It's time to reflect on the year that was by looking back at the best concerts and the best music we saw and heard in 2014. It's impossible for one person to hear or see it all, so last year I asked other Charlotteans that work and play in music and entertainment to send in their favorite albums of the year. I for one enjoy seeing what other people are into, so I asked local artists, musicians, and writers to share their top tens again this year. I'll be running these through the New Year.
Rock Hill's Jeff Howlett, who directed the acclaimed music documentary "A Band Called Death" (which if you haven't seen, I highly recommend). You can read more about Howlett's photography work in Sunday's Arts section or online here. He'll be shooting tintype photos with Chris Morgan at the Neighborhood Theatre's New Year's Eve party Wednesday. Fans of Death will notice some familiar connections in this year's list.
Rough Francis - Maximum Soul Power
Swale - The Next Instead
Death - Death 3
Benji Hughes - Songs in the Key Of Animals
Today is the Day - Animal Mother
Il Sogno del Marinaio - Canto Secondo
Unearth - Watchers of Rule
The Roots - ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin
Off! - Wasted Years
Stranger Day - Graves
Kevin Winchester is an author, professor and musician whose work includes the short story collection "Everybody's Gotta Eat." He currently plays bass and sings with the soulful Americana combo the Flatland Tourists who just released their debut EP. He says the Top 3 albums on his list are interchangeable.
Shovels & Rope - Swimming Time
Sturgill Simpson - Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
Old Crow Medicine Show - Remedy
Balsam Range - Five
Greensky Bluegrass - If Sorrows Swim
Hurray for the Riff Raff - Small Town Heroes
Lucinda Williams - Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone
Hard Working Americans - First Waltz
John Cowan - Sixty
The Loudermilks - The Loudermilks