Here are my Top 20 artists/bands of 2012 (plus another 30 in no particular order because they deserve some love too). This is all based on my personal tastes (or lack thereof…depends on how one looks at it I suppose). To make the list the artist/band had to have released an LP or an EP in 2012.
1. Kellie Pickler – This was pretty much a no-brainer for me. 100 Proof is one of the most “country” records made this year by a popular musician, which is of course why country radio shunned it and her record label dropped her. Totally makes sense.
2. Tristan Prettyman – Tristan’s the reason Kellie was a “pretty much a no-brainer at No. 1.” I got to see her twice this year and she put out one of the finest break-up albums ever (which y’all know I’m a sucker for).
3. Grace Potter & the Nocturnals – Two years ago Grace Potter & the Nocturnals were my No. 1. This year, they clock in at No. 3. No shame in that.
4. Kat Parsons – Stunning indie pop. This is the music to brighten up any day.
5. The Lumineers – Last year my “new” obsession was Civil Wars and Secret Sisters. This year it’s The Lumineers.
6. Taylor Swift – Country’s biggest superstar puts out the most uncountry record possible and country radio squirms to find a track to fit their format.
7. Japandroids – This band simply rocked my 2012.
8. Gaslight Anthem – I’m in my late 30s so I’m supposed to like this band, right?
9. Green Day – Never really found out what Billy Joe Armstrong went into rehab for after the iHeartRadio concert freakout. If I had to guess it would be for thinking he was Bob Pollard. Seriously, three albums in one year?
10. Lindi Ortega – Lindi’s becoming one of my favorite go to artists.
11. Kelly Clarkson – The original American Idol put out one of the finest pop albums of the year.
12. Soul Asylum – Twenty years after seeing Soul Asylum for the first time I got to see them again (actually twice). Those old songs still sound so sweet and the new ones simply ROCK.
13. Little Big Town – A lot of people are saying Tornado is their best record. I’m not quite there yet (loved The Reason Why) but it is filled with some fantastic tunes and always awesome harmonies.
14. Lucero – Been one of my favorite bands since I first heard their cover of Jawbreaker’s Kiss the Bottle.
15. ZZ Ward – Biggest regret of the year was not seeing her perform a mile and a half away from my house.
16. Madi Diaz - I'm simply mad for Madi (I'm sure I'm the only person who's ever said that).
17. Dinosaur Jr. - It's like 1990 all over again. But greyer.
18. Tift Merritt - Something tells me I'm going to wish this was in my Top 5 when I revisit this list next year.
19. Bob Mould - Bob rediscovers the rock.
20. Rhonda Vincent - Rhonda always brings the bluegrass goodness.
And now here’s 30 other artists that got me grooving this year (in no particular order).
The Spring Standards
First Aid Kit
Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson
Justin Townes Earle
Lana Del Rey
Sixpence None the Richer
Trampled By Turtles
Of Monsters and Men
Coheed and Cambria
Every Time I Die