With 2022 now in the rearview, we asked some of our dedicated music show hosts about some of their favorite albums and songs that were released over the course of the year, or music they discovered in 2022 that made an impact on them. Here are their choices:
DAVE TERSTEEG AKA DJ DISCO DAVE
Top single: Amy Shark – Only Wanna Be With You. A banger from down under. Shark attack.
Top EP: Boris Brejcha – Up Down Jumper. A must whilst snowboarding and sailing big waves on Superior. Even if you crash out, the beat continues.
Top album: Paul Oakenfold – Shine On. When you own the House after paying 30 years of service fees. This guy.
Boomer Jam, Monday Night Mix
Here are three of my favorite songs released in 2022:
Back Seat Betty: Miles Davis
Blue Bossa: Jazz Lounge Zone
Made Up Mind: Bonnie Raitt
Boomer Jam, All Around the Beatles, Musical Chairs
Paul McCartney: Kisses On The Bottom. 12 standards plus two written by Paul. The album came out in 2012. He does a great job at covering songs from the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s.
Mona Lisa Twins: Mona and Lisa Wagner are 28-year-old Austrian twins who do incredible covers of The Beatles as well as other ’60s performers. They spent a long residence at The Cavern Club in Liverpool.
Fanny: These women may have been the first completely female rock band when they started in the early ’70s. They are very good at performing rock ‘n’ roll. Founders June and Joan Millington put out a new album in the past year or so that shows they still can rock.
The Beatles – Revolver remaster: Nothing further needs to be said.
Unless there are remasters that came out in 2022, or new releases by ’60s performers, I don’t think I bought any new albums in 2022.
Classic Country, Women in Music, Polka Time, Night Graze, Tuesday Classics, Thirsty Boots, Musical Chairs
“Musical Moments for Cello and Marimba”
Retiring cellist of the Minnesota Orchestra, Sachiya Isomura and his daughter, Era Isomura (marimba) put out a CD of jazz infused, highly original interpretations of short pieces from Bach to a Tango by Albeniz! Brilliant recording, great variety. (’21 Era Isomura)
Sierra Ferrell: “Long Time Coming”
Fiinally! an album by a super talented multi-faceted singer from Charleston, WV with brilliant, spare arrangements of all of the above + Latin. My absolute number one pick, Hear her on my Night Graze, Country and Musical Chairs shows.
Leyla McCalla: “Breaking the Thermometer” Dynamic accompaniment on banjo and cello by Leyla herself + power voice and convictions, in Creole and English. Listen and listen and never grow tired of hearing; she brings in other young contemporary women to create a powerfully unique album. (’22 Anti-)
The Cactus Blossoms: “One Day”
Jack Torrey and Page Burkum (MN claim to fame, long nationally known, just keep getting better and better. (“22 Walkie Talkie)
Taj Mahal/Ry Cooder: “Get On Board”
Finally they’re together again, long wait from their great 1964 gathering: “Rising Sons”, lots of grit, no a lot of polish, just right: Americana BLUES! (in the legacy of Sonny Terry/Brownie McGhee) (’22 Nonesuch)
…Surprise, Will; I love her. Hip Hop R&B….so out of my range I don’t know how to categorize her, but she’s great! Got turned on at a record store, then shamed that I didn’t know her! Also, her contribution to a 2CD portrayal of the life of Imelda Marcos, produced by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim: “Here Lies Love” She sang: “Please Don’t” and everyone should hear it! (’22 Little Jerk)
Sturgill Simpson: “Ballad of Good & Juanita”
For all who like country music done right, and sparingly…and it doesn’t have to be old! (’21 Hightop)
Charley Crockett: “Music City USA”
Another wonderful, just right (spare) new country album, oh, and his “The Man From Waco” (’22 Son of Davy)
Colter Wall: “Western swing and Waltzes”
He completes the triumvirate of great new country artists who fit perfectly on WTIP’s Classic Country show, or any show (Except Tuesday Classics and Women in Music) for that matter. And he has a new ’22 EP so far only on vinyl: “Imaginary Appalachia”! (’20 LaHonda/Thirty Tigers)
Jackson Browne: ‘Downhill From Everywhere”
But no way Jackson going downhill! He’s every bit of his pop songwriter form the ’70s self! (’21 Inside)
Sprig of That: “Eight Threads”
MN trio: Krissy Bergmark, tabla; Ilan Black, ac. guitar; Isabel Dammann, violin, vocal on one track. Original compositions, blend of East/West, brilliant musicians.(’21 Self produced)
“Summer of Soul (A Questlove Jawn, or, when the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” R&B
Soul and Blues culled from a brilliant film of The Summer of Soul Harlem Cultural Festival, in Morris Park, Harlem, August 1969…yes, Boomer all, taking place at the same time as Woodstock, but sadly little known out of the neighborhood or by white America.The 16 tracks are magnificent, by diverse Black artists from B.B. King to Nina Simone…my only disappointment with the CD is that it omitted some songs from the film, but it’s a brilliant time capsule from the summer of ’69! (’22 Legacy)
DR. OZ E
Musical Chairs, 12/12 Pitch, Monday Night Mix, Saturday Night Mix, Boomer Jam
Dr. Oz E compiled a table of his favorite albums of the year:
|Anais Mitchell||Anais Mitchell||1|
|Erlewine, May||Tiny Beautiful Things||2|
|John Calvin Abney||Tourist||3|
|Kenny Roby||Kenny Roby||4|
|Andrew Duhon||Emerald Blue||5|
|Charlie Sutton||Trout Tales||6|
|Aiofe O’Donovan||Age of Apathy||7|
|John Moreland||Birds on the Ceiling||10|
|Bonnie Raitt||Just Like That||11|
|Bonnie Light Horseman||Rolling Golden Holy||12|
|Tiffany Williams||All Those Days of Drinking Dust||13|
|Barrett Davis||The Ballad of Aesop Finn||15|
|Jeb Loy Nichols||The United States of the Broken Hearted||17|
|Mavis Staples and Levon Helm||Carry Me Home||18|
|Chastity Brown||Sing To The Walls||19|
|Luke LeBlanc||Fugue State||20|
|Chain of Lakes||The Catch Album||21|
|Tedeski Trucks Band||I Am The Moon||22|
|Keb Mo||Good To Be…||23|
|Zach Bryan||American Heartbreak plus Summertime Blues||24|
|Hawktail||Place of Growth||25|
|Ondara||Spanish Visitor #3||26|
|Buddy Guy||The Blues Don’t Lie||27|
|Kenny Neal||Straight From The Heart||28|
|Joan Shelley||The Spur||29|
|California Honeydrops||Soft Spot||30|
Honorable Mention – alphabetical
Bastards of Soul – Corners
Brothers Comatose – Turning Up The Ground
Calexico – El Mirador
Charley Crockett – The Man From Waco
Madison Cunningham – Revealer
Dead Horses- Brady Street
The Deslondes – Ways & Means
Dustbowl Revival – Set Me Free
Kathleen Edwards – Dogs and Alcohol
Effie Zilch – Trinity Vol 1 and 2
Joe Ely – Flatland Lullaby
Drayton Farley – Walk Home
Whitney Fenimore – Leaving Ashwood
Lee Fields – Sentimental Fool
Good Morning Bedlam – Lulu
Hackensaw Boys – Hackensaw Boys
Jimmy Hall – Ready Now
Ben Harper – Bloodline Maintenance
Derek Hoke – Electric Mountain
James Holvay – This Girl
Jesper Lindell – Twilights
Lone Bellow – Love Songs For Losers
Delbert McClinton – Outdated Emotion
Jamie McDell – Jamie McDell
Allison Moorer – Wish You Were Here
Motel Radio – The Garden
Marcus Mumford – (self-titled)
Willie Nelson – A Beautiful Time
Sara Niemietz – Superman
North Mississippi All-Stars – Set Sail
Plains – I Walked With You A Ways
Punch Brothers – Hell on Church Street
Jack Schneider – Best Be On My Way
The Slocan Ramblers – Up The Hill And Through The Fog
Darden Smith – Western Skies
Sophie & The Broken Things – Delusions of Grandeur
Mike Stevens – Breathe in the World, Breathe Out the Music
Will Stewart – Slow Life
The Suffers – It Starts With Love
Trampled By Turtles – Alpen Glow
Various Artists – A Guide to the Birds of Western Africa
Wilco – Cruel Country
Sidetracks, Scenic Route
Muna – Self-titled
When I saw their show at Austin City Limits this year, Muna’s lead singer Katie Gavin looked out at the sea of people surrounding their mid-size stage and gave a heartfelt thanks to their supporters. She said that as a band with only 3 albums out, the sheer rarity of already drawing massive crowds that shout the words of every song back at them is not lost on them, and she’s right. It is a specialness that this band exudes in every note, an aura of everything clicking and coming together in a way that so very few acts ever achieve, and they’re only getting started, ready to open for Taylor Swift next year. Their second album this year is an instant classic, easily my favorite of 2022.
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Omnium Gatherum
As much as I would have liked to put on this list all 4 of the records Australian rockers King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard came out with this year, their one from this summer, Omnium Gatherum, is far and away the best of the lot and one of their best releases, period. Spanning psych rock to jam rock to black metal to Beastie Boys inspired hip hop and Santana-cloned guitar, it’s a gigantic outing that lays out a smorgasbord of headbanging rockers and not once does anything feel out of place. The goofiness embedded in the shredding is the key to the appeal.
Sampa the Great – As Below, So Above
Zambian-Australian rapper Sampa The Great may have skyrocketed into my list of favorite hip hop artists this year with her distinctively high pitched voice and razor sharp flow that sinks every word like darts bullseyed into your ears. All attack, no release, and no apologies. Her album As Above So Below isn’t just a record asking not to be underestimated, it’s one that eviscerates bigots and haters while setting her own culture and accomplishments as paramount above all. Extreme confidence that is backed up and then some on every track.
Hatchie – Giving the World Away
Yet another Australian on this list, Hatchie came out of the gate blowing the doors off of the, well, gate, with the album Giving the World Away, her first full length. A genre defying album full of songs with more layers than an onion, all of which unearth lost tones and sounds from Y2K era pop music. Her sound at once breathes life back into the now defunct hope that came with a new millennium, and the aggressive edge that dominated the alternative culture at the time.
Big Thief – Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You
Who ever said more isn’t better? The 20 track album with a mouthful title, Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You from Big Thief is a record that even 6 months later I’m still mining for good songs, finding hidden gems in every nook and cranny like some sort of musical prospector. A sprawling epic that is so much more than just indie folk, there are moments on this album that sound haunting, unsettling, dystopian even, and yet also there’s a song about becoming a potato. That kind of range is what makes this record the definition of a magnum opus for Big Thief.
Danielle Ponder – Some of Us Are Brave
If the Grammys do not at least nominate Danielle Ponder for best new artist year then the award show will lose any remaining relevance it had in my eyes. Ponder has one of the biggest and emotive voices I’ve heard in years, and her backstory as a longtime public defender turned nationally touring musician inspired by the injustices she’s seen in our legal system is every bit as powerful as her voice. Some of Us Are Brave, her debut full length, is absolutely required listening for the year 2022.
Lizzie McAlpine – Five Seconds Flat
Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, Billie Eilish, there’s a huge trend in music right now of solo women artists writing some of the most heart-wrenching, bravely candid and almost deliberately too close to home songs you can think of, and it’s all sublime. Lizzie McAlpine can be added to that list, with the stellar record Five Seconds Flat that takes that style of music and puts both danceable beats over the intimate revelations. The song “Reckless Driver” has maybe the most powerful ending to a song I’ve EVER heard. Like…ever.
DOMI & JD Beck – NOT TIGHT.
What do you get if you put two young musical prodigies in a studio together with a lineup of the funkiest musicians to ever live? You Get DoMI and JD Beck’s debut album NOT TIGHT, which features everyone from Herbie Hancock to Thundercat to Snoop. One of my only regrets this year programming wise is not being able to play more of this record for you, as some of the more not-safe-for-air songs are the best parts of the album, with even more ludicrously fast runs and solos that will have your head spinning and jaw dropping.
Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway – Crooked Tree
When Molly Tuttle finally combined forces with co-best-bluegrass-guitarist-alive Billy Strings on a lead single about a farmer of a certain THC- bearing plant, I knew the following album would be something special, and that turned out to be even truer than I imagined. Molly came out with her best album yet that explored both a far more personal style of her own songwriting and a darker style of traditional storytelling through song, all with an all star cast and slick new band behind her.
Ibibio Sound Machine – Electricity
Ibibio Sounds Machine’s album Electricity was one of my first loves of the year in terms of music. The commanding bilingual voice of Eno Williams leading the charge against unbelievably danceable rhythms, bombastic synths and killer brass all swirled together into a sound so pitch perfect, it gave me such a thirst for more of this kind of music it subconsciously dictated all my musical choices for the rest of the year. They made one of the best songs of 2022 with just ONE CHORD. Instantly memorable.
Lil Silva – Yesterday is Heavy
Kendrick Lamar – Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers
Kennebec – Without Star or Compass
The Black Angels – Wilderness of Mirrors
Dana Buoy – Experiments in Plant Based Music Vol 1
Andrew Prahlow – Echoes of the Eye: The Lost Reels