David Wax Museum “Born With A Broken Heart” from Everything Is Saved (self-released 2010) —40. This morning we resume the top 80 countdown for FLGH. The former Missourian David Wax put out this fine collection of Calexio-esque songs near the start of the year.Buy it!
Alison Krauss and Union Station “Lay My Burden Down” from Paper Airplane (Rounder 2011) —39. A truly melancholy album from Ms. Krauss, her first with US in seven years or so. This song was written by Aoife O'Donovan of Crooked Still.Buy it!
Tyler Ramsey “1000 Black Birds” from The Valley Wind (Fat Possum (Ryko) 2011) —38. Gorgeous and misty album from the Band of Horses guitarist.Buy it!
Madeleine Peyroux “Martha, My Dear” from Standing On the Rooftop (Decca 2011) —37. One of a number of delightful covers from Ms. Peyroux, but her originals are also excellent. On this album she's joined by Marc Ribot and Allen Toussaint among others.Buy it!
Amy LaVere “You Can't Keep Me” from Stranger Me (Archer Records 2011) —36. Much more of a rock sound on this album from the Memphis singer and songwriter, but focused and fierce.Buy it!
Telekinesis “CAR CRASH” from 12 Desperate Straight Lines (Merge 2011) —35. Fine sophomore album of sneaky pop songs from Michael Benjamin Lerner.Buy it!
The Blind Eyes “Hermetically Sealed” from With a Bang! (Blind Eyes 2011) L —34. I don't think this St. Louis band was expecting so much love for this album, but the songs deserve it.Buy it!
The Black Keys “SISTER” from El Camino (Nonesuch 2011) N —33. A late entry in the year-end sweepstakes but pretty irresistable.Buy it!
Real Estate “Municipality” from Days (Domino 2011) —32. A lovely, simple, understated album of Byrdsian guitar ballads.Buy it!
Ollabelle “Record Needle” from Neon Blue Bird (Thirty Tigers 2011) —31. Probably the band's most pop-oriented album; worth the five year wait.Buy it!
The Antlers “I Don't Want Love” from Burst Apart (Frenchkiss) —30. Another entry in the non-sophomore slump sweepstakes. Be sure to check out the band's fine Live at KDHX session from this year at KDHX.org.Buy it!
Young Statues “Spacism” from Young Statues (Banquet Records 2011) —29. Not an album that appeared on many lists but terrific all the same. First album from the Philly band led by Carmen Cirignano.Buy it!
Lucinda Williams “Copenhagen” from Blessed SINGLE (Lost Highway 2011) —28. As with all of her post-Car Wheels output, I do wish Lu would pair her records down a bit, but the best of this album, like this song, have stuck with me all year.Buy it!
Ry Cooder “Humpty Dumpty World” from Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down (Nonesuch 2011) —27. An album for hard times that feels great to listen to.Buy it!
Glen Campbell “In My Arms” from Ghost on the Canvas (Surf Dog Records 2011) —26. If this does turn out to be Mr. Campbell's final album he went out on a true grace note. Song written by Teddy Thompson.Buy it!
Richard Buckner “Escape” from Our Blood (Merge 2011) —25. Another long-awaited album and a strong addition to Buckner's amazing catalogue.Buy it!
Bon Iver “Holocene (radio edit)” from Bon Iver (Jagjaguwar 2011) —24. One can only take so much falsetto but this kind of mood music is tough to resist.Buy it!
Mandolin Orange “Haste Make” from Haste Make / Hard Hearted Stranger (Redeye 2011) —23. Andrew Marlin & Emily Frantz with an impressive double album of dusty folk and country blues.Buy it!
Booker T. Jones “Representing Memphis” from The Road From Memphis (Anti 2011) —22. One of the most played albums on KDHX this year. This is a true summer hit but sounds great in January too.Buy it!
Joe Henry “Odetta” from Reverie (Anti 2011) —21. The mystery blues as only Joe Henry can make them.Buy it!
Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three “Ain't The Same” from Middle of Everywhere (Free Dirt Records 2011) L —20. Pokey and the boys recently appeared on Jools Holland. Good for them. Check out the handwritten correspondence between writer pj del and Pokey at KDHX.org.Buy it!
Dan Baker “365 Days” from Sad Song Junkie (Trespass Music 2011) —19. Technically this self-released album came out in 2010 but only got any kind of distribution this year, so it makes the list. Dan Baker hails from Boston but recorded this fine set of Waitsian tunes in Nashville with members of the Time Jumpers.Buy it!
The Duke And The King “Shaky” from The Duke And The King (Anti- 2011) —18. One of my songs of this or any year. Simone Felice and Robert Bird Burke with a soulful, catchy take on what war does to a man.Buy it!
The Civil Wars “20 Years” from Barton Hollow (Sensibility 2011) —17. Stunning to see how this duo has taken off. Their show at the Pageant on Jan. 15 is long sold out.Buy it!
Drive-by Truckers “Everybody Needs Love” from Go-Go Boots (ATO www.atorecords.com 2011) —16. My cover of the year.Buy it!
Kyp Harness “Passenger” from Resurrection Gold (self released 2011) —15. Kyp who? One of the best of the Canadian songwriters.Buy it!
Emmylou Harris “Darlin' Kate” from Hard Bargain (Nonesuch 2011) —14. Beautiful song for her friend Kate McGarrigle.Buy it!
The Jayhawks “Closer to Your Side” from Mockingbird Time (Rounder 2011) —13. The unmistakable harmonies and melodies of Gary Louris and Mark OlsonBuy it!
Apex Manor “Under The Gun” from The Year of Magical Drinking (Merge 2011) —12. Alas I don't think we got a show from this band, featuring remnants of the Broken West.Buy it!
Marianne Faithfull “Eternity” from Horses And High Heels (Naive 2010) —11. I think this album would have done better on the year-end lists were it not for the "My Little Pony" inspired album cover.Buy it!
Centro-Matic “Solid States” from Candidate Waltz (Undertow 2011) —10. The Denton Texas veterans' finest album to date.Buy it!
Fleet Foxes “Montezuma” from Helplessness Blues (Sub Pop 2011) —9. Hard to imagine how the band would follow up such a much-loved debut but they managed it on the strength of Robin Pecknold's songwriting.Buy it!
The Decemberists “January Hymn” from The King Is Dead (Capitol Records 2011) —8. The album through which I finally got the Decemberists. Thanks much to Peter Buck, Gillian and David and Tucker Martine.Buy it!
Rosanne Cash “Better Days” from This One's For Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark (Music Road 2011) —7. A fantastic 2 CD tribute to one of the masters.Buy it!
The Milk Carton Kids “No Hammer to Hold” from Prologue (Milk Carton Records 2011) —6. Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan. My idea of neo-folk.Buy it!
Abigail Washburn “City Of Refuge” from City of Refuge (Rounder 2011) —5. An album that came out at the very beginning of the year. Indie pop meets old time music via terrific songs and soul.Buy it!
Charles Bradley “Heart of Gold” from No Time For Dreaming (Reissue) (Daptone 2011) —4. A Neil Young cover not on the original release but apparently included on the digital reissue.Buy it!
Tom Waits “Back In the Crowd” from Bad As Me (Anti 2011) —3. His best album since Mule Variations.Buy it!
Paul Simon “Love Is Eternal Sacred Light” from So Beautiful or So What (Universal 2011) —2. Mr. Simon put on one of the best concerts of the year at the Fox.Buy it!
Gillian Welch “Hard Times” from The Harrow & The Harvest (Acony 2011) —1. Gillian and David waited eight years to release this album. They know why. Storytelling like this doesn't come easy. "Hard Times" is another song of the year in my book. Thanks for listening and here's to more great songs and music in 2012.Buy it!
Like everything else, times are approximate.
Spinitron and this station are not liable for errors or omissions.