Wounded Messenger’s Top 11 Albums and Shows of 2011

It’s the most wonderful list-making time of the year, a time when personal playlists and downloads for the last 12 months are analyzed and rated by any number of entities.  That’s what these “best of the year” lists really are – a chance for a particular magazine, website, or blogger to take inventory of the year and make their collective tastes known. You won’t mind if I cheese out and use the year 2011 as an excuse to name 11 albums this year.  I also decided to add a list for concerts this year, since I saw so many great ones.  The lists are in alphabetical order by band.

The Wounded Messenger’s Top 11 Albums of 2011

The Antlers – Burst Apart
Bon Iver – Bon Iver, Bon Iver
Hayes Carll – KMAG YOYO and Other American Stories
Dawes – Nothing is Wrong
The Flashbulb – Love as a Dark Hallway
Morning Teleportation – Expanding Anyway
The New Mastersounds – Breaks from the Border
The Roots – Undun
Paul Simon – So Beautiful or So What
Wye Oak – Civilian
Yuck – Yuck

The Wounded Messenger’s Top 11 Shows of 2011:

The Budos Band – Hopscotch Festival, The Pour House, Raleigh, NC, Sept. 10, 2011
The Devil Makes Three – Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC, July 24, 2011
The Foreign Exchange – Hopscotch Festival, Lincoln Theater, Raleigh, NC, Sept. 9, 2011
Gov’t Mule – Warren Haynes Christmas Jam, Asheville, NC, Dec. 10, 2011
The Hold Steady – Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC, August 31, 2011
Phil Lesh and Friends
– Warren Haynes Christmas Jam, Asheville, NC, Dec. 10, 2011
– Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Charlotte, NC, June 17, 2011
Robert Plant & Band of Joy – Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN, June 12, 2011
Paul Simon – DAR Hall, Washington, DC, May 25, 2011
Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue
– Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC, Nov. 6, 2011
Widespread Panic with Horns and Hornsby
– Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN, June 12, 2011

Widespread Panic Photos and Review, New Mastersounds and More

My review of the September 24, 2011 Widespread Panic show is up at Glide Magazine.  They’ve also got a couple of recent CD reviews of mine:

The New Mastersounds, Breaks From the Border
Mike Doughty, Yes and Also Yes

And my Hopscotch Music Festival Review and Photo Gallery.  See below for photos from the Widespread Panic show.

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Bonnaroo 2011 Reviews and Photos

Another Bonnaroo Music Festival is in the books, and we had a great time, as usual!  All of our daily reviews can be seen at the following Glide Magazine links:



See below for some of the best photos we got at Bonnaroo 2011.

Alison Krauss


Alison Krauss

Alison Krauss


Alison Krauss and Union Station


Robert Plant & Patty Griffin


Robert Plant


John Bell of Widespread Panic


Dave Schools of Widespread Panic


Widespread Panic


Mumford and Sons


Mumford and Sons


Mumford and Sons


Jim James of My Morning Jacket


Jim James of My Morning Jacket


My Morning Jacket


Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys


Grace Potter


Grace Potter


Henry Rollins


Les Claypool of Primus


Warren Haynes


Ron Johnson of Warren Haynes Band


Ray Lamontagne


Bela Fleck


George Porter Jr of The Meters


WSP Crowd


WSP Crowd

Bonnaroo 2011 Preview and Links Aplenty

In less than 48 hours we’ll be posted up at the 2011 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, reveling in the tenth anniversary of the event and bringing it all to you via Twitter and Glide Magazine.  Right now at Glide there’s a special feature written by Shane Handler and I entitled Ten Years of Bonnaroo:  Our Ten Favorite Headlining Sets.  Check it out and see which What stage performances from the past 9 festivals stand out above all of the rest.

Follow us on Twitter and you’ll get a constant stream of updates as we encounter the good, the bad, and the just plain strange in Manchester this weekend.  If that’s not enough, follow along with us and catch streaming sets from the Comedy Tent at ComedyCentral.com.  No word on music webcasts yet, but stay tuned.

Friday Festival Update: Smilefest, Wanee, and more

The Allman Brothers-centric Wanee festival released their lineup today, and it keeps getting more inclusive each year. April 16th and 17th will see The Allman Brothers Band and Widespread Panic on both nights, while the rest of the lineup includes Gov’t Mule, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Band, Weir Wasserman and Lane, Stephen Stills, The Black Keys, Johnny Winter, Hot Tuna, MOFRO, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Parliament Funkadelic, Railroad Earth, Scrapomatic, Oteil and Kofi Burbridge with The Lee Boys, The Wailers, North Mississippi Allstars, Dumpstaphunk, Chuck Leavell with Randall Bramlett Band, and many more. Particle and others will participate in a special kick-off party on Thursday the 15th.

The rejuvenated Smilefest has announced their initial artists, and it looks like they’ll be keeping it all historically relevant and such. It also seems that they’re trying to keep it simple and somewhat laid-back. Even so, the three headliners that have been revealed – Keller Williams, Acoustic Syndicate, and Keller and the Keels – are worth a drive into the mountains any day. Perhaps the most intriguing announcement is that of a Magraw Gap reunion. As usual, there should be plenty of collaboration at this one.

Stay tuned for more updates this weekend!

Wounded Messenger’s Best of 2009 Week Begins!

With not only a year but an entire decade of music to celebrate, we’ll be bringing you our “Best of” 2009 lists all week long. We begin with our favorite 10 live shows of the year, followed later this week by our favorite albums of the year and our 101 favorite albums of the decade.

Nothing could be more regionally subjective and personally oriented than naming the ten best live concerts you saw in a given year. But for the sake of my own memory and comparison with other such lists, here are the best 10 shows I saw this year, with free download links and reviews when available.

Salute to DJ Premier & Pete Rock – 12/12/09, Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC (review)
Phish – 12/5/09 John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, VA (dl) (review)
Widespread Panic/Allman Brothers Band – 10/11/09  Raleigh, NC (review)
Nine Inch Nails – 6/13/09 Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN (dl) (review)
Wilco – 6/13/09, Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN (dl) (review)
Okkervil River – 6/14/09 Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN (review)
Eric Bachmann – 7/22/09 Duke Gardens, Durham, NC (review)
Umphrey’s McGee – 2/21/09 The Orange Peel, Asheville, NC (dl) (review)
Janiva Magness – 7/17/09 Blue Bayou Club, Hillsborough, NC (review)
Phish – 3/8/09 Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA (dl) (review)

We hope you’ll come back to check out our favorite albums of the decade and the year! Putting together these lists has been a labor of love, and we think they’re a lot of fun. We hope you do too!