So many great releases this year that I forgot to make mention of Willie Nelson's Heroes. This is Willie's most consistently good album for many years. His son, Lukas,contributes three of his own songs and vocals. His brother Micah Nelson also appears on the final track with Lukas.
Other guest include Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Billy Joe Shaver, Ray Price, Jamey Johnson, Sheryl Crow (who caught Willie's "gotta duet with everybody" disease long ago) and Snoop Dogg.
Q. Why did Willie Nelson cross the road ?
A. To do a duet with the chicken
I also forgot to mention the wonderful 2012 albums by Tom Pacheco and Ronny Elliott.
Tom's Luminol: The Houston Sessions is classic Tom Pacheco - great stories and social comment. Woodie Guthrie would have been proud to have written Tom's Solidarity.
The Girl With The Blue Guitar & The Black Beret is a little cinematic vignette.
Ronny titled his album I've Been Meaning To Write as it's been 5 years since the release of Jalopypaint. This is classic Ronny Elliot. Mojo magazine describes his music as "Craggy but literary country blues like Jerry Lee Lewis if he were a beat poet or Townes Van Zandt with a Ph.D."
I love his line "she's sleeping her way to the bottom" from the track A Doctor And A Lawyer.