So, it’s time for #5, The Top 30 ROCK albums of 2017! Only two more lists to go to get this all done!
On with the show!
30) Steve Hackett – The Night Siren
What kind of year did we have in music when one of my all time favorite guitarists comes in all the way at #30! Doing what he does best, he has created an epic record of atmospheric progressive rock with beautiful, sweeping passages that really pull you into the story of the songs.
29) Wayward Sons – Ghosts of Yet To Come
Toby Jepson is back with his band and sounding better than ever with a record full of tunes that are built for the live stage. Killer vocals, soild songwriting, and just enough ‘rough around the edges’ production to give it that authentic 70’s vibe that made bands like Thin Lizzy and T-Rex their edge.
28) Uncle Bard and The Dirty Bastards – Handmade!
Am Italian band playing Irish Folk rock and doing a damn fine job. So fine, in fact, you’d never know they were NOT Irish. For fans of bands like Dropkick Murphy’s and the likes. This is as good as it gets for this genre!
27) Honeyjack – 8 Track
with a style that may remind of .38 Special, this band has written a record that likely will be enjoyed across multiple genres. It’s the perfect blend of Southern Rock and 80’s driven AOR style rock.
26) Robert Plant – Carry Fire
As someone that has never been a huge fan of Plant’s singing, imagine my surprise when I found myself giving this multiple listens. It’s a classy mix of rock and roots music done in a way that is engaging and makes you want to hear more.
25) Barry Goudreau’s Engine Room – Full Steam Ahead
Blues rock influenced music drenched in strong vocals, it’s a record, that again, could have landed on multiple lists. I choose to put it here simply based on Barry’s past in Boston. Either way, it’s a solid as hell effort that any fan of rock music will enjoy!
24) Nick Douglas – Regenerations
Bassist for DORO comes in here with his solo CD full of tunes that covers a lot of ground, pretty far removed from what you’d expect. It’s a CD that really mixes it up with tunes that are both electric and rocky but also some that are acoustic. I’d say fans of people like Rick Springfield or Ray Wilson would love this.
23) The Glorious Sons – Young Beauties and Fools
Proper rock n roll the way it was meant to be played. Melodic, loud, and with tons of passion. One of the best bands going in rock today.
22) Mike Tramp – Maybe Tomorrow
I know people still like to ask about White Lion reforming but honestly, I like where Mike is right now and don’t miss the former at all. This is yet another record of expertly crafted songs done with Mike’s passionate voice carrying the tunes over beautifully written music. A winner on every level.
21) The Swagger Kings – Rock N Twang
Rock n roll in the tradition of Brian Setzer with some country touches for good measure, this is a band that would fill the bill nicely whether it was at a 50 ‘s style Swing show or a Honkeytonk Bar. Just a fun CD to listen to!
20) Horse Cave Trio – Dust Off The Jukebox
Detroit based band comes in here with a CD of tunes that rock along nicely covering multiple styles including Blues, Soul, Rockabilly, and Orbison style rock. I could definitely hear a few of these tunes in a Tarentino style film.
19) Don Barnes – Ride The Storm
Having finally seen the light of day after almost 30 years, I was excited to hear what people had talked about for decades. It’s a record that should perfectly please any fan of melodic rock and AOR style music.
18) Jared James Nichols – Black Magic
Nichols started out with more of a Blues edge but has definitely gravitated towards a more hard rock style on these tunes while still retaining the blues edge. you can tell he’s getting more comfortable in his voice as well as it’s stronger than ever and really smokes on these tunes.
17) Bob Seger – I Knew You When
It’s Bob Seger, do you really need to say much else. One of the greatest musicians that rock n roll has ever produced. While his voice has dimished a bit from all his medical struggles, he’s still in fine form here with songs that carry all of his signature style.
16) Warner E. Hodges – Right Back Where I Started
As a huge fan of the band Jason & The Scorchers, I was super exicted to see the solo album from their guitarist. They’re a criminally underrated band carried by Warner’s amazing guitar playing. Whether he’s playing country, rock, or a combination of both, the guy can just straight out ROCK! Put this one on LOUD and drive the neighbors crazy!
15) Wild Adriatic – Feel
This based New York band is back with a CD full of tunes doing what they do best, mixing rock, soul, and funk in a way that sounds like if the Doobie Brothers and Bruno Mars has a Motown influenced jam session. This bands profile is rising and deservedly so!
14) Doris Brendal & Lee Dunham – Electrica
In much the same way that Steve Hackett did on his CD, Doris and Lee have created a CD of epic sounding songs that really sweep the listener up in their whirlwind of sounds and styles. This CD covers a lot of ground musically and the instrumentation is done expertly. I also have to mention the production on this is one of the best of the year for any genre. The mix is flawless and really captures every nuance of these songs to create a giant soundscape!
13) Kenny Wayne Shepherd – Lay It On Down
I did a great deal of debating on this one as well whether to go with it as a ROCK or a BLUES CD, and I guess either would have been fine as it’s a perfect combination of both. We’ve all watched Kenny grow up and become one of the finest guitarists in the business and this CD showcases all his skills.
12) Kid Rock – Sweet Southern Sugar
Say what you want about the guy, he’s a natural born performer that knows how to write a song to draw maximum response from the listener, even if it’s a negative one. Either way, He’s keeping his name in your mouth! Easily the most entertaining and energetic release from him since the Rebel release, this is everything his fans expect.
11) Wayland – Rinse & Repeat
Wayland come in here with a CD of revved up tunes sure to please fans of bands like Blackberry Smoke, Black Stone Cherry, or even Jackyl. They’re rising stars and this CD should go a long ways towards getting their name out there!
10) Michael Morrow & The Culprits – Raucous
Right from the opening title track, this record lets you know it’s going to be a take no prisoners type of affair. Full of big, muscular sounding songs where the rhythm section really kicks you in the gut. A name that I will definitely be looking for more from.
9) Gary Jeffries – I Ain’t Done Yet
Many know Gary for his stints as the lead singer of the bands Asphalt Ballet and Alligator Stew, but here’s he doing the solo thing, singing southern influenced rock songs with a dixiefried edge. It’s all driven by Gary’s voice, which is still one of the strongest and most underrated in rock music!
8) Cats In Space – Scarecrow
What do you do when you write one of the most epic debuts albums of the past 25 years? Well, if you’re these guys, you write another one that captures all of the same energy of the first one with even more sweeping tunes than before. If you haven’t heard this band yet, get their damn CD’s! It’s like a tour de force of 70’s and 80’s influences wrapped together by giant, bombastic modern production! Hands down, one of the best new bands of the past decade!
7) Ryan Adams – Prisoner
So, this guy has been around for ages and somehow, I’ve managed to completely miss his music. That changed with this CD and let’s just call me damn impressed. The guy is one bad ass songwriter who can really craft a song. This CD is one of the surprises of the year for me and I love it more with each listen.
6) Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown – Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown
There is just something about the ‘tone’ of this guy’s guitar that I love. It’s that buzz in his tone that gives it a mean, evil tone. It goes perfectly with his voice on these songs about jealousy and love gone wrong. The song “Ramblin’ Bones” is worth the price of the CD alone.
5) Aryon Jones – Audio Paint Job
What would happen if Lenny Kravitz, Michael Jackson, and Prince had a monster rock n roll jam together? It’d sound something like this monster record! I came across this record while searching for something else and it was a favorite from the first listen! A CD full of tunes that mix rock guitar with Soulful singing that demands your attention! A MUST LISTEN for all!
4) Night Flight Orchestra – Amber Galactic
This band is back with yet another CD full of tunes that perfectly blend all of their early influences into a style that takes your for a rollercoaster ride. This is their 3rd CD now and the band is still churning outmusic that sounds like a mix of Deep Purple, Foreigner, and ELO.
3) Outlaws & Moonshine – Devil In The Moonshine
Another CD for the fans of bands like Jackyl, Black Stone Cherry, and the likes. It’s Countrified Rock n Roll from the heartland and makes no bones about it. Expertly produced by Vic Riveria (Adriangale), it’s the perfect soundtrack for any late night bonfire party, just add the MOONSHINE!
2) Greta Van Fleet – From The Fires
I don’t think there was a band in the world that caught fire more than these Michigan based guys did this year. Easily compared to Zeppelin, I think the band is more than that simple comparison. Well versed in blues music and with a love for the art of music, I think they’ll grow into their own niche what is only going to get even bigger. This record is a fine start and should please any fan of classic rock music.
1) The Hawkins – Ain’t Rock N Roll
Like Greta Van Fleet on steroids, this Swedish band has created a record that just rages from the opening moments and doesn’t let up the entire record. This is stomp your dick in the dirt and leave you bloody rock n roll. It’s not meant to be pretty or clean, it’s just rock n roll the way it was meant to be played! If you don’t have this record, you’re missing the best record of the year! Just be prepared to have your face blown off! Seriously, these boys aren’t fucking around!