Top Ranking Albums of June 2013

Jimmy CliffThe KCRW Sessions [Universal 2013]

SizzlaThe Messiah [VP Records 2013]

Bob Marley & the WailersLegend Remixed [Tuff Gong 2013]

Various ArtistsLove for Levon [Time 2013]

Various ArtistsLet Us In Americana [Reviver Records 2013]

Steve EarleThe Low Highway [New West 2013]

Sean NelsonMake Good Choices [Really Records 2013]

Slaid CleavesStill Fighting the War [Music Road Records 2013]

Bob SchneiderBurden of Proof [Kirtland Records 2013]

Dale Watson & His TroopersEl Rancho Azul [Red House Records 2013]

Shiny Ribs Gulf Coast Museum [Nine Mile Records 2013]

Patty GriffinAmerican Kid [New West Records 2013]

Billy BraggTooth and Nail [Essential Music 2013]

John FogertyWrote A Song For Everyone [Vanguard 2013]

Warren Hood BandWarren Hood Band [Red Parlor Records 2013]

The Carper FamilyOld-Fashioned Gal [The Carper Family 2013]

Mavis Staples One True Vine [Anti/Epitaph 2013]

Booker TSound the Alarm [Stax 2013]

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Top Ranking Albums of June 2013

Top Ranking Songs of March 2013

Courtney JohnBlack Cinderella [FiWi Music 2013]

Bruce Robison & Kelly WillisCheater’s Game [Premium Records 2013]

ChronixxSmile Jamaica [Silly Walks Discotheque 2013]

Various ArtistsThe Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver [ATO Records 2013]

PhosphorescentMuchacho [Dead Oceans 2013]

David Bowie The Next Day [Columbia 2013]

Fortunate Youth It’s All A Jam [Fortunate Youth 2013]

John Heinrichs Rooftop Sessions [GanJah Records]

Justin TimberlakeThe 20/20 Experience [RCA Records 2013]

RhyeWoman [Innovative Leisure 2013]

DawesStories Don’t End [HUB Records 2013]

Nick Cave and the Bad SeedsPush the Sky Way [Bad Seed 2013]

MishkaOcean is my Potion [Mailboar Records 2013]

Courtney JohnSoul of a Man [FiWi Music 2013]

Eric ClaptonOld Sock [Bushbranch 2013]

Youth LagoonWondrous Bughouse [Fat Possum 2013]

Charles BradleyVictim of Love [Daptone 2013]

Top Ranking Songs of March 2013

The Top Ranking Albums of April 2011

Circuital

Top Ranking Albums of 2011

  1. Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers Rare Bird Alert [Rounder 2011]
  2. My Morning Jacket – Circuital [ATO Records 2011]
  3. Easy Star All-Stars – First Light [Easy Star 2011]
  4. Alexi Murdoch – Towards The Sun [Zero Summer Records 2011]
  5. G. Love Fixin’ To Die [Brushfire Records 2011]
  6. Various ArtistsOur Favorite Beres Hammond Songs [VP Records 2011]
  7. GyptianChoices [Kingston Records 2011]
  8. Otis TaylorClovis People, Vol. 3 [Telarc 2010]
  9. Mount Kimbie – Crooks & Lovers [Hotflush Recordings 2010]
  10. Brett DennenLoverboy [Dualtone 2011]
  11. Panda Bear Tomboy [Paw Tracks 2011]
  12. Bootsy Collins Tha Funk Capitol Of The World [Mascot 2011]
  13. Matisyahu Live At Stubbs, Vol.II[Fallen Sparks 2011]
  14. The Head and the Heart The Head And The Heart [Sub Pop Records 2011]
  15. Wye Oak Civilian [Zero Summer Records 2011]
  16. Lee “Scratch” Perry Rise Again [Mod Technologies 2011]
  17. Stockholm SyndromeApollo [Response Records 2011]
Rare Bird Alert
Crooks & Lovers
First Light
The Top Ranking Albums of April 2011

The Best Albums of September 2010

Antifogmatic (Deluxe)
  1. The Punch BrothersAntifogmatic [Nonesuch 2010]
  2. Spragga BenzShotta Culture [Boom Tunes 2010]
  3. Gappy RanksPut The Stereo On [Greensleeves 2010]
  4. Ana Tijou1977 [Nacional Records 2010]
  5. The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger Acoustic Sessions [2010]
  6. DubmatixSystem Shakedown [Renegade Media 2010]
  7. Quantic presenta Flowering Inferno Dog With A Rope [Tru Thoughts 2010]
  8. Taj Weekes & AdowaA Waterlogged Soul Kitchen [Jatta Records 2010]
  9. Robert PlantBand of Joy [New Rounder 2010]
  10. Lil Jon & The East Side BoyzCrunk Rock [Universal 2010]
  11. Mavis Staples (and Jeff Tweedy) You Are Not Alone [Anti/Epitaph 2010]
  12. Justin Townes EarleHarlem River Blues [Bloodshot Records 2010]
  13. Richie StephensReggae Revolution [Pot of Gold/VP Records 2010]
  14. Paul WallHeart Of A Champion [Swishahouse 2010]
  15. Isobel Campbell & Mark Lannegan Come Undone [Vanguard 2010]
  16. Tom Petty & the HeartbreakersMojo [Reprise 2010]
  17. Sarah BlaskoAs Day Follows Night [Universal 2010]
  18. Various ArtistsDear New Orleans [ATC Benefits 2010]
  19. Jerry Lee Lewis Mean Old Man [Shangri-La Roots 2010]
  20. Lady Saw My Way [Toasting Music 2010]
  21. Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah DogsGod Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise [RCA Records 2010]
  22. Max StallingHome to You [Blind Nello Records 2010]
  23. Ryan Bingham Junky Star [Lost Highway Records 2010]
  24. Grupo FantasmaEl Existential [Nat Geo Music 2010]
  25. James Levy Verses [Township Records 2010]
  26. Danny Malone Verses [Township Records 2010]
  27. AtmosphereTo All My Friends, Blood Makes The Blade Holy: The Atmosphere EP’s [Rhymesayers 2010]
  28. Hope SandovalThrough The Devil Softly [Netwerk Records 2009]
  29. Bostich & FussibleBulevar 2000 [Nacional Records 2010]
  30. Sahara SmithMyth Of The Heart [Playing in Traffic Records 2010]
  31. Tom Schraeder Once Lace, Now Cotton[Township Records 2010]
  32. Ben Sollee & Daniel MartinDear Companion [Sub Pop Records 2010]
  33. The TrishasThey Call Us The Trishas [Fatty Four Records 2010]
  34. JamesThe Morning After The Night Before [Island/Def Jam 2010]
  35. Green River Ordinance The Morning Passengers EP – Acoustic Sessions [For Mona 2010]
  36. The GreenhornesGun For You [Greenhornes 2010]
  37. RobynBody Talk Pt. 2 [Interscope Records 2010]
  38. Jon Langford & Skull OrchardOld Devils [Bloodshot Records 2010]
  39. T-Model FordPee Wee Get My Gun [Fat Possum Records 2010]
  40. RuskoHold On [Mad Decent Records 2010]
  41. Street Sweeper Social Club – The Ghetto Blaster EP [Street Sweeper Social Club 2010]
  42. Natty King Trodding [Tad’s 2010]
  43. Black Milk Album Of The Year [Fat Beats Records 2010]
  44. Chezidek Herbalist [Tad’s 2010]

Put The Stereo On

System Shakedown

Dog With A Rope

Harlem River Blues [Explicit]

You Are Not Alone

Dear New Orleans [Explicit]

Junky Star

El Existential

Verses

Verses

Once Lace, Now Cotton

Pee Wee Get My Gun [Explicit]

The Best Albums of September 2010

The Top 40 Albums of May 2010!!!

Distant Relatives

May 2010 has been a fruitful month for music. Reggae, country, jazz, and rock music have been well represented. The Junior Gong aka Damian Marleydropped his long anticipated album Distant Relatives with rap legend Nas. The album features reggae, sick African beats, hip-hop, and spot on guest appearances by k’naan and Lil Wayne.

On the country side, Texan outlaw Willie Nelson strikes again with Country Music and Merle Haggard makes one of his best records in recent memory with the album I Am What I Am (Amazon Exclusive Version). And the Preservation Hall Jazz Band made an amazing album An Album To Benefit Preservation Hall & The Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program (Deluxe Version) with guests like Louis Armstrong, Andrew BirdSteve Earleand Jim James aka Yim Yames from My Morning Jacket. And on the rock scene, new albums from Cornershop, LCD Soundsystem, and Broken Social Scene add balance to a nice month in music.

From Latin rappers Cypress Hill to African drummer Tony Allen (part of Fela Kuti‘s legendary band) to Texan musicians Court Yard Hounds(part of the Dixie Chicks) this months selection is diverse and full of wonderful sounds. Here are the Top 40 albums of May…

The Best of May 2010

  1. Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley & NasDistant Relatives [Universal 2010]
  2. Merle Haggard I Am What I Am [Vanguard Records 2010]
  3. Willie Nelson Country Music [Rounder 2010]
  4. Various ArtistsAn Album To Benefit Preservation Hall & The Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program [Preservation Hall Recording 2010]
  5. Toots & the MaytalsFlip and Twist [D and F Music 2010]
  6. Jakob Dylan Women And Country [Columbia 2010]
  7. Tony Allen Secret Agent [Nonesuch Records 2010]
  8. Cornershop Judy Sucks A Lemon For Breakfast [Ample Play Recordings 2010]
  9. Peter Wolf Midnight Souvenirs [Verve 2010]
  10. The PhysicsFuture Talk [The Physics 2007]
  11. Pretty LightsMaking Up A Changing Mind [Pretty Lights Music 2010]
  12. V.V. BrownTravelling Like The Light [Capitol 2010]
  13. Winston JarrettBushwhackers Gangbangers [Bigmore Productions 2010]
  14. Various Artists Something Old, Something New, Volume 5 [Penthouse Records 2010]
  15. Various Artists Big Stage Riddim [Penthouse Records 2010]
  16. Very Be Careful Escape Room [Barbes Records 2010]
  17. Various ArtistsSpecial Request, Volume 3 [Penthouse Records 2010]
  18. Mulatu Astatke Mulatu Steps Ahead [Strut Records 2010]
  19. Dr. DogShame Shame [Anti 2010]
  20. Radar Bros. The Illustrated Garden [Merge Records 2010]
  21. The Apples in Stereo Travellers In Space And Time [Yep Roc Records 2010]
  22. MGMTCongratulations [Sony 2010]
  23. Court Yard Hounds Court Yard Hounds [Columbia 2010]
  24. Caribou Swim [Merge Records 2010]
  25. LCD Soundsystem This Is Happening [Virgin Records 2010]
  26. Broken Social Scene Forgiveness Rock Record [Arts & Crafts Records 2010]
  27. The Kissaway Trail Sleep Mountain [Bella Union 2010]
  28. Passion Pit Manners [Columbia Records 2010]
  29. The Hold Steady Heaven Is Whenever [Vagrant Records 2010]
  30. Various ArtistsJoe Gibbs 12” Disco Showcase Volume 4 [VP Records 2010]
  31. The Dead Weather Sea Of Cowards [Third Man 2010]
  32. Gogol BordelloTrans-Continental Hustle [American Recordings 2010]
  33. Cypress HillRise Up [Priority Records]
  34. Solomon BurkeNothing’s Impossible [E1 Music 2010]
  35. GinjahNever Lost My Way [Digital Release 2010]
  36. Alan Jackson – Freight Train [Arista 2010]
  37. Judgement Day Peacocks / Pink Monsters [Judgement Day 2010]
  38. The RaftersAnimal Feelings [Asthmatic Kitty Records 2010]
  39. Jeff Beck Emotion & Commotion [Atco/Rhino 2010]
  40. SlashSlash [Dik Hayd 2010]
The Top 40 Albums of May 2010!!!

The Top 30 Albums of August 2009

The TOP 30 ALBUMS of AUGUST 2009

1. Various ArtistsPecking Old School Young Blood Volume 2 [Pecking 2009]
2. Courtney JohnMade In Jamaica [Jamaica Records/FiWi Music 2009]
3. Yim YamesTribute To [Rough Trade 2009]
4. Tarrus RileyContagious [VP Records 2009]
5. George Strait Twang [MCA Nashville 2009]
6. Wayne HancockViper of Melody [Bloodshot 2009]
7. Various ArtistsRocksteady: The Roots of Reggae [Moll Selekta Germany 2009]
8. Groundation Here I Am [Young Tree Records 2009]
9. Various Artists Trojan Reggae Chartbusters Volume 1-5 [Trojan 2009]
10. Various ArtistsBeginners Guide to Ska [Nascente 2009]
11. Rebelution Bright Side of Life [Controlled Substance Sound Labs 2009]
12. The ImpressionsComplete A- and B-Sides: 1961-1968 [UMC 2009]
13. Tanya Stephens Tanya: Collection of Hits [VP Records 2009]
14. Various Artists Dubwise/Indiscretions: Greensleeves One Drop Rhythms 2 [Greensleeves 2009]
15. Lynn Taitt & the JetsRock Steady Greatest Hits [Federal 2009]
16. Various ArtistsFinest Delivery, Volume 2 [Greensleeves 2009]
17. KRSOne & BuckshotSurvival Skills [Duck Down Records 2009]
18. Amanda Blank I Love You [Downtown Records 2009]
19. TOKOur World [VP Records 2009]
20. 10 Ft Ganja PlantBush Rock [Roit 2009]
21. The Beasties Boys featuring NasToo Many Rappers (12 Inch) [Parlophine 2009]
22. Dead Prez & the Evil Genius DJ Green Lantern Pulse of the People [Boss Up/Invasion Music 2009]
23. Sean Paul Imperial Blaze [VP/Atlantic Records 2009]
24. Fort Knox FiveRadio Free DC Remixed [July 2009]
25. Blue Scholars – Oof! (EP) [Duck Down Records 2009]
26. Sly & the RevolutionariesChannel One: Maxfield Avenue Breakdown Dubs & Instrumentals 1974-1979 [Pressure Sounds 2009]
27. Charlie RobisonBeautiful Day [Dualtone 2009]
28. Maxwell Blacksummer’s Night [Sony 2009]
29. General Steele of Smif N Wessun – Presents… Welcome to Bucktown

Courntey John’s Lucky Man” is the dynamite track for August 2009. “Lucky Man” sounds like vintage lover’s rock reggae. Courtney John’s falsetto voice is smooth, sweet, and beautiful. “From this love there’s no holiday” Courtney John sings “we won’t take a break…no.” All the “special ladies” will dig these new Courtney John tunes. Take for instance the lovely cover of Rose Royce’sI Want To Get Next To You.”

In an indie rock meets classic rock vein, on a new EP release Tribute To George Harrison, Jim James (Yim Yames) of My Morning Jacket covers some of Harrison’s greatest songs, including “My Sweet Lord” and “All Things Must Pass.”

Some heavy hitters in the music industry made the charts this month, including Texan country music artist George Strait and Jamaican superstar Tarrus Riley. Both superstars pick enduring songs that capture the spirit of the land and its people. George Strait’s Twang as the title indicates swings with twangy vocals, fiddles, and steel guitars, making a classic Texas country sound. From the Jamaican perspective Tarrus Riley brings together a wide variety of reggae forms, such as dancehall, lover’s rock, and roots reggae, putting together a creative album with a sweet Jamaican vibe.

The popular dancehall performer, Sean Paul, dropped his new album Imperial Blaze with dance-friendly new singles like “So Fine” and “Press It Up.” T.O.K.’s new album Our World features the tracks “Guardian Angel” and “Couple Up,” which make for fun danehall music.

The Top 30 Albums of August 2009

TOP 20 ALBUMS OF JUNE 2009 – BEST OF 2009 SUMMER MUSIC

Top 20 Albums of June 2009

  1. Bob Marley and the Wailers B Is For Bob [Tuff Gong/Def Jam/Island Records 2009]
  2. Various Artists Dark Was The Night (Red Hot Compilation) [The Red Hot Organization/4AD 2009]
  3. N.A.S.A. – The Spirit Of Apollo [Anti/Epitaph 2009]
  4. AlborosieEscape From Babylon [Greensleeves 2009]
  5. Dave Matthews BandBig Whiskey And The GrooGrux King [Bama Rags 2009]
  6. The ItalsLet Dem Talk [Ital Records 2009]
  7. Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley BandOuter South [Merge 2009]
  8. DJ JS-1 No Sellout [Ground Original 2009]
  9. The Dub MachinistWorldwide Dub [Control Tower France 2009]
  10. Various Artists Reggae Gold 2009 [VP Records 2009]
  11. Ini Kamoze 5150 Rule [Hottis 2009]
  12. Amadou & MariamWelcome to Mali [Nonesuch 2009]
  13. Los Granadian del Espacio Exterior Donde Ningun Hombre Ha Llegado Jamas [Liquidator Spain 2009]
  14. Method Man & RedmanBlackout! 2 [Explicit] [Island/Def Jam 2009]
  15. Regina SpektorFar [Sire 2009]
  16. Black Eyed PeasThe E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies) [Interscope 2009]
  17. 311Uplifter [RCA/Jive 2009]
  18. The Dirty ProjectorsBitte Orca[Domino Recording 2009]
  19. Natural BlackGuardian Angel [Zion Roots Music 2009]
  20. Sonic Youth The Eternal [Matador 2009]
  21. Paul WallFast Life [Explicit] [Asylum/WB 2009]

“Life is one big road with lots of signs,” Bob sings “So when your riding through the ruts don’t you complicate your mind.” On this album we see why Bob Marley and the Wailers ruled the world of reggae music, especially with roots reggae tracks like “Wake Up And Live – Pt. 1.”  On the new album B Is For Bob executive producer Ziggy Marley reworked some of the Bob Marley classics giving them a kid friendly edge. The album pulsates with positive vibrations. A stripped down acoustic version of “Three Little Birds” leads off the album followed by a classic acoustic version of “Redemption Song.” These two songs make for fun summer road trip  sing-a-longs. I found the version of “Satisfy My Soul” to be very sensual and in my opinion this song could be one of the best lovers’ rock tracks ever cut. A bongo almost-dancehall infused “Jamming” and new takes on “Small Axe,” “Bend Down Low” and “Stir It Up” fill out this nice addition to the Bob Marley discography. “Could You Be Loved” and “One Love / People Get Ready” also fit perfect with the kid album theme. “High Tide Or Low Tide” excellently caps off the work.

Finding their way to the top of the Jam-Tex music charts this June are a cadre of Indie-rockers and rappers. The benefit album and compilation Dark Was The Night (Red Hot Compilation) and the N.A.S.A. hip-hop project The Spirit Of Apollo. Dark Was The Night (Red Hot Compilation) includes indie rockers collaborating to make wonderful music and really this album needs to be listened to in its entirety for the best effect. The Dirty Projectors team up with David Byrne on “Knotty Pine,” while Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings provide some soulful “Inspiration Information.” The Decemberists perform “Sleepless,” while Feist and Ben Gibbard team up on “Train Song.” Iron & Wine, Andrew Bird, My Morning Jacket, and Arcade Fire all appear on the album.

On N.A.S.A.’s The Spirit Of Apollo George Clinton and Chali 2na Fish rock “There’s A Party (Feat. George Clinton & Chali 2na)” and dancheall wonder Sizzla joins Lovefoxxx, and the nasty female rapper Amanda Blank on the track “A Volta (Feat. Sizzla, Amanda Blank & Lovefoxxx).” My favorite duo on any of these indie compilations appears on the N.A.S.A. album when Tom Waits and Kool Keith collaborate on “Spacious Thoughts (Feat. Tom Waits & Kool Keith)”. M.I.A., Santogold, Nick Zinner, and Spank Rock drive the electro-rap jam “Whachadoin? (Feat. Spank Rock, M.I.A., Santogold & Nick Zinner)“. The N.A.S.A. album certainly contains the most interesting lineup of artists, including David Byrne, Gift of Gab, Chuck D, DJ Z-Trip, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, KRS-One, Seu Jorge, Ras Congo, and Scarface on tracks like  “Money (Feat. David Byrne, Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge & Z-Trip),” “The People Tree (Feat. David Byrne, Chali 2na, Gift Of Gab & Z-Trip),” “Hip Hop (Feat. KRS-One, Fatlip & Slim Kid Tre),” “Strange Enough (Feat. Karen O, Ol’ Dirty Bastard & Fatlip),” and “The Mayor (Feat. The Cool Kids, Ghostface Killah, Scarface & DJ AM).”

Alborosie, Ini Kamoze, the Itals, and Reggae Gold 2009 provide this year’s sweltering summer reggae soundtrack. On the new Dave Matthews Band album Big Whiskey And The GrooGrux King the track “Funny The Way It Is” proves the band is still putting out quality music. DJ JS-1 gathers some talented indie rappers on No Sellout, for example, Aesop Rock and C Ray Wallz rock the mics on “Karma Killerz.”

TOP 20 ALBUMS OF JUNE 2009 – BEST OF 2009 SUMMER MUSIC