BEST OF 2017: Fred Rudofsky’s Favorite 50 Albums of the Year

By Fred Rudofsky

My touchstones for music in 2017 run across genres. I still buy real albums – CDs and LPs – I never download. And 16 of them, by the way, were purchased at concert venues. I’ve probably missed a few other worthy albums this year, but I’ll track them down.

1. The Sherman Holmes Project’s The Richmond Sessions (M.C.)
2. Hamell on Trial’s Tackle Box (New West)
3. Mavis Staples’ If I All I Was Was Black (Anti-)
4. Chandler Travis Philharmonic’s Waving Kissyhead Vol. 2 & 1 (Iddy Biddy)
5. Rhiannon Giddens’ Freedom Highway (Nonesuch)
6. Ronnie Baker Brooks’ Times Have Changed (Provogue)
7. Los Straitjackets’ What’s So Funny About Peace Love and Los Straitjackets (Yep Roc)
8. Chuck Prophet’s Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins (Yep Roc)
9. Eilen Jewell’s Down Hearted Blues (Signature Sounds)
10. Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives’ Way Out West (Superlatone)
11. The Paladins’ New World (Lux)
12. Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real’s Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real (Fantasy)
13. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings’ Soul of a Woman (Daptone)
14. Tift Merritt’s Stitch of the World (Yep Roc)
15. Elvin Bishop’s Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio (Alligator)

16. Jim Lauderdale’s London Southern (Sky Crunch)
17. Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm’s Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm (JAY-VEE)
18. The Soul Rebels Brass Band’s No Place Like Home (Live in New Orleans)
19. Shannon McNally’s Black Irish (Compass)
20. Duke Robillard’s Duke Robillard & His Dames of Rhythm (M.C.)
21. Delbert McClinton & Self-Made Men’s Prick of the Litter (Thirty Tigers)
22. Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters’ The Luckiest Man (Stony Plain)
23. Willie Nile’s Positively Bob: Willie Nile Sings Bob Dylan (River House)
24. Justin Townes Earle’s Kids in the Street (New West)
25. Nicole Atkins’ Good Night, Rhonda Lee (Single Lock Red)
26. Richard Thompson’s Acoustic Rarities and Acoustic Classics II (Beeswing)
27. Ray Wylie Hubbard’s Tell the Devil I’m Gettin’ There as Fast as I Can (Bordello)
28. J.D. McPherson’s Undivided Heart & Soul (New West)
29. Rick Estrin & the Nightcats’ Groovin’ in Greaseland (Alligator)
30. Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams’ Contraband Love (Red House)
31. North Mississippi All Stars’ Prayer for Peace (SMG)
32. Dale Watson & Ray Benson’s Dale & Ray (Mailboat)
33. Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer’s Not Dark Yet (Thirty Tigers)
34. The Cashbox Kings’ Royal Mint (Alligator)
35. Kim Wilson’s Blues and Boogie, Vol. 1 (Severn)
36. Jimmie Vaughan Trio with Mike Flanigin’s Live at C-Boy’s (Proper)
37. Tedeschi Trucks Band’s Live from the Fox Oakland (Fantasy)
38. John Primer & Bob Corritore’s Ain’t Nothin’ You Can Do! (Delta Groove)
39. Gregg Allman’s Southern Blood (Rounder)
40. Trombone Shorty’s Parking Lot Symphony (Blue Note)
41. Don Bryant’s Don’t Give up on Love (Fat Possum)
42. Imelda May’s Life, Love, Flesh, Blood (Decca)
43. The New Pornographers’ Whiteout Conditions (Concord)
44. Willie Nelson’s God’s Problem Child (Sony Legacy)
45. Sharon Shannon’s Sacred Earth (Celtic Collections)
46. Robert Plant’s Carry Fire (Nonesuch)
47. Ray Davies’ Americana (Legacy)
48. Chuck Berry’s Chuck (Dualtone)
49. Samantha Fish’s Belle of the West (Ruf)
50. Steve Earle & the Dukes’ So You Wanna Be an Outlaw (Warner Brothers)

….and as far as the reissues go, I absolutely recommend The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (50th Anniversary Edition Super Deluxe Version) and The Doors’ 1967 debut, The Doors (Deluxe Edition).

BEST OF 2017: Ed Conway’s Bakers’ Dozen Best Concerts
J HUNTER’S Best Jazz2K Releases (Part Deux)
DON WILCOCK’S Top 8 Blues Albums (And Year-End Rant)
WES SENECA’S Best Third Member of a Duo, Fourth Member of a Trio, Fifth Member of a Quartet…
STANLEY A. JOHNSON’S Top 12 (Or So) Live Music Performances
J HUNTER’S Best Jazz2K Releases (Part I)

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