood Town Hall (Expanded Edition)
Various Artists – Hymns from Home
Brandi Carlile – Live at Benaroya Hall With The Seattle Symphony
Steve Dawson – Live at Simon’s
Leeroy Stagger & The Wildflowers – Live at The Red River Saloon
The Bottle Rockets – Not so Loud
Various Artists – Oh Brother Where Art Though
Guy Clark – Songs & Stories
Slaid Cleaves – Sorrow & Smoke
The Kinks – The Kink Kontroversy [Deluxe Edition Singles and Extras]
John Prine – The Singing Mailman Delivers
Todd Snider – Todd Snider Live: The Storyteller
The Jayhawks – Tomorrow The Green Grass (2 CD Legacy Edition)
Joy Division to New Order – Total
Drive-by Truckers- Ugly Buildings, Whores and Politicians

Beat Surrender – A Year In Review

What a fantastic for music and what a true privilege personally to have been plied with so much wonderful music to write about and procrastinate over, last year I went for a rather long-winded Best of list – in truth this year I’m struggling to filter out and rate outside of a Top Ten, the difference between the albums outside of one through ten as much dictated by my mood as the quality of the recordings – there were so many truly fine albums, EP’s and collections that it would be an impossible task to list them in any meaningful order.

I’ve loved the albums from the the big names – Ryan Adams, The Decemberists, Gillian Welch, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, The Low Anthem, Emmylou Harris and The Jayhawks amongst them – but with one exception none of these make the final cut, as well as new studio albums there has also being a number of fantastic live releases, deluxe re-issues and greatest hits collections, not least from one of my favourite bands of all time – Drive-by Truckers, their ‘Greatest Hits’ collection is a work of art but still ask any fan and you’ll get a different view of what tracks should have made the final cut – okay I have all of the tracks already but I couldn’t resist picking up the album on good old fashioned vinyl for maximum enjoyment.

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There have also been a number of excellent EP’s released over the year that it would be remiss not mention so I’ve thrown them into the lengthy list to follow, all of the music featured in one form or another on Beat Surrender I’d happily pay for, indeed one of the perils of enjoying the digital releases that get sent my way is the need to get my hands on the CD or vinyl, worse I’m a sucker for anything with bonus tracks and extra’s attached.

It’s continues to be a tough old world for independent artists, labels, promoters and all those who choose to ply their creative talent in the art of making, recording, playing live and recording music, from a fan point of view it’s great to see the DIY ethic of many artists and those associated with the process of getting the music heard prevailing – allowing them to express themselves and get their music out to a wider audience.

Fan funding sites continue to throw up some great projects to get on-board, although it appears there is a increasing feeling that their worth is suffering by dilution , in my personal experience I’ve yet to be disappointed in anything that I’ve supported though sites such as Kickstarter and Pledge Music and they appear to be a  great tool to give artists who operate outside of the big labels an opportunity to create and release great music.

Over the course of the year I discovered and re-discovered genres that I’ve drifted away from over the last few years reinforcing the old adage that there are really only two types of music out there, driven in part by the scope of music finding it’s way to Beat Surrender but also by the great blogs I follow and the fine magazines and radio shows I make time to check in with. I’d love to have the time to listen to more and at times the process of filtering emails and requests has had to be brutal to prevent the mailbox getting out of hand, so thank you to all who’ve being in touch and apologies to all of those to whom I’ve not responded to personally.

The lists follow on Wednesday and the top ten of ’11 on Friday.

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