Minkin's Music: Album of the Year award

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By Jay Minkin, Minkin's Music

To assist you with your holiday shopping, it’s time for my 2017 Album of The Year nominations.

Last year’s winner, Margo Price, was in contention to repeat with All American Made, and the bar was raised high for two-time winner Jason Isbell, and his The Nashville Sound concert had me looking for the limited-edition release afterward.

Highly recommended are The Secret Sisters, who were the clubhouse leader most of the summer with their beautiful You Don’t Own Me Anymore that is filled with songs of heartache and bad relationships. I was blown away by John Moreland, who, while performing Big Bad Luv on stage, had people uttering the word “genius” to his songwriting talent.

The Turnpike Troubadours’ jangly hook-filled Americana catalog, including A Long Way From Your Heart, became a new favorite band. My own wish list includes So You Wannabe an Outlaw, from the iconic Steve Earle, and Highway Queen, by Nikki Lane.

Northeast Ohio singer/songwriters shined bright, as Rachel Brown’s Look Who’s Back, Thor Platter’s Take Time, and The Gage Brothers’ self-titled album were as good as anything being released nationally. An important thread to the fabric of our cultural landscape, set aside an evening to support the local music scene and catch them performing around town.

We lost a few legends this year, but Gregg Allman knew the end was near while recording Southern Blood. His genius behind the recording process at the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, with hand-picked song selections backed by his touring band, would be the final chapter of his four-decade career. A bluesman who shaped music history with southern rock, this record would be great just on the emotional texture and purity of performance alone. Beautifully packaged, the limited-edition version of Southern Blood takes the trophy.

Contact Jay at Blues4Bird@aol.com or post on his Minkin’s Music Facebook page.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment