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

World of Reggae Music Collection: Texas Reggae

World of Reggae Music
Texas Reggae
In this edition of the World of Reggae Music Collection the selector explores Texas Reggae Music.
  1. Tribal Nation – Gina
  2. Willie NelsonSomething To Think About
  3. The Killer Bees – Doctor Doom
  4. Grimy Styles – Smokin’ on the Deck
  5. Don Chani – Action
  6. The Mau Mau Chaplains – Man Bitter (Curfew Time)
  7. Mr. Brown & the Dub Kids – Babylon Site
  8. Graham Wilkinson & the Underground Township – La Briza
  9. Eleven Fingered Charlie – Early Morning Rises
  10. Five Ton Chicken – Everything Turns Grey
  11. People’s Army – Monica
  12. Watusi – Cool Runner
  13. Grupo Fantasma – Utility Rock
  14. Daily Bread Dub – Gun Smoke
  15. Jerry Jeff Walker – Come Away To Belize With me
  16. McPullish & General Smiley – Natty Natty
  17. Contra Coup – Rudie Has Fallen
  18. Stingers ATX – Let’s Be In Love
  19. Aton – We Are All
  20. Tribal Nation – Flirty
  21. Los Skarnales – Borracho
  22. We are Half Nelson – 1969 (Dub)
  23. Shark Attack – Ammunition
  24. Willie Nelson & Mishka – Homegrown
  25. Tribal Nation – Restaurant
  26. Border Roots – Just Be Thankful
  27. Grimy Styles – Ductape & Pancakes
  28. Graham Wilkinson & the Underground Township – Boys and Girls
  29. The Mau Mau Chaplains – Confirm Reservation
  30. The Killer Bees – Stereo
  31. Three Shoes Posse – Ron Paul Is Here
  32. Sons of the Beach – Dirty Sanchez
  33. The Raspas – Poor Man Style
  34. Watusi – The Island
  35. Major Riley – Wooy Fireman Put It Out
  36. Los Skarnales – Borracho
  37. Vital Brass Tones – This Way
  38. Sons of the Beach – Wake n’ Bake
  39. Jerry Jeff Walker – Champagne Don’t Hurt Me Baby
World of Reggae Music Collection: Texas Reggae

The Top 200 Singles of 2009 – THE BEST OF 2009

Top 200 Singles of 2009

Here is a list of the top 200 songs from 2009…

  1. Courtney JohnLucky Man
  2. Estelle & Sean PaulCome Over
  3. Screw Driver & Inner CircleNever Give Up
  4. Daweh CongoStraight Up Conscious
  5. Sean Paul So Fine
  6. Michael Franti and SpearheadSay Hey (I Love You)
  7. Luciano & Easy Star All-StarsWith A Little Help From My Friends
  8. Luciano, U-Roy, & Easy Star All-Stars With A Little Dub From My Friends (Version 2)
  9. Chali 2na, Damian Marley, and Stephen MarleyGuns Up
  10. John Legend & Buju Banton – Can’t Be My Lover
  11. Daweh Congo Ghetto Skyline
  12. Ziggy Marley & Willie NelsonThis Train
  13. YT, Million Stylez, Mr. Williamz, Blackout Ja, Jah Knight, & Iverse – Champion Sound
  14. Willie Nelson & Asleep at the WheelFan It
  15. The Decemberists The Rake’s Song
  16. AlborosieNo Cocaine
  17. M. Ward Stars of Leo
  18. K’Naan & Chubb RockABC’s
  19. Norah JonesIt’s Gonna Be
  20. Elephant ManDance and Sweep
  21. The Avett BrothersI And Love And You
  22. Daweh CongoOne Day
  23. K’Naan & Damian Marley I Come Prepared
  24. Michael Franti & Spearhead Rude Boys Back In Town
  25. LadenTime To Shine
  26. Queen IfricaLioness On The Rise
  27. Brother Ali Fresh Air
  28. WilcoWilco (The Song)
  29. Michael Rose, Menny More, & Easy Star All-StarsA Day In The Life
  30. Kid CudiDay ‘N’ Nite (Nightmare)
  31. Julian Marley Boom Draw
  32. Buju Banton & Third WorldSense Of Purpose
  33. K’Naan – Take A Minute
  34. The XXVCR
  35. SeraniPlaying Games
  36. Major Lazer, Jovi Rockwell, & Mr. VegasCan’t Stop Now
  37. Tarrus RileyHerbs Promotion
  38. Michael Franti & SpearheadSoundsystem
  39. M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel Never Had Nobody Like You
  40. Ziggy Marley & Toots Hibbert Take Me To Jamaica
  41. Willie Nelson & Asleep at the WheelSweet Jennie Lee
  42. Daweh CongoSteppin
  43. Yim YamesMy Sweet Lord
  44. The Avett Brothers – January Wedding
  45. George Strait – El Rey
  46. Bounty KillerCorrupt
  47. Mayer HawthorneMaybe So, Maybe No
  48. Michael Franti & SpearheadA Little Bit Of Riddim
  49. Dave Matthews Band Funny The Way It Is
  50. Jay-Z & Mr. HudsonYoung Forever
  51. Monsters of Folk Say Please
  52. Julian Marley & Damian Marley Violence In The Streets
  53. Tarrus RileyHuman Nature
  54. Spoon – Writing in Reverse
  55. PhoenixLisztomania
  56. Andrew BirdOh No
  57. M WardRave On
  58. Yim YamesAll Things Must Pass
  59. Modest MouseSatellite Skin
  60. Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros Home
  61. Slaid CleavesCry
  62. Phish Backwards Down The Number Line
  63. Graham Wilkinson, Hayes Carll, and Lloyd MainesRagamuffin
  64. The ItalsLet Dem Talk
  65. Sean Kingston Fire Burning
  66. Black Eyed Peas Boom Boom Pow
  67. Black RynoReal Stingers
  68. Romain VirgoAlton’s Medley: Breaking Up / Ain’t That Loving You / My Willow Tree
  69. Jah CureSticky
  70. Pearl Jam – The Fixer
  71. Vybz Kartel Life Sweet
  72. Q-TipEven If It Is So
  73. Black Eyed Peas I Gotta Feeling
  74. CapletonAcres
  75. Miley Cyrus – Party in the USA
  76. Mariah CareyObsessed
  77. Suga Roy, Conrad Crystal, Barrington Levy, & Beenie ManShe Call Mi Phone
  78. Passion PitSleepyhead
  79. The Swell SeasonFeeling The Pull
  80. George Strait Arkansas Dave
  81. ChinoNever Change (From Mawning)
  82. Sean PaulPress It Up
  83. Queen Ifrica Coconut Shell
  84. Lyle Lovett Loretta
  85. Beres Hammond Can’t Say I Never Tried
  86. Chali 2na Comin’ Thru
  87. Grizzly Bear Two Weeks
  88. K’NaanWavin’ Flag
  89. BeirutThe Shrew
  90. Willie Nelson & Asleep at the WheelRight or Wrong
  91. MetricSick Muse
  92. Robert Earl Keen, Jr.Flyin’ Shoes
  93. Regina SpektorEet
  94. Bon Iver Blood Bank
  95. Soja & RebelutionHere I Am
  96. Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band Nikorette
  97. John Fogerty & Bruce SpringsteenWhen Will I Be Loved
  98. Julian Marley & Stephen Marley – Things Ain’t Cool
  99. George StraitLiving For The Night
  100. Frankie Paul & Easy Star All-StarsLucy In The Sky With Diamonds
  101. Graham Wilkinson & the Underground Township Boys and Girls
  102. Major LazerCash Flow
  103. Zee AviBitter Heart
  104. Etana & Alborosie Blessings
  105. Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel I’m Sittin’ on Top of the World
  106. Jay Z & Alicia KeysEmpire State Of Mind
  107. Danny MaloneBasement
  108. Black Eyed PeasRock That Body
  109. George StraitEasy As You Go
  110. Jay-ZD.O.A. [Death Of Auto-Tune]
  111. Suga Roy, Conrad Crystal, & Gyptian – Jah Jah See Dem
  112. Danny BarnesPizza Box
  113. Major LazerBruk Out
  114. Robert Earl Keen, Jr.The Rose Hotel
  115. Soja, Tamika, & GentlemanI Tried
  116. Casual Sax Baby I’m Black (From The Waist Down)
  117. Courtney JohnI Want To Get Next To You
  118. Major LazerPon De Floor
  119. Rhett MillerI Need To Know Where I Stand
  120. The Low Anthem Charlie Darwin
  121. Beres Hammond See You Again
  122. Micachu & the ShapesGolden Phone
  123. Queen IfricaKeep It To Yourself
  124. Bob DylanBeyond Here Lies Nothin’
  125. Son Volt Dynamite
  126. N.A.S.A., Spank Rock, M.I.A., Santogold, & Nick Zinner Whachadoin?
  127. Elephant ManNuh Linga
  128. Levon Helm Tennessee Jed
  129. EminemCrack A Bottle
  130. Ziggy Marley, Jack Johnson, & Paula Fuga Cry, Cry, Cry
  131. Jay Farrar & Benjamin GibbardCalifornia Zephyr
  132. Boycott BluesGot Beef? (Food Coma)
  133. Snoop DoggI Wanna Rock
  134. Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel Won’t You Ride in My Little Red Wagon
  135. N.A.S.A., Kool Keith, & Tom WaitsSpacious Thoughts
  136. Max Romeo & Easy Star All-Stars – Fixing A Hole
  137. The LemonheadsWaiting Around To Die
  138. Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band Air Mattress
  139. Neil YoungJohnny Magic
  140. Ziggy Marley, Rita Marley, & Cedella MarleyI Love You Too
  141. Queen Ifrica Daddy
  142. Cunninglynguists – Never Come Down
  143. MavadoSo Blessed
  144. Mos Def & Talib KweliHistory
  145. B-Real & Damian MarleyFire
  146. Willie Nelson & Asleep at the WheelCorrine Corrina
  147. Anthony B & Horace AndyEnter The Kingdom of Zion
  148. John LegendCan’t Be My Lover (Curtis Lynch Remix)
  149. Bruce SpringsteenOutlaw Pete
  150. SizzlaBlack Man In The White House
  151. Willie Nelson & Asleep at the WheelBring It on Down to My House
  152. Wasp – Unfair Officer
  153. Sugar Minott & Easy Star All-StarsWhen I’m Sixty-Four
  154. Bitty McLeanFall In Love (Rub A Dub Mix)
  155. Taken By Trees – To Lose Someone
  156. Willie Nelson & Asleep at the WheelHesitation Blues
  157. U-Roy, Bunny Rugs, & Easy Star All-StarsLovely Rita
  158. Daweh CongoDaybreak
  159. Coconut RecordsAny Fun
  160. SeraniWhen It’s Cold Outside
  161. TelekinesisCoast Of Carolina
  162. MavadoOn The Rock
  163. Bill Callahan – Jim Cain
  164. Kirsty Rock & Easy Star All-StarsShe’s Leaving Home
  165. Noah and the WhaleBlue Skies
  166. Daweh CongoJoy Brings Pain
  167. FanfarioI’m A Pilot
  168. MavadoMoney Changer
  169. The Dry SpellsBlack Is The Color
  170. David Guetta & AkonSexy Bitch
  171. Animal Collective My Girls
  172. Taken By TreesMy Boys
  173. Tribal SeedsThe Garden
  174. Norah JonesChasing Pirates
  175. Jay Farrar & Benjamin Gibbard These Roads Don’t Move
  176. MatisyahuStruggla
  177. Black Eyed PeasMeet Me Halfway
  178. Buju BantonRastafari
  179. JuvenileGotta Get It
  180. GroundationBeating Heart
  181. 10 Ft Ganja Plant 10 Ft. Ganja Plant and Weed
  182. MishkaStay By My Side
  183. Raekwon & Lyfe Jennings Catalina
  184. Bebel GilbertoChica Chica Boom Chic
  185. PitbullI Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)
  186. Phoenix1901
  187. Bramma – Da Body Deh
  188. Kid Cudi Make Her Say
  189. Mayer HawthorneJust Ain’t Gonna Work Out
  190. Flo RidaRight Round
  191. Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, Method Man, & Ghostface KillahHouse Of Flying Daggers
  192. MatisyahuSmash Lies
  193. Timbaland & Justin TimberlakeCarry Out
  194. ChezidekBorder Line
  195. Bebel GilbertoSun Is Shining
  196. Gregory IsaacsFools Fall In Love
  197. Oba SimbaThe Herb
  198. Robert GlasperButterfly
  199. B.B. SeatonLife Goes On
  200. Johnny Clarke with Soothsayers meet Red Earth CollectiveBad Boys
  201. Sean Paul & Keri HilsonHold My Hand [I’ll Be There]
The Top 200 Singles of 2009 – THE BEST OF 2009

The Top Albums of October 2009

Never Give Up” with Screw Driverand Inner Circle is one of those uplifting songs that inspires and makes you want to take on all comers. It has the punch and message of the Jimmy Cliff classic “The Harder They Come.” This song is my new motto: “Never Give Up, Never Surrender.” Inner Circle’s State Of Da World deserves the attention of the world. This new album includes collaborations with reggae megastars Junior ReidGramps Morgan of Morgan Heritage, Bushman and Luciano.  Slightly Stoopid appears on “Mary Collie Weed” and Damian Marley and  Stephen Marley make guest appearances on “Smoke Gets In My Eyes.”

Texas musicians James McMurtryLyle Lovett, and Robert Earl Keen all released new albums this month. McMurty’s Live In Europe features rocking versions of “Ruby And Carlos” and “Just Us Kids.” Lyle Lovett‘s Natural Forces has a beautiful cover of Townes Van Zandt‘sLoretta.” And Robert Earl Keen has a Townes Van Zandt tune “Flyin’ Shoes” on his new album The Rose Hotel. The single “The Rose Hotel” is free and loose and classic Robert Earl.

On the rap/hip-hop scene Wu-Tang Clan Alumni Raekwon and Ghostface Killah released new albums. The sequel to Raekwon’s classic album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx has been released. Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Part II features killer solo tracks like “Ason Jones.” Method Man, Inspectah Deck, and Ghostface Killah guest on “House Of Flying Daggers” and on “The New Wu.” Old School maestro Slick Rick joins Raekwon, GZA, and Masta Killa onWe Will Rob You.”  And new school rapper Lyfe Jennings appears on the track “Catalina.” Ghostface Killah’s album Ghostdini Wizard Of Poetry In Emerald City includes the notable tracks “Baby,” “Back Like That (Remix),” and “Do Over.” Also on the rap scene A Tribe Called Quest emcee Q-Tip released Kamaal The Abstract with the jazzy single “Even If It Is So.”

Greensleeves released two solid reggae compilations this month: The Biggest Reggae One-Drop Anthems 2009 and The Biggest Ragga Dancehall Anthems 2009. Great songs on this year’s one drop anthems include Beres Hammond’s Can’t Say I Never Tried” and Marcia Griffith and Busy Signal’s Automatic (Keeping It Real). The outstanding track is Romain Virgo’s tribute to the legendary Alton Ellis entitledAlton’s Medley: Breaking Up / Ain’t That Loving You / My Willow Tree.” Also Peetah and Assassin’sHot A Road,” Mr. Williamz’s No Cigarette” and Ziggi’sGonna Leave You” make this easy-going reggae collection worth the listen.

On the dancehall side of things with The Biggest Ragga Dancehall Anthems 2009 Black Ryno’sBend Over” and Vybz Kartel and Gaza Indu’sVirginity” induce the booty shaking while the catchy “Never Change (From Mawning)” by Chino will have you singing along. This newest addition to the dancehall anthems collection stocks up on heavy hitting dancehall singjays like Busy Signal, Demarco, Mavado, Jah Vinci, Laden, and Konshens.

  1. Inner CircleState Of Da World [Shanachie 2009]
  2. James McMurtry Live In Europe [Lightning Rod 2009]
  3. Lyle LovettNatural Forces [Curb/Lost Highway 2009]
  4. Monsters of FolkMonsters Of Folk [Shangri-La 2009]
  5. Various Artists The Biggest Reggae One-Drop Anthems 2009 [Greensleeves 2009]
  6. RaekwonOnly Built 4 Cuban Linx 2 [EMI 2009]
  7. Robert Earl KeenThe Rose Hotel [Lost Highway Records 2009]
  8. Various ArtistsJah Live Riddim [Joe Frasier 2009]
  9. International Observer Felt [Dubmission 2009]
  10. Roseanne CashThe List [Manhattan 2009]
  11. Various ArtistsPenthouse Showcase Volume 4 [Penthouse 2009]
  12. Various ArtistsPenthouse Showcae Volume 5 [Penthouse 2009]
  13. Kiddus IGreen Fa Life [Makasound/Makafresh 2009]
  14. Breakestra Dusk Till’ Dawn [Strut Records 2009]
  15. Danny MaloneCuddlebug [Township Records 2009]
  16. Kid CudiMan On The Moon: The End Of Day [Dream On/G.O.O.D./Universal Motown 2009]
  17. The XX xx [Young Turks 2009]
  18. Various ArtistsThe Biggest Ragga Dancehall Anthems 2009 [Greensleeves 2009]
  19. MuseThe Resistance [Warner Brothers 2009]
  20. Ghostface Killah – Ghostdini Wizard Of Poetry In Emerald City [Island/Def Jam 2009]
  21. Various Artists5: Five Years of Hyperdub [Hyperdub 2009]
  22. Gossip Music For Men [Columbia 2009]
  23. The Avett Brothers I And Love And You [Columbia 2009]
  24. Chuck FendaFulfillment [VP Records 2009]
  25. Omar Perry –  Can’t Stop Us [Makasound/Makafresh 2009]
  26. Tribal SeedsThe Harvest [Tribal Seeds 2009]
  27. Toddla TSkanky Skanky [1965 2009]
  28. Masta Ace & Edo GArts & Entertainment [Traffic 2009]
  29. Mark Stuart and the Bastard SonsBend In The Road [Dualtone 2009]
  30. Q-Tip Kamaal The Abstract [Jive 2009]
  31. Doveman –  The Conformist [Brassland Records 2009]
  32. DawesNorth Hills [ATO 2009]
  33. Kris KristoffersonCloser To The Bone [New West 2009]
  34. Mark KnopflerGet Lucky [Rerprise 2009]
  35. Takana ZionRappel à l’ordre [Makasound/Makafresh 2009]
The Top Albums of October 2009

Friday at Austin City Limits Music Festival 2009!!!

Wavin' Flag

The rain fell as the music filled the park. Mud seethed underfoot and gushed between toes. Among the strong aromas and beautiful sounds, the 2009 Austin City Limits Music Festival came alive and offered another memorable year of music. Although environmental factors change from year to year, from stifling heat and dust to drenching rain and mud, the show never stopped. The music continued. And Austin proved itself again as the live music capitol of the world.

I caught Dr. Dog at the Dell Stage for my first show. I found these boys from Philadelphia to be quite harmonic, reminiscent of the psychadelia rock of the Beatles and The Byrds. Songs like “The Breeze” and “The Old Days” displayed that smooth 1960s sound. But my favorite song on the set list was “The Rabbit, The Bat & The Reindeer.”

I had heard of Phoenix, but I had never listened to their music. A friend convinced me to see this alternative rock band from Versaille, France. The comparisons to their French peers Daft Punk and Air interested me. Ultimately I understood the comparisons, finding the sound close to a New Order-like electronica pop. Phoenix pleasantly surprised me with tunes like “Lisztomania,” “Lasso,” “If I Ever Feel Better,” “Fences,” “Girlfriend,” “Run Run Run,” “Too Young,” “Rome,” and “1901.” Many of the songs appear on the new album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.

The best show of the day came from the Somalian born/Canadian based rapper k’naan. Under the Wildflower Tent the slender Somalian rocked the crowd with political prose, heart-felt lyrics, and blistering beats. Appropriate adjectives include humble, inspirational, and talented.  k’naan had a broad appeal, drawing young children and old people, and all those between the young and old. An intimate performance captivated the crowd.

The track “T.I.A. [Explicit]” thundered bass as K’naan introduced the crowd to his unique brand of hip-hop. “T.I.A.” samples Bob Marley’s classic ska tune “Simmer Down,” layers it over heavy beats, and atop raps the brilliant young wordsmith. In Africa, Bob Marley, Lucky Dube, 2pac, and The Notorious B.I.G. reign supreme. k’naan studied these great performers and his sound reflects those influences. Yet the sound is original. The music is gangsta but peaceful, hard but soft, and always chalk full of the contradictions and realities of life.

From Africa the Somalian took us on a trip to “America.” On the album, Mos Def and Chali 2Na join the track with their rhymes on the studio version of “America,”  but solo and live K’naan brought this song to its full potential without the help of these great lyricists. The song “Take A Minute” brought emotion to the tent. The following love ballad “Fatima” lightened the mood. And then the hardcore rap song “ABC’s” (with a Chubb Rock sample) rocked the and rolled with pure energy.

K’naan then sang a song about “Somalia,” which brought tears to the crowd’s eyes. The lyricist played two different versions beginning with an acapella and moving into a full band version. As K’naan says “his real will makes your real look like a rental.” This track talks about the perils of childhood in Somalia and the suffering of the people. K’naan harnesses the pain and realities of the world and turns them into amazing poetry. The rapper followed the tear jerker with “Bang Bang,” a nice jamming pop tune. And he ended his set with the a sing-a-long to “Wavin’ Flag.”

K’naan was the highlight of the evening. But the jams continued with Thievery Corporation. The dub electronica duo and band played on the main stage this year kicking out funky electronica with “.” The crew from Washington, D.C. also played the sitar heavy “Mandala,” displaying their unique acumen at world music.

In a testimony to the diversity of the music at ACL I caught parts of sets from the Texas country group Reckless Kelly and the hard-rocking new super trio Them Crooked Vultures. Them Crooked Vultures features bassist John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, drummer David Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters, and Josh Homme the guitarist and lead singer from Queens Of The Stone AgeKings Of Leon headlined Friday night playing their hits “Sex On Fire,”
”On Call,” and
”Use Somebody.”

The  music continued after the festival at the ACL after shows. I went to a Township Records showcase at the Ghost Room downtown on 4th Street in the Warehouse District. I caught the end of Danny Malone‘s set. This kid has a beautifully haunting voice. My wife described him as a creepy James Taylor. His new album Cuddlebug features the eerie track “Basement.” Graham Wilkinson & the Underground Township played some of my favorite tracks from the new album Yearbook, including “Ragamuffin” and “Let It Go.”

Let It Go

Friday at Austin City Limits Music Festival 2009!!!

Graham Wilkinson & the Underground Township make music for all the “Ragamuffin” Kids

Nature lovin,’ tree-huggin, hippy musician and artist Graham Wilkinson put together a fascinating group of Austin-based musicians to accompany his original and inspirational songs on the new album Yearbook. Graham Wilkinson and the Underground Township make beautiful music for mountain drives and nature hikes, but also for boisterous bars across North America. The music is original. Some might claim it is a kaleidoscope of roots music, folk, rock, Americana, jazz, and reggae, but really Graham Wilkinson and the Underground Township melt away genres and make new and exciting music.

underground township photo

On Yearbook Graham Wilkinson writes beautiful ballads like “Star Blue” and blues tunes like “The Corner Store” underscoring his brilliance at song writing. Drummer Matt Morris, bassist Wayne Dalchau, guitarist P.J. Herrington, and Chris Stringer on keys make up the backbone of the Underground Township on this particular album with Graham playing a range of instruments from harmonica and guitars to percussion. The Township is joined by a revolving cast of musicians from the Austin scene including Hayes Carll, Alejandro Escovedo, Ray Hilner, Meg Kemp, Mista Swift, Margaret Whitt-Harn, Joe Fallhaeber, Trisha Keefer, Mark Levine, Nick Warrechuk, Mark Wilson, Kyle Clayton, Will Duppy, Leila Henley, Heidi Johnson, Danny Malone, David Moss, Hector Munoz, Ron Weisberg, Dawnerin Wilkinson, Sarah Lu Wilkinson, and even legendary Texan musician Lloyd Maines.

The track “Ragamuffin” sticks out as a particular favorite of mine. I’ve always liked this song, but when it came up on my iPod (in a random shuffle mode) while cruising through the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming it seemed to be the perfect song at the perfect time. Hayes Carll and Graham Wilkinson share vocals on the song with Lloyd Maines playing a beautiful steel guitar. The gliding pace of the song helped me to glide smoothly over the meadows and mountain lakes.

The tracks on Yearbook like “La Brisa,” “Let It Go,” and “Boys and Girls” are not only great songs, but they also have been well produced here by Township Records. Township Records, run by bassist Wayne Dalchau, is a great local Austin indie label with talented new artists like Danny Malone, James Levy, and Graham Wilkinson and the Underground Township.

Yearbook is a concept album that takes a look back at the collaborations and music of 2008 in South Austin. The previous release from the band was the self-titled Graham Wilkinson & the Underground Township, which took a different approach to Graham’s songs. On Yearbook the tracks are more filled out. And the good news is, The Underground Township are taking this wonderful music on the road for 2009. The late summer tour is exhaustive. Make sure to catch Graham & the Township playing in a town near you.

Aug 2 2009 6:00P Freds Texas Cafe Ft. Worth, Texas
Aug 5 2009 8:00P The Whitewater Tavern Little Rock, Arkansas
Aug 6 2009 9:00P Tres Hombres Carbondale, Illinois
Aug 7 2009 9:00P Duke’s Hideaway Chicago, Illinois
Aug 8 2009 9:00P Duke’s Hideaway Chicaco, Illinois
Aug 9 2009 8:00P Village Inn Suttons Bay, MI
Aug 10 2009 8:00P Village Inn Suttons Bay, MI
Aug 11 2009 8:00P Village Inn Suttons Bay, MI
Aug 12 2009 9:00P The Happy Dog Cleveland, Ohio
Aug 13 2009 9:00P Hill Country BBQ New York, New York
Aug 14 2009 10:00P Blak Oak Tavern Oneonta, New York
Aug 15 2009 8:00P Fred Fest Oneonta, New York
Aug 19 2009 9:00P Northside Tavern Cincinnati, Ohio
Aug 20 2009 9:00P Boone Saloon Boone, North Carolina
Aug 21 2009 9:00P Tasty World Athens, Georgia
Aug 22 2009 9:00P Westville Pub Asheville, North Carolina
Aug 25 2009 9:00P Lynagh’s Irish Pub Lexington, Kentucky
Aug 26 2009 10:00P The Basement w/ Rufus Huff (Kentucky Headhunters) Nashville, Tennessee
Aug 27 2009 8:00P The Whitewater Tavern Little Rock, Arkansas
Aug 28 2009 8:00P Smoke and Barrel Tavern Fayetteville, Arkansas
Aug 29 2009 8:00P The Parish w/ The Blue Hit & Danny Malone Austin, TX

Graham Wilkinson & the Underground Township make music for all the “Ragamuffin” Kids

The Best of April 2009!!!

The Best of April 2009!!!

1. Graham Wilkinson & the Underground TownshipYearbook [Township Records 2009]
2. K’NaanTroubadour [Octone Records 2009]
3. Buju BantonRasta Got Soul [Gargamel 2009]
4. Bob Dylan Together Through Life [Columbia 2009]
5. CunninlynguistsStrange Journey Volume One [QNS 2009]
6. J.J. Cale Roll On [Rounder 2009]
7. B RealSmoke and Mirrors [Duck Down 2009]
8. Jah CureThe Universal Cure [SoBe 2009]
9. Souls of Mischief Tour Stories [Hieroglyphics Imporium 2009]
10. JahmaliEl Shaddai [Penthouse 2009]
11. Various ArtistsEvolution Dub Volume 1: The Origin of the Species [Greensleeves 2009]
12. Various ArtistsEvolution Dub Volume 2: The Great Leap Forward [Greensleeves 2009]
13. SizzlaGhetto Youthology [Greensleeves 2009]
14. Bitty McLeanMovin On [Taxi 2009]
15. John Brown’s BodyRe-Amplify [Easy Star Records 2009]

Graham Wilkinson and the Underground Township released a new album on Township Records, Yearbook, this month that brings the best of Texas roots music to the fore. Graham Wilkinson has proven himself not only as a songwriter but also as an arranger. Some of the songs on this album come from earlier albums but here they are arranged in new and lovely ways. On the track “Ragamuffin,” Hayes Carll lends his voice and Lloyd Maines plays his pedal-steel guitar. “Let It Go” stands out as an americana roots jam and “La Briza” casts an easy groovy spell. “Boys and Girls” is a reggafied track that has a ska sound.  On the strings laden “Ghosts,” a previously unreleased track,  Alejandro Esovedo adds his voice to this rock n’ roll piece of art. Graham Wilkinson and the Underground Township and the boys at Township Records, including producer and bassist Wayne Dalchau, have done it again. And this time the album artwork and concept of the Yearbook make it worth getting the hard copy of this album. Get the digital album if need be but the artwork and music make this album a tangible item one needs to hold, see, listen, and appreciate. Like the old days before the digital single this album harkens back to the good old days of the concept album. This album, Yearbook, captures a year of creativity, music, and Austin vibes.

K’Naan the Somalian rapper dropped sweltering rhymes over fat beats on his new album Troubadour. The track “I Come Prepared” with Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley stands out as a powerful song and the track “ABC’s” with Chubb Rock is slamming. Chali 2Na Fish, Mos Def, and Adam Levine also co-star on this album. But K’Naan shines on solo tracks too. The track “T.I.A.,” which stand for “This Is Africa,” samples Bob Marley & the Wailers’ “Simmer Down” with heavy bass drops chopping the old rhythm into a new dancehall beat. The Somalian rapper shows his softer side on ballads like “Wavin’ Flag” and “Take A Minute.” I am looking forward to seeing the live show.

The Best of April 2009!!!