2011 Albums Of The Year

Our favourite new records that we heard this year…

DoloreanThe Unfazed

From first hearing it back in February, it was always pretty obvious it would take something special to top this. Indeed it had to be special itself to follow up their previous effort You Can’t Win. Nothing better came. Album of the year hands down. Country Clutter would probably take track of the year too.


Case HardinEvery Dirty Mirror

The long awaited second full album from Case Hardin didn’t disappoint. UK Americana at it’s finest. Having been used to hearing the live acoustic version of A Lullaby (…Of Sorts), the rocked up full band version took some getting used to but makes for one of the standout tracks alongside Are Those Really The Miles? and the glorious Champeen.


Richmond FontaineThe High Country

Becoming almost as well known for his novels a the songs of Richmond Fontaine, Willy Vlautin’s musical and literary work met somewhere in the middle for this near concept album. A complete story across 17 tracks that would break the hardest of hearts.


Amanda ShiresCarrying Lightning

Expect to hear a lot more of Amanda in the UK next year, she’ll be touring this record in April. As we said in Essential Listening back in September “The voice may be sweet, but the lyrics are sharp, bringing old time well and truly into the modern World.”


James WalbourneThe Hill

Debut albums don’t come much better than this. After several years playing guitar for various artists, James finally brought his own voice to the forefront. An EP Drugs & Money followed, expect to hear more in 2012.


Rod Picott Welding Burns

An album for our times. Themes of loss and work, often loss of work. Tales of the everyman and their scars and broken hearts, the ones who keep the big wheels turning until the system or their doesn’t want them anymore. Or both.


Chuck RaganCovering Ground

Our biggest live disappointment of the year was not getting to catch The Revival Tour. Thankfully after being introduced to Chuck Ragan via previous album Gold Country we got to hear this. More proof that punks gone country are making the best ‘roots’ records.


Liam DullaghanMaking History

2011 saw this beautiful album finally see the light of day after almost three years in the making. It’s been worth the wait. Hopefully the next one won’t take quite as long.


The Felice BrothersCelebration, Florida

From the fabulous opener of Fire At The Pageant it was clear The Felice Brothers weren’t resting on any laurels and there was no fear of experimenting with new sounds here. Recorded in an abandoned high school, the album is as packed with atmosphere as it is with quality songs.

Stiv CantarelliInnerstate

We said pretty much everything we could about this album when we reviewed it back here, except to say it’s stood up to repeated listening since. Take a listen for yourself:


About TheWagonMaster

Born in Pontefract. Grew up in Doncaster. Lives in Sheffield. Puts on gigs. Tries to be good.


2 thoughts on “2011 Albums Of The Year

  1. I’ve been searching around other blogs to see if Dolorean is popular with other music fans, and I’m glad to see them show up occasionally. I accidentally ran into them through NPR’s All Songs Considered, and I couldn’t believe that they weren’t getting more attention. They have such a strong sound on The Unfazed; it’s a shame they didn’t show up on more year-end lists. Thanks for the read, and I’m enjoying the rest of your blog too!

    Posted by Matt | February 20, 2012, 1:11 am
    • It was my favourite album of the year by a mile. Though having since heard the Dawes record i reckon that might have given it some competition.

      Similarly baffled they didn’t make more lists like you say. Nice name for your music blog! Will be checking out the new one too.

      Posted by TheWagonMaster | February 20, 2012, 10:48 am

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