Rant ‘N’ Roll: 2014 Top Tens

(Photo by Muga Miyahara)

I have been into making lists since I was about 12. I used to make lists of my Top 10 favorite baseball players, comic books, songs, movies, friends, TV shows, girls I wish I could have sex with, professional wrestlers, rock ‘n’ roll bands and family members. These lists were compiled lovingly throughout the course of the year. Please note the book and movie lists are comprised of what I digested in 2014 no matter what year they were released. (I watch everything at The Greenblatt Cinema, located in my bedroom.) Also important is the fact that these lists do not in any way reflect anything other than my personal favorites. And, as we all know, there’s no accounting for taste.

Top 10 2014 Blues CDs

1) Johnny Winter, Step Back

2) Mud Morgenfield and Kim Wilson, For Pops: A Tribute To Muddy Waters

3) Liz Mandeville, Heart O’Chicago

4) The Duke Robillard Band, Calling All Blues

5) Jim Byrnes, St. Louis Times

6) Joe Louis Walker, Hornet’s Nest

7) Gary Clark, Jr., Live

8 ) Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa, Live In Amsterdam

9) Eric Bibb, Blues People

10) Keb Mo, Blues Americana

Top 10 2014 Jazz CDs

1) Hiromi, Alive

2) Dino Saluzzi Group, El Valle de la Infancia

3) Bobby Hutcherson, David Sanborn, Joey DeFrancesco, Enjoy The View

4) Melissa Saldana & Crash Trio, Melissa Saldana & Crash Trio

5) Eric Reed, Groovewise

6) Matinier/Ambrosini, Inventio

7) Kavita Shah, Visions

8 ) Sonny Rollins, Road Shows Volume #3

9) Kenny Barron and Dave Holland, The Art Of Conversation

10) Jimmy Greene, Beautiful Life

Top 10 2014 Country CDs

1) Rosanne Cash, The River & The Thread

2) Carlene Carter, Carter Girl

3) Rodney Crowell, Tarpaper Sky

4) Colleen Rennison, See The Sky About To Rain

5) Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison, Our Year

6) Willie Nelson, Band Of Brothers

7) Dulcie Taylor and Friends, Only Worn One Time

8 ) The Roys, The View

9) Jerry Lee Lewis, Rock & Roll Time

10) The Light Upstairs, Breathing In And Out


Top 15 Books

1) Give Me Your Heart: Tales of Mystery And Suspense, Joyce Carol Oates

2) Raisin’ Cain: The Wild And Raucous Story Of Johnny Winter, Mary Lou Sullivan

3) Pops: A Life Of Louis Armstrong, Terry Teachout

4) Veeck—As In Wreck, Bill Veeck with Ed Linn

5) Duke: A Life Of Duke Ellington, Terry Teachout

6) It’s Not Only Rock ‘N’ Roll, Jenny Boyd with Holly George-Warren

7) Here Comes The Night, Joel Selvin

8 ) Broke Heart Blues, Joyce Carol Oates

9) A Freewheelin’ Time: A Memoir Of Greenwich Village In The Sixties, Suze Rotolo

10) The Years Of Lyndon Johnson Volume #1: The Path To Power, Robert A Caro

11) What’s Exactly The Matter With Me: Memoirs Of A Life In Music, P.F. Sloan and S.E. Feinberg

12) Carthage, Joyce Carol Oates

13) Starman: David Bowie The Definitive Biography, Paul Trynka

14) Joe DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life, Richard Ben Cramer

15) Brian Jones: The Making Of The Rolling Stones, Paul Trynka


Top 10 Movies

1) Snowpiercer

2) Begin Again

3) Lone Survivor

4) Blood Ties

5) Sleep Tight

6) Under The Skin

7) Beware Of Mr. Baker

8 ) Divergent

9) Kill Your Darlings

10) Out of The Furnace


Top 10 TV Shows

1) Treme

2) The Walking Dead

3) Boardwalk Empire

4) American Horror Story

5) House Of Cards

6) Homeland

7) The Newsroom

8 ) The Following

9) 24

10) Law & Order: Special Victims Unit


Top 5 Broadway Musicals

1) A Night With Janis Joplin

2) Beautiful

3) Motown

4) Piece Of My Heart: The Bert Berns Story

5) After Midnight