TJ TOP 10 of 2014

The closing of 2014 is upon us, we at Turnstyled Junkpiled Magazine are looking forward to the great music that awaits us in the new year. With a look back at all of the albums that made up TJs soundtrack of 2014, our writers from all over the country give their take on the top albums of the year.

TJ TOP 10 TJ West

By Kim Grant

1. Sarah Borges – Radio Sweetheart
2. Tweedy – Sukierae
3. Derek Thomas & Skyline Drive – Beyond the Trestles
4. Jon Byrd – Route 41
5. Jenny Lewis – The Voyager
6. Chris Smither – Still on the Levee
7. The Far West – Any Day Now
8. Ronnie Fauss – Built to Break
9. Rod Melancon – Parish Lines
10. Moot Davis – Goin’ in Hot

TJ TOP 10 Portland

By Michael Verity

1. Greensky Bluegrass – If Sorrows Swim
2. Jesse Winchester – A Reasonable Amount of Trouble
3. Okkervil River – Silver Gymnasium
4. Old Crow Medicine Show – Remedy
5. Ruthie Foster – Promise Of A New Day
6. Rosanne Cash – The River & The Thread
7. Dawn Landes – Bluebird
8. Rodney Crowell – Tarpaper Sky
9. Black & The Rodeo Kings – South
10. Chris Smither – Still On The Levee

TJ TOP 10 Buffalo

By Mark Lennon

1. Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds In Country Music
2. Justin Townes Earle – Single Mothers
3. St. Paul and the Broken Bones – Half the City
4. Billy Joe Shaver – Long In The Tooth
5. Tweedy – Sukierae
6. Dom Flemons – Prospect Hill
7. Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
8. Shovels And Rope – Swimmin’ Time
9. Old Crow Medicine Show – Remedy
10. Willie Nelson – Band Of Brothers

TJ TOP 10 Los Angeles

By Jake Tully

1. Beck – Morning Phase
2014 saw the finest record from the formidably talented L.A. punk turned master songster. Eno-like in its scope, Morning Phase plays like a soundscape experience versus the familiarity of a 12-song narrative set to music. The event horizon of Hansen’s musicianship, Morning Phase is not only the best album of 2014, rather one of the best albums period.
2. Temples – Sun Structures
3. Tom Petty – Hypnotic Eye
4. Spoon – They Want My Soul
The Austin based rockers hit gold on their 8th album, though the track record for Britt Daniels and his ever-rotating cast of musicians has been nothing but superb. What separates They Want My Soul from earlier ventures is its indifference to adhering to any other indie/alt-country trends; Spoon’s niche has existed but is now fully carved out.
5. Jack White – Lazaretto
6. Sondre Lerche – Please
7. Mac Demarco – Salad Days
As we are living in the pinnacle of the newly rebranded slacker rock, one would easily crown Mac Demarco as the slimy king of distorted jangle pop. With an aesthetic you can’t help but love to hate, Mac Demarco wants to make you his enemy along the way and eventually invite you to his live show wherein he honors Canadian royalty such as Neil Young and The Band. Salad Days is the third installment of a morbid curiosity with Demarco’s ghoulish vocals and entrancing guitar prowess, proving the true shock will come when we actually admit to loving him.
8. Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds In Country Music
9. Black Keys – Turn Blue
10. The Secret Sisters – Put Your Needle Down

TJ TOP 10 Virginia

By Brian Rock

1. The Far West – Any Day Now “Pure Americana: straight, no chaser”
2. Nudie – Remember This “Talented Canadian troubadour”
3. Scott Hrabko – Gone Places “Brilliant lyrics with a bluesy backbeat”
4. Old 97s – Most Messed Up “Puts the “Alt” in Alt-Country”
5. Justin Townes Earle – Single Mothers “Heartfelt Country Blues”
6. Ronnie Fauss – Built to Break “Fine Alt-Rock/Country blend”
7. Pirates Canoe – One For The Pain In My Heart “Eclectic Japanicana”
8. The Nickel Slots – Let It Ride “Crunchy, guitar laden rockabilly”
9. Jeremy Pinnell – OH/KY “A true Merle Haggard disciple”
10. Jason D Williams – Hillbillies and Holy Rollers “Jerry Lee Lewis’ son carries on the torch”

Worthy of Note EPs
Kelley Mickwee – You Used To Live Here ‘A modern “Dusty in Memphis”’
Liz Frame & The Kickers – Justine “Sultry, velvet-voiced Country torch songs”

TJ TOP 10 New York City

by Kandia Crazy Horse

1. Various Artists – Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock and Country 1966-1985 (Light In the Attic)
2. Steve Gunn – Way Out Weather (Paradise of Bachelors)
3. Thomas Bryan Eaton – We All Want To Be Love (HCVS Records)
4. Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds In Country Music (High Top Mountain/Thirty Tigers)
5. Alana Amram & The Rough Gems – Spring River (Kingswood Records)
6. Calico The Band – Rancho California (California Country Records)
7. Greg Humphreys Electric Trio – Cosmic Irony (Phrex Records)
8. Hard Working Americans – Hard Working Americans (Thirty Tigers/Melvin Records)
9. Gene Clark – Two Sides To Every Story (High Moon)
10. Kandia Crazy Horse – Tula (Bluebilly Records)



TJ TOP 10 Southern California

By Gerry Gomez

Riddle & The Stars – This is Happening
A marriage between Southern California mainstays the Fallen Stars and Australian singer/songwriter Ben Riddle results in a moody and magical album.

Derek Thomas & Skyline Drive – Beyond the Trestles
Derek Thomas continues to write catchy, sophisticated songs that ooze with a surfer canyon breeziness to them. His cowboy folk has a familiar retro vibe that nods to the classic 70’s Laurel Canyon scene.

Marc Ford – Holy Ghost
Ford digs deep into his life story to produce a wonderfully produced album of organic roots soulfulness. A thesis on how to mine one’s story in song.

Rod Melancon – Parish Lines
A stomper of an album with infectious rockers and speedway greasiness wrapped in Melancon’s Southern Lousiana characters.

The Far West – Any Day Now
2-Beat driving muscle with finesse and scholarly lyrics from beat poets Lee Briante and Robert Black mixed with outlaw twang make the Far West’s sophomore album a bright spot of the LA area’s offerings this year.

Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
Adams welcomed return to songwriting abandon comes in this year with Adams performing at peak levels at times on this self-titled release. What’s old is what’s new.

Patrolled By Radar – Cool Your Jets
PBR supply tens songs full of their trademark brash, boozy rock & soul. Bookish lyrics, steady rhythm section and searing guitar mark this well-rounded 2014 release.

Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Phosphorescent Harvest
CRB has been putting the pedal to the metal since they broke out of LA in 2012. Barely taking time off since opening shows at the Echo, the country-acid jammers and some of the steadiest musicians from the west continued riding their trip through 2014 with Phosphorescent Harvest. “Let’s Go” they invoked and gone they went.

Calico the Band – Rancho California
Local sirens Calico the Band comprised of Kirsten Proffit, Manda Mosher, and Aubrey Richmond summon their collective experiences into a beautiful debut album full of whispers of the vintage valleys, canyons and ghost towns of California in Rancho California. Rich harmonies and tasteful musicianship creates timeless California country at home in Bakersfield, Joshua Tree or the old Palamino.

Roses Pawn Shop – Gravity Well
Love songs in California folk-rock sound that deal with heavy heartbreak. The type of album that one might order up at the bar of an outpost western saloon on a cold winter’s night. Perfect to either drown one’s sorrow or end up in a fight.

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