Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Caterwauler's favorite albums of 2008

This year I break with a tradition that has always perplexed and frustrated listeners. For the past 24 years, I've started the year with a list of thirteen of my favorite folk, roots, americana albums of the previous year. Initially it was the Fringe Folk Top 13, and then the Caterwaul Top 13.

Trouble was, I never actually had only 13 albums on the list. Inevitably, the list of actual albums would run to more than 20, a problem I solved with double and triple ties.

This year, I'm announcing the list of my favorite albums of the year the day before I feature them on the air on my Wednesday morning show (Caterwaul, WWUH-FM, 91.3, wwuh.org, 6-9 a.m. Eastern US Standard Time)

This year there are 31 albums on the list, and I do have a favorite, which you'll have to scroll to the bottom of this post to find.

But here they are, in a year when single song sales have far outdistanced traditional album sales, Caterwauler's favorite albums of 2008 with some video accompaniment.

Randy Newman - Harps and Angels (Nonesuch)

Various - Awake My Soul/Help Me To Sing (Awake)

American Music Club - Golden Age (Merge)

Old Crow Medicine Show - Tennessee Pusher (Nettwerk)

Neil Halstead - Oh Mighty Engine (Brushfire)

Hayes Carll - Trouble In Mind (Lost Highway)

Chuck Brodsky - Two Sets (Waterbug)

Mark Erelli - Delivered (Signature Sounds)

Sacred Shakers – Sacred Shakers (Signature Sounds)

Primate Fiasco - Geek Dreams (Primate Fiasco)

Caroline Herring – Lantana (Signature Sounds)

Delta Spirit – Ode to Sunshine (Rounder)

Drive By Truckers - Darker Than Creation's Dark (New West)

Winterpills - Central Chambers (Signature Sounds)

Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (SubPop)

Vetiver - Thing of the Past (SubPop)

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar)

Various (Art Rosenbaum) - Art of Field Recording (Dust to Digital)

Todd Snider – Peace Queer (Aimless)

Rodney Crowell – Sex and Gasoline (Yep Roc)

Charley Haden – Rambling Boy (Decca)

Carrie Rodriguez – She Ain’t Me (Back Porch)

Charlie Louvin – Sings Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs (Tompkins Square)

Brett Dennen – Hope for the Hopeless (Dualtone)

Billy Bragg – Mr. Love and Justice (Yep Roc)

Avett Brothers - Second Gleam (Ramseur)

Cedric Watson - Cedric Watson (Valcour)

Loudon Wainwright III – Recovery (Yep Roc)

Elvis Costello and the Imposters - Momofuku (Lost Highway)


Anonymous said...

That Primate Fiasco vid was from the weed festival in Amherst MA. Americana + weed = hippies with sunburns.

Anonymous said...

Great Choices. Are these in any particular order? First to last? Last to first?

Ed McKeon said...

For twenty-four years I ranked them, but the ranking was somewhat meaningless. I like them all, a lot, though I guess I know the words to the Elvis Costello songs the best, so he must've gotten played more than the rest.