My Top 74 Albums of 2013

This post is inspired by my friend John Ellis’ recent series of posts. Read it here. I’m not saying my list is better than John’s, but it does have 3 times as many albums.

The following are my favorite records from 2013. They are not all originally from 2013, but this was the year I discovered them.

74: Iris Dement-Sing The Delta

Iris is what I call an acquired taste musician–you either love her voice or can’t stand it. Many people know of her from the soundtrack to the Coen Bro’s “True Grit,” but I’ve been listening to her since John Prine’s “In spite of ourselves.” I do not necessarily agree with her theology, but I find her music to be beautiful and honest.

73: Steve Martin & Edie Brickell – Love Has Come For You

Good, surprising album with simple melancholy bluegrass.

72: The Civil Wars-The Civil Wars

Adding this for Ryan Thien. The thing that amazes me about this album is how many different styles they can sing. Some is mainstream country sounding, some is in the dark style of Barton Hollow, all with tight harmony that can give you chills.

71: The Music from M Squad

The Music From M Squad
This is the soundtrack from a 1959 tv show. I learned about it from a biography of Lee Marvin. Never seen the show, but the music is fantastic. Duke Ellington was a musical advisor to the show. This album is hands down the coolest record in my collection.

70: Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell-Old Yellow Moon

Good refresher on what good country music sounds like.

69: Kris Kristofferson-Feeling Mortal

I have this thing for “old guy about to die so I’m going to sing music I like” albums. Kris’ voice (to me) sounds much better as an old guy than he did in “The Highwaymen” era.

68: The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver

This album proves that John Denver had some really great songs. The version “Country Roads, Take Me Home” by Brandi Carlile and Emmylou Harris is fantastic.

67: Willie Nelson-To All The Girls…

This album was a surprise. it has many of the best female artist (and some of the worst) singing duets with Willie Nelson. It has a familiar feel, and there is this strange phenomenon that happens when you combine an angelic female voice with Willie’s worn out voice, the result sounds good.

66: Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors-Good Light

A band I discovered by accident while waiting for another concert, this is probably my biggest surprise from this year. Hard to classify (some weird mix of folk/country/american rock). Very positive music you can’t help but feel happy after listening to.

65: Glen Campbell-See You There

Glen Campbell has been the punch line of many jokes, and it is never cool to admit you like him, but he has had an amazing career. He played lead guitar on the Beach Boys “Good Vibrations,” and to me is the best guitar player of all time. This album was recorded during the same sessions as “Ghost on the Canvas.” They are stripped down recordings of his most famous songs, with one or two new songs. By stripping out the lush orchestration, you feel as if you are really hearing the songs for the first time. It gave me additional appreciation for songs that I previously discounted, such as “Wichita Lineman.” My favorite is “Waiting on the coming of my Lord.”

64-1: Johnny Cash-The Complete Columbia Album Collection

This is all 64 of Johnny Cash’s Columbia recordings. Thanks to this, I now have the entire Johnny Cash catalog, with the exception of “Johnny Cash Sings with the BC Goodpasture Christian School”

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