Elmore James “Something Inside of Me” from The Very Best of Elmore James (Rhino 2003) —Elmore at a slow burn - the man was just great.Buy it!
Albert King “Blues at Sunrise” from The Complete King & Bobbin Recordings (Collectables 2004) —From back in the days when Albert King was prowling the St. Louis and East St. Louis nightclubs.Buy it!
Aaron Neville “Hercules” from Treacherous: A History of the Neville Brothers 1955-1985 (Rhino 1986) —Aaron's second biggest hit, and deepest groove.Buy it!
Bill Frisell “A Change Is Gonna Come” from History, Mystery (Nonesuch 2008) —Extremely seductive rendition of the Sam Cooke classic.Buy it!
The Bo-Keys “Got To Get Back (To My Baby)” from Got to Get Back! (Electraphonic 2011) N —Otis Clay sings this one. And the band, of course, is top notch. Soul mastery.Buy it!
Amy Winehouse “A Song For You” from Lioness: Hidden Treasures (Universal 2011) N —For this song, she took elocution lessons from Leon Russell, who wrote it. Can't understand much of what she sings, but it sure sounds sweet.Buy it!
Emmylou Harris “Hold On” from All I Intended to Be (Nonesuch 2008) —Her best album of the 21st Century.Buy it!
Bobbie Gentry “Refractions” from An American Quilt 1967-1974 (Raven 2002) —I dreamed I was a crystal bird caught in perpetual flight. Distressing, indeed.Buy it!
Neil Young “Johnny Magic” from Fork In the Road (Reprise 2009) —A pretty cool little rocker on an album I didn't pay much attention to when it came out.Buy it!
The Pretenders “Almost Perfect” from Break Up the Concrete (Shangri-La 2008) —One of Chrissie Hynde's most impressive songs in a career full of impressive ones.Buy it!
Faces “Miss Judy's Farm” from A Nod Is As Good As A Wink...To A Blind Horse (Rhino 1971) —Every time I listen to anything from this record, I remember how much I really wanted it when I was 13, and how somehow I never got the money to buy it, since there were always so many singles to buy instead.Buy it!
Cheap Trick “Just Got Back” from All Shook Up (Epic 1980) —An underrated little number from the first Cheap Trick record that ever really disappointed us back in the day. But this song is like classic Cheap Trick - if it had been on In Color, everyone would love it.Buy it!
The Retros “Looking Out For Me” from Inner City Rockers (BDR 2011) N L —My favorite St. Louis band back in 1979 actually recorded. None of us ever heard it until now. And, yeah, these songs hold up.Buy it!
Grace Basement “Back of the Moon” from Gunmetal Gray (Undertow 2009) L —Another St. Louis band, and one of my favorite songs of the last few years.Buy it!
Shelby Lynne “I'll Hold Your Head” from Revelation Road (Everso 2011) N —I like to mix things up too much to do a year-end best show, but this is one of my faves of 2011. The rest can be found at http://euclidrecords.blogspot.com/2011/12/faves-of-2011-steve-pick.htmlBuy it!
Tres Chicas “If You Think That It's All Right” from Bloom, Red & the Ordinary Girl (Yep Roc 2005) N —What a great version of a great country song.Buy it!
The Vondrukes “Take It Away” from Runaway, Goodbye Love (self-released 2011) N L —A new St. Louis band with a cowbell on their record - I figured that would be a good way to go out on the More Cowbell segment, now retired.Buy it!
The Gourds “Drop What I'm Doing” from Old Mad Joy (Vanguard vanguardrecords.com 2011) —I'd played this one in the cowbell segment before - it's a classic Gourds groove, with added whomp from the little instrument that could.Buy it!
Bob Dylan “Most Likely You Go You're Way And I'll Go Mine” from Before the Flood (Columbia 1974) —Backed by the Band, Dylan sounds furious here.Buy it!
Fleetwood Mac “Someone's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight” from The Vaudeville Years (Trojan trojanrecords.com 1998) —I learned this song from the Rezillos decidedly different cover version, but the original, an Elvis parody, is plenty of fun on its own.Buy it!
The Rolling Stones “Prodigal Son” from Beggars Banquet (London 1968) —Yeah, these guys are pretty good.Buy it!
Tom Waits “Chicago” from Bad As Me (Anti- 2011) N —A frantic but inviting opening to this excellent record.Buy it!
Tom Verlaine “Days On the Mountain” from Words From the Front (Collector's Choice 1982) —I recently returned to this album for the first time in a number of years - it's even more powerful than it seemed back in the day. All the songs are based on letters from American soldiers during World War I.Buy it!
Stackridge “To the Sun and the Moon” from The Man In the Bowler Hat (Edsel 1973) —Sublime.Buy it!
Sarah Jarosz “The Tourist” from Follow Me Down (SUGAR HILL ww.sugarhillrecords.com 2011) N —Jarosz is joined by the Punch Brothers on an exqusite cover of Radiohead's song. Honestly, I have trouble remembering the original after this.Buy it!
Rosanne Cash “House on the Lake” from Black Cadillac (Capitol / EMI 2006) —One of the most powerful and beautiful songs about the ways people live on in our memories.Buy it!
Jim Lauderdale “Patchwork River” (Thirty Tigers 2010) —I think the 2010 Lauderdale/Robert Hunter collaboration was the best one of their three.Buy it!
Sunny Sweeney “Heartbreaker's Hall of Fame” (Big Machine www.thermavericksband.com 2007) —I'd almost forgotten this record and this singer/songwriter - this is good solid country music.Buy it!
Kitty, Daisy & Lewis “Will I Ever” from Smoking In Heaven (Verve Forecast 2011) N —These siblings tour with their parents in the band. How sweet.Buy it!
Imelda May “Pulling the Rug” from Mayhem (Decca 2010) —Another of my favorite records this past year. It's always a party with Imelda May.Buy it!
Esther Phillips “Mojo Hannah” from The Best of Esther Phillips (1962-70) (Rhino 1997) —One of the classics, of course.Buy it!
JC Chasez “Blowin' Me Up (With Her Love)” from Drumline (avex trax 2002) —I really can't resist pop music with such tight and inventive construction, and a groove that sends all sorts of messages to the body.Buy it!
Michelle Shocked “Lonely Planet” from Mexican Standoff (Mighty Sound 2005) —There aren't many musical styles Michelle Shocked hasn't tried on - I love her in this Mexican pop mode.Buy it!
Talking Heads “Burning Down the House” from Speaking In Tongues (sire 1983) —This particular song seques nicely out of just about anything I've ever tried.Buy it!
John Cale “Whaddya Mean By That” from Extra Playful (Electric Drone 2011) N —He's just tossing off great songs without any fanfare - John Cale is making music that stands up with anything in his career.Buy it!
Magazine “Physics” from No Thyself (Wire-Sound 2011) N —Howard Devoto is one of those great vocalists who really can't sing. Beautiful track from the new record.Buy it!
Loudon Wainwright III “Final Frontier” from Strange Weirdos - Music from and Inspired By the Film "Knocked Up" (Concord 2007) —When I get the chance, I listen to my itunes on shuffle, and this album has been a recent favorite of the algorithm. That makes me want to share these songs with you.Buy it!
Johnny Cash “The Reverend Mr. Black” from The Legend (Columbia 2005) —A perfect song for Johnny Cash to tackle.Buy it!
Like everything else, times are approximate.
Spinitron and this station are not liable for errors or omissions.