TJ Music’s Best of 2018

Another year of music is in the books. TJ’s best of 2018 celebrates the diverse work of artists we love, ranging from country legends to impressive newcomers. Thank you to all of our TJ family for contributing their time, taste, support and representing who we are as a publication.


Editor’s Top 10 Releases

By Courtney S. Lennon

Outlaws, Flatlanders and Honky Tonk Heroes: 2018 best Country and Western

* Indicates 2018 Ameripolitan Award Nominee

1. Lefty Frizzell – An Article From Life: The Complete Recordings

2. Joe Ely – The Lubbock Tapes: Full Circle

Early Joe Ely tracks recorded by fellow Lubbock, Texas native, steel player and producer, Lloyd Maines (Terry Allen, Wayne Hancock).

3. Charley Crockett – Lonesome as a Shadow

4. Sarah Shook & the Disarmers – Years

5. Pat Reedy and the Longtime Goners – That’s All There Is (And There Ain’t No More) * 

6. James Steinle – South Texas Homecoming


7. Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore – Downey to Lubbock

8. Jesse Daniel – Jesse Daniel * 

9. Dallas Moore – Mr. Honky Tonk * 

10. Gethen Jenkins Bottle in My Hand (Single)


TJ EAST Top 10

By Brian Rock

1. Andrew Sheppard –  Steady Your Aim
Dylanesque Folk with a touch of attitude

2. The James Hunter Six – Whatever It Takes
The sophistication and grace of early 60’s Soul

3. Jeff Plankenhorn – Sleeping Dogs
Elvis Costello tinged smorgasbord of Americana

4. Liz Frame & The Kickers – Sparrow In A Shoebox
Hauntingly beautiful vocals and arrangements

5. Luke Winslow King – Blue Mesa
Fifty shades of Blues

6. Mike Farris – Silver & Stone
Solomon Burke meets Robert Cray Blues/Soul

7. Old Crow Medicine Show – Volunteer
Americana stalwarts getting better with each release

8. Tammie Nelson – Sassafrass!
Fiery feminist lyrics with irresistible, genre-bending hooks

9. Uncle Ben’s Remedy – The Things That Bring You Back
Unapologetic Outlaw Country

10. 6 String Drag – Top Of The World
Crazy catchy, Alt-Rock revival grooves


TJ WEST Top 10

By Kim Grant

1. Brandi Carlile – By the Way, I Forgive You

2. The Wood BrothersOne Drop of Truth

3. Lindi Ortega – Liberty

4. Mike and the Moonpies – Steak Night at the Prairie Rose

5. Mary GauthierRifles and Rosary Beads

6. Nicki Bluhm – To Rise You Gotta Fall

7. Neko CaseHell–On

8. Yo La TengoThere’s a Riot Going On

9. PhosphorescentC’est La Vie

10. Ashleigh Flynn & the Riveters (self-titled)


Gonzo Country Top 10

By Mark Lennon

1. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats – Tearing at the Seams

2. Sarah Shook & the Disarmers – Years

3. John Prine – The Tree of Forgiveness

4. Dallas Moore – Mr Honky Tonk

5. Mike and the Moonpies – Steak Night at the Prairie Rose

6. Willie Nelson – Last Man Standing

7. Colter Wall – Songs of the Plains

8. Kinky Friedman – Circus of Life

9. Asleep at the Wheel – New Routes

10. Mavis Staples – If All I Was Was Black



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