The Austin Chronicle: Best Music of 2013

The Austin Chronicle Article Online
By Jim Caligiuri

January through June suggests 2013 might be one of the best years for local roots rock in quite some time. As evidenced by the audio snapshot below, this has nothing to do with the ever-widening circle laid down by acts of the dreaded suspender-folk persuasion.

Veterans Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison, Slaid Cleaves, Dale Watson, and Terry Allen made albums that will remain listenable years from now, while relative newbies the Carper Family, Wood & Wire, the Whiskey Sisters, and Aimee Bobruk showed they’re capable of making music that hits all the sweet spots.

As usual, Geezerville likes to mix it up, so we’ve got desert rock from the Meat Puppets, psychedelic gospel from the Relatives, and British funk from the James Hunter Six, along with staunchly conservative alt-country from Son Volt, the mind-bending guitar work of Richard Thompson, and light as a feather folk from Erin Ivey.

There’s lots to look forward to as well, with new albums from Robbie Fulks, the Greencards, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, and Guy Clark already in the pipeline for the year’s second half.

1) Slaid Cleaves, “Still Fighting the War,” Still Fighting the War

2) Jason Isbell, “Songs That She Sang in the Shower,” Southeastern

3) Carper Family, “Last Chance to Dance,” Old Fashioned Gal

4) Howlin’ Brothers, “Gone,” Howl

5) Son Volt, “Wild Side,” Honky Tonk

6) Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison, “But I Do,” Cheater’s Game

7) Aimee Bobruk, “A Day in the Life,” /ba-’brook/

8) Meat Puppets, “One More Drop,” Rat Farm

9) Whiskey Sisters, “Home on the Highway”

10) Warren Hood Band, “Last One to Know,” The Warren Hood Band

11) Dale Watson & His Lone Stars, “GiveMeMoreKisses,” El Rancho Azul

12) James Hunter Six, “Chicken Switch,” Minute by Minute

13) Relatives, “Let Your Light Shine,” The Electric Word

14) Delbert & Glen, “Somebody to Love You,” Blind, Crippled & Crazy

15) Richard Thompson, “Stuck on the Treadmill,” Electric

16) Dawes, “Most People,” Stories Don’t End

17) Terry Allen, “Hold on to the House,” Bottom of the World

18) Holly Williams, “The Highway,” The Highway

19) Steve Earle & the Dukes (and Duchesses), “Burnin’ It Down,” The Low Highway

20) Wood & Wire, “Rollin’ in the Washingtons”

21) Hot Club of Cowtown, “Avalon,” Rendezvous in Rhythm

22) Erin Ivey, “Whisper of the Moon,” Dreamy Weather

23) Bright Light Social Hour, “Wendy Davis”