Top Ten Interstate Albums Of 2009

It’s always difficult to narrow down the dozens of great albums released every year to just ten, but it sure is a lot of fun! I hope you agree that the following releases deserve your attention.

10. Slaid Cleaves – Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away

The Portland, Maine area native is stunning on the track “Cry” (which he also performed here at KDHX this year), and shows off his amusing side on “Tumbleweed Stew”.

9. John Fogerty – The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again

John reprises his role from 1973, covering classic songs from Buck Owens, Rick Nelson, and a version of “Haunted House” that will knock you out!

8. Mark Knopfler – Get Lucky

Still going strong at 60, Mark delivers once again. “So Far From The Clyde” is a standout track, telling the story of a ship built in the shipyards of the River Clyde in Scotland, meeting it’s final fate as it is broken down into scrap in the far away land of India.

7. Trigger 5 – Heartbreak and Regret

Classic traditional country always has a home on the Interstate, and this album does not disappoint. “One Last Dance” is one of the best songs I have heard in the last 10 years.

6. The Band Of Heathens – One Foot In The Ether

These guys straddle the line between blues, rock, country, and americana, and they do it WELL. This is just their 2nd studio album, and I look forward to hearing alot more from them in the future.

See my top 5 albums after the jump.

5. Ryan Bingham and The Dead Horses – Roadhouse Sun

Ryan was a rodeo rider from Hobbs, New Mexico, who learned to play guitar with the help of one of his neighbors. Eventually he realized he could make more money being a musician, and his first release Mescalito in 2007 was a huge success, leading to appearances on Conan and Jay Leno. Roadhouse Sun is no sophomore jinx, with tunes like “Tell My Mother I Miss Her So”, and “Roadhouse Blues” promising that Ryan is here for the long haul.

4. Buddy and Julie Miller – Written In Chalk

Buddy and Julie cleaned up at the Americana Music Association awards back in September, winning song of the year for “Chalk”, album of the year, and several others. An incredible record.

3. Son Volt – American Central Dust

Son Volt version 2.0 has found it’s legs. Songs like “Jukebox of Steel” and “Down To The Wire” have re-affirmed my faith in Jay Farrar that he has plenty left to say, and in a way that lifts my spirits. I mean, “Terrior Blues” WAS a little dark. This album however, kicks ass.

2. Cracker – Sunrise In The Land of Milk and Honey

I thought this album had real commercial potential, but alas, it peaked somewhere around #166 on the album chart. Weird, since this is Cracker’s best album since “Gentlemen’s Blues”. The shuffle of “I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right”, Lowrey’s hilarious lyrics in “Show Me How This Thing Works”, or the tribute to our soldiers in Iraq, “Yalla Yalla” should have spelled big success, but it did not. In my opinion the best rock band in America.

1. The Bottle Rockets – Lean Forward

Wow. When I first listened to this record I was blown away. Brian Henneman obviously has alot of gas left in the tank, and the boys from Festus show no signs of slowing down. These guys are the Everyman’s rock and roll band. Listen to “Get On The Bus” and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Hands-down my favorite album of 2009.

Tune in to the Interstate every Friday from 10 a.m. to Noon CT on 88.1 and streaming at for more great Americana and country music in 2010.


  • Tommy Lee

    Nice list, especially the Bottle Rockets, but I thought Webb Wilder’s “More Like Me” was better than the Band of Heathens or Fogerty albums.