Looking Back – 2019 Music

As most of you know, I am a staff-writer for Buddy Magazine, The Original Texas Music Magazine. Because of that, I review lots of newly released music CDs throughout the year. This is a look back on some of the best of the best from Texas! The Albums are not listed in any particular order, so this is not a Top Ten list. It’s a recap of music that moved me!

An Indie artist that broke all the rules this year and came out on top was Cody Jinks!

He released an album on October 11 that premiered on the iTunes all-genre chart at #1. Then one week later, on October 18, he released a second album that did the same thing. The most impressive part of this is that, as an indie artist, he has no record label backing him and pouring tons of money into promo. He did it all on his own. So, it is my pleasure to honor these two albums.

“Each album has a theme,” Jinks said. “The Wanting is about the road life and going deeper into your art, while After The Fire is more about the home life, the settling and coming down period.”

Another album that touched me deeply was RIDE ME BACK HOME by the incomparable, Willie Nelson!

Part of this album’s appeal is that the title track, “Ride Me Back Home,” was written by a good friend of mine, Sonny Throckmorton. But, aside from that fact, it’s possibly one of Willie’s best!

Native Texan Bianca DeLeon writes about what she knows, her life growing up in the Texas-Mexico borderland. She’s lived through a lot, and it shows in her music. Her byline is “Texas Songwriter and Troubadour.” I absolutely loved reviewing her album, DANGEROUS ENDEAVOR. The first thing that struck me about this album is DeLeon’s voice. She’s gritty and gutsy with her delivery of the lyrics.

Pint-sized Jack Barksdale is making quite a name for himself in every music circle from the local DFW area to songwriter’s events across the United States. He’s twelve. Not only is he writing original material, but he also releases podcasts where he interviews other artists. Check out his YouTube page. He is one of the most amazing young artists I’ve ever seen! He released a new EP this year, Live From Niles City and it deserves to be on this list!

Here’s a YouTube video. You’ve gotta hear this kid!

Another incredibly diverse album that crossed my desk this year was FOG AND BLING By Shinyribs! It’s difficult to categorize this Austin-based band’s music. I’d say Shinyribs is an eclectic blend between New Orleans Jazz, R&B, Funk, Rock, and Psychedelic Country. It could aptly be called Swampadelic R&B.

Tom McElvain is known far and wide for his vocal prowess. But he is also fast rising to the top of the songwriting spectrum with songs like the ones found on his EP, DRIFTER. As he says, “This time it’s for the music, not the man.”  

On a side note, I am working with Tom McElvain on a book, “Lady In Red,” that will be released in May 2020! Believe me, I will be promoting it here on my blog!

Smile Into Life from Austin-based Blues-Funk Rocker, Hector Ward and his eight-piece Big Time band, is one of the most dynamic I heard all year.From start to finish, it’s solid with not one track that I wanted to skip. Ward is quoted as saying, “Listen to music…it will change your reality.”

I want to share a picture with you because, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Let me just say this man is inspiring. That is Hector Ward in the wheelchair. Listen to his music and see if you find one spec of self-pity. You won’t!

The Walk is singer/songwriter, Bonnie Bishop’s eighth album. Produced by Grammy-winner, Steve Jordan, the music connects listeners to the Texas vocal powerhouse in an intimate and personal way. I am a huge fan of her music and her honesty. She is an inspiration to women artists!

I love these two people, Andrew Jr. Boy Jones and Kerrie Lepai Jones! They are perfect ambassadors of the Dallas Blues scene and it was an honor to not only review their new CD, but to interview them for a feature in Buddy Magazine. You can read it here. Jr. Boy has been playing the blues for over five decades and no one does it better! Their new album, Jr. Boy & Kerrie’s Blues is nothing short of stellar! If you love the blues, give them a listen! Kerrie proves that a white girl CAN sing the blues!

I’ll close this post with a single off Cody Johnson’s 2019 Album, Ain’t Nothing To It. In my humble opinion this is the most sensual and sexy song I’ve heard since Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness.” Here’s Cody Johnson with “Nothin’ On.”

Maybe you are already familiar with some of this music but if you aren’t I do hope you’ll take a minute to discover something new! Thank you!

37 thoughts on “Looking Back – 2019 Music

  1. Thank you for liking my pledge. Re music; you may like to check out a song on YouTube.com I wrote and produced about living with depression. I am not a sufferer but this song is about people who live with a partner suffering from this devastating condition. “My friend The Black Dog”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Horsefeathers! I missed way too much when I was out with the “everything” flu. I’m trying to catch up Jan. Music — yes! I love this way of wrapping up the year. And I’ll always love Willie Nelson. Wishing you a happy, musical new decade. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand, Teagan! I stay in a constant state of “behindness.” Yes, I know that is not a word, but it fits. 🙂 I’m glad you are feeling better and don’t worry about catching up. Just go forward from where you are! At least, that’s my theory.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, Mark! I am in awe of such young talent! And when I recently interviewed him and asked where he saw himself in ten years, he said he hoped he’d still be playing music, but if not he hoped he’d be doing something he enjoyed. Such young wisdom! Thanks for stopping by! Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s quite a collection, Jan. You really get to review a lot of great music. I agree with you about Bianca DeLeon’s voice (I just had to check out some of her music on Amazon based on what you wrote), and the video of Jack Barksdale is mind boggling. What a talent at twelve years old!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this blog Jan!! My son Josh is a huge fan of Texas music so therefore I am actually familiar with several on this list. He absolutely loves Cody Jinks and Johnson and of course who doesn’t love Willie I will definitely be sharing this list with Josh I am sure he will love all. Hope you had a MerryChristmas and you have a very Blessed New Year!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awesome, Glenda!! Please share it with Josh! I’m thrilled that you have a Texas music fan in the family! Thank you for stopping by and I wish you the best New Year ever with fast and complete healing!


  5. Jan, I didn’t think there was anything that could beat book lists but music ones like yours definitely do! 😀I love your post, the variety of music. As for young Jack – wow! Phenomenal. The music here will take me through this afternoon. Thank you for sharing. Happy New Year – may it be filled with joy and creativity! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Awesome blog Jan, I’m not sure I’ve ever spent more time on a blog. I had to listen to all the songs and check out every artist. Thank you so much for sharing it all! I’ve gotten out of touch with music the past 3 years since I’ve been reading again. I listen to audiobooks instead of listening to music. This blog has made me realize I need both in my life. If my daughter(s) are in the car with me we listen to their Spotify lists and I assure you none of these artists are on their playlists. Lol I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and have a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh how wonderful, Stephanie, that I reconnected you to the wonderful world of music! I cannot live without it. And I cannot live without reading, so with the two, I am filled up! I appreciate you stopping by and wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year too!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a great line up. I love music, thanks for sharing this with us. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Happy New Year to you and your family. 2020 will be a great one. Love you so dearly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love music too, Tonya, and it made me happy to share some unknown music with others! I had a great Christmas and looking forward to a wonderful New Year. I think I will be spending it in Amarillo with my sister. 🙂 Love you too!


  8. This is an amazing list, Jan. I’m looking forward to savoring it slowly as I love good country music. Thank you for shining the light on these musicians!

    Liked by 1 person

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