DJ’s and FTB Fans Best Music of 2010 lists

Here are some Top Ten Lists from Freight Train Boogie readers and fans and DJ’s BILL BOWKER, DAN FERGUSON and MARTIN ANDERSON… please allow for a variety of fonts and formats…

JOHN HOWE from Norwich, Connecticut
Here are my Top-Ten picks in alphabetical order:

1. PETER CASE – Wig! (Yep Roc)
2. CHATHAM COUNTY LINE – Wildwood (Yep Roc)
3.  COLIN GILMORE Goodnight Lane (self)
4.  PATTY GRIFFIN Downtown Church (Credential)
5. MUMFORD & SONS – Sigh No More (Glassnote)
6. JOE PUGMessenger (Lightning Rod)
7. KIM RICHEYWreck Your Wheels (Thirty Tigers)
8. THE SADIESDarker Circles (Yep Roc)
9. DARRELL SCOTTA Crooked Road (Full Light)
10. KEVIN WELCHA Patch of Blue Sky (Music Road)

Honorable Mention:
PIETA BROWNOne and All (Red House)

MARTIN ANDERSON –  Music Director and Morning Host at WNCW, a public radio station from North Carolina

  • THE SECRET SISTERSThe Secret Sisters (In today’s heavy times, we need a healthy respite of sweet, worry-free innocence once in a while. This Muscle Shoals-to-Nashville duo evokes the Andrews Sisters with an early-Americana background. Also one of the Top 20 albums produced by T Bone Burnett this year)
  • ELEVEN HUNDRED SPRINGS This Crazy Life (Honky-tonk at it’s best, with catchy guitar hooks and clever lyrics)
  • RYAN MONTBLEAU BAND –  Heavy On the Vine (A clear voice, optimistic outlook, and nice blend of pop and other styles)
  • MAVIS STAPLESYou Are Not Alone (inspiring gospel soul, with help from Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, as if she needed any help, but it works!)
  • ANDREW AND NOAH VAN NORSTRANDAll the Good Summers (clawhammer banjo, Celtic, folk from these two brothers)
  • THE LIVING SISTERS – Love To Live (Inara George, Eleni Mandell, & Becky Stark blend jazz, folk, pop, and more sweet harmonies)
  • HUGH MORRISON – Robert Burns Rocks (accordion-punk-rock versions of the great 18th Century Scottish bard’s poems.  Aye lad!)
  • JOHNNY FLYNN – Been Listening (indie-folk-rock from this clever English singer/songwriter, this time with tastefully placed horns)
  • ANAIS MITCHELL – Hadestown (a folk-rock opera of Orpheus & Eurydice, set in a post-apocalyptic U.S. town.  With Ani DiFranco, Greg Brown, Justin Vernon, Ben Miller)
  • CAROLINA CHOCOLATE DROPS – Genuine Negro Jig (the African-American tradition in Southeastern fiddle music is no longer forgotten!  And given a modern twist with help from Joe Henry)
  • “Tied for 11th”
    Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can, Jackson Browne & David Lindley – Love Is Strange, Dr. Dog – Shame, Shame, Dawn Landes – Sweetheart Rodeo, Infamous Stringdusters – Things That Fly, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen – Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Great American Taxi – Reckless Habits, Shannon Whitworth – Waterbound, Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba – I Speak Fula, Toubab Krewe – TK2, Lucky Peterson – You Can Always Turn Around, Darren Hanlon – I Will Love You At All, Bei Bei and Shawn Lee – Into the Wind


    1- Gary Bennett – My Ol’ Guitar
    2- Adam Carroll & Michael O’Connor – Hard Times
    3- Mike Stinson – The Jukebox In Your Heart
    4.  Justin Townes Earle – Harlem River Blues

    5. Peter Cooper – The Lloyd Green Album
    6.  Alejandro Escovedo – Street Songs of Love
    7. Joe Pug – Messenger
    8. Jenny Whiteley – Forgive or Forget
    9. Will Kimbrough – Wings
    1.- Ike Reilly – Hard Luck Stories

    BILL BOWKER, afternoons,  KRSH, Santa Rosa.  Also hosts ” Blues With Bowker”, “Krush Americana”, producer/booker of  Sonoma County Blues Festival, Earlefest &  other Sonoma County Roots shows

    LUCKY PETERSON –  You Can Always Turn Around
    PETER WOLF –  Midnight Souvenirs
    JOHN MELLENCAMP – No Better Than This
    MAVIS STAPLESYou Are Not Alone
    PATTY GRIFFIN Downtown Church
    STEVE JUDKINSBourbon, Sin & Cigarettes

    DAN FERGUSON AKA Boudin Dan has been the host of The Boudin Barndance broadcast on WRIU-FM in Kingston, Rhode Island since 1987. Here are his Favorites of 2010 along with his Compact Capsule reviews.

    Phosphorescent – Here’s to Taking It Easy (Dead Oceans) Songs aglow with snapshot quality and warm cosmic country dressing. Be it broken heart ballads or swirling honky tonk rambles, Phosphorescent radiates.

    The Mynabirds – What We Lose in the Fire.. (Saddle Creek) A striking voice landing somewhere between Dusty Springfield and Chan Marshall, Laura Burhenn and her band The Mynabirds deliver a gem knee deep in white-laced, Brill-styled soul.

    Mavis Staples – You Are Not Alone (Anti)You Are Not Alone is from the unlikely combo of the mighty-voiced Staples with Wilco-ite Jeff Tweedy in producer role teaming up to deliver a stirring and ever-soulful collection of spirituals and secular numbers.

    Limes – Rhinestone River (Goner) Ramshackle roots music from Memphis mired in a garage punk ethos that’s as noisy as it is twangy and not far removed from fellow Memphians The Oblivians and The Grifters.

    Charlie Musselwhite – The Well (Alligator)Veteran bluesman’s first full-band release of original material ever is all about the groove and damn if he doesn’t cop a soulful one playing and singing like the ultra-seasoned vet he is.

    Sonny & the Sunsets – Tomorrow Is Alright (Fat Possum) Like some long lost Southern California folk-pop artifact, Sonny Smith’s set of offbeat, beachy nuggets demonstrate his gift for crafting tantalizing melodies with high listener appeal.

    Deer Tick – Black Dirt Sessions (Partisan) Local Hero #1: This slower-paced, mellow affair heavy on the balladry sinks its teeth deeper with each listen.

    Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons – White Lighter (self-released) Local Hero #2: With local all-star accompaniment, Fletcher’s roots-fueled tunes demonstrates a songwriting breadth that spans the gut-bucket hard stuff of George Jones to the wordsmithing of Dylan.

    Justin Townes Earle – Harlem River Blues (Bloodshot) No staidness whatsoever on the talented Earle’s 3rd album in three years which moves from country-up swing to ramblin’ rock & rollers to a dash or two of New Orleans.

    The Sadies – Darker Circles (Yep Roc) A psychedelic haze hangs over much of this intricate gem from arguably the most talented band playing today.

    Tier 2 of Favorites: Strange Boys – Be Brave (In the Red); Ty Segall – Melted (Goner); The Parting Gifts – Strychnine Dandelion (In the Red); Marty Stuart – Ghost Train (Sugar Hill); Peter Case – Wig! (Yep Roc); Stone River Boys – Love On the Dial (Cow Island); The Black Keys – Brothers (Nonesuch); Jamey Johnson – The Guitar Song (Mercury Nashville); Mark Cutler – Red (75orless); Old 97s – The Grand Theatre Vol. 1 (New West); Jenny & Johnny – I’m Having Fun Now (WB).

    About Bill Frater

    This blog, Americana Boogie is mostly about new music releases in the Americana music genre. Bill Frater is passionate about Americana and roots music and writes about it on the Freight Train Boogie website, (, and does a weekly podcast show on

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