Our January/February 2015 contest winner Roy Clark talks about his winning choices for our last issue’s Deathbed Contest. Be sure to enter the March/April contest by submitting your top 10 Blues albums for a chance to win a Martin 000-15M Acoustic Guitar and SP Lifespan Acoustic Guitar Strings.
Sticky Fingers, The Rolling Stones
My first holy shit moment with music. The beautiful twangs and slurs. Jagger and Richards at their best.
Born To Run, Bruce Springsteen
I used to sit in the closet with headphones on (weird, I know, but I swear you hear better!) and listen to Jungleland and Thunder Road and my heart would alternately pound and seem to stop. At this point in his career not a songwriter could top him.
My Aim Is True, Elvis Costello
One of the most versatile and prolific songwriters in history. This, his first album, felt like waking up when I heard it. You could somehow feel the urgency in the vocals and melodies. Maybe the best lyricist of all time, this is a great introduction!
Raw and beautiful. All that angst and attitude. The louder the better.
Kerosene Hat, Cracker
The single Low was the song that gained moderate airplay and success, but the entire album (from David Lowery of Camper Van Beethoven fame, another great band) is perfect with it’s catchy hooks, tongue-in-cheek country tilt and clever lyrics. “Movie Star”, “Get Off This”, “Sweet Potato”….I’ll never get tired of them.
Rain Dogs, Tom Waits
Not just the poetic lyrics, that tell stories that are sometimes bleak, sometimes rebellious, and sometimes playful, but the music is freaking poetry man.
Maybe my favorite album of all time. So completely different from anything that I’d ever heard. The imagery in these songs is simply beautiful. These songs don’t tell stories, they paint pictures. You actually feel the sad and beautiful world.
Wreck Your Life, Old 97’s
Rhett Miller writes some of the most clever lyrics I’ve ever heard set to the alt-country-cowboy-punk grooves and melodies you can’t help but love.
I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning, Bright Eyes
Probably the true poet on this list, Connor Oberst writes songs so intensely personal and compelling it’s almost like therapy listening to them. For both of you.
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Wilco
A brilliantly written, arranged performed and recorded album. Lush melodies break into discord, noise turns to beauty and the honesty of these songs just floor me.