Tahoe Onstage readers pick Top 10 albums of 2017

Listen up. Here are the Tahoe Onstage readers’ picks for the best albums of 2017.

10 – Comanche Moon, “Derailed”

Comanche Moon is Paul Kamanski, an introspective observer of the highest order. In his brilliant album “Derailed,” Kamanski leads a poignant journey reminding us that how we spend our time in life is what’s important. REVIEW

9 – The Dozens, “Test”

Any band worth its salt would kill to write and perform seven songs that comprise “Test,” the second release by The Dozens, a rock and soul band from Alabama and the Tennessee Valley. REVIEW

Dainsely

8- Dainesly, “Snatching Defeat From The Jaws of Victory”

It’s not often that an artist is able to produce a first album that is immediately classic-sounding in both musical content and production quality. But Bryan Daines, the former Dead Winter Carpenters member behind the new project Dainesly, has done just that with “Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory.” REVIEW

North Mississippi Allstars

7 – North Mississippi Allstars, “Pray for Peace”

“Prayer For Peace,” is a bombastic cry of fierce blues that is about as loud a shout to the heavens as the amps allow, with all the hope and good vibes you would want from blues brothers Cody and Luther Dickinson. REVIEW

6 – Lazer Lloyd, “Freedom’s Child”

“My goal is to unite people and I tell it like it is,” said Lazer Lloyd, whose song “Freedom’s Child” became an internet sensation after the Charlottesville white supremacists’ demonstration and murder. More than 30,000 people commented on the love song to a nation mired in inequality and racial strife. INTERVIEW

5 – Casey James, “Strip It Down”

Four days in Nashville resulted in one great play-it-over-and-over-again album. That “Strip It Down” is only Casey James’ second offering portends great things. James plays guitar with 22 years’ experience, but his licks, shadings, and structure within a song make it seem like he has twice the experience. REVIEW

Tahoe Onstage

4 – The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, “Barefoot in The Head”

“Barefoot In The Head” is The Chris Robinson’s Brotherhood’s new peak, though there are certainly more to scale with this band. The 2017 release continues to pass through CRB’s heady, wide-open landscape of redwood blues jaunts, rolling country jams and sprawling psych-folk. REVIEW

Dustbowl Revival

3 – The Dustbowl Revival, “The Dustbowl Revival”

The Dustbowl Revival set out to set themselves apart, and, as sure as the brilliant ball of a sunrise, they did. Big-boned, gangly R&B with arms a tangle of woody roots, the music and singing on their self-titled fifth album absolutely startles the senses. REVIEW

Bokante

Michael League’s new group Bokante played at High Sierra in 2017.

2 – Bokante, “Strange Circles”

This album’s palette stretches from electrified Caribbean folk to Delta blues to West African funk and has the visceral intensity of Led Zepplin at its most engaging. If you are hip to Snarky Puppy’s orchestrated rhythms then you know where Bokante is coming from and it is a very satisfying experience to have the lush sound surround you and imbed itself within your soul, engrossing you in the exotic aural world the band has constructed. REVIEW

Magpie Salute

1 – The Magpie Salute, “Salute The Magpie”

The Magpie Salute’s debut album “The Magpie Salute Salute The Magpie” is a thunderous statement that former Black Crowes members Rich Robinson, Marc Ford and Sven Pipien are ready to pick up where they left out. The album was recorded in front of a live studio audience at Applehead Recording and captures the cracking energy of this 10-piece behemoth as it starts to solidify its deep, rich rock and roll sound and discover itself. REVIEW

About Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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