When the time for “Best Songs of [Whatever Year It Happens to Be]” lists rolls around, I’m always struck by the presence of so many divergent opinions on music, even among professional critics paid – one supposes, anyway – to look for similar qualities in a song. In fact, I’ve long had a nagging suspicion that you could probably make a credible list by simply setting the whole year on ‘shuffle’ and writing down whatever pops up. Which, for the purposes of this exercise, is exactly what I’ve done.
In the case of my own 2011 collection, that means more than 2,800 songs representing 250 or so albums, all rumbling around and jostling for position like lotto balls.
It’s not the list I chose, but you know what? It’s not the worst “Best Songs of 2011” list I’ve seen, either. If it were a radio show, I wouldn’t change the station.
Some of the entries are a bit obscure. Just for giggles, how many of the artists/songs are you familiar with?
1. Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward – Atlantic City
2. Donna Ulisse – Black Snake
3. The Kentucky Headhunters – Roll On Little Pretty
4. Willie Nelson – Sixteen Tons
5. Mark W. Lennon – Cold Mountain Steel
6. Robb Strandlund – Loma Linda
7. The Greencards – Tale of Kangario (Reprise)
8. Emma Hill and Her Gentlemen Callers – Gold Stars All Around
9. Jeremy Steding – My Best Tequila (Until Then)
10. Webb Dalton – Love to Ride
11. Willie Nelson – Ramblin’ Fever
12. Angela Easterling – Manifest Destiny
13. Victoria George – Two of Us
14. Kris Gordon – How You Lose a Woman
15. Susan Gibson – Evergreen
16. Ashton Shepherd – Look It Up
17. Sunny Sweeney – Amy
18. Marc Broussard – Yes Man
19. Tony Lucca – Dirt Floor
20. Dave Alvin – Two Lucky Bums