Top 15 Albums for May 2009!!!

May 2009

  1. Neil Young – Fork In The Road [Reprise 2009]
  2. Ziggy MarleyFamily Time [Tuff Gong 2009]
  3. Julian MarleyAwake [Tuff Gong 2009]
  4. Steve Earle Townes [New West 2009]
  5. Queen IfricaMontego Bay [VP Records 2009]
  6. The Decemberists The Hazards of Love [Capitol 2009]  
  7. Vybz Kartel Most Wanted [Greensleeves 2009]
  8. BushmanMost Wanted [Greensleeves 2009]
  9. Los Fabulosos Cadillacs La Luz del Ritmo [Nacional 2009]
  10. GomezA New Tide [Ato Records 2009]
  11. YTBorn Inna Babylon [Sativa 2009]
  12. Booker TPotato Hole [Anti 2009]
  13. Steve Winwood and Eric ClaptonLive from Madison Square Garden [Reprise 2009]
  14. UGKUGK 4 Life [Zomba 2009]
  15. The Flatlanders Hills & Valleys (Dig) [New West 2009]

Neil Young’s Fork In The Road pays tribute to cars and praises the new advancements in green car technology. It seems Young was so inspired by Wichita mechanic Jonathan Goodwin’s work on Young’s Lincoln that he wrote some wonderful songs about it. Goodwin converted Young’s 1959 Lincoln Continental adding battery power, biodiesel, and old jet engines in a fashion that increased gas mileage to 100 mpg and at the same time doubled the horsepower from 300 to 600. This album is timely, deep, and insightful. Neil Young continues as a cutting edge songwriter.

Ziggy Marley’s Family Time brings together some great artists making fun reggae sounds for the entire family. Jack Johnson, Willie Nelson, Toots Hibbert, and others lend their voices to the great tracks. Willie Nelson and Ziggy Marley rework the spiritual “This Train (feat. Willie Nelson)” while Ziggy and Toots Hibbert sing “Take Me To Jamaica (feat. Toots Hibbert).”

The Marley Brothers have been prolific and Julian “JuJu” Marley’s new album Awake displays the excellent quality reggae being produced by Bob’s progeny. “Violence In The Streets” with brother Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley packs a political message inside a driving riddim. “Boom Draw” celebrates the “healing of the nation” that grew on King Solomon’s grave. The tracks “Things Ain’t Cool,” “Awake,” and “On The Floor” rock and “A Little Too Late” with brother Stephen “Ragamuffin” Marley is pure melodic funky reggae.

Queen Ifrica’s Montego Bays caprtures the best of female roots reggae from Jamaica. “Keep It To Yourself” is a lesson in good vibes and “Daddy” is an interesting raw social commentary.

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Top 15 Albums for May 2009!!!

JamTex Top 10 for July 2008

July 2008
1. DubmatixRenegade Rocker [Dubmatrix 2008]
2. Hayes CarllTrouble In Mind [Lost Highway 2008]
3. Various Artists Reggae Gold 2008 [VP Records 2008]
4. Willie NelsonOne 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. EtanaThe 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.

JamTex Top 10 for July 2008