My Top Ten CDs of 2011 - Jim Nyby

Here’s an attempt to share with you some of what I’ve liked this past year, with a few words about each CD.  All titles are, or will soon be, available through the Library.

Gillian Welch – The Harrow & The Harvest  

After 8 years, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings return from the studio with a group of songs that proves to be well worth the wait.   Beautiful close harmonies and acoustic interplay perfectly complement the stellar songwriting to be found here.


Stone rollinRaphael  Saadiq – Stone Rollin’ 

An exhilarating blend of vintage and modern R&B.  Mr. Saadiq plays most of the instruments and sings like Stevie Wonder.  A great dance record!


Girls Father sonGirls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost

Borrowing heavily from ‘70s guitar pop/rock, the San Francisco duo Girls still manages to sound fresh and immediate.  Fun and quickly accessible.


starlight hotelZoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers – Starlight Hotel

Leave it to a Seattle band to help us remember what real country music sounds like.  Strong mandolin and pedal steel help compliment Zoe’s rootsy voice throughout  these heartfelt songs.  Are you listening, Nashville?


DangRomeer Mouse and Daniele Lupi – Rome

What happens when an American producer and an Italian film music composer decide to collaborate?  An album that evokes the spirit of the European cinema of the cool ‘60s, giving a heavy nod in the direction of Ennio Morricone.  With guest vocalists Jack White and Norah Jones!



Bad As MeTom Waits – Bad As Me

Another solid release from Tom, with the masterful Marc Ribot back on guitar.  Waits careens through oddball rockers and shifts down to atmospheric ballads with his usual aplomb.



go go bootsDrive-By Truckers – Go-Go Boots

Country and soul merge on this, the Truckers 9th studio album.  Taking a break from their trademark exploration of Southern rock, the band here creates a hook-filled mix of gritty Americana that often delves into some darker landscapes .

Horses and High heelsMarianne Faithfull – Horses & High Heels

Iconic pop star Marianne Faithfull has been recording since the 1960’s but continues to produce music both modern and exciting.  This, her  18th studio album, is no exception as she gives us some great new originals along with well-chosen covers that seep with her typical melancholy.  Recorded in New Orleans with Hal Willner producing.

Lykke LiLykke Li – Wounded Rhymes

Swedish indie darling Lykke Li presents an album of well crafted Spectorish pop that proves to be boldly infectious. Haunting yet danceable! 


Beirut riptideBeirut – The Rip Tide 

One of the more unusual bands out there, at least as far as instrumentation.  Founder Zach Condon plays trumpet, flugelhorn and ukulele and leads the group through tunes that wouldn’t sound out of place at a Hungarian wedding.  This is their 3rd release.

Posted in General by Daniel Heaton on Friday, January 6th 10:16am

  • Josh
    Saturday, February 18th 9:27am
    Thx, Jim! Appreciate the tips.