Our Top Ten rich with great new releases
Someone was in the store the other day and asked me why we don’t post our Triple Play Top Ten anymore. I told him that our top 10 just doesn’t change often enough to warrant a weekly list, but right now there are enough excellent new releases to warrant one.
So, here are our 10 most popular CDs, in no particular order, as it stands right now at Triple Play Records.
■ Bob Dylan, “Tempest” — At 71 years old, Dylan’s voice isn’t getting any better. His songwriting, especially his lyricism is still very strong. Purchase this disc for Dylan’s amazing story of the Titanic’s sinking on the 13-minute title track.
■ Mumford & Sons, “Babel” — This English folk group’s second release is more personal and diversified than its debut. As is the norm with the follow-up to a big selling record, the songs here get more revealing as the band matures and has more experience and self-confidence in its craft. I am not sure if it is as good as the first release, but it is different.
■ Mark Knopfler, “Privateering” — This two-disc set is packed with 20 excellent tunes of relaxing folk, blues, country, Celtic, rock and even a waltz. Knopfler’s songs always reveal themselves at different times through repeated listening that helps make his music timeless.
■ Van Morrison, “Born to Sing, No Plan B” — Morrison has not sounded better in many years. Happy with his label and armed with a batch of great songs, Van the man reminds us why he is one of the greatest singers of all-time.
■ Avett Brothers, “Carpenter” — This wonderful band is as close to a modern-day version of New Grass Revival as any band I have heard. In a music world full of non-traditional folk/bluegrass acts, these fellows are at the top of the list.
■ John Hiatt, “Mystic Pinball” — I am a Hiatt fan and like most of his work. Some I like better than others. This is one of the “better” ones. No one mixes Memphis R&B with rock more seamlessly than John Hiatt. Wood Chipper proves that his sense of humor is still very much intact.
■ Dwight Yoakam, “3 Pears” — Nobody sounds like Yoakam as he is the unique product of his influences and background all rooted in the Bakersfield sound of Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Chris Hillman and Gram Parsons. “3 Pears” is a psychedelic, country back porch rock-influenced masterpiece with a retro feel and, in my opinion, one of Yoakam’s best records.
■ Alvin Lee, “Still On the Road to Freedom” — When Lee left Ten Years After in 1973, he recorded “On the Road to Freedom” with gospel artist Mylon Lefevre and several stellar musicians. This follow-up some 38 years later is on par with the original both in the quality and diversity of the songs as well as the performance of the musicians.
■ Outlaws, “It’s About Pride” — Led by Henry Paul and Monte Yoho, the Outlaws return to the classic sound of its LPs from the 1970s with this new release. As always, this band’s classic guitar driven southern country rock is the theme on this new disc, which is a good thing for longtime fans. The title track is a classic in the vein of Green Grass and High Tides.
■ Jimmy LaFave, “Depending On the Distance” — A Grand Junction favorite and one of the many incredibly gifted songwriters from the Texas hill country is back with another gem of a disc. What sets LaFave apart is his passion and sincerity that become more evident when you see him live and get to know him.