Chaos Theory: A 2011 Playlist

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

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  1. says

    Interesting concept. Here’s what I came up with using the same method:

    1. Sunny Sweeney – Staying’s Worse Than Leaving
    2. The Baseball Project – Panda and the Freak
    3. Micky & The Motorcars – Never Been Out West
    4. Lori McKenna – Still Down Here
    5. Hugh Laurie – John Henry
    6. The Apache Relay – American Nomad
    7. Montgomery Gentry – Rebels on the Run
    8. Ashton Shepherd – That All Leads to One Thing
    9. Whitney Duncan – Young in America
    10. Eli Young Band – Recover
    11. The Dirt Drifters – Married Men and Motel Rooms
    12. Sherrie Austin – Bad For Me
    13. Chris Isaak – Oh Pretty Woman
    14. Tom Russell – Furious Love
    15. Craig Campbell – Makes You Wanna Sang
    16. Brian Wilson – Peace on Earth
    17. Miranda Lambert – Over You
    18. LeAnn Rimes – When I Call Your Name
    19. Suzy Bogguss – Froggy Went A-Courtin’
    20. Gene Watson & Rhonda Vincent – Making Everything Perfect Tonight

  2. says

    My 2011 shuffle:
    1. Jeff Bates – If You Could See Me Now
    2. Trace Adkins – Proud To Be Here
    3. Jason Boland & The Stragglers – Forever Together Again
    4. Jim Lauderdale – Tiger And The Monkey
    5. George Strait – Three Nails And A Cross
    6. Gibson Brothers – He Can Be Found
    7. Justin Haigh – People Like Me
    8. The Roys – Right Back At You
    9. David Serby – Watch Over Her Baby
    10. Gene Watson and Rhonda Vincent – Alone Together Tonight
    11. Pistol Annies – Trailer For Rent
    12. Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice – The Devil’s Old White Well
    13. Weldon Henson – Loserville
    14. Jon Dee Graham – Jack Of Diamonds
    15. Gibson Brotehrs – One Car Funeral
    16. Ronnie Dunn – How Far To Waco
    17. W C Edgar – Man in the Backseat
    18. Sunny Sweeney – Mean as You
    19. Sunny Sweeney – It Wrecks Me
    20. LeAnn Rimes – Rose Colored Glasses


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