Laura Shine’s Top 10 2013

laura-headshot-full “What!? Only 10 songs??” she cried, then kicked the turntable across the studio, once again limited to that random number of favorites that people in the media are allowed to have. Only 10! But there were at least 15, 20, maybe even 25 or more she could have named or even sung out loud if it was she who owned the airwaves and not the radio station she worked for. Ah well, 10 will have to do until she wins the lottery and can buy this dang radio station. In the meantime, Laura’s top 10 songs from very good albums of 2013 are:

10. HoundmouthOn the Road
From their debut From The Hills Below The City. By “hills” they mean Floyd Knobs, and by “City” I’m certain they mean Louisville, KY. Or maybe New Albany, IN. Either way, this young band which sounds ancient and wise and from another time and place, when rock ‘n’ roll had good stories matched with great melodies and grooves, has produced a brilliant record this year. Can’t wait to hear what they do next!

9. Kings of LeonRock City
The Followill Brothers are back with a fantastic new album in which every song is strong and good. Their music is so good that I have finally forgiven them for dropping the F Bomb on my show during a live studio session almost 10 years ago.

8. CayucasHigh School Lover
Southern California quartet creates the perfect shimmering pop song. Gee, I’ve never heard that before! But seriously, it’s good stuff and great fun!

7. No More KingsThey’re Coming To Get You, Barbara
Louisville/California duo Neil DeGrade and Pete Mitchell use the film Night of The Living Dead and zombie imagery to create a gorgeous, heartfelt song that has the vocal harmonies and melodies of what could have been a Simon and Garfunkel classic if they were still recording together. Who knew zombies could be so romantic? No More Kings, that’s who. They also cite The Karate Kid as one of their main influences. Wow.

6. Jim JamesA New Life
My Morning Jacket’s frontman makes the perfect solo record, and this song is one of the many gems on it. I also recommend seeing the video that was made on the Late Night With Jimmy Fallon if you can. It’s also incredible. In fact, it’s mind bending – so don’t watch it and drive at the same time, OK?

5. Neko CaseNight Still Moves and The Lone BellowYou Never Need Nobody
It’s a tie for the coveted spot of number five on Laura’s top 10 list! The judges just couldn’t choose between these two and after lots of recounts and broken chads, a tie was called. Neko proves herself time and again with each album that she’s here to stay in the American Canon of song. The Lone Bellow came out swinging from their Brooklyn based cradle and took us by storm with their 3 part harmonies and powerful lyrics. Will they earn their own spot next time? Stay tuned to find out.

4. Josh RitterJoy to You Baby
Oh Josh, how I love thee! You’ve been through a lot of heartache after a painful divorce, but then met another lover and became hopeful. How do I know all of this? Because he says so all over this album. Then you have the class to wish joy in the face of such heartbreak. What a guy and what a great song, too.

3. Bear’s DenAgape
This song from this London band makes me want to light my lighter and sway with thousands of strangers. OK, that sounds weird but if you go to concerts much, most people use their lit up cellphones. No, I want to use a real lighter for this song and that says a lot about its singalong potential. Bear’s Den is on the Communion label started by Ben Lovett of Mumford and Sons, so yes there’s an obligatory banjo in there but it’s a great song and I can’t stop singing it. So there!

2. Wake OwlWild Country
Can I tell you that I hear hundreds of songs per week and rare is the occasion when I want to play a song several times in a row like I did when I was 13 or 14 years old, with a hair brush as my microphone, in front of my lighted up make-up mirror? Oh, I can’t tell you that? Well, too late I just did and that was the case again with this song from Wake Owl. Colyn Cameron is the singer/songwriter and I don’t know him personally but I do love him for this beautiful amazing song.

1. Jason IsbellTraveling Alone or Songs That She Sang in the Shower or Live Oak or Stockholm or Elephant or…
Just throw a dart at Isbell’s album Southeastern and any song is perfect in every way. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what makes a number one album of 2013. He got sober, he got married to a wonderful woman, and he wrote the best album of his life.

Happy New Year, and here’s to another great year of music ahead on WFPK! Yours truly, hairbrush, mirror, lighter and all. – Laura Shine

Dick Sisto’s Best of 2012


Dick Sisto hosts jazz on WFPK from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Sunday.

Chick Corea and Gary Burton – Hot House
Kurt Rosenwinkel – Star of Jupiter
Eddie Gomez – Per Sempre
Joe Labarbera – Silver Streams

Danny O’Bryan’s Best of 2012

Bruce BarthThree Things of Beauty (Savant)

Mary Stallings – Don’t Look Back (High Note)

Clifton Anderson – And So We Carry On (Daywood)

Wes Montgomery – Echos of Indiana Ave. (Resonance)

Sheila Jordan – Yesterdays (High Note)

Mike Tracy – Surf Board (Summit)

Tony Monaco – Celebration (Chicken Coup)

Esperanzo Spaulding – Radio Music Society (Montuna)

Houston Person – Give Me the Simple Life (High Note)

Robert Glasper – Afro Blue (EMI)

WFPK’s Top 100 Albums of 2012

We’re counting down WFPK’s biggest albums of 2012 all day leading into tonight’s big NYE bash at Headliners.  We’ll keep posting throughout the day, and feel free to play along at home.  Who will win?  Well, with all of this amazing music, I’d say you do.

100. Field Report – Field Report
99. Pajama Club – Pajama Club
98. Rolling Stones – Grrrr!
97. Cheyenne Marie Mize – We Don’t Need
96. Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
95. Dirty Ghosts – Metal Moon
94. Bob Dylan – Tempest
93. Afghan Whigs – Lovecrimes
92. Bahamas – Barchords
91. Jimmy Cliff – Rebirth
90. Josh Ritter – Bringing In the Darlings
89. Punch Brothers – Who’s Feeling Young Now
88.Dr. John – Locked Down
87. Whitehorse – The Fate of the World Depends On This Kiss
86. Shawn Colvin – All Fall Down
85. Paul Weller – Sonik Kicks
84. Xavier Rudd – Spirit Bird
83. Ponderosa – Pool Party
82. John Fullbright – From The Ground Up
81. Pinback – Information Retrieved
80. Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits
79. Of Monsters & Men – My Head Is An Animal
78. Rebecca Ferguson – Heaven
77. Ben Folds Five – The Sound of the Life of the Mind
76. Craig Finn – Clear Heart Full Eyes
75. Silversun Pickups – Neck of the Woods
74. Stars – North
73. Paul Thorn – What The Hell Is Going On?
72. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – Here
71. Lucero – Women & Work
70. Adam Cohen – Like A Man
69. Ben Sollee – Half-Made Man
68. Calexico – Algiers
67. Grace Potter & the Nocturnals – The Lion The Beast The Beat
66. Counting Crows – Underwater Sunshine
65. Beth Orton – Sugaring Season
64. Old Crow Medicine Show – Carry Me Back
63. The Tallest Man on Earth – Leading Me Now
62. Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel…
61. The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient
60. Diamond Rugs – Diamond Rugs
59. Norah Jones – Little Broken Hearts
58. Dry the River – Shallow Bed
57. Muse – The 2nd Law
56. Houndmouth – Houndmouth EP
55. Everest – Ownerless
54. Will Hoge – Number Seven
53. Langhorne Slim – The Way We Move
52. Damien Jurado – Maraqopa
51. Delta Spirit – Delta Spirit
50. Rufus Wainwright – Out Of the Game
49. John Mayer – Born & Raised
48. Bonnie Raitt – Slipstream
47. Nada Surf – The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy
46. Mumford & Sons – Babel
45. Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto
44. The Elders – Wanderin’ Life & Times
43. The Wallflowers – Glad All Over
42. Miike Snow – Happy To You
41. Chairlift – Something
40. Cory Chisel – Old Believers
39. Brenden Benson – What Kind of World
38. Shovels & Rope – O’ Be Joyful
37. First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar
36. Walkmen – Heaven
35. Glen Hansard – Rhythm & Repose
34. Trampled By Turtles – Stars & Satellites
33. Jack White – Blunderbuss
32. Ingrid Michelson – Human Again
31. Graffiti6 – Colours
30. David Mead – Dudes
29. Madi Diaz – Plastic Moon
28. JD McPherson – Signs & Signifiers
27. Gary Clark Jr. — Blak and Blu
26. Kathleen Edwards – Voyageur
25. Snow Patrol – Fallen Empires
24. Jukebox the Ghost – Safe Travels
23. JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound – Want More
22. Father John Misty – Fear Fun
21. Dave Matthews Band – Away From the World
20. Michael Kiwanuka – Home Again
19. David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant
18. Brandi Carlile – Bear Creek
17. Band of Horses – Mirage Rock
16. ALO – Sounds Like This
15. Whitehorse – Whitehorse EP
14. Regina Spektor – What We Saw From The Cheap Seats
13. Heartless Bastards – Arrow
12. Josh Rouse – Josh Rouse and the Long Vacations
11. Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball
10. Fun – Some Nights
9. The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter
8. Justin Townes Earles – Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now
7. The Lumineers – The Lumineers
6. Zeus – Busting Visions
5. The Black Keys – El Camino
4. Gotye – Making Mirrors
3. Dr. Dog – Be the Void
2. Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls
1. The Shins – Port of Morrow

Duke Meyer’s Best of 2012


I’ve really enjoyed a lot of individual songs this year. But there are eight full CDs that stand out to me. The first four had me at the first listen….

Jack White – Blunderbuss
The Black Keys – El Camino
Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale – Buddy and Jim
Lucero – Women and Work

The next four took me a couple more listens. As I listened, individual songs started to catch my ear. Before I knew it, the CD was taking up residence in the player.

The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter
Ben Sollee – Half Made Man
Dr. John – Locked Down
Mumford and Sons – Babel

Have an amazing and safe new year…and have fun.

Kevin Yazell’s Best of 2012

5. Garland Jeffreys – The King of in Between

A solid 11-song disc with a great band, this is Garland’s best effort in some time. One of the best overall records of the year.

4. Chuck Leavell – Back to the Woods

This is a heartfelt tribute to the pioneers of blues piano and songs made famous before the guitar became the prominent instrument of choice in the blues. Chuck was recruited by Ian Stewart to first play with the Rolling Stones in 1982 due to his Barrelhouse and Boogie Woogie prowess, and it shows brightly here. Chuck covers songs by Leroy Carr, Little Brother Montgomery, Otis Spann, Barrelhouse Buck McFarland and Memphis Slim with energetic style. Best blues record of the year!

3. The Rolling Stones & Muddy Waters – Live at the Checkerboard Lounge ’81

While in Chicago for a three-night stand during their 1981 US tour, the Stones snuck down to Buddy Guy’s Checkerboard Lounge for a show with one their earliest and biggest influences: Muddy Waters. This is a true gem, capturing authentic Chicago blues in its natural environment. Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Left Dizz and John Primer also show. This is a must-have document for any fans of Chicago blues or The Rolling Stones.

2. The Rolling Stones – Charlie Is My Darling

While it was great to finally see this early rock documentary clearly after decades of poor bootlegs, the real treat here is the bonus disc of the Stones recorded live in England in 1965. We typically associate the screaming and crying teenagers of the ’60s with The Beatles. However, the Stones worked their audiences into an uncontrollable frenzy often ending in riots that forced the band from the stage. Unlike The Beatles, the Stones thrived on the energy, forged through the storm and continued to make some of the greatest music of our time.

1. Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball

This is a disc full of topical and inspirational songs, perfect for trying times. Bruce departed from the sound of his previous recent efforts and even made the record without most of the E Street Band. Worthy of many repeated listenings. As with all great musicians, the record sounded even better live!