OK. The country and Southern rock list is new territory for me. We'll start with a look at some honorable mentions, disappointments and a few other things.
ARTIST WHO PROBABLY WOULD HAVE BEEN HIGH ON MY TOP 10 LIST, IF HE’D RELEASED A FULL ALBUM
Dillon Hodges: You probably haven’t heard of him yet, but you owe it to yourself to look him up. “Bullet for a Broken Heart” is easily one of the best tunes released this year, and the other songs that he has scattered around are almost as good. He mixes country influences, indie rock and an exceptionally soulful voice with some tinges of Stevie Wonder here and there. It’s good stuff. Go find it. Now.
Waylon Jennings – Goin’ Down Rockin’: There was some really good stuff on this posthumously finished record of Waylon’s final recordings, but for some reason it didn’t connect with me enough to quite make it into the top 10.
Eric Strickland – Honky Tonk Til I Die: A nice collection of rowdy 1970s-flavored trucker country that has more than a little Waylon in it.
Hank Williams Jr. – Old School, New Rules: This was hyped as a return to form for Bocephus, and early songs like “Get Drunk and Play Hank Williams,” his duet with Brad Paisley, seemed to back that up. Unfortunately, what we got was an hour’s worth of political rancor and claptrap with a couple of good songs sprinkled around. It’s not “telling the truth” as some fans will shout. It’s pandering to an audience at the expense of the music and your legacy.
Earl Dibbles Jr., “The Country Boy Song”: Granger Smith got laughs and made a statement with his parody of the laundry-list country song and his cornpone character Earl Dibbles Jr. Of course, the song lost a little of its effectiveness when Smith released the song “We Do It in a Field” toward the end of the year, his own version of one of the songs he was parodying.
MOST GOD-AWFUL MOMENT
Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters – Bikers Welcome, Ladies Drink Free: Ministry frontman Al Jourgenson goes “country.” I think that’s all I need to say.
WISH LIST FOR 2013
Hellbound Glory – 'Merica: They haven’t disappointed yet. No reason they should start now.
Shooter Jennings – The Other Life: The companion piece to 2012’s Family Man, which we were rumored to get at the end of this year, has an official release date in March.
Fifth on the Floor’s new album: Also originally rumored to be released in late 2012, I’m still eagerly waiting on Fifth on the Floor’s Shooter Jennings-produced follow up to Dark and Bloody Ground.
Powder Mill’s new album: Ready for a little more down and dirty Southern rock from the Ozark boys.
Up Next: Country and Southern rock Top 10.