Empty Hearts “Loud and Clear” from The Empty Hearts (Savoy 2014) N —Another supergroup - Eliot Easton, Clem Burke, Wally Palmar of the Romantics, and Andy Babiuk of the Chesterfield Kings.Buy it!
Sleepy Kitty “What Are You Gonna Do When You Find Bigfoot?” from Projection Room (Euclid 2014) L —Such a great song from right here in our town.Buy it!
The Fauntleroys “I'm In Love With Everything” from Below the Pink Pony (Plowboy Records 2014) N —Alejandro Escovedo, Nicholas Tremulis, Ivan Julian, and Linda Pittmon - yeah, that's a super group to some of us.Buy it!
Imelda May “Tribal” (Decca 2014) N —She's a force of nature, I tell you.Buy it!
Bob Seger “Adam and Eve” from Ride Out (CAPITOL 2014) N —A great version of the Kasey Chambers song that caught me completely off guard when I first heard it.Buy it!
Chris Smither “Train Home” from Still On The Levee (Signature Sounds www.signaturesounds.com 2014) N —This collection of new versions of Smither classics is always enjoyable, but this cut, with Allen Toussaint on piano, is sublime.Buy it!
Rodney Crowell “Famous Last Words of a Fool In Love” from Tarpaper Sky (New West www.newwestrecords.com 2014) —Rodney definitely put out his finest album in a good long while this year and Shannon McNally helps out quite a bit on this cut.Buy it!
Rosanne Cash “When the Master Calls the Roll” from The River & The Thread (Blue Note url 2014) —I really should give this album another listen - I liked it well enough, but I'm seeing so many people really praise it at the end of the year. This song is definitely excellent.Buy it!
Mary Gauthier “When a Woman Goes Cold” from Trouble & Love (Proper Records 2014) N —This Gretchen Peters song is devastating out of the mouth of Mary Gauthier.Buy it!
Nikki Lane “Want My Heart Back” from All or Nothin' (New West www.newwestrecords.com 2014) N —Dan Auerbach produces good records, as long as he doesn't sing on them (or use that not-so-good drummer friend of his).Buy it!
Andrew Bird & Nora O'Connor “I'll Trade You Money For Wine” from While No One Was Looking: Toasting 20 Years Of Bloodshot Records COMP (Bloodshot www.bloodshotrecords.com 2014) N —Cool take on a Robbie Fulks number.Buy it!
Eleni Mandell “Something to Think About” from Let's Fly a Kite (Yep Roc 2014) —Unfortunately, 2014 had plenty of sad news stories to give her several more verses if she wanted to update this topical song.Buy it!
Robert Plant “Poor Howard” from lullaby and... the Ceaseless Roar (Nonesuch 2014) N —Robert Plant once again zigged when he was expected to zag, and kept on exploring new directions.Buy it!
Allah-Las “Had It All” from Worship the Sun (Innovative Leisure 2014) N —These guys basically have one big trick, the heavy reverbed sound of that guitar, but that can carry a band a long way if they have anything else in the tank at all.Buy it!
The Jellybricks “Not So Old” from Youngstown Tune-Up (Pop Detective 2014) —Those who love straight-up power poppin' rock'n'rollin' good songwriting should check this band out.Buy it!
Chuck Prophet “Felony Glamour” from Night Surfer (Yep Roc 2014) N —This is probably the record I most wish I'd had a chance to check out more closely this past year. Man, I love every song I've heard, though.Buy it!
Wilko Johnson & Roger Daltrey “Some Kind of Hero” from Going Back Home (UMC 2014) —Not only did the great Wilko Johnson put out this gem with Mr. Daltrey, but experimental surgery found him cancer-free! That's a good year for anybody.Buy it!
One Direction “Girl Almighty” from Four (Syco Music 2014) N —It wouldn't take a whole lot of tweaking in the arrangement to have this fit on a Nick Lowe or Blondie album in the late 70s. These lads are A-OK.Buy it!
The Feed “Victim” from Outsider (self 2014) N L —Supremely skilled St. Louis band put out a real winner a few months back.Buy it!
TV on The Radio “Lazerray” from Seeds (Harvest 2014) N —The previous song ended with the words "I've been a long time gone," which leads us to the return of this band, that hadn't put anything out in several years, and came roaring back with perhaps their best work yet.Buy it!
Karate Bikini “Dropping Depth Charges Again” from A Simpler Sugar (self-released 2014) N L —One of the very finest musical conglomerations in our fair city.Buy it!
The Both “Honesty Is No Excuse” from The Both (Superego 2014) N —Aimee Mann and Ted Leo made a really good record together. This song, especially.Buy it!
Puss N Boots “You'll Forget Me” from No Fools, No Fun (Blue Note url 2014) N —Norah Jones is just one among three singers learning to play guitar together in a band - the others are Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper. At any rate, together, they were just charming as all heck.Buy it!
Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters “I Met Her On That Train” from Good News (Stony Plain Records 2014) N —Essentially riffing on "Mystery Train," which is never a bad idea.Buy it!
Regina Carter “I Moaned and I Moaned” from Southern Comfort (Sony Masterworks www.blindboys.com 2014) —Carter mixed up jazz and folk music into a delirious broth of musical pleasure.Buy it!
Jason Moran “The Joint Is Jumpin'” from All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller (Blue Note url 2014) N —There she is again, singing and co-producing another of my very fave records this year. Making Fats Waller sound contemporary and holding on to the energy and joy of it all.Buy it!
Meshell Ndegeocello “Conviction” from Comet, Come To Me (Naive 2014) —The extraordinary Ndegeocello was busy this year, and her own record almost got lost in the shuffle. But, heck yeah, it's terrific.Buy it!
Ruthie Foster “Singing the Blues” from Promise of a Brand New Day (Blue Corn Music 2014) N —Working with producer Meshell Ndegeocello, Foster released the best work of her career to date this year.Buy it!
The Holmes Brothers “My Word Is My Bond” from Brotherhood (Alligator 2013) —This whole opening set reminds me that Alligator Records has come roaring back into prominence over the last few years, making almost no mistakes in releasing classic work from long-time artists or newer ones (who we may or may not get to before 10).Buy it!
Joe Louis Walker “Soul City” from Hornet's Nest (Alligator 2014) —He's one of the best veteran blues artists out there, and he makes killer soul music, too.Buy it!
Marcia Ball “He's the One” from The Tattooed Lady & the Alligator Man (Alligator 2014) N —We're not playing necessarily the "Best" of 2014, but we're playing all great music that came out this year. Those who think nothing is happening just aren't paying attention - these 3 hours will only scratch the surface of what pleased me this year.Buy it!
Like everything else, times are approximate.
Spinitron and this station are not liable for errors or omissions.