Best Music of 2006: The Runners-Up
Phil Lesh & Friends: Live at the Warfield
Not the Dead, but a great jam band nonetheless, especially since one of the “friends” is the always-soulful Joan Osborne. (available at emusic)
Zilla: all iZ
Extended drum-based jams from Michael Travis (from The String Cheese Incident). Sounds like Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum with a touch of electronica. (available at emusic)
The Raconteurs: Broken Boy Soldiers
Jack White’s new garage-rock band – not as quirky as his White Stripes stuff, but still great. (available at emusic)
Bonnie Raitt & Friends Live
A great blues/rock concert. Highlights: the defiant “[Let’s Give ‘em] Something to Talk About” and the earthy/spiritual “God Was in the Water” (God was in the water that day/casting out a line/but no one was biting).
Elton John: The Captain and the Kid
Sir Elton returns to his pop/rock roots. It’s amazing how beautifully he plays the piano, even when he’s singing a song about Richard Nixon.
The Beatles: Love
An extended 78-minute mix developed for Cirque de Soleil. Not quite seamless (there’s no way to segue smoothly into “Revolution”!), it covers the range of Beatles classics, from their early pop years to their psychedelic/spiritual songs like “Within You Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows.”
Johnny Cash: American V: A Hundred Highways
The last album recorded by the Man in Black before his death. I’m glad they didn’t “pretty it up” but left it raw, so you can hear the emotion in his aged voice.
Nickel Creek: Reasons Why (The Very Best)
A great collection. Buy the CD, which includes a DVD of seven Nickel Creek videos.
Debut recording from a talented singer/songwriter on the “blues-y” end of the Roots/Americana spectrum. (available at emusic)
Randy Stonehill: Edge of the World
Brings back memories of my teenage years. Stonehill gets better, the older he gets. Highlights: “That’s the Way it Goes,” a duet with Phil Keaggy, and “We Were All So Young,” a trip down memory lane featuring several “Jesus Music” pioneers: Larry Norman, Phil Keaggy, Russ Taff, Barry McGuire, Noel Paul Stookey, Anne Herring, and Love Song. (available at emusic)
David Crowder Band: B Collision
An acoustic-oriented followup to last year’s “A Collision” from the most quirky and talented singer/songwriter in Christian music today. Get it at iTunes so you can get the bonus track, “Do Not Move.”
The Da Vinci Code
OK, so the movie was a let-down after all the hype, but hey, it was still a good movie and it had a good soundtrack. Highlight: the hauntingly beautiful “Kyrie for the Magdalene.”
A Prairie Home Companion
I was blown away at how beautifully Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin can sing! I got the soundtrack long before I saw the movie because I knew the movie would make me cry. I was right.
Those are the runners-up. I’ll post the Top 10 in a couple of days. What are your favorites for 2006?