Planner, Jan. 2: One more look back at some Austin records from 2014
As part of our year-end package in last week’s Austin360, we picked our personal top 10 local releases of the year. Those lists of favorite records didn’t necessarily skew toward some of Austin’s highest-profile albums of 2014, so what follows is an additional list of 10 major Austin records that came out in the past 12 months (in no particular order).
Spoon, “They Want My Soul.” Britt Daniel, Jim Eno and company made a big move by leaving Merge Records for the major-label affiliate Loma Vista. “They Want My Soul” equaled the chart performance of their last record, 2010’s “Transference,” by debuting at No. 4 on the Billboard 200.
Willie Nelson, “Band of Brothers.” Willie co-wrote most of the album’s 14 tracks with producer Buddy Cannon, marking the first time since 1996’s “Spirit” that he’d put out an album of primarily new original material. It debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 and hit No. 1 on the country chart.
Shakey Graves, “And the War Came.” Alejandro Rose-Garcia broke through to national audiences with his first record on the influential indie Dualtone, appearing on Conan O’Brien’s late-night show and playing a major Americana Music Association outdoor concert in Nashville with the Avett Brothers.
Ruthie Foster, “Promise of a Brand New Day.” Like its two predecessors, Foster’s latest received a blues Grammy nomination, though its contents also draw heavily upon folk and gospel.
Eliza Gilkyson, “The Nocturne Diaries.” Also nominated for a Grammy, in the folk category, was the latest collection from one of Austin’s longest-tenured singer-songwriters; it’s Gilkyson’s first Grammy nomination since 2004’s “Land of Milk and Honey.”
Marcia Ball, “The Tattooed Lady and the Alligator Man.” Ball has had plenty of Grammy nominations herself, and while her fifth album for the Alligator label didn’t get one, it’s another sure-fire collection of broad-ranging rootsy material from this Austin-via-Louisiana institution.
Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison, “Our Year.” Austin’s first couple of country music took a long time to release their first collaborative record with last year’s marvelous “Cheater’s Game,” but they issued their second disc quite quickly, turning a bit more toward covers this time (including the title-track remake of the Zombies hit).
Jamestown Revival, “Utah.” Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance moved back to Austin after a couple years in Los Angeles and issued an impressive album that got picked up by major label Republic Records this fall for national release.
Christopher Cross, “The Secret Ladder.” Cross is also back in Austin from California, though he was out there for decades after breaking through to pop stardom in the 1980s. He’s been a welcome presence at the All-ATX HAAM benefit concerts, and he played a memorable Waterloo Records in-store when this record came out in September.
Dale Watson, “The Truckin’ Sessions Trilogy.” Part reissue, part new release, this triple set from Austin’s increasingly high-profile honky-tonk man gathered his two previous “Truckin’ Sessions” volumes and added a fresh batch of similarly themed material.
Next week in Austin360
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