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As is my end of year wont, I did a parsing of the music that had spoken to me this past 12 months.  Last year I did a top 15 list, this year I thought I would take a different tack.  This list of 10 albums are my favorites that didn’t quite make the cut.  I like all of them a lot and they are here because I could not bring myself to discard them from the list.  For this list I am only listing and linking, I will do a more expansive post on the top 8 that should be posted later this month.

In alphabetical order, these are 10 albums  that I really enjoyed this past year.  (keep in mind that most artists let you stream music from their home page)

Adam Carroll, Hard Times.  This Texas singer songwriter returns with another great album.  Nobody sings such plaintive originals as this Texas troubadour.

Casey Neill, Goodbye to the Rank and File. Portland’s finest folk artist returns with another stellar release.

Hank Williams III, Rebel Within.  There is little doubt that this young man is carrying the ghost of his grandfather with him , this album is pure unadulterated honky tonk.

Johnny Cash, American VI Ain’t No Grave.  The only dead guy to make the cut.  If you enjoyed the rest of the AR series, then you will enjoy this one.

Justin Townes Earle, Harlem River Blues.  JT made last year’s list and another release brings him into this year’s list.  This youngster has a bright path before him.

The Sadies, Darker Circles.  It is hard to believe this is their 13th album, it sounds so fresh.

Shooter Jennings, Black Ribbons.  A great concept album, made with Stephen King.  A welcome departure from Jennings’ usual Southern Romp Rock.

The Steeldrivers, Reckless.  The sophomore release from this roots country band, well worth a listen.

US Rails, US Rails.  The only debut album on this list, here is hoping for many more from these  performers. I won’t hold the fact that their domain redirects to MySpace, but I won’t link to it either.

Various, Twistable, Turnable Man: Tribute to Shel Silverstein.  Big names, great songs, the lack of feeling drags this album down, still worth a listen.

These 10 albums from 2010 shows that independent music is still some of the best stuff out there.  Coming soon, maybe as early as this weekend, maybe after Thanksgiving, I will post more expansively on my favorite 8 albums released during this past year.

Here are The Sadies performing postcards…

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