Year-end lists are so ridiculous that they’re irresistible. Here’s one man’s picks for the top albums of 2016 by artists with ties to Colorado, in no particular order.
John McEuen, Made in Brooklyn
A founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (CMHOF class of 2014), string wizard McEuen has assembled an ensemble of musical masters—David Bromberg, John Cowan, John Carter Cash, Steve Martin, David Amram and many more—to ramble through various forms of American roots music. And the spatial quality of this acoustic sound—the friends circled before one binaural microphone at an old church and recorded live—is amazing.
Bill Frisell, When You Wish Upon a Star
The versatile and inventive guitarist interprets the classic television and film themes (“Bonanza,” “You Only Live Twice” with Petra Haden on vocals) that gave him fond memories as a kid growing up in Denver.
Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, The Commandments According to SCAC
SCAC are the masters of the alt-country “Gothic Americana” style unique to the Denver scene, and the band’s sixth studio release is balanced with a subtle undercurrent of hope and fun.
Magic Music, Magic Music
Dubbed Colorado’s first “jam band,” Magic Music became popular from 1970-1976 but never recorded an album… until this year. Glistening production by Tim Goodman enhances the blissed-out songs.
The Lumineers, Cleopatra
Four years since their fast rise to fame, the Denver-based band came back with a sophomore album that prizes the polished songwriting of Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites more than the foot-stomping folk-pop of “Ho Hey.”
CMHOF Executive Director