Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite releases from the first half of 2015.
As he celebrates the release of his first album in six years, there’s a part of me that wishes that McMurtry was more prolific. Then I remember that it takes time to craft perfection. There isn’t another songwriter performing today with a sharper and more perceptive eye into human emotions and relationships.
Key Tracks: You Got to Me, Ain’t Got No Place, She Loves Me, How’m I Gonna Find You Now, These Things I’ve Come to Know
Featured Twangville coverage of James McMurtry: Mayer’s Playlist for February 2015, Monday Morning Video – James McMurtry “These Things I’ve Come to Know”, and Readers’ Pick: Best of Winter 2015
Moorer crafts an brutally honest album of heartbreak. It is filled with grace and dignity as it runs the gamut from regret to defiance.
Key Tracks: If I Were Stronger, Wish I, Like It Used to Be, Thunderstorm Hurricane, I Lost My Crystal Ball, I’m Doing Fine, Back of My Mind
Featured Twangville coverage of Allison Moorer: Mayer’s Playlist for March/April 2015, Part 2
A thoughtful meditation from one of the most considered – and talented – songwriters performing today.
Key Tracks: Bright Beginnings, Veteran Fighter, If Still It Can’t Be Found, the Measure, Burn and Shine, Windfallen
Featured Twangville coverage of Joe Pug: Mayer’s Playlist for March/April 2015, Part 1, Monday Morning Video – Joe Pug and the Milk Carton Kids Cover Tom Petty, and Readers’ Pick: JOE PUG, Windfall
Yet again, Carlile takes the listener on an emotional journey of love gone right and wrong with an album full of songs that are fueled by brilliant harmonies and memorable melodies.
Key Tracks: Wherever Is Your Heart, the Eye, The Things I Regret, Mainstream Kid, Blood Muscle Skin and Bone, Alibi, Murder in the City (Avett Brothers cover)
Featured Twangville coverage of Brandi Carlile: Mayer’s Playlist for March/April 2015, Part 3 and Readers’ Pick: The Firewatcher’s Daughter by Brandi Carlile
Unabashed power pop from a youngster who has studied the masters, from the Beatles to the Beach Boys to Elvis Costello and more. He’s learned his lessons well.
Key Tracks: Let’s Get Started, Too Afraid to Love You, Invincible, With a Kiss, I’m Nothing Without You
About the author: Mild-mannered corporate executive by day, excitable Twangville denizen by night.