Everyone who is anyone is currently writing their ‘Album of the Year’ list, and if the band wagon is rolling who is going to say that the Ironbath can’t jump on board.
This list is split into 3 parts. The first two parts will each feature 5 albums and are unranked. The 3rd part will feature the Ironbath’s Top 5 albums of 2011. It is a personal list and I’m sure that there are albums that have been forgotten, and some hidden gems that are yet to be appreciated. It only features studio albums released in the UK in 2011.
The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow
This album has been featured on just about every list of 2011. It also featured on the Grammy’s list, which was quite an achievement. The Ironbath does like the album and is most definitely looking forward to seeing the Civil Wars perform on Cayamo. He does just wonder whether they’ve been over-hyped (just a little).
Sarah Jarosz – Follow Me Down
In stark contrast this album has barely featured on any of the lists, yet it achieves something that is rarely accomplished. It is a simple album of folk songs played on a range of traditional instrumentation but it does not sound a bit old-fashioned. It is a contemporary sound that will carry folk music through this generation and on to the next.
Devon Sproule – I Love You, Go Easy
The Ironbath has been championing Devon Sproule’s unique take on Appalachian music that intertwines bluegrass roots with a far more soulful sound. Her vocal has such a delicacy in its delivery on beautiful love songs such as the title track and she can also tell a good story in her ballads.
Buddy Miller – The Majestic Silver Strings
May be it was the post-Cayamo glow and the opportunity to get a pre-release copy but back in February the Ironbath thought this album of country classics performed by the class leading artists at their peak led by Americana hero, Buddy Miller, was stunning. It should have been nominated for a Grammy.
Lucinda Williams – Blessed
This album nearly slipped past this list. The truth is that since ‘Car Wheels On A Gravel Road’, every album Lucinda has been trying to follow it. This is actually her fifth since her Grammy win, and every album has had some classic tracks. Blessed is slightly softer, and a more beautiful album that ranks alongside, ‘West’, the Ironbath’s favourite Lucinda Williams album. The prospect of seeing her on Cayamo is equally exciting and scary. If she is good it could be the best ever performance but if it is bad it could shatter a thousand years of dreams.