My 25 Favorite Albums of 2017
A listing by Jerome Clark

Editor's note: Last year, Jerome Clark -- still our most prolific music reviewer -- provided us with a list of his 33 favorite CDs of 2016. This year he's back, this time with two dozen new releases for your consideration.

Once again, these qualifications: I don't get to hear everything I want to hear (which is probably just as well). These are just my subjectively chosen favorites, by which I mean discs that stayed in memory after their initial arrival in my life, and I'm sure (if last year's experience holds) I've forgotten one or two or three that seemed vitally important at the time.

One rule I try to follow is not to include CDs by musicians I know personally. The other is that all of these be new and copyrighted 2017. In short, no re-releases or retrospectives here.

Beyond that, the discovery of the year was surely Amber Cross, the most thrilling folksinger-songwriter I've heard in recent years. And the book of the year, no serious competition, is Steve Roud's eminently readable doorstopper Folk Song in England (Faber & Faber).

And now....

Al Basile, Quiet Money (Sweetspot)
Jim Byrnes, Long Hot Summer Days (Black Hen Music)
Corn Potato String Band, "Good Job Everybody" (independent)
Amber Cross, Savage on the Downhill (independent)
Down Hill Strugglers, Lone Prairie & Other Old Time Songs (Jalopy)

Feller & Hill, Brothers & Heroes (Rural Rhythm)
Rayna Gellert, Workin's Too Hard (Storysound)
Ben Hunter, Phil Wiggins & Joe Seamons, A Black & Tan Ball (independent)
Dennis Johnson, Rhythmland (independent)
Barbara Jo Kammer, One Song at a Time (independent)

Sam Kelly & the Lost Boys, Pretty Peggy (Navigator)
Ryan Koenig, Two Different Worlds (Big Muddy)
Masontown, In This Time (independent)
Scott Miller, Ladies Auxiliary (F.A.Y.)
Zephaniah Ohora with the 18 Wheelers, This Highway (Last Roundup)

Peter Parcek, Everybody Wants To Go to Heaven (independent)
Charlie Parr, Dog (Red House)
Eddy Raven with Carolina Road, All Grassed Up (Pinecastle)
Johnny Rawls, Waiting for the Train (Catfood)
Martin Simpson, Trails & Tribulations (Topic)

Richard Thompson, Acoustic Classics II (Beeswax)
Richard Thompson, Acoustic Rarities (Beeswax)
Boubacar Traore, Dounia Tabolo (Lusafrica)
The Wide Open, Long Road Home (independent)
Kim Wilson, Blues & Boogie, Vol. 1 (Severn)

Yet another editor's note: You can find many of these recordings reviewed individually by Jerome here.

music selection by
Jerome Clark

23 December 2017

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