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Archive for the ‘The Civil Wars’ Category

The end of the year marks a great opportunity for reflection. For a music enthusiast, it’s a perfect excuse to make a list of my top albums and songs of the year. This was relatively challenging for me. I tend to think and live very much in the moment. I get swept up in what’s going on around me right now. And for this exercise I had to abandon, for a second, what was playing in the moment, and reflect on what had been playing over the course of the past 12 months. I am not sure I entirely succeeded. But, alas, below I present to you my top 20 songs and top 11 albums of 2011!

Top 20 Songs of 2011

20. Long Days, Fast Years by Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers

19. Someone Like You by Adele

18. Another by The White Album

17. Kiss Quick by Matt Nathanson

16. If I Wanted Someone by Dawes

15. Eagle’s Nest by Caroline Smith & The Good Night Sleeps

14. Café Lights by Hey Marseilles

13. Everything (Overture) by Chris Bathgate

12. Anyhow… by Tyler Lyle

11. The Nature of Our Kind by Vandaveer

10. We Will All Be Changed by Seryn

9. Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes

8. Down In The Valley by The Head and the Heart

7. Poison & Wine by The Civil Wars

6. New York by Blind Pilot

5. Old Pine by Ben Howard

4. Blackout by Pickwick

3. 1957 by Milo Greene

2. Beggar In The Morning by The Barr Brothers

1. Honey Jars by Bryan John Appleby

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Top 11 Albums

11. Gift Horse by Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers

10. 21 by Adele

9. Ashes and Fire by Ryan Adams

8. Dig Down Deep by Vandaveer

7. The Golden Age & The Silver Girl by Tyler Lyle

6. The Barr Brothers by The Barr Brothers

5. Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars

4. Fire On The Vine by Bryan John Appleby

3. Helplessness Blues by Fleet Foxes

2. The Head and The Heart by The Head and The Heart

1. We Are The Tide by Blind Pilot

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Latest and Greatest

This is the sixth installment of a weekly collection of the “latest and greatest.” I post two (yea, this week it’s one) newly discovered songs that have captured my attention and two (again, only one this week) of my longtime (word of warning, this will be a relative term) favorite songs that are building up dust in my music library.

THE LATEST

I’ve Got This Friend by The Civil Wars

This has been one of my most exciting discoveries of the year. While I had heard the name The Civil Wars tossed around—most recently touring with the beloved Milo Greene—I first heard the song I’ve Got This Friend on Sirius XM while driving on the Mass Pike into Boston last week. I was captivated by the blissful vocal harmonies between John Paul Williams and his partner Joy Williams as they repeatedly wail “oh if the right one came, if the right one came along.” I immediately purchased Barton Hallow, their debut album released in February 2011 and have been listening to it on heavy rotation ever since. It is hard not to be drawn in by the playful back and forth of I’ve Got This Friend and even more so by the duo’s lyrical craft. I am still spending time letting these two soak in, but expect a dedicated blog once I’m fully pruned by their sweet sounds.

I’ve got this friend holding onto her heart
Like it’s a little secret, like it’s all she’s got to give 

THE GREATEST

Galileo by Indigo Girls

After a challenging but rewarding effort to put together an all-female mix for my mom, I rediscovered Galileo, one of my favorite songs of all time. Galileo lives on the Indigo Girls’ 1992 Rites of Passage, an album whose songs continue to fill the rooms of my childhood home. I had the privilege of seeing this folk duo—Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, who have been playing together for over 20 years—back in 2002. I remember being blown away by their amazing harmonies, heartfelt lyrics and spectacular musical arrangements. I saw them again this past October at the Beacon Theatre, almost 9 years later, and was again floored by their gifted fingerpicking and vocal arrangements. While I have not followed them over the years, Indigo Girls deservedly continue to receive accolades for their music.

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