Dave's Faves 2003

1. Primogenio (Beginnings) – Rubén Blades / Mundo

This is my favorite recording of the year. It's an amazing blend of musical styles, all with the Latin rhythms underneath.

2. Cool N' Out – Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros / Global a Go-Go

Last December, Doug A. sent me a CD with cuts from a couple of Joe Strummer's recordings. Shortly after that, Joe died. This is great stuff, which kind of reminds me of Big Audio Dynamite, Mick Jones' post-Clash band.

3. Still Alive – Joe Jackson / Volume 4

Joe reunited with his band from "Look Sharp!" and "I'm the Man" recorded this CD. It's got a lot of the same energy from the earlier recordings. This one is kind of Beatle-esque.

4. Hey Baby – No Doubt / Rock Steady

I gave this CD to Tony for Christmas last year, but he didn't really take to it, so I took it. (I bought him a White Stripes CD in exchange). I saw No Doubt last year on a couple of TV things, and I thought they were a lot of fun. I like this ska meets surf punk sound.

5. A Thousand Miles – Vanessa Carlton / Be Not Nobody

Yeah, I know it's pop fluff, but I love the piano hook. If I ever make a CD of Dave's Perfect Pop Songs, this will be on it. If you think that this song is out of character, you haven't been paying attention.

6. What's New – Boz Scaggs / But Beautiful . . .

Boz put together this recording of standards with a terrific quartet. He's the guy you want singing these songs

7. Gotta Be Better – Shelby Lynne / Identity Crisis

This CD goes back to more simple arrangements of "This is Shelby Lynne". Whoever the lover was that she was singing about on "Love, Shelby" must have dumped her hard, because the dark view of the world is back.

8. Circle Back – John Hiatt & the Goners / Beneath This Gruff Exterior

John Hiatt was the last concert of a terrific Zoo series this year that Diane and I caught. The band included the incredible Sonny Landreth. This song is about taking his daughter off to college.

9. Broke and Hungry – Junior Wells with Billy Branch / Crucial Harmonica Blues

This is from a series of compilations from Alligator records that I got off of their website for $7 each. There's also Crucial Guitar and Chicago blues. Fun Houserockin' stuff.

10. John the Revelator – John Mellencamp / Trouble No More

This is a set of old blues and folk tunes that he recorded with his band. This song is an old tune that was featured in the "Blues" series by Martin Scorcese on PBS.

11. Lil Jack Slade – Dixie Chicks / Home

This is the kind of hoe-down music that impressed me about the Chicks when I saw them live. Besides, it's my patriotic duty to include the Dixie Chicks on Dave's Faves.

12. Bochinches (Gossip) – Rubén Blades / Mundo

The music on this CD is truly world music. Usually that means music from places that aren't the West. But this recording blends styles from all over the world - South America, Ireland, Africa, India, the Middle East. There's even a terrific rendition of "Danny Boy" with those traditional Irish instruments - tin whistle, timbales and congas.

13. Come – Fleetwood Mac / Say You Will

Diane and I caught their show last summer, and Lindsey Buckingham blew the crowd away with his guitar heroics on this song. The CD has been trashed by critics, and it is 4 or 5 songs too long, and suffers from the absence of Christine McVie, but there's still some great stuff on it. And they're fabulous in concert. (Stevie Nicks is still an Arena Rock Queen at 55)

14. Hypnotise – White Stripes / Elephant

There's been a lot of hype about this band and others like them (the Vines, the Strokes, etc.), but this sounded good in a test listen at the store. It's really good basic rock and roll. It also has the distinction of being the first CD that Tony borrowed from me (I burned him a copy).

15. One More Time – Joe Jackson / Volume 4

This begins 3 live cuts that round out Dave's Faves 2003. John M. and I caught Joe at First Avenue last March, and it was the best show of the year. Joe was in fine form, and his band was terrific. It was great fun to see a bunch of baby boomers jumping to "Got the Time". This cut is pretty much what they sounded like.

16. Everlasting Now – Prince / One Night Alone

Prince delivers the funk. This cut really shows off his band of fabulous players. This is a recording, like many recent Prince recordings, that grows on you with repeated listenings.

17. Magnificent Seven – The Clash / From Here To Eternity

The only band that matters.