Duncan Clark Poop 2016

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1. WILLIE NILE- World War Wilie – As screwed up as things were last year, this was an escape. It got played often and always made me smile. Willie is as dependable as musicians get these days. While everybody else struggles to put out albums, this is his 5th in 7 years. And ends with a great version of “Sweet Jane.”

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2. HERON OBLIVION- Heron Oblivion – If Pentangle morphed into Crazy Horse after binge listening to the Velvet Underground, it might have sounded something like this.

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3. CHARLES BRADLEY— Changes – “Ain’t It A Sin” became my own personal theme song for last year (and might remain so for the next four years). Still one of the most remarkable stories in music, each of his albums has been better than the last. –

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4. DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS- American Band — A brave and deeply direct political album addressing the divide in this country.

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5. DAVID BOWIE— Blackstar – This final metamorphosis was a fitting farewell but also unfortunately became the soundtrack for the beginning of a truly bizarre year.

Buy BUTCH WALKER- Stay Gold New or Used via Amazon
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6. BUTCH WALKER- Stay Gold — I’ve been vaguely aware of Walker for several years, but he really pulls it altogether for this album. Great songs and solid performances.

Buy ST. PAUL & THE BROKEN BONES— Sea of Noise New or Used via Amazon
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7. ST. PAUL & THE BROKEN BONES— Sea of Noise – Their show at the Bardavon last year was the surprise concert of the year. The lead singer looks like an overweight Buddy Holly but he sings like Al Green With a band that would feel right at home at Stax.

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8. BRIAN FALLON- Painkillers — Strong solo album which doesn’t sound all that much different from his work with Gaslight Anthem. Produced by Butch Walker (#6) who had a pretty good year of his own.

Buy You Want It Darker - Leonard Cohen New or Used via Amazon
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9. LEONARD COHEN- You Want It Darker — While Black Star may have had some ambiguity initially, Cohen has been negotiating the terms of his surrender to his maker for the last 3 albums. Kudos to his son for the perfect arrangements.

Buy NADA SURF— You Know Who You Are New or Used via Amazon
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10. NADA SURF— You Know Who You Are – Strong power pop whose last couple of albums have been particularly good.

11. THE SHELTERS- The Shelters – Solid rock band who sound more than a little influenced by their producer Petty.
12.SHIRLEY COLLINS- Lodestar – In these post Brexit days, there is something very eerie listening to Collins sing a 500 year old song with the warning “so repent, repent sweet England, for dreadful days draw near.” She began collecting songs with Alan Lomax more than 60 years ago which is why she always had a deeper well to draw from.
13. RUNRIG- The Story – Rumor has it that this is the final studio album by the group. At their height in the 80’s and 90’s, they were second to none in Celtic music.
14. COTTON MATHER- Death To Cool – After a very long absence, the band is back with the first of a reported 64 songs that are part of a song cycle based on the I Ching. Obviously, the 60’s influences are still very much intact.
15.TREMBLING BELLS— Wide Majestic Aire – If you want to get my attention, market a band as a Scottish Jefferson Airplane. Of course they are nothing of the sort&emdash;Trees or a psychedelic Steeleye would be more appropriate references&emdash;but that’s not at all a bad thing.
16.THE GLOAMING- 2 – The bases are traditional Celtic and classical music but where the music goes after that is where this band gets interesting.
17. TEENAGE FANCLUB- Here – Jangly guitars, tight harmonies and strong songwriting, something that they have been doing consistently for 25 years.
18. BOB MOULD— Patch the Sky
19.TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND- Let Me Get By — A jam band at heart and Tedeschi is finally sounding more comfortable in the big band setting.
20. BlFFY CLYRO- Ellipsis — Think Scottish Foo Fighters.
21. TEDDY THOMPSON & KELLY JONES- Little Windows — If you want to learn how to sing harmonies in rock and roll, start with the Everly Brothers which is exactly what it sounds like Thompson and Kelly did.
22. BUN E. CARLOS- Greetings From Bunezuela! – I find it disconcerting when a guy who has been a cornerstone of a band for decades is suddenly acrimoniously out of the band and replaced by the son of another band member. This hodgepodge collection of covers ranging from well known to truly obscure is a lot more fun than the disc from his former group. – .
23.THE LEFT OUTSIDES- The Shapes Of Things To Come – Yet another excellent psych-folk band arising from the ashes of the Eighteenth Day of May.
24. MUDCRUTCH- 2 – The democratic album where the songs written by the other band members not named Petty actually hold their own next to their more famous bandmate.
25. LINDSAY COWSILL— Love Is Strange – Short but highly enjoyable collection of well chosen covers from Mark Lindsay and Susan Cowsill from their days on the Happy Together tour. They are both in excellent voice and sound quite natural together.

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