Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Best Music of 2009: Part 4

15. Levon Helm - Electric Dirt
The former drummer of The Band won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album for his 2007 comeback Dirt Farmer. The followup to that, Electric Dirt, received a nomination this year for Best Americana Album, along with Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel's Willie and The Wheel and the next album on this list.

16. Wilco - Wilco (The Album)
Wilco's A Ghost is Born, of all albums, won a Grammy in 2004 for Best Alternative Music Album. This year they're up against Levon Helm and Willie Nelson for Best Americana Album. But, more importantly to me, they edged out the album that follows them on my list.

17. Son Volt - American Central Dust
This is the highest finish for either Wilco or Son Volt, or anything that members of these bands have done, since Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and Jay Bennett's The Palace at 4am (Part 1), I believe. I labored over the decision about who to rank higher between Wilco and Son Volt, but then I realized, regardless of that, Jay Farrar had a much better year than Jeff Tweedy. More on that later.

18. Dinosaur Jr. - Farm
No newbies in this round of honorees, three out of four of whom are Fab 40 artists. In fact, Dinosaur Jr., Son Volt and Wilco are the only such artists represented here, with the exception of a few who made it, but not with the band with which they earned the Fab 40 distinction. Two of them—Joe Pernice and Olson & Louris—have already been revealed. One more is still to come.

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