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Well, this is it! The final shuffle of the year, and the final batch of Earie awards.
Since I just know I will have forgotten someone who really should have won an Earie, I wanted to take this time to offer a sincere expression of appreciation to everyone who helped make this year bearable. If you released music that I heard, if you played a show I attended, if we attended a show together, if we shared music on social media, if you came to one of my residency shows, if you listened to Double Shot, if you read his blog, if you helped to bring great music to people, if you are reading this now, thank you!
As I have been mentioning, I plan to post the Artist(s)/Band(s) of the Year next week. I can announce today that, expanding on what I did last year, E2TG will hand out a total of four "Golden Earies" for 2017. There will be both an Artist and a Band of the Year for both Nashville and non-Nashville.
As I explained last week, this should not be taken to mean that the Nashville awards are some sort of local award vs. the non-Nashville being a national award. These designations merely serves to acknowledge both the roots of E2TG as well as the fact that while there is a definite Nashville focus, I will always remember and appreciate the bands and artists from other cities that supported E2TG before most in Nashville knew I existed.
Well, let's get to the final shuffle of the year:
"Mojo" by Robert Cline Jr.
EARIE ALERT: We start off with a track from American Mojo which was recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The album is a homage to American music and a story of Cline's personal journey as a troubadour, songwriter, and producer. The album came out back in September. I am giving Robert Cline Jr., the "Journeyman" award.
"A Good Day" by Corey Ledet and His Zydeco Band
EARIE ALERT: Next, we have a track from Standing on Faith by Louisiana bandleader and accordionist Corey Ledet. He makes modern, soulful music that nods toward the Zydeco tradition. With my Louisiana roots, this type of music has always moved me, and so I give Grammy Nominee Corey Ledet the "Chank-a-chank" award for 2017."Between Piety and Desire" by Kristin Hersh
EARIE ALERT: I was amazed and thrilled to be given the opportunity to feature Kristin Hersh's double album Wyatt At The Coyote Palace. The album was given a vinyl issue back in the spring, and that is when I was given the opportunity to feature it. As you may know, Hersh was a member of Throwing Muses and 50FootWave. The album title refers to an abandoned building that her son, Wyatt explored while the album was being recorded. The original CD release included a books of essays and stories. So, I am giving Kristin Hersh the "Stories and Songs" award.
"Midnight Sounds" by Don Gallardo and How Far West
EARIE ALERT: It was great to see Don Gallardo perform last night. He released a live album which was recorded at a Nashville Sunday show at 3rd and Lindsley that I attended along with Sue - my radio partner. This summer, we had Don as a guest on our show. This is a favorite song of mine. Looking forward to a new album in 2018. I am going to give him the "Carousel" award named after another favorite song of mine.
"Dead Mans Island" by Matt Tanner
EARIE ALERT: I will call this the "Sneak Preview" award. Matt Tanner's forthcoming debut album which was recorded here in Nashville. I met Tanner at The 5 Spot. The album is due out in March - so keep an ear out. Here's where you can hear some of his music.
"Honk If You Feel Fine" by The Foresters
EARIE ALERT: I have been writing about Connecticut band, The Foresters for over 5 years. At that time, the band consisted of three brothers ages 12,11, and 9. Since then, they have added a fourth member - not a biological brother, and they have also somehow become older. I got to see them perform and hang with them at Athens Pop Fest in August. They released House Stories - their latest album, and so I give The Foresters the "Almost Full Grown" award.
"Lay Down Sally" by Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues
EARIE ALERT: Just when I think I have covered about every possible genre of music, I find out about Corky Siegel and his chamber blues music. The album combines classical arrangements and Siegel's blues harmonica. This is a cover of the Eric Clapton song - co-written by Clapton and Marcella Detroit (aka Marcy Levy). And that his Marcy Levy herself that you hear singing on this track. I love this unique and beautiful album, and I give Corky Siegel, the "Classing Up this Joint" award.
"Applewood Road" by Applewood Road
EARIE ALERT: Another album, I was thrilled to be able to feature was the debut release by the super-trio called Applewood Road. Applewood Road is Amy Speace, Amber Rubarth, and Emily Barker. The self-titled album which features gorgeous vocal harmonies was recorded in Nashville to tape around a single microphone. This is the title track. I give Applewood Road the "Harmony" award for 2017.
"You're Going to See Someone Not Drinking Water" by The Electric Grandmother
EARIE ALERT: Last but certainly not least! Sometimes, music comes to my attention that is so unique. Sometimes, I get connected with artists who, once I get to know them, make it hard to remember what Facebook was like before I met them. All of that is true of The Electric Grandmother - a long-running band based in Washington D.C. The band's earlier releases focused on songs about classic and neo-classic sitcoms (they call their genre, Sit-Com Core). For their latest album, Cancelled, the band created a concept album about a the cancellation of a fictional police drama which serves as a metaphor for divorce (or something like that). I really can't stress enough how much I love this album. As an added bonus, here is Cancelled: The Motion Picture which was recorded at September event at The Black Cat in D.C. Oh, and I'm giving them the "Watch This!" Award.