Artist Picks: Favorite Albums of 2012

Last week we unveiled the Top 20 Albums of 2012 as voted on by Blues Rock Review. Now it’s time for the artists to make their selections. Some of blues rock’s finest submitted picks for their favorite albums of 2012.

Tyler Bryant (Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown): Pick – Aerosmith, Music From Another Dimension!

“I really dig Music From Another Dimension! – Aerosmith’s new record. I love that those guys are still writing killer songs and pushing the limits of rock and roll.” – Tyler Bryant

*Make sure to check out the new single from Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown, “Last One Leaving,” off their upcoming album, Wild Child, due out January 22.*

Davy Knowles: Pick – Bruce Springsteen, Wrecking Ball

“The Boss has been around a long time now.  Hell,  he’s practically an institution.  But the reason I have selected his latest album Wrecking Ball as my favourite of 2012 is simple;  he’s still an artist. To me,  Wrecking Ball shows that Bruce still has a voice,  and one that is as relevant as ever.  I’ve always been enthralled with the way Springsteen really becomes the characters in his songs,  whether he is the ‘Jack of all trades’ (in the song of the same name), doing whatever he can to make ends meet and see his family through hard times,  or whether he is one of the boys singing of the changing times in the Civil War-meets-Sea-Shanty ‘Death To My Hometown’ – you believe him.  It really doesn’t hurt having the truly magnificent E-Street Band behind you either! It’s this authenticity, the passion and fire in Springsteens songs and voice, that makes this album my favourite of 2012.” – Davy Knowles

Lance Lopez: Pick – ZZ Top, La Futura

“I was so happy to finally see this project come to light. I remember sitting on Billy Gibbons’ Tour Bus when we were touring with ZZ TOP in Europe in 2008 and listening to lots of demos and pre-production with him. He was asking me what I thought about the tracks and what I heard blew me away! I knew that in working with Rick Rubin, ZZ TOP were going back into the studio and playing live together as a trio, without a lot of sequencers and drum machines, which Billy is a genius at programming. It was nice to hear them just plug in and play. They worked on this project for so long, the anticipation for it to come out was killing me because I knew from what Billy had already played for me how great it was going to be. From the lowdown H-Town Hood anthem “I Gotsta Get Paid” to the bumping roadhouse shuffle of “Chartreuse,” La Futura is what the Lil’ Ole Band from Texas is all about in the 21st Century! So get you some ice cold beer, some tacos, chips & guacamole, sit down and put your arm around your favorite girl and put on La Futura and get down with it!” – Lance Lopez

Simon McBride: Pick – Rival Sons, Head Down

“My pick is Head Down by Rival Sons. It has a cool retro-meets-today vibe and Jay, the singer, is a monster, a modern-day Robert Plant. I’m hoping to be able to see them sometime.” – Simon McBride

Ryan McGarvey: Pick – Philip Sayce, Steamroller

“I would say one of my favorite albums from 2012 was Philip Sayce’s Steamroller record. It really gets some of the most play on my iTunes. I think he’s one of the few that always delivers strong- his very signature, and powerful sound. He has a strong work ethic, and I think Steamroller really proves that he just keeps moving forward, as opposed to being lost in an abyss of great guitarists and songwriters” – Ryan McGarvey

Virgil McMahon (Virgil and the Accelerators): Pick – Joanne Shaw Taylor, Almost Always Never

“I’ve gotta say, hands down, Joanne Shaw Taylor’s new album Almost Always Never is my favourite. The reason being is that I really like the new direction she’s taking, still keeping the blues very much within the rock vain. It’s ballsy and shows a different side to her as a singer, songwriter and guitarist. Really her strongest work to date and an awesome album to play LOUD !!!” – Virgil McMahon

Dan Patlansky: Pick – Philip Sayce, Steamroller

“My album pick for 2012 is without a doubt Philip Sayce’s SteamrollerSteamroller is my favorite Philip release since Peace Machine, followed shortly behind with Ruby Electric. For me, Steamroller is exactly the way one should hear Philip’s music, raw, powerful, and unforgiving. I love the way this album comes across, it sounds like a band went into a studio, cranked everything up to 11 and just sodomized their instruments. Philip’s guitar tones captured on this recording are incredible, it’s like melted chocolate mixed with liquid silver added to a box of .44 Magnum cartridges. It delivers a firm kick to ones gentleman’s region every time you play it!” – Dan Patlansky

Philip Sayce: Pick – Rival Sons, Head Down

“My top pick goes to Rival Sons and their great album Head Down. I think it’s an honest, kick ass, soulful, real, and beautiful album, filled with outstanding songs and performances by one of the best rock n roll bands in the world today. Amazing talent, sounds, production, writing, and all around musicianship… Rival Sons have got it goin on!” – Philip Sayce

Aaron Williams (Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo): Pick – Gary Clark Jr., Blak and Blu

“2012 was a great year for the blues world and it starts for me with one name, one album; Gary Clark Jr.’s Blak and Blu. It’s what the blues world could be and in my opinion what the blues world has been waiting for. A mix of varying takes on blues standards and pushing the envelope just enough to scare the purist into saying “this ain’t the real deal.” Well, this is the real deal, this is music that was born in the clubs working blues bands play in everyday. This is the blues for the next generation and also the album that will attract many new music fans to the blues that never knew they liked it all along. Gary Clark Jr.’s playing and songwriting on this album is spectacular, it’s also the slick producing that Warner Bros. brought in to make a blues album for the masses. A perfect mix of authenticity and modern production make this album not to be missed. Gary has always said “blues doesn’t need to be discovered, it just needs some recognition” and this album is exactly the answer. Thank you, Gary Clark Jr. and Warner Brothers for making one hell of an album.” – Aaron Williams

2 thoughts on “Artist Picks: Favorite Albums of 2012

  • December 11, 2012 at 12:04 pm


  • December 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Gary Clark Jr. has a some good tunes! Don’t Owe You a Thang, Aint’ Messin Round and Bright Light are my favorites.


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