Better late than never... Here is my list... But first, some disclaimers and notes... I stuck to cd's that are more or less commercially available in stores - I didn't include any Allman Beacon cd's, although all 6 of the ones I bought are killer, as are the other shows which I procured SBD's of... Same thing applies to the other live ABB cd's I got (Vegas and Fox) which also sound mighty fine. I also didn't include any downloads from muletracks.com or livephish.com - I also didn't include dTb's "Already Live" because it's an EP and not a full length show,and there are many complete excellent sounding dTb recordings on the LMA. Anyway, these are my choices, with a few comments thrown in here and there, (following a **). The list is in alphabetical order.
...Like Perry Farrell says: "Everybody has their own opinion..."
Best of 2009
01- John Abercrombie Quartet - Wait Till You see Her
02- Alice in Chains - Black Gives Way To Blue ** Alice in Chains is back!
03- Pedro Arevalo - Pedro Aravelo & Friends Too ** Great cover of Jimi's "My Friend" - This cd reminds me of Hot Tuna, although I like it better than Jorma's 2009 album "River of Time"
04- Roy Buchanan - Live: Amazing Grace
05- Five Peace Band (Chick Corea & John McLaughlin) - Live ** This and the phish are my 2 favorites of the year.
06- Bill Frisell - Disfarmer
07- Gov't Mule - By a Thread
08- Ben Harper and Relentless7 - White Lies For Dark Times ** Ben Harper is so underrated as a guitar player.
09- Living Colour - The Chair in the Doorway
10- Eric McFadden - Train to Salvation ** Awesome album, not the trio; more songwriter oriented, very dark.... Comes w/a live DVD. This album is a French import, and I had to order it from Switzerland, even though we practically live in the same zip code; because I was too impatient to wait.
11- Medeski Martin & Wood - Radiolarians (II & III, or the entire box set)
12- Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel - Willie and the Wheel
13- Phish - Joy ** This and the Five Peace band are my 2 favorites of the year.
14- Porcupine Tree - The Incident ** Still IMO the best post 80's prog band.
15- Rodrigo y Gabriela - 11:11 ** This is a burning album. If you're into the McLaughlin/DeLucia/Dimeola albums, then you'll dig this too.
16- John Scofield - Piety Street
17- Mike Stern - Big Neighborhood ** Guitar geek music. Guests on this cd include Steve Vai, Medeski Martin & Wood, Randy Brecker, Dave Weckl, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Eric Johnson (where has this cat been since he released "Tones" 24 years ago??)
18- Derek Trucks Band - Already Free ** Woohoo, 2009 Grammy winner :-)
19- Umphrey's McGee - Mantis ** It took a long while for UM to grow on me, but they finally did... I had them written off as phish wannabe's, but on this album IMO they now have their own musical voice. If you dig classic prog bands you'll probably dig this album.
20- Steven Wilson - Insurgentes ** Steven Wilson is Porcupine Tree's mastermind; or dictator, depending on how you read into it. This album is more out, textured, and lush; not as heavy as what PT is doing nowadays. This is closer maybe to Pink Floyd or Radiohead.