Monday, December 17, 2012

John Platt's faves of 2012

From DJ John Platt:

Following my friend Rich Warren's example, here's an annotated list of my favorites of the past year, in alphabetical order:

  * John Fullbright, *From the Ground Up*

The phenomenally talented 24-year-old Grammy nominee from Woody Guthrie's hometown of Okemah, OK, whose heroes are more likely Randy Newman and Tom Waits

* Penny Nichols, *Colors of the Sun: Penny Nichols Sings the Early Songs of Jackson Browne*
Best known recently as the founder of Summersongs, Penny was a close friend (and sometime lover) of Jackson Browne at the time he wrote classics like "These Days" and "Fountain of Sorrow"

* Joan Osborne, *Bring It On Home*
Joan can sing anything from folk to standards, but these blues and R&B covers are right in her wheelhouse

  * Gretchen Peters, *Hello Cruel World*

A Grammy-nominated songwriter from Nashville who's been covered by the likes of Trisha Yearwood and Faith Hill, Gretchen released a very personal album that's stunning from start to finish

* Rodriguez, *Searching for Sugar Man*

The soundtrack of the heartwarming documentary about the Detroit singer who fell off the musical map but was rediscovered thanks to the passion of his South African fans

* The Twangtown Paramours, *The Promise of Friday Night*
A married musical couple from Nashville whose music is not so much twangy as "sophisticated Americana"

Various Artists, *Chimes of Freedom*
The four-CD feast of Bob Dylan covers are by everyone Adele to Zee Avi, not to mention Billy Bragg, Sting, and Raphael Saadiq, compiled for Amnesty International's 50th anniversary

Various Artists, *Joni Mitchell's "Blue"*
Some of New York's finest female folkies, collectively known as Chicks with Dip, do justice to Joni's deceptively tricky classics

* Various Artists, *Treme: Music from the HBO Original Series, Season 2*
Soulful performances from the series where the musical guest artists are as important as the excellent regular cast

* Loudon Wainwright III, *Older Than My Old Man*
The whole Wainwright clan assists Loudon in this chronicle about aging
which has songs both serious and satirical

Also Worthy:

  * Ryan Adams*, *Ashes & Fire*
  * Nels Andrews*, *Scrimshaw*
  * Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem*, *Some Bright Morning*
  * Barnstar!*, *C'Mon*
  * Buskin & Batteau*, *Love Remembered/Love Forgot*
  * Brandi Carlile*, *Bear Creek*
  * Mary Chapin Carpenter*, *Ashes and Roses*
  * Anna Dagmar*, *Satellite*
  * Iris DeMent*, *Sing the Delta*
  * Honor Finnegan*, *The Tiny Life*
  * Benjamin Gibbard*, *Former Lives*
  * Lucy Kaplansky*, *Reunion*
  * The Lumineers*, *The Lumineers*
  * Kathy Mattea*, *Calling Me Home*
  * Pete Seeger & Lorre Wyatt*, *A More Perfect Union*
  * Bruce Springsteen*, *Wrecking Ball*
  * Various Artists**, Trouble in the Fields: An Artists' Tribute to
  Nanci Griffith

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