2004: Duke's Top Ten

by Duke Egbert

10. Rig The Jig -- Passing Through

Irish acoustic rockers Rig The Jig blew my speakers off with a tasty mix of traditional Irish music and American roots music. Where else could you hear a jig segue neatly into Leonard Cohen or Arlo Guthrie? This stuff is too cool.


9. Alan Parsons -- A Valid Path

The jury's still out from the fans; some love the longtime progressive rock producer's first foray into electronica, some just aren't sure. Put me in the love column; produced clear as crystal and performed magnificently, this is music that will both touch your mind and move your booty.
8. Sam Bush -- King Of My World
Bless his heart, anyway. Newgrass legend Sam Bush came back with the brilliant and occasionally funny King Of My World this year, proving you can indeed make a great CD that references both Southern politeness and St Louis Cardinal baseball.

7. Bill Miller -- Spirit Songs

From the best folk singer you've never heard of. This collection of Native American singer Bill Miller's greatest hits is a great place to start.

6. Phideaux -- Ghost Story

Progressive rock/pop artist Phideaux continues providing us with some of the most refreshing independent music out there. Miles above ninety percent of the pablum major labels push at us, you owe it to yourself to check out the deep, deep waters of Ghost Story.
5. RPM -- Irrational Anthem
Music To Kick Serious Ass By. Bad grrrrl and rocker RPM provides some great, great tunes on this disc interlaced with pounds of passion. Kind of like Joan Jett and Liz Phair's bastard child with a great deal of anger control issues.
4. Great Big Sea -- Something Beautiful

Something beautiful indeed. After the loss of their bassist Darrell Power, Newfoundland's Great Big Sea didn't miss a beat with this, their seventh CD. Tour kicked some serious ass, too.

3. El Jefe -- El Jefe's Amorphous Phormula

The CD that made me rethink an entire genre and reconsider a great deal of my musical prejudices. Music for urban shamans and hip-hop gurus who aren't afraid to get passionate about something, I look forward to more from this California outfit.

2. Garrison Starr -- Airstreams And Satellites

Power and poetry mix in this release from folk/country/rock artist Garrison Starr. Residing in the neighborhood peopled by folks like Steve Earle and Mary Chapin Carpenter, Starr is a truly wonderful listen.


And my 2004 Album Of The Year (and it's not even a tie) -

1. Carbon Leaf -- Indian Summer

Guitars that sound like bagpipes. A band that didn't sign a record deal until they were sure they could do something brilliant. Great songwriting. If you don't like this CD, you're dead.


Honorable Mentions

Ghost Fleet -- Conspiracy Theory
Jennifer Cutting -- Ocean: Song For The Night Journey
The Primetime Sublime Community Orchestra -- A Life In The Day Of A Microorganism


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