Fly Fishing Music – Top 10 for 2015

| December 31, 2015



I remember during my darkest times, waking up in the middle of the night and hearing my voice on the earbud lodged in my ear. Actually, it wasn’t me, but it was Billy Gibbons doing an interview on NPR. Great accent, don’t you think? The music is pretty darn good too.


It was a down and dirty fight for me to hold this one in the Top Ten, but I gritted my teeth, and Billy Gibbons and the BFG’s “Perfectamundo” holds on by a beard hair. It’s not that it’s not good, it’s just that the battle was so intense. Free your mind before, or by listening to this disc! You will not hear anything like you would expect from ZZ Top founder Billy Gibbons. There’s lyrics in Spanish, there’s urban mix, Afro-Cuban sounds … you get the picture – the big picture. As we are headed for South Padre Island soon, maybe I will have to break out a story about ZZ and their secret hideaway (apparently only a stone’s throw from our old house), a story from the good old 1970’s.


Mark Knopfler’s release “Tracker” really grew on me as time went by – albeit slower time. Again, musicianship and a product that shines by post and mastering – all the hallmarks I have come to expect from Knopfler since his first Dire Straits album. His guitar work, still the main thread, floats through like a styrofoam cup on the water. Fierce competition in the higher rankings drove this one down as well.


My Morning Jacket is one of those bands I listen to with a lot of curiosity – audio curiosity. For the edgy persona they pull off on video and in their artwork, this release is one easy listening spin. If MMJ has been too “out there” for you, now is the time to pull the trigger and get “The Waterfall.”


Seven is no longer my lucky number, but it is for this Black Cat. Wrinkle Neck Mules “I Never Thought it Would Go This Far” got killed (in my ears) by some kind of “shortcoming” in their mix or mastering (I’m no expert). I just can’t get a clean-clear enough handle on the sound to push the guys further up the list, and that hurts. With songs like “Mustang Island” and “Tropical Depression” – both of which I have experienced (ask me sometime about surfing a tropical storm at the SPI Jetties and almost getting arrested) – you know I am a geek for Wrinkle Neck Mules, and probably always will be. I don’t want to linger too long on this because it will only make me push this one higher and have to rewrite my TOP FIVE.


It’s almost as if Jason Isbell’s new release, “Something More Than Free” (my new credo at TFC), has a bit of a sophomore jinx expectation. That is not the case. It’s neither sophomoric nor jinxed. Isbell can write his way through anything, and that’s exactly what he does here. To say I nailed his “ Southeastern” release a couple of years ago as “a new classic” was backed up by this release debuting at NUMBER ONE on three different charts. Pat myself on the bony back. I was talking to someone about him the other day, “It seems like he took many years to write and create “Southeastern,” and now he had to followup quickly.” That’s absolutely expected in this day and age, but I would like him to come back to this in a few years and reinterpret this one … let it age a bit, like a fine wine. If I converted you to Jason Isbell, go ahead and add this one to your collection! You will never regret it. Want a good cry? Try really listening to track

END NOTE 2015 – Tune back in on Saturday for the Top Five of 2015. Tomorrow, it’s the second part of the monologue on Lefty Kreh’s Kreh cast, and the coda DVD that just came out a few weeks ago. If you think I am biased, wait until you read the rest of the story! Here’s to you and yours  – HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE NEW YEAR! I can’t tell you how happy I am to see this one go.

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Category: Culture on the Skids, Music

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