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Best Releases of 2000

My Top CD's of 2000

by Michael Buffalo Smith

It's never an easy task to attempt a "Top 40" list. My opinions, like those of everyone else, change with the wind. Still, as a music journalist, I feel compelled at year's end to list my favorites, as if my opinion is any more important than that of Dave Marsh, Ben Fong Torres or anyone else.

Here are my top 25. If I left anyone out, is only because these 25 rose to the top, like cream in my coffee, like bacon with my eggs, like home-churned butter in my grits.

1. It's About Time - Bobby Whitlock
From Derek & The Dominos to Delaney and Bonnie and George Harrison, Whitlock remains "da man." His first solo record in many a year is just as fresh as anything he's done before. Maybe fresher.

2. Life Before Insanity - Gov't Mule
Wow. Was I ever devastated by the death of Mule bassist Woody in 2000. They had become one of my all-time favorite groups. Still are. We love you Allen.

3. American Street - George McCorkle
A founding member of The Marshall Tucker Band, McCorkle shines on his first solo record with passion and creativity. Choice cuts are "Peace Stories" and "Crazy Molly Monroe." A great Southern writer.

4. Road Dogs - The Charlie Daniels Band
Charlie returns to his Southern Rock roots and with highly impressive results. Very cool.

5. Rural Electric - Mohead
John Mohead gets my vote for best new artist of the year. This album blew me away.

6. Dear Y'all - Eddie Hinton
I had never heard of the late Eddie Hinton, until John Wyker, The Mighty Field of Vision List and Zane Records turned me on to this white-black man who had more soul than an Air Jordan sneaker.

7. Jammin' for DJB - Dixie Jam Band
Riff West did a great thing, pulling together all of the original members of Molly Hatchet and friends to pay tribute to the ailing Danny Joe Brown. The album (and video) that resulted is timeless, high energy Southern Rock history.

8. Mirror, Mirror - Monte Montgomery
Texas guitar virtuoso Monte Montgomery is the best acoustic player I have ever heard. And his vocals and songwriting are equally impressive.

9. Son of the South - Toy Caldwell
Charlie Daniels reissued Toy's 1992 solo album on his Blue Hat label, complete with a live cut of "Can't You See." Toy's only solo album is still a classic.

10. Better Days - Jerry Lightfoot & The Essentials featuring Jerry LaCroix.
Jerry LaCroix's vocals make this already good album great. A must have disc!

And now, the other fifteen.

11. Right Tonight- Eddie Stone

12. Alabama Day- Will Thomas

13. Southern Rockers- The Winters Bros. Band

14. Chinese Work Songs- Little Feat

15. Piedmont Blues- New Legacy Duo

16. Across The Water- Bernard Allison

17. Live at Sturgis- .38 Special

18. Satisfied- Rick Moore & Mr Lucky

19. Bar & Grill- The Regulators

20. Unfinished Business- Grinderswitch

21. Give it to Get it- Ace Mooreland

22. Ain't No Stranger- Jimmy Nalls

23. Shake Hands with Shorty- North Mississippi Allstars

24. Snook Fishin- Sarasota Slim

25. Ice Caps: Peaks of Telluride- Sam Bush

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