What a year for new releases. It seems that every week I'm listening to another album that I want to add to my favorites for the year list and this week I had two albums to add.
Guy Clark's new album called "Songs And Stories" is an excellent recording of a perfomance at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville, with Clark warmly surrounded by his musical family -- his longtime sidekick and co-writer Verlon Thompson, along with Shawn Camp, Bryn Davies and Kenny Malone. I saw Clark and Thompson perform together last year at The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Fransisco and this recording takes me right back to that day. Releasing just months prior to his 70th birthday, "Songs and Stories" is further evidence why Clark is a member of The Songwriters Hall of Fame, with craftsmanship that young writers study and seasoned writers admire.
The second album that I totally fell in love with this week is also a live recording, this time from the Horseshoe Lounge in Austin, Texas with Slaid Cleaves and friends performing two discs worth of Cleaves' songs. I have never seen Cleaves perform, but I'm sure that each show is a very special evening if it is anything like what this album presents.
There is nothing that compares with seeing your favorite musician perform their songs live, but these two performers have found a way to capture as much of that live performance feeling and save it for eternity.
James Lee Stanley & Cliff Eberhardt - Love Me Two Times - All Wood And Doors
Guy Clark - L.A. Freeway - Songs And Stories
Slaid Cleaves - Drinkin' Days - Sorrow & Smoke
John Prine - Saddle In The Rain - In Person & On Stage
Jeff Bridges - What A Little Bit Of Love Can Do - Jeff Bridges
Shoebox Letters - This Ain't Gonna Be Like That - Raise A Ruckus
Poor Man's Whiskey - Three Years Gone - Darkside Of The Moonshine
Indigenous - Now That Your Gone - The Acoustic Sessions
The Whopner County Country Allstars - Another Time, Another Place - 7 - 10 Split
Dave Alvin - Harlin County Line - Eleven Eleven
Old & In The Way - Pig In A Pen - Breakdown
Railroad Earth - Old Man And The Land - Elko
Fast Rattler - Rocksalt And Nails - Linger On
Fast Rattler - Linger On - Linger On
Emmylou Harris - The Road - Hard Bargain
Tedeschi Trucks Band - Simple Things - Revelator
Joe Ely - Circumstance - Satisfied At Last
Kasey Chambers - Train Wreck - Little Bird
Gillian Welch - The Way It Goes - The Harrow & The Harvest
John Hiatt - Don't Wanna Leave You Now - Dirty Jeans And Mudslide Hymns
Neil Young - Southern Pacific - A Treasure