1. Algiers by Calexico – this is a record I listen to often. It is a perfect combination of Arizona Americana and Tex-Mex style with a hint of the experimental. Some of the recording and mixing decisions come across very dark sounding which nicely adds to the overall feel of the album. I’ve seen this album performed live and it translates brilliantly.
2. Pneumonia by Whiskeytown – this is an excellent sounding record that often gets a spin on my turntable. It is a quality produced and almost pop-country series of tunes being the band’s last ever release before they split. From the slick and tight sounding Don’t Wanna Know Why to the smooth and lost emotion in Sit and Listen To The Rain, this record easily delivers the goods.
3. Tennessee Pusher by Old Crow Medicine Show – this record is such a great modern-sounding yet old timely country experience. Motel In Memphis and the tongue and cheek Methamphetamine are stand out tunes.
4. One Foot In The Ether by The Band Of Heathens – an excellent Americana feast by a very enjoyable, talented and technical country group. This record has a real mood and concept behind it that is clearly tipping a cowboy hat to Hunter S. Thompson enthusiasts.
5. Valleyheart by Justin Rutledge – this is the fifth studio album from Toronto born Rutledge and a really sonically-slick record. As a solo performer he has presented a pleasing combination of traditional country instrumentation and even dipped his toe into undiscovered territory on this record.
LOW RENT play at the Central Club in Richmond on Saturday March 15.