We are just about halfway through the 2020 release year that runs December-November. This has been a pretty interesting release year. Overall, I’ve seen a lot more EPs and singles released that I have in prior years. You can thank Spotify and YouTube for that I think. Check out what I’ve been playing this year. And please – like, follow and subscribe. In the meantime, here are the …
…TOP 5 ALBUMS OF 2020 – SO FAR (vote for your favorite below)
There’s got to be no doubt that future Colorado Music Hall of Fame member Nathaniel Rateliff‘s solo album AndIt’s Still Alright is the presumptive #1 album of 2020 – in every way imaginable. It’s certainly worthy of Grammy consideration for 2021.
Boulder natives The Wood Brothers return from their Grammy nominated One Drop of Truth with Kingdom In My Mind, once again demonstrating the depth of their Americana dust-bowl sounding roots. It’s hard enough to get one album nominated for a Grammy. It’s like winning a Super Bowl, or World Series. Can the Boulder brothers get there again?
Denver newcomer Andy Frasco brought with him a very nicely produced summertime album, Keep On Keeping On, that captures a bit of the rowdy R&B feel of a Nightsweats album, but doesn’t put the full weight of his considerable songwriting and arranging skills there. Andy likes venturing off into more pop directions.
This is modern music. On their first release in three years, Free Your Mind, Boulder’s EDM sensation Big Gigantic turns the page on what it sounds like to fuse jazz, soul, funk, EDM, house and a myriad of other sonic colors and textures.
Reverend Freakchild is one seriously enigmatic bluesman – no doubt due to his association with Naropa University where he’s studying for a graduate degree. The Rev’s latest, the Bodhisattva Blues, has been sparring with Nathaniel Rateliff‘s latest for the #1 position in the Colorado titles chart at RootsMusicReport.com. Oh, and it’s all covers.
This subject has been on my mind for like a month now. There have been some really excellent albums, EPs and singles put out since December 1 2017. Here are the top album picks of the year so far, based on regional non-comm / public radio airplay and my own thoughts on the subject.
Anyone looking for rock or pop will be disappointed – roots, blues, old school rhythm and blues and Americana (alt-country) are the name of the game this year around the state.
I embedded song files. Go to their youtube channels or other streaming service to checkout full albums. Better yet – support the band with a purchase.
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats – Tearing at the Seams — no doubt that this album will finish the year at #1 with a strong national showing, and ubiquitous CO airplay.
Leftover Salmon – Something Higher! — scan the non-comm/public radio dial statewide and this album, while not even nearly as popular as Tearing at the Seams, is crazy popular – as it should be since it’s one of the best the band has turned in over the past 25 years.
Wood Bros – One Drop of Truth —many people don’t realize that Chris and Oliver Wood are Boulder natives, and still claim it as home – even when they’re performing elsewhere. Another HIGHLY played Colorado album around the state.
Reverend Freakchild – Dial It In! — the “reverend” is a traveler. He was born in Hawaii and has been in bands in Boston, including an early version of Soul Coughing with Mike Doughty. Today he’s living in Boulder and attending Naropa University. For all my blues fans, this one is at the top of the pile. #highlyrecommended
Gasoline Lollipops – Soul Mine — Clay Rose is known for being pensive and deliberate – living at the edge of damnation and redemption. The band is enjoying a banner year in terms of bookings and regional radio airplay.