As we head into 2011 and begin to discover all the great new music that the year will have to offer, we at Honest Tune wanted to take a moment to look back at 2010, and remember all the great musical moments that 2010 provided for us. To help us with this endeavor we asked some of our favorite musicians to reflect on the year that was. Their answers are a great way to remember 2010, and to discover some new sounds you may have missed in the last year.
We asked each of the participating artists three simple questions:
- What was your favorite album(s) from 2010?
- What was your favorite live moment from 2010?
- What are you most looking forward to in 2011?
1.Kanye West – Beautiful Dark and Twisted, he’s a genius.
Galactic‘s Ya-Ka-May, because they bring it.
JohnLegend and The Roots – Wake Up because it shows the power of collaboration.
2.My agent told me I’ve played over 170 shows this year and we had so many off the chain moments I feel like they’d fill a book. But the closing number of the Red Hot + New Orleans show I was musical director for in Brooklyn was pretty cool – me and my band and all these legends of New Orleans music playing ("When The Saints Come Marching In") was a great moment. Opening for Dave Matthews and him asking me to sit in was cool. Same with Jeff Beck in the United Kingdom. Mystikal sitting in on our Jazz Fest set was amazing.
3.Recording, making new musical discoveries and maybe some time off. And a Lakers three-peat championship!
1. Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs – God Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise, great songs,playing and his beautiful voice.
Morris Tepper –A Singer Named Shotgun Throat, fantastic concept album! Great songs andarrangements. One of his best!
Robert Plant and the Band of Joy– Band of Joy. Features great musicians including the great Buddy Miller, and Mr. Plant is in excellent form.
2. My favorite musical moment was playing with my side projectThe Contribution at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco this pastApril. It was epic and so much fun!
3. What I’m looking forward to most in 2011 is going back to Yarmony Grass! It’ll be fantastic!
1.My favorite album of 2010 is Christmas In New Orleans, "A Tribute My Mother." Why? Because it is something I have wanted to do most of my life, make a Christmas record for my mother.
2. A) April 6, at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. BigRoom in Chico , CA with 7 Walkers
B) Runnin’ Pardners first run to the northeast this summer.
C) September 19th, a sit-in with Joseph"Zigaboo" Modeliste" at Pier 22. Also sitting in was Ivan & Ian Neville a real New Orleans moment
D) December 4th Runnin’ Pardners at Sullivan Hallin New York City with Ivan & Ian Neville, Eric Krasno, Nigel Hall,Big Sam Williams, Maurice Brown. Also the night before with Warren Haynes and Charlie Dane.
3. Waking up every morning and going out and playing more musicwith Runnin’ Pardners, 7 Walkers, Funky Meters and everyone who calls. A new CD from Runnin’ Pardners (two songs for free download at GeorgePorterJr.com/audio)
1. There is so much music in my head that I’m always a few years behind new releases. So ask me about 2010, in 2013!
2. Hearing Zakir Hussein sit in with John McLaughlin’sband at the Abstractlogix Festival.
3. This is Panic’s 25th year so it’s a pretty big deal. Other than that, writing, playing music and time with the family.
1. Brian Eno–Small Craft on a Milk Sea. Just a good solid experimental ambient recording.
Bobby McFerrin –Vocabularies. The album that I always wished he made. Lush vocals, world fusion.
John Legend and the Roots– Wake Up. A Live R&B recording in this day and age bythese two units? That was an easy one.
Skrillex – My Nameis Skrillex EP. Great mix of original music in various modern styles.
2. Seeing both Grizzly Bear (Nateva) and Gaudi (Earthdance) live sets. They weren’t necessarily epic as much as they were just different and it was refreshing. Both acts used very cool effects in their setup and manipulated them live to raise the bar on how to play your instruments in alive performance. As much dubstep as I listen to these days, it was so inspiring to hear a great reggae dub set by Gaudi. It felt like "this is where somuch of it comes from" and sounded fresh.
3. So much to look forward to. Seems like EOTO has gained a next level of momentum and I’m ready to bump things up on my end, musically, to meet that challenge. String Cheese is going to have some huge weekends coming up and it will be on the heels of a bunch of practice from last year, so we don’t have to relearn our songs and can focus on new things to bring to our performance. Hopefully I can mix in some originals into my Prophet Massive DJ sets. I need to buckle down in my off time and try to write some music for that.
1. Earl Greyhound – Suspicious Package . Outstanding production,audacious conception. Greyhound has created an album of gritty epic mythodelicscope-seriously kicking next wave hard rock.
Honey Honey –First Rodeo. Suzanne Santo and Ben Jaffe make an extraordinarilyunpretentious music that feels decidedly un-clever, which I love; roots musicthat feels lived in.
Beans –Thorns. I am biased. Beans was ‘The Man In The Comfy Chair’ with the Don Byron editionof my group Masque. That aside, Beans really is, as he says, "The Ornette Coleman Of This Rap Shit!"
2. Mato Nanji’s (Of Indigenous) blues-soaked version of "Hear My Train A Comin’" on the Experience Hendrix Tour.
3. Doing something cool with someone I don’t know now, ordoing something new with someone I knew then.
Kenny Liner – The Bridge
1. Caleb Stine – I Wasn’t Built for a Life Like This.
LosLobos – Tin Can Trust.
2. My Morning Jacket with Preservation Jazz Hall Band – Merriweather PostPavilion, Columbia, MD (5/1/10). Caleb Stine – Album release show, Creative Alliance, Baltimore, MD (9/25/10). Tenacious D – Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN (6/11/10)
3. I am always looking for new opportunities, and for the Ravens to win the Super Bowl.
1.Gaughan Live! At the Trades Club, by Dick Gaughan — My buddy turned me onto this album (released in 2008 and a bit hard to find here in the States), and it immediately became my favorite album of the year. Passionate, personal, honest vocals, and someof the finest guitar playing you’ll ever hear. Not to mention, he’s theclosest to Woody Guthrie’s working-class spirit I’ve heard in modern form.
Lightand Hitch – Light and Hitch. This is joyful music, perfect for cruising through America at top speeds. I met these folks in my travels through the old time music world this summer,and this CD is a great example of the young, vibrant sound coming out of that scene.
Junip – Fields. The lead off track "In EveryDirection" is my favorite single of the year, and the album as a whole is filled with sounds and grooves that play with distortion in a new way. It’s sort of Folk/Metal, heavy riffs played on a nylon string guitar, and it’sstill an album you can have a make-out session to. Definitely the most pleasant surprise to come out of the mainstream this year.
2.Hearing The Honey Dewdrops at a house concert in Upperville, VA. Their harmonies are so in sync and on top of each other, that you feel privy to something very intimate, overhearing such angelic sounds up close. I love harmony live, there’s something about it that brings hope to the human race: if we can sing together, we can probably get together in other areas too.
3. Writing. I’m so intrigued to see what the muse will bring next.
Chris Combs – Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey
1.Fightthe Big Bill – All is Gladness in the Kingdom. I love this band. Matt White’s compositions and approach to large ensemble improvisation are fresh, exciting, and inspiring.
M.I.A– Maya Aggressive, scary, and slamming the whole way through.
Gorillaz – Plastic Beach, Warm, synth-laden, pop magic. Great hooks, great concept.
2. Ari Hoenig Trio (with Jean-Michel Pilc!) at Smalls in NYC.
3. Playing and recording music with some of my biggest heroes.
1. Dr. Dog – Shame Shame. No secret that we’re friends with these dudes, but this is a bigger record. Still very signature sounding, but the songs are more anthemicsounding, which I dig.
Pete Molinari – Train Bound for Glory. The best voice ever. Recorded in Nashville. It’s the most authentic traditional rock ‘n’ roll sound I’ve heard since the Everly Brothers.
Black Keys– Brothers. It would be criminal to not have this on anyone’s list. The drum sound andthe bass sounds on this record will be copied for the next ten years. Mark my words. Special sounding record, and now Grammy nominated.
2. My Morning Jacket- Five nights at terminal 5 (10/10-10/18). We were fortunate to open one of these nights. A huge undertaking for MMJ, but they made it look easy. Terminal 5 never looked so good.
3. I’m looking forward to new records for some friends. Mainly Floating Action from Ashville, and Those Darlins’ new record. I’ve heard them both and they’re great. Also a Hacienda record, touring with the Greenhornes, and the Spurs winning an NBA title. Fingers crossed.
Steve Adams – ALO
1. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs. Super melodic and great rocking grooves. I love the theme andconcept. And as an album listening experience, the songs and sequence just havethe perfect flow.
Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs – God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise. Another just great sounding record. Warm tones, soulful musicianship. Ray’svoice and the band he put together for this one fit together beautifully.
Black Keys –Brothers. Super groovy, perfectly dirty. Great songs, excellent playing,all around really creative. All the right ingredients for just my type ofrecord.
2. There were a lot of great moments! The rooftop after-showset in Toronto with ALO, Jack Johnson, G.Love and Paula Fuga was randomly superfun! And I will never forget the spontaneous acoustic set with ALO and ChrisVelan at the Rathskeller in Indianapolis. We were forced indoors by the rainand ended up rigging everything into a few guitar amps with whatever cables andadapters we could find. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! As for othersshows I got to catch, these stand out – Dr. Dog at Cedar Street at SXSW, JonCleary at Byron Bay Blues & Roots Festival, Living Colour at TheIndependent in SF, and Spoon at The Fox Theater in Oakland.
3. ALO’sTour d’Amour V in January and February, stopping off at some of my favoritevenues in California – The Fillmore, The Troubadour, The Belly Up. The releaseof a great new Nicki Bluhm record titled Driftwood (out Feb 1st), which I got to be part of. And in general, just making a lot more music!
Matt White – Fight The Big Bull
1. Curtis Mayfield – There’s No Place Like America Today.
Papa Celestin – Papa Celestin’s New Orleans’ Band.
James Booker –Junco Partner
2. Fightthe Big Bull with Megafaun, Justin Vernon and Sharon Van Etten playing ourarrangements of Alan Lomax field recordings at Duke University for a week in September.
3. The launch of my label, Spacebomb Records, which will includethe release of a new Fight the Big Bull record, my debut solo record, a Karl Blau record and a record with Jason Stein. All records that I’m going to have the incredible privilege of arranging and producing.
1. Nels Cline– Dirty Baby. Everything Nels does feels so purposeful and creative. His concepts are as unique as his playing.
Beck – Record Club. It’s not a traditionally released record, and there’s more than one of them,but really itswhere I see music, and releases, going. Brilliant concept, forward moving, and the tunes all come out sounding fresh. It’s all released through his website and archived, so much to dig from. The cover of Skip Spence’s "Little Hands"with Wilco, Feist, and Jamie Li lifts me every listen.
Peter Bernstein –Live at Small’s. Bernstein’s tone and tempo are so in andswinging, it’s really conversational, melodic playing. Listening to him is a study in how to play jazz to me. For straight ahead stuff and standards, this record kills. "Stairway to the Stars" sings.
2. Favorite 2010 memory would be the A Love Electric tour we just finished up with trumpeter Steven Bernstein in Mexico. Getting outinto the Mexican countryside, feeling the energy of Mexico City, the audiences that came out down there, I love the chaos tempered by the ability of everyoneto live together in it and manage to escape being driven mad. We played a roomin Puebla, about an hour outside of Mexico City, called Jazzatlan, and it was one of those nights that everything burned. The crowd, us up on stage, we all connected at a really creative level, there was definitely the sense that thiswas an experience, it happened. A monster Argentine drummer named Hernan Hecht,Mark Aanderud on piano who lives in Prague, Gil Ccervantes from Guadalajara,and a couple of us Minneapolis Nordic cats. It had all the power in emotion and human interaction that music makespossible.
3. Most looking forward to in 2011 is getting A Love Electric out on the road in the States and getting in front of more people.
Kagey Parrish – The Honey Dewdrops
1. Tim O’Brien – Chicken and Egg. As far as songwriters go, he is one of ourfavorites. We really latch onto heartfelt songs, and Tim O’Brien’s songsfit that description. He is not only a great singer, but a great songwriter, and a great instrumentalist, he is the total package.
Caleb Stine – I Wasn’t Built For a Life Like This. His new record is so incredibly deep and beautiful. The singing is wonderful, the writing is wonderful, and the guitar accompaniment isgreat. It really hits you. He is talking about a lot of complex topics,and they are not always easy to listen to, but they are beautiful.
Mary Gauthier – Mercy Now. It is a really complete collection of really great songs. That record really hits you hard. I love hard hitting songs, and that is a hard hitting album.
2. Our CD release show for our new CD. We played with Mark Dalton, and Robin and Linda Williams and to have all those people on stage withus was a really cool experience. It gave me chills. The other great livemoment was in Baltimore, Caleb Stine’s Round the Mountain event, it was us, Caleb (Stine), Andy Friedman, and Ken Kolodner. It was an amazing, very cool, special experience for us.
3. Just looking forward to get some new songs out there.