Favorite Albums of 2008

Every time I compile a favorite-albums-of-the-year list, I’m surprised at how little it intersects with anyone else’s list. Given my narrow listening choices, I wouldn’t expect to share many items with Rolling Stone, Spin, Paste, Pitchfork, and the like. But my selections also find little resonance with commercial or alternative country sources such as CMT, Country Standard Time, Twangville (1 2), All Music or The Boot. Apparently, I listen in a parallel universe. That said, here are my favorites from among what I heard in 2008.

Highlighted album titles link to reviews.

Top 10 Albums of 2008
Hank Williams The Unreleased Recordings
Hayes Carll Trouble in Mind
Tift Merritt Another Country
Glen Campbell Meet Glen Campbell
Dion Heroes: Giants of Early Guitar Rock
Samantha Crain The Confiscation
Willie Nile Live From the Streets of New York
The Gibson Brothers Iron & Diamonds
Amelia A Long, Lovely List of Repairs
Various Artists Thank You Friends: The Ardent Records Story

Honorable Mention New Music of 2008
The Avett Brothers The Second Gleam
The Band of Heathens The Band of Heathens
Carlene Carter Stronger
Mark Chesnutt Rollin’ With the Flow
Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere Nudge it Up a Notch
The Crowe Brothers Brothers -n- Harmony
Mark Erelli Delivered
The Gabe Dixon Band The Gabe Dixon Band
Greta Gaines Whiskey Thoughts
Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs Dirt Don’t Hurt
Guggeneheim Grotto Happy the Man
The Hacienda Brothers Arizona Motel
Tim Hensley Long Monday
Dan Janisch Medicine Man
Jamey Johnson That Lonesome Song
Scott Kempner Saving Grace
Hal Ketchum Father Time
Howlin’ Wind Magnificent Fiend
Sonny Landreth From the Breach
The Lonely H Hair
Holly Long Leaving Kansas
Gary Louris Vagabonds
James McMurtry Just Us Kids
John Mellencamp Life Death Love and Freedom
Mike & The Ravens – The Saxony Sessions
The Morning Benders Talking Through Tin Cans
Mudcrutch Mudcrutch
Shawn Mullins Honeydew
OST Soul Men
Steve Poltz Traveling
The Rescues Crazy Every After
The Steeldrivers The Steeldrivers
The Youngers Heritage

Honorable Mention Reissues of 2008
Blue Ash No More, No Less
The Browns The Complete Hits
Creedence Clearwater Revival The First Six Albums
Tommy James and the Shondells 40 Years: The Complete Singles Collection
Jan & Dean The Complete Liberty Singles
Margie Joseph Margie Joseph
Carole King Tapestry (Legacy Edition)
Nick Lowe The Jesus of Cool
Arthur Lyman Latitude 20 / Aphrodisia
Arthur Lyman Cotton Fields / Blowin’ in the Wind
The Mojo Men Not Too Old to Start Cryin’: The Lost 1966 Masters
Nerves One Way Ticket
John Phillips Pussycat
Otis Redding Live in London and Paris
Mel Tillis Your Body is an Outlaw
Ben Vaughn Beautiful Thing
Wednesday Week What We Had

[©2008 hyperbolium dot com]

4 Responses to “Favorite Albums of 2008”

  1. theresa says:

    Tim Hensleys Long Monday is an awesome album. I love listening to it. It takes me back to some of the places and times in my past and just makes me feel good.

  2. Willie Nile says:

    Thanks so much for including “Live From The Streets Of New York” in your list. It’s an honor to be in such company.

    Here’s to more music and magic for the New Year.
    All the best,


  3. funoka says:

    Good list — with a couple of quibble. I forgot Tift Merritt’s CD came out in 2008. Kind of forgettable — maybe I need to give it another chance. I also don’t really get the Glen Campbell record — nice from a curiosity point of view, but does it really stand up as a best of 2008?

  4. hyperbolium says:

    I composed a different version of the Top 10 every day for several weeks, arguing at least half the choices on and off the list several times. Tift Merritt’s songs stuck in my head and hit a particular resonance the day I froze the list. Glen Campbell’s comeback was one of the more striking things I heard all year. Lasting art or passing novelty? Ask me again in a couple of years. Weighing heavily in Campbell’s favor was the production of Julian Raymond, whose 1992 EP with the Babylon Minstrels remains a favorite. You can pick up a copy for a penny + shipping from Amazon’s secondary sellers.