Published Dec 26, 2008To tide us over while we indulge in the holiday spirit gorging on stuffing and egg nog, we asked a bunch of our contributors to tell us their thoughts on 2008, as well as their favourite records that helped make it a memorable year. Jason Schneider chose to vent about how Fleet Foxes and Okkervil River should have been classified as Wood, Wires & Whiskey material:
As you'll notice, Fleet Foxes' self-titled debut was voted the best Pop Rock album of the year. However, I was one of the lone voices lobbying for it to be in the Wood, Wires & Whiskey section, ultimately to no avail. My reasoning seemed obvious: the album is one of the most accomplished acoustic-based recordings in recent memory, evoking all the magic and mystery that have made traditional folk music timeless while at the same time sounding utterly contemporary. You can judge for yourself and perhaps consider that argument when you're filling out our Reader's Poll ballot. The same should probably go for Okkervil River.
As for the rest of my list, I feel it reflects what a particularly strong year it was for roots music, both in Canada and the U.S. While greatness is now regularly expected from most of these artists, the nice thing was that they all delivered. That company should now also include Hayes Carll, who was easily the year's best new discovery.
Wood, Wires & Whiskey Best of '08
1. Fleet Foxes Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop)
2. Gary Louris Vagabonds (Ryko)
3. Drive-By Truckers Brighter Than Creation's Dark (New West)
4. Hayes Carll Trouble In Mind (Lost Highway)
5. Hayden In Field & Town (Hardwood/Universal)
6. Kathleen Edwards Asking For Flowers (Maple)
7. NQ Arbuckle XOK (Six Shooter)
8. Okkervil River The Stand Ins (Jagjaguar)
9. Fred Eaglesmith Tinderbox (independent)
10. Jolie Holland The Living And The Dead (Anti-)