OA: Rock Cesario Column December 19, 2008
Rock’s favorite ’08 CD releases
Since there are no more new releases for this year, here are my favorite CD releases from 2008.
I am positive that I have missed some of your favorites. Even though it is my job to keep up on all new music, I can’t listen to all of it.
Here are my favorites in somewhat of a chronological order:
• Jack Bruce and Robin Trower, “Seven Moons” — This collaboration between two giants of rock is just what the doctor ordered, especially if you are jonesing for a Cream reunion.
• Gary Louris, “Vagabonds” — This CD is the first release from this former member of the Jayhawks. It is a great batch of songs in the style of the great singer/songwriters of the early 1970s.
• Shawn Mullins, “Honeydew” — Armed with a batch of great songs and a world class voice, this CD is proof that Mullins is in the top tier when it comes to singer/songwriters.
• James McMurtry, “Just Us Kids” — This CD is every bit as good as its predecessor, “Childish Things.” McMurtry’s incredible stories are full of hard-edged characters, who are mostly down on their luck.
• Mudcrutch, “Mudcrutch” — This is Tom Petty’s original band reunited to for the first time in years. There are 14 great tracks featuring 10 originals and four terrific covers. It’s relaxed and unforced.
• Van Morrison, “Keep it Simple” — Van the man was and still is one of the greatest singer/songwriters of any time. This “stripped down” CD is another in a long list of great discs from the Celtic cowboy.
• John Hiatt, “Same Old Man” — I am not sure if it is the subtle delivery or the classic Hiatt-style Memphis rhythm and blues. Whatever it is, it all works on this excellent set of songs.
• Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, “Turbo Ocho” — Most of the tracks for this CD were recorded in Mexico and the results are terrific. Clyne is a clever man and a brilliant songwriter and it all seems to come together here.
• Jakob Dylan, “Seeing Things” — Bob’s son has got more than a little bit of his father’s talent. That comes through more clearly on this mostly acoustic laid-back effort.
• Joe Cocker, “Hymn For My Soul” — One of rock’s great voices, Cocker is unique in song interpretation and has released one of his best CDs in many years.
• Emmylou Harris, “All I Intended To Be” — This incredible lady has been entertained listeners with top quality work for almost 40 years. Her new CD is definitely one of the best of her illustrious career.
• Rodney Crowell, “Sex and Gasoline” — Crowell doesn’t miss a trick and this CD is proof. Here is a man troubled by the times we are in, yet very content with where he is at in life.
• Bob Dylan, “The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs, Rare and Unreleased 1989–2006” — If you need any further proof that Dylan is the world’s greatest songwriter, pick this set up. Dylan’s outtakes are better than most other artists’ keepers.
• Lindsey Buckingham, “Gift of Screws” — An introspective rock ’n’ roll record from the former and, I guess, future member of Fleetwood Mac. Buckingham has never sounded better on the guitar.
• Neil Young, “Sugar Mountain — Live at the Canterbury House 1968” — An amazing and insightful look inside the mind of one of rock ’n’ roll’s great singer/songwriters at a very early stage in his career. It may be 40 years old, but it is as powerful as any of his work.