1. Dubmatix – Renegade Rocker [Dubmatrix 2008]
2. Hayes Carll – Trouble In Mind [Lost Highway 2008]
3. Various Artists – Reggae Gold 2008 [VP Records 2008]
4. Willie Nelson – One Hell of a Ride [Box Set] [Sony 2008]
5. Joe Ely and Joel Guzman – Live Cactus [Rack’em Records 2008]
6. Alejandro Escovedo – Real Animal [Back Porch Records 2008]
7. DJ Yoda – Fabriclive 39 [Fabric 2008]
8. Ryan Bingham – Mescalito [Lost Highway 2007]
9. Etana – The Strong One [VP Records 2008]
10. Various Artist – Ragga Ragga Ragga! 2008 [Greensleeves 2008]
Dubmatix‘s new album Renegade Rockers offers some true gems with classic dancehall don Pinchers and rocksteady veteran Alton Ellis laying down superb tracks with the Canadian dubmaster. Lining up sensational reggae vocalist like Willi Williams, Linval Thompson, and Ranking Joe, Dubmatix has produced dynamite soundscapes to be played loudly in the hot Texas heat.
Hayes Carll‘s “She Left for Jesus” from his new album Trouble in Mind is the best country song of the year if not the decade. Witty, humorous, and delightfully sounding Hayes Carll embodies the best of roots music.
VP’s Reggae Gold 2008 compiled some of the hottest reggae coming out of the Caribbean, including Mavado, Beenie Man, Bugle, Richie Spice, and Collie Buddz. Syren Hall‘s “Sombody Come Get Me” and Tarrus Riley‘s “Ease Off” play like smooth roots reggae. The compilation contains burning dancehall anthems, such as Stephen Marley and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley‘s “The Mission.” YT‘s “Champion Sound” kills the competition, dropping bombs and crazy bass.
For a trek across New Mexico and Arizona and onto the old casinos of downtown Las Vegas, the sounds of Joe Ely and Joel Guzman‘s new album Live Cactus framed a passing desert landscape. And where eventually the desert plain gave way to mad rapids on the swollen Colorado River rampaging down the truly grand canyons of the American Southwest.