Folk-pop singer-songwriter Erin McKeown, who's about to release another fine CD (Sing You Sinners) in early 2007, picks her favorite music of 2006 — listed in no particular order.
Sean Hayes, Big Black Hole and the Little Baby Star
Never the same thing twice, an old friend makes his masterpiece.
Tortoise & Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, The Brave and the Bold
A covers record that blows other covers records out of the water in terms of song choice and creative interpretation.
Bob Dylan, Modern Times
Dylan makes a record for the Dylan skeptic. Sink into the long forms, the repetition, the sly humor.
Old Crow Medicine Show, Big Iron World
A bright and sharp racecar of a record that leaves straw burning in its wake.
Todd Sickafoose Group, Blood Orange
A record of both whimsy and haunting… your re-entry to planet earth with trombones.
Sarah Harmer, I Am a Mountain
A rock-solid source of beautiful melodies, delicate wooden instruments, and songs with hidden teeth.
The Decemberists, The Crane Wife
Producers Tucker Martine and Chris Walla combine for a whole new take on The Decemberists' sound.
Kris Delmhorst, Strange Conversation
New and vibrant readings of old and vibrant poems from the likes of Whitman, Rumi, Virgil and Eliot.
Juana Molina, Son
It seems as if Molina met Missy Elliott and Al Green. Deeper and groovier — and, even though it's unclear what she's singing about, sexier.
Kaki King, Until We Felt Red
A guitarist finds that six strings aren't enough to say everything she needs to, so she expands her palette to get her point across.