2022: Duke's Top Ten, er, Nine

by Duke Egbert

So, for those who have been reading my stuff for a while, this has been a rough few years. I’ve fought cancer, sepsis, and a pulmonary embolism. I’ve spent a lot of time in the hospital. What that means is out of the reviews I did manage for the Teeming Horde of DV Fans, a lot of them were older albums I was comfortable with. (And then there was the Kate Bush Artist Spotlight That Wasn’t An Artist Spotlight, for which I still owe Jason one review.)

Because of that, I can’t come up with ten new albums for an end-of-year top ten. So…

This is the Top Ten Nine for 2021-2022!


9. Paula Cole – American Quilt

While there are a couple of miscues on this album, the lovely-voiced Paula Cole shines on “Wayfaring Stranger” and Billie Holliday’s “Good Morning Heartache.”


8. The Dreadnaughts – Polka’s Not Dead

For fans of the Dropkick Murphys, Gogol Bordello, the Blaggards, and Flogging Molly. Music to invade England by. While drunk. Great stuff.


7. Tuomo & Markus – Game Changing

Harmony-drenched progressive folk/pop/jazz/Nordic music. If that doesn’t scare you off, then you should really check this out. Lovely.


6. Dan Reed Network – Let’s Hear It For The King

Portland’s own funk-soul brother proves he hasn’t lost a step with this release. Rock and roll with a heart, a conscience, and a hell of a hook.


5. The Royal Hounds – A Whole Lotta Nothin’

If the first song on the CD is about drinking well tequila unless someone will buy you Patron, you may very well be in the right place. Western swing/country/bluegrass/folk with a wicked sense of humour.


4. Rapscallion – Maximum Splendid

Brit-laced, fannish, Victorian swagger rock. More polite innuendos than you can shake a swagger stick at.


3. Alan Parsons – From The New World

After the disappointment of The Secret, Parsons comes roaring back with a tight, well-written, well-performed work with guest appearances by Joe Bonamassa and Tommy Shaw, among others.


Of course, two days after I submitted this article, I found out one of my longtime faves Duncan Sheik had released a new album a couple of months before called Claptrap. So trust me when I say a review is coming, and it slots into this list at 2.5...



2. Eva Cassidy – Live At Blues Alley 25th Anniversary

The late songstress’ only documented live performance, this is alternately elegant brilliance and utter heartbreak. Oh, what could have been.


1. Susan Cattaneo – The Hammer And The Heart

Boston-based country/rock/folk (do you suppose there’s a pattern here, given the preponderance of mixed-genre music?) doyenne Cattaneo blows the doors off with help from the Bottle Rockets. I cannot say enough about this CD—except to say “GET IT.”

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