It's that time of year again for everybody to begin pushing their own year-end picks of 2010. For my 2010 picks, I chose the 20 albums released this year that I predict I'll surely be returning to beyond December 31st, 2010.
Here's my list, in no particular order, followed by brief impressions of each.
1. Johnny Cash: American Recordings VI: Ain't No Grave
2. Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band: Legacy
3. Punch Brothers: NPR's Newport Folk Festival Recording
4. Mark Lanegan & Isobel Campbell: Hawk
5. Neil Young: Le Noise
6. Bill Callahan: Rough Travel For A Rare Thing
7. Roland White: I Wasn't Born To Rock N Roll
8. Black Twig Pickers: Ironto Special
9. Carolina Chocolate Drops: Genuine Negro Jig
10. Del McCoury: Del McCoury
11. Mavis Staples: You Are Not Alone
12. Ben Sollee & Daniel Martin Moore: Dear Companion
13. Steeldrivers: Reckless
14. Trampled By Turtles: Palomino
15. Charlie Parr & Black Twig Pickers: Glory In The Meeting House
16. Felice Brothers: Mix Tape
17. Charlie Louvin: The Battles Rage On
18. Black Keys: Brothers
19. Justin Townes Earle: Harlem River Blues
20. Bonnie Prince Billy & Cairo Gang: The Wonder Show Of The World
"16. Felice Brothers: Mix Tape. The Felice Brothers are best when performing live on a stage. Comparing the band's live dynamics, which shift between energetic rambunctiousness, somberful serenading, and rural-tinged ballads, to the renditions found on their studio releases, is just pointless. The band's live performances and studio releases are just two, equally satisfying, experiences. Mix Tape is a loose collection of tunes that doesn't hint at the artistic seriousness of the excellent Yonder Is The Clock, but seems more like middle ground between that album and The Felice Brothers. It's a comfortable and unimposing collection, that stretches out just enough and feels simpler and more understated without too much refinement. Mix Tape wears well like those old jeans you just can't toss away."