The Year in Music (Kevin Macneil Brown)
The only record I ever came close to shop-lifting was Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen's Live From Deep In The Heart Of Texas. Back then in the early and middle 1970s they were musical heroes to me -- especially Telecaster king Bill Kirchen and pedal steeler Bobby Black -- and with my best friend and duo partner Bill Morrison I made a few hitchhiking pilgrimages to see them live. They always rocked and swung like crazy. And I did eventually scrape up enough money to buy the album, thus avoiding a life of crime.
So my musical highlight for 2003 came when I got roped last minute into joining an alt-country honky tonk band called Rusty Romance and the Rednecks, opening for the still-rocking, still-swinging Bill Kirchen. On a nice March night near the end of the long Vermont winter, I got to twang and steel on the same stage as a long-time guitar hero of mine. I was on a musical high for months after!
Here are my top ten recordings for 2003, listed in no particular order:
1. Shelby Lynne - (Capitol)
2. Califone - Quicksand/Cradlesnakes (Thrill Jockey)
3. Daniel Lanois - Shine (Anti)
4. Jimmy Bryant - Frettin’ Fingers (Sundazed)
5. Various Artists - Complete Ten Inch Series From Cold Blue (Cold Blue)
6. Jayhawks - Rainy Day Music (American/Lost Highway)
7. Miles Davis - Complete Jack Johnson Sessions (Columbia/Sony)
8. Kekele - Congo Life (Stern's Africa)
9. Bill Frisell - The Intercontinentals (Nonesuch)
10. Various Artists - Joe Gibbs Productions (Soul Jazz)
Oh yeah: there's also Grandaddy's Sumday, Bau's Cape Verdean Melancholy, Chas Smith's An Hour Out Of Desert Center, Ry Cooder and Manuel Galban...
By Kevin Macneil Brown