Now that 2010 is coming to an end, let’s take a look back at the year in (my) music. What was I listening to? What was I buying? Country music made up the largest percentage of what I bought in 2010. This shouldn’t surprise anyone that knows me well. Coupled with Bluegrass, they made up more than half of my new music this year.
Some of my favorite purchases in 2010:
Dierks Bentley - Up on the Ridge - This is one of my favorite records of 2010. I wasn’t a big Dierks Bentley fan before this release but hearing the simple acoustic tunes on this one turned me in to a fan!
Newfound Road - Same Old Place - I only recently discovered this band after perusing YouTube one night. The band is chock full of very talented bluegrass musicians but it’s their great vocals that keeps me listening over and over again.
Orianthi - Believe (II) - My kids downloaded the song, “According to You”, earlier in the year and it made its way to my iTunes. I originally thought it nothing more than a run-of-the-mill pop song. When I actually listened to the whole song I loved it. The guitar licks are unmistakably influenced by 80s rock. The riffs and solo would be at home on so many of the great 80s rock albums in my collection. It was only after I watched the video that I learned that the singer was also the lead guitarist. Orianthi was hired by Michael Jackson for the tour he was planning before his death and can be seen in the documentary, This is It. The rest of the album is pretty “poppy” but I love the guitar work.
Snap Jackson and the Knock on Wood Players - A Breath of Fresh Air - These guys are the epitome of the “newgrass” sound I love so much! Their sound is traditional with a modern twist (whatever that means, right?). This album, released on iTunes on January 1, is full of great songs. My favorite is “She Only Loves Me”. And did I mention they are from right here in Stockton? First time I heard them was when I stumbled upon them playing at a local park. Also, Snap is an amazing photographer.
Bruce Kulick - BK3 - I am a huge Kiss fan. Kulick, whose brother worked with Kiss for many years, was probably the most talented guitarist to play alongside Gene and Paul. This album, his third solo record, has a great edge to it. “Ain’t Gonna Die”, featuring Gene Simmons, is a great track. It’s what I would expect Gene to record on a solo record, just with better guitar work.
Kurt Nilsen. I had never heard of this artist before I came across a video for the song, “Hallelujah”. For some strange reason, I had this song stuck in my head for weeks. One night, I decided to look for it on YouTube. The first video that came up was this one. I didn’t recognize any of the singers but immediately loved this version. I was looking away from my computer screen when, at the 2:04 mark, Kurt Nilsen started his part. I got chills. His voice is so powerful and beautiful. After winning World Idol, he has released pop and country albums.
Michael Seymour / Suddenly Seymour. I met Michael earlier this year when I interviewed him on Podcast Stockton. I got hear a couple of acoustic versions of his songs before they were fully produced. Michael has a great voice that goes perfectly with his music. I recently saw him play an acoustic show with just him and his drummer. They were awesome. Their EP, Searching For, is a great listen! Check him out on Myspace.
What is your favorite music of 2010?