Thanks for the Music 2013

This year, we continue our November tradition of surveying folks across the Texas/Red Dirt/Americana genres about a musical topic they are thankful for.  This year, we asked folks:  what song, album or artist are you most thankful for this past year?  Not necessarily what their favorite record was, but which one were they most thankful for.  It could be a new record, or maybe an an older project they’re just now discovering (or re-discovering).  As always, the answers are varied, insightful and, yes, ripe with gratitude.  Please leave the artists, songs or albums that resonated with you this past year in the comments section.

Dan Adams, singer/songwriter
“Closed Hand, Full Of Friends” by Foy Vance.  After 10 years in Nashville, I made the decision to move to Austin this year because I wanted to be in the epicenter of the kind of music I love to write and perform with the help of cecilio electric violin which suits the song perfectly.  This is a song about moving to a new place, and being full of hope for the fresh start….leaving behind the negative things, holding onto and taking with you the friendships you made, and starting over with renewed purpose and drive.  I’m thankful for this song because it really resonated with me this year.

Chris Allbright, singer/songwriter
I found a strong appreciation for Jason Boland’s song, “See You When I See You” off of the Dark and Dirty Mile album he released this year. This song hit close to home for me as I downloaded this album two days before I moved to Lubbock. Heck of a lot of dirt between here and south Texas, but it’s good to be here.

Jennifer Allen, program director/disc jockey Aggie 96 and WACO 100
I am most thankful this year for rediscovering Road Trip by Gary P Nunn.  I started listening to that cd in 1994, the year it was released and it was my first introduction to the Hill Country sound. I listened to it incessantly for months, and caught Gary P’s live shows whenever I could. I ran across it again this summer and opening up the sunroof, rolling down the windows and blaring “Cruisin down US 281, we’ll be two stepping, skinny dipping, soaking up sun, with the top down, gettin’ brown, ain’t it great to be alive” sounded just as cool as it did when I first heard it. Watching Gary P perform at this year’s Larry Joe Taylor Music Festival confirms that not only has his music stood the test of time and the evolution of the Texas sound, but so has Gary P. as an iconic artist.

Switching gears drastically, I am thankful and excited at the new, fresh sound that Rachel Loy as producer is lending to our scene. I love what she and William Clark Green did with Rose Queen, it sounds like nothing else right now. I’ve heard a few other cuts she has produced and she has an ear that seems to be to be slightly ahead of the curve, not to mention her talent as a musician. Obviously, Rachel and Brian Keane work well together, their production on “Bar Lights” is dynamic and I look forward to hearing the entire album. Plus, I’m fairly certain this year those two managed to produce the only human that will be singing harmony at her Pre-K graduation ceremony!

Fred Andrews, singer/songwriter
The Shouting Matches-Grownass Man.  This record speaks to me! Some songs are jammy, some are fun. It’s got a real live feel and the songs aren’t your typical standard in the box kind of things. Great musicians, great tone. Saw the band live at ACL and they killed it.

Tony Avezzano, venue owner-Hat Trick’s
I’ve gotta say Josh Weathers.  He is doing a “farewell show” at Billy Bob’s in January, and I don’t know if it’s the last show he will ever play, but I know it is going to be an extended break.  With that being said, I’m thankful to have had Josh play Hat Tricks probably as much as anyone ever has over the last 4-5 years. Obviously, Josh is as talented of a musician as there is bar none, but he really had a very special relationship with my dad (late Dallas Cowboys coach and noted music aficionado Joe Avezzano). He played “I Will Always Love You” for the first time here at Hat Trick’s, and my dad was blown away and told him he would play that tune the rest of his life.  There is a video on YouTube of my dad singing onstage with Josh and dancing… basically just having the time of his life. So, I am thankful for the crazy talent that Josh Weathers is, and I am thankful for what a great friend he has been and always will be to Hat Tricks and the Avezzano Family.  I am also thankful for him providing me with one of the happiest memories of my dad, and the fact that he continued to play that song at most shows. Live music venues and fans across Texas are taking a huge loss as long as Josh Weathers is not playing live music!

Rob Baird, singer/songwriter
I recently started listening to a lot of Butch Walker after hearing his name for quite some time. He has produced a handful of mega pop records so I was slightly skeptical that I would be into it. I bought the Butch Walker and The Black Widows record and I was instantly hooked.  I have found his tunes to be quite refreshing and honest which can be rare these days. It is always such a blessing to connect with an artist that you have not previously heard.

Lloyd Banks, venue owner-Rockin’ Rodeo
I am most thankful in 2013 for the new music I have been able to hear from Matt Kimbrow. It is head and shoulders above anything he has done previously. Although the rest of the world will have to wait a little longer to hear it, I am anticipating it will be some of the most listened to music by the end of 2014. Seriously great stuff Texas music fans are going to love! Zac Wilkerson is also going to be a name you are about to start hearing…saw him live for first time recently on acoustic song swap show and everyone in the crowd plus the other artists were blown away.

Brad Beheler, co-owner/editor
2013 has been rather tumultuous and eventful.  As usual, music was my therapy and crutch at times.  In the winds of turmoil, I reached back to the tried, true and familiar.  That came in many forms this past year, but the one song that stood out was Rusty Wier’s “Silly Rhymes”.  I’ve always admired the line “Pick up your loose ends, take ‘em to your friends…they’ll put ‘em back together again…if you let ‘em”.  What was for many years just a clever lyric, rang with more poignance and truth this year.  Also, I must make note of Drew Kennedy’s continued brilliance, as well as the emergence of Zane Williams.  Drew challenges himself and listeners a little more each time out and his take on intelligent folk/singer-songwriter music is the best balance of intelligence and catchiness on my iPod.  I stubbornly dismissed Zane’s music upon first listen back in 2012 as being a little too slick for my raw tastes.  Yet, his Overnight Success album prompted me to dig back in anew.  As a father, “While I Was Away” knocked me off my feet the first time I heard it and its impact hasn’t lessened with successive listens.  So, Rusty thanks for the wisdom, Drew thanks for the inspiration and Zane thanks for the reassurance.

Ray Benson, band leader Asleep at the Wheel
Kat Edmonson’s new album Way Down Low. Such a unique voice, and incredible songs done by some great players and wonderful arrangements. Who could ask for more?  Of course my new solo record, A Little Piece comes out in January. Took 10 years to finally do it. Very thankful it’s done.

TJ Broscoff, singer/songwriter
“No Place to Fall” Townes Van Zandt.  This was a song I loved years ago and fell back in love with it a few months ago. Maybe it’s the time of year that always brings back certain memories or just the shear simple lines of the melody and deep thought out lyrics. This is a song I wish I wrote and I strive to write my own songs in this vein. I’m thankful for Townes and all he gave us in his tragic short life. I’m thankful that people continue to share his music and I’m thankful to have poets like him to look up to in my career.

Brian Brown, lead vocalist Sloppy Joe/venue owner-Cinema
Forgive my cheating, but I have 3. With the state of music today, see Miley Cyrus, The CMA’s, radio, etc, I am thankful for artists out of Austin like Dave Scher, Karl Morgan and Baby Atlas. Not only tremendous musicians, but great songwriters, putting out wonderful and refreshing original music.

Bart Crow, singer/songwriter
Man that’s a tough one…but I’d say Gram Parsons-Grievous Angel. There’s a Tom T Hall track on that record called “I Can’t Dance” and every time it plays on our record player, my son Townes grabs me a guitar, his momma a guitar, and gets his bongos for himself…then we end up having a family concert for the remaining album.  When your 2 1/2 year old gets that fired up about a record or song, it’s a beautiful thing to watch how music can really move a soul or spirit.  Too young to be jaded or judgmental, so it’s the core of real music moving a person, which is what made me fall in love with music to begin with.

Ben Danaher, singer/songwriter
This year and all years, I am most thankful for my father Bob Danaher. In his entire career as a songwriter he never got a cut, or a hit. But up until the week he passed away he was still writing. It was always about getting better. He was never afraid to use his ability as a songwriter to try to change the world. I would not still be writing songs if it hadn’t been for him.

Kelly Dearmore, music journalist Dallas Observer
I’m thankful for two storytellers. One is beginning a new phase of his already excellent career, and another one is looking back on a beloved bunch of tunes too good to keep hidden away. I’m thankful for Jason Isbell’s ability to find the strength in his sobriety. His ability to tell the stories that make up his stellar Southeastern should be remembered and admired for years to come. Each song rolls off the record as if they were expertly-crafted four-minute films. I’m thankful that Cody Canada defeated his own bitterness as he came to the realization that songs outlive both us and the drama we all find ourselves entangled within during the course of our lives. More generally speaking, I’m thankful that storytellers such as Drew Kennedy, Chris King, John Moreland, Zane Williams and Kylie Rae Harris gave us all more reasons to stop, sit and listen in 2013.

John Dempsy, singer/songwriter
I’ve really gotten into Kelly Joe Phelps, thanks to Derrick Dutton. Songs like “Leavin’ Blues” and “Lead Me On.” Really anything off of his Lead Me On record just calms my soul, man. He’s got a way of ministering peace thru his songs. Sometimes in this world I just need that. Very thankful for his music.

Nick Dennard, lead guitarist Jason Eady
This year I have been really thankful for Glenn Campbell. I rediscovered him this year. He has always been one of those artist that I knew that I liked but never really paid enough attention to his entire catalog. I’m thankful that I was able to rediscover such an amazing musician.

Adam Drake, disc jockey KORA 98.3 FM
With so much good music out this year, it’s hard to say one, but I think I’m most thankful for the new Zane Williams’ Overnight Success. It’s got a lot of songs that just hit me deep in my soul. “When You’ve Got A Woman”, “The Simple Things”, and “While I Was Away” are songs that are about my daily life. No matter what’s going on at work or in the world, I can listen to one of those and smile thinking of my loving family waiting for me at home.

Bobby Duncan, singer/songwriter
The album I am most thankful for this past year would be Jackson Browne’s Solo Acoustic Vol. 1. I’ve listened to this record on and off for a few years, but never as much as the past few months. I’m at a point in life where I respect more every day his ability to sit there with a guitar or piano and just bang out his life’s story. It’s more impressive every time I hear it.

Kris Farrow, lead guitarist Josh Grider and Zane Williams
I’m currently thankful for the Zac Brown Band. I don’t love every song they put out, but I do love what they represent, which is real talent and practiced musical ability. No smoke and mirrors, just real people who can really play and sing. I also respect that Zac isn’t afraid to express an opinion that is contrary to what you’re supposed to say in the entertainment business, or contrary to what perhaps the majority of people think. I’m thankful that they are there, along with a handful of others, to be an example of where the bar should be in popular music.

Dave Fenley, singer/songwriter
Mine would be Chris Stapleton. Took moving to Nashville to find, probably, one of the best voices ever. And the man can write a song. Listen to “Sometimes I Cry” or “The Difference Between Whiskey and You”.

Jake French, disc jockey Shooter 92.9FM
The Rose Queen album had me with the first/title track.  There’s a ton of songs out there about high school love but none sends me back as fast as “Rose Queen” does.  All the way to the last track “Welcome to the Family” I’m thankful for this entire album.  It came out in a stressful time in my life and provided an escape.

Kevin Fowler, singer/songwriter
I’d have to say that Dwight Yoakam’s Guitars and Cadillacs is one record that I’m very thankful for.  I go back to it a lot.  It was partly responsible for changing my musical path. It showed me that you could be country and still be cool. This wasn’t your Daddy’s country music. He had all of the swagger of a rock star, and he was country at the same time. At the time, I hadn’t found another artist that melded the two like he did. The songs were great and Pete Anderson’s production and guitar work were the icing on the cake.

William Clark Green, singer/songwriter
I am thankful for a song called “Gypsy Sound” by Brett Hauser. Not only is it one of my favorite songs out this year, Brett’s writing reminds me why I started writing in the first place. Unspoiled, honest, vulnerable and maybe a little naive. That’s when you write the good stuff.

Greg Henry, concert promoter
Turnpike Troubadours. I like the path they are taking by not over playing Texas markets, and they are developing their own genre instead of following others. Great guys and team behind them.

Matt Hillyer, band leader 1100 Springs
Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay-Before the World Was Made. I have been a big fan of both of these two great talents for years. Probably before they met each other. I’ve always been envious of couples who can share their music together. Having gotten to know Brennen and Noel over the years, it’s been a pleasure to watch them play and grow musically together. They write well. They play well. They sing well, and they do it all seamlessly together.

Adam Hood, singer/songwriter
I’ve got to say , The Muse from The Wood Brothers.  This is one of my favorite albums of the year but it’s hard to say its my favorite Wood Brothers album. I love them all equally. Every song on every album. To me, they are almost musically perfect for what I want to hear. There is always a lot of really good guitar tones. Oliver’s voice is always perfect and he never over sings. I really appreciate the substance of their lyrics without talking over anyone’s head. Their albums are old school and rootsy without trying to be and deliver that vibe live as a 3 piece. Every time I hear their music, I want to pick up my guitar to play and for that, I am thankful.

Larry Hooper, singer/songwriter
It’s been an incredible year for music. One of the best in recent years. The record that sticks out most is Jason Isbell’s Southeastern.  It’s an incredible album and I’ve probably listened to it 100 times start to finish. He’s such a good songwriter, and listening to that album makes me want to be a better songwriter. It’s been a while since an album has inspired me like that.

Brian Keane, singer/songwriter/producer
The record I am most thankful for this year is Will Hoge’s Seven. I was addicted to it while I was writing my last record, and I think it rubbed off on me. Seven really, really rocks but it’s also got great lyrics — it’s a blast to listen to but you end up thinking about what it’s talking about later on.

Kimberly Kelly, singer/songwriter
Kacey Musgraves, because she’s reminded folks it all starts with great songs. I’m gonna get a little sappy on this and say my sister too.  I’ve been able to do and see a whole heck of a lot the past year and a half because of being on the road singing harmony with her. It helped me grow as an artist.

Drew Kennedy, singer/songwriter
This year I’m thankful for Stories Don’t End by Dawes. I had been searching for an album of songs that really connected with the way I’ve been seeing the world lately, and when this came along I knew I had found a winner. Taylor Goldsmith writes songs in such an interesting way– almost as if he narrows something down to its very core and then analyzes it with such poetic insight that you can’t help but fall in love with his words. I was hooked after one listen. It has yet to lose its attraction to me, and as a fan of music you can’t ask for much more than that.

John David Kent, singer/songwriter
“Rabbit” by Ray Wylie Hubbard. I first heard this song when it came out on the album, Snake Farm, a few years ago.  I heard this song on the radio recently, and the lyrics are just so cool!  In the last verse, the lyrics are, “We’ve a short time to be here, so get out of your rut and get in your groove”, it was like Brother Ray was preaching directly to me!  Heavy, heavy stuff.

Eddie Kloesel, band management with Triple 8 Management
Merle Haggard-His Epic Hits album from 1984. I was a baby when this album came out, however my dad gave it to me when I was 10.  It taught me life lessons as well as to listen to the lyrics. Those lyrics made me realize what a working man’s life was like…my dad was and still is the hardest working man I know.  Still my top go to album.

Tim Mauzey, multi-instrumentalist/songwriter
This year I am thankful for the opportunity to rediscover the playing styles of Bruce Springsteen’s former saxophonist, Clarence Clemons. I have had the honor of playing some really cool shows in which I was able to pay homage to the late Clemons on some Springsteen tunes. After studying Mr. Clemons’ playing style, I started to appreciate his straight forward playing , infused with influences from jazz saxophonists and rock and roll guitarists. He made an everlasting impact as a saxophonist in a genre where the instrument was steadily becoming obsolete.

Brandon Meyers, blogger
This year I am most thankful for rediscovering the talent in Drew Kennedy. I have been a fan of his music for a few years and always appreciated what he brought to the table as a songwriter. I readily admit though, that his album Wide Listener still has me in awe. His persistent dedication to creating art with words and music is relentless. In a day and age where lyrics are sometimes the afterthought to a good bass beat, Drew forges onward and remains unwavering in his loyalty to the story in the song.

Dub Miller, singer/songwriter
I’m thankful for another album of duets from Willie Nelson. I’m thankful that Willie is still making records and performing shows. I’m thankful that in 2013 I still have the opportunity to buy them and go to them. These are the good old days!

Blake Myers, singer/songwriter Rosehill
Charlie Worsham. His record and live performances have been inspirational to us on many levels. Humble, talented, and truthful. Just plain good!

Kyle Nix, fiddle player Turnpike Troubadours
Right now I’m listening to Townes Van Zandt’s 1966 lost, now found recordings from the album In The Beginning that was released in 2009. I’m thankful those made the light of day.

Rich O’Toole, singer/songwriter
I’m thankful for Randy Rogers Band’s Rollercoaster.  That album was such a breakthrough for Randy and the guys, and it helped get the Texas Country/Americana/Red Dirt, whatever you want to call it, genre great recognition. I still jam it once and week, and it’s still in my top 5 albums of all time.

Dave Perez, lead vocalist Tejas Brothers
Working with Lloyd Maines in the studio was a definite highlight for me and the Tejas Brothers this year. My confidence as a songwriter and a vocalist was reinforced during his production of our latest record, Live a Little More. He is so great at what he does, that just being around him made me stronger. Thanks Lloyd!

Dave Pratka, singer/songwriter, bassist Spivey Crossing
Afterglow by The Great Divide. A rediscovery of sorts. I’ve come to appreciate the work of Mike McClure more and more. This album is the perfect example that great music never sounds dated.

Todd Purifoy, photographer
There are a number of artists who renewed my faith in great music in 2013. The Dirty River Boys, Uncle Lucius, Wade Bowen, The Departed, Drew Kennedy, Shinyribs to name a few. But if I had to pick one for 2013, I think I’ll go with Anders Osborne. Anders has been a favorite of mine for a while. I love that style of southern swamp rock. Anders isn’t all that widely known, but the cat can play anything, any style. He is incredibly talented, and he put out 3 new projects in the last year and a half, starting with Black Eye Galaxy. I love that about him. His music just lands in my wheelhouse, and I find myself gravitating to his music every time I hop in the truck.

Kayla Ray, singer/songwriter                                     
I have always been a Merle Haggard fanatic, but this year it seems I have been stuck on Hag’s Serving 190 Proof record from 1979. There are a certain few whose art is and will remain timeless. Merle Haggard is without a doubt one of the few. From start to finish it is a gut wrenching journey of ups and downs, love lies and rambling. It is everything you expect from a Haggard record. It also holds one of my very favorite songs, a slow drowned in liquor ballad called “Heaven Was a Drink of Wine”. So this year, as with every year…though it may seem cliché, I am thankful for The Hag. I am thankful for his ability to make the listener hold on to every word of a slow moving ballad and for his ability to make a room “romp” with an upbeat tempo. I am thankful for his honesty and his endless contributions to what country music was, and what I believe it will be again.

Abbey Road, manager/talent buyer Luckenbach
At a time when the music world is really full of one song wonders, due to the digital availability of singles etc; an artist that can put out an album of great tunes, start to finish, that you want to listen to over and over again is getting harder to find.  On top of being able to back it up with the live show, Cody Jinks is keeping country music alive and well.  Simple, understated, back to the basics kind of deal.  At 30 something, Cody and his band have a set course and they are taking it one step at a time, winning fans everywhere they go. I’m thankful every morning when I turn on my iPod and find his three solid albums of good original material.

Mando Saenz, singer/songwriter
I’m thankful for discovering Nick Lowe’s The Convincer. A beautiful record that was released on September 11, 2001. You can understand why it might have fell under the radar. It’s a true masterpiece that I heard during a photo shoot.  We were at someone’s house taking these photos and the photographer was playing the vinyl of The Convincer while we were shooting. It blew me away that day and still does.

Trey Skinner, road manager Josh Weathers Band
It may sound biased, but Josh Weathers has changed my life. His music is inspirational and uplifting. It’s never about how things didn’t work out but how they can work out. When I first started working for Josh, I was a boy.  But over the last 3 years he has made me into a man. He is constantly showing me the value of family and how to be grateful for the things that God has given me. He sees the good in people even when they can’t see it in themselves and always tries to be a good role model for people. Josh is taking some heat for this break he is about to take and after talking with him, he sees that what he is doing is for the right reasons. Josh is the type of person that puts 100% into everything he does. Right now he wants to put 100% into his family and I couldn’t respect him more.

Max Stalling, singer/songwriter
I’m thankful for all the new music that came out in 2013…some I dug, some I didn’t.  But, the fact that we are in a time and place where the opportunity to put out original music is embraced and encouraged makes this little singer-songwriter get down on his prayer bones and say Hallelujah!

Jeremy Steding, singer/songwriter
There is a song called “Caledonia” by Dougie MacLean that has been a constant for me this past year or so.  When I had the opportunity to tour Europe, I got a chance to step away from the business side of things and get back to the music.  It was like a reset button. In an Irish Pub, I heard a woman sing a song that touched me so dearly… “Caledonia” by Dougie MacLean I heard it a second time, and it stuck while dancing with my girlfriend Tiffini in Kilkenny.  I was in love with music again.  Anytime I hear the original version now, I am transported back to that place, but also that feeling of inner peace and joy.

Owen Temple, singer/songwriter
I am thankful for Willie Nelson.  We are so lucky to still have him now and the music he has made over the last 6 decades. Since I first heard his music playing on my dad’s 8-track tape, I have been asking myself the question so perfectly posed by Bruce Robison in his song, “What Would Willie Do?” Willie’s songs, recordings, generous spirit, and sheer endurance at touring and making music over the decades make him a hero to me, and heroes inspire us by pushing the boundaries of what we thought was possible.

Willie’s also a runner, so as a bonus, he busts the myth of the self-destructive troubadour who must sacrifice his sanity & physical health to write good songs.I read an interview where Willie talks about running.

Willie: I just try to exercise, I try to do enough in the morning to make up for what I did, detrimentally, the night before. I try to make it even out, but you know, we don’t live the greatest lifestyles out here traveling on the road and eating whatever we can get a hold of. So, any kind of exercise we can do daily is good, and I try to get in a run or a bike ride or something every day.

Thank you Willie Nelson for your spirit, your songs, and your example for other working musicians.

Dallas Terry, staff writer
I’d like to start off by saying that what I’m most thankful for in 2013 is the amount of amazing albums and songs that have come out this year. People think that good music doesn’t happen anymore because “they just don’t make ’em like they used to,” but that’s completely untrue. These days, you just have to dig a little further to find the gold. That being said, the album I’m most thankful for is probably Liquid Spirit by Gregory Porter. It’s a jazz album by a guy who’s the modern day equivalent to Bill Withers in both songwriting and singing, and it completely blew me away. Powerful, passionate, authentic, and refreshing. Check it out.

The Triggerman, blogger
“I’ll Sing About Mine” from Adam Hood, Brian Keane and Josh Abbott is what I’m most thankful for. Bare midriffs, buxom gyrations, and badass cars are no match for the character of a real country story. Neither is the caricaturish, shallow, and materialistic portrayal of rural life in modern country songs compared to the sense of family and community, and the fulfillment of hard work that accompanies true country living. All of these things are embodied in “I’ll Sing About Mine,” and the video Abbott did for his cover of the song does it one better.

Nick Verzosa, singer/songwriter
I’m ashamed to say I’d lost track of Owen Temple’s music since I first fell in love with the entire list of songs on General Store in high school.  He was one of the first artists I was introduced to who was part of this era’s Texas Music revolution of sorts.  The music was so clever and cool and each song had at least one line that would make me crack a smile.  I booked an acoustic support slot with him this year and decided to look into what he’d been up to lately since he’d gotten lost in the whirlwind of music being thrown my way in what’s become a huge, diverse music scene.  When I dug into his new Stories They Tell record, I was reminded of why I was writing songs in the first place.  Intelligent, introspective stories commenting our roles in creating the seemingly out of whack society that we live in and longing for times when we were more grateful, humble, responsible and simple.  I’m thankful for that reminder and that Owen is a songwriter who stays true to himself.

Alex Weeden, lead guitarist Miranda Lambert
I’d say the album that I’m most thankful for is the Rosehill-Crooked Thoughts album. It came out at the very tail end of 2012. I co-wrote two of the songs on it and I’m real proud of them, and I’m definitely real proud of these Rosehill guys. I think they’re putting out great material that can be enjoyed by the mainstream as well as the most fickle Texas Music fan. They have a little buzz going on now and I hope to see them breaking through.

Bryon White, singer/songwriter The Damn Quails
2013 has had a fair share of praise-worthy music thus far. Isbell knocked his new one out of the park and Lucero’s Texas and Tennesee EP has stayed on my playlist since it came out in April. However, one guy from Tulsa, Oklahoma released one of the most personal and staggeringly well-crafted albums to hit the shelves this year. John Moreland played in a hardcore band when I was still cutting my teeth playing punk rock in the late 90’s. Out of all those blast beats and gained out half-stacks came a songwriter with a unique ability to dig deeper than anyone I’ve ever met to write the kinds of songs that most of us don’t have the courage to pen. In the Throes takes me back to the tiny towns of my youth and my grandma’s back porch, eating biscuits and gravy and visiting with my relations. The songs are shimmering and layered with tasty instrumentation, most of it performed by the songwriter himself. I’m genuinely thankful I can put it on the stereo and cruise to the next gig.

Zane Williams, singer/songwriter
I’m thankful for Charlie Worsham’s new album Rubberband. I’m all about hooky songs that still have substance. Add in tasteful production that favors mandolins and banjos over hip hop beats and distortion, and the result is an album that sounds modern and classic at the same time. I wish we had a whole lot more like him in country music today!


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16 thoughts on “Thanks for the Music 2013

  • November 22, 2013 at 9:53 am

    I am thankful for a handful of albums & artists this year. First off, Reckless Kelly’s “Long Night Moon” is a magnificent album. No one does it better than RK on continuously delivering excellent music. Also, Jason Boland & The Stragglers’ fine “Dark & Dirty Mile.” It made me a hardcore fan of this band that I hadn’t paid much attention to until this year. Ashley Monroe & Kacey Musgraves put out amazing albums this year, as well.

  • November 26, 2013 at 10:48 am

    I’m thankful for Leon Russell. Just started digging into his stuff in the past couple months. Being Texas born and Louisiana raised, Leon really brings all of it together for me. Funky piano, swampy rock, with a red dirt flair. He’s truly an awesome talent.

  • December 7, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Todd Purifoy’s comment has a typo. He is referring to Anders Osborne, who has become one of my favorite artists. check him out

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