I’m not going to be ranking albums annually anymore. I’m just going to share the albums I enjoyed that were released in 2016. When I do rankings I always forgot a few and then my list bothers me forever. It’s fun going back through the previous year and re discover a few gems you forgot about.

Call it What it is- Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals

Ben Harper is one of my all time favorites so I pretty love everything he does. This album was no exception. Flows through genres and intensity with ease. Something about the vibe the Innocent Criminals bring to Ben’s singing.

A Sailor’s Guide to Earth- Sturgil Simpson

Incredible album that took me a while to understand. I loved his last album so much that I didn’t want anything else. The more I listen to it, the more I love it. The Nirvana cover is not my cup of tea, but even that has grown on me. Fantastic album, must listen.

Let Me Get By- Tedeschi Trucks Band

Like a warm cookie out of the oven. Exactly what you wanted and how you wanted it. Tedeschi’s voice puts chill down my spin and the fluidity of Trucks is like no other.

Unmake-Dan Mangan

Only an EP but makes you wish it was a full album. I fell into Mangan my accident a few years ago and instantly became obsessed. I like the low key, sad songs. This album is a little more up beat and has some amazing growling vocals from Mangan. I hope this is a taste for a full length album in 2017.

Hard Settled, Ain’t Troubled- Donovan Woods

Saw him open for Matt Andersen an became a daily staple on our Sonos. Something about the low key, no percussion that makes this a Sunday favorite. Really funny and talented songwriter. His songs will be stuck in your head for days.

The Education of a Wondering Man- Jamestown Revival

Apple music queued this one up for me. I was looking for something new so I gave it a listen. The first few songs on the album are the best so it hooked me in. Catchy songs with an southern slang to them.

Cleopatra- The Lumineers

Fantastic album. I feel like I’m always listening to these guys on vacation so they make me happy. So many hits on this one. Talented band who only releases gems it seems.

Ria Mae- Ria Mae

This was the album to end the summer. I knew she was coming to Harvest so I started listening a few weeks in advance. My wife and I both really loved this album. Not usually a pop guy but something about her (maybe the East Coast vibe) that I liked.

Ouroboros- Ray Lamontagne

Hated it initially. Seems to be a trend with me. I think when I love an artist so much and their new stuff is so different, I can’t let go. These songs were different but also very similar. More of a concept album but intertwined are Ray’s raspy verses and hooky chorus’s.

Secret Path- Gord Downie

The most unique album of the year. I specifically didn’t listen until I watched the short film. I wanted to have the perspective Gord wanted and I think it made it better. Not an album you love right away, but grows on you over time. Gord’s voice and passion were peak Gord.

Man Machine Poem-The Tragically Hip

I’m not sure if it’s because of the circumstances of Gord’s illness, but I think this is one of their best albums. The songs are so tight and Gord is on another level with lyrics. It’s like putting on an old leather glove and remembering why you’ve kept it all these years. It’s amazing to find out this was recorded before the illness because the imagery is amazing.

Good Advice- Basia Bulat

The last album I listen too from 2016. I had tickets to see her so I wanted to see what she was all about. Boy did I make a great gamble. Her album was awesome. So many good songs and she has a unique voice that sticks to your brain. She was even better live.


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