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TOP 5 ALBUMS - Expert Picks - 88.1's Bill Keith

A Bill Keith choice
Bill Keith/.iTown Staff intro and notes

Bill Keith, the Faculty Advisor/Station manager of 88.1 FM, WSDP The Escape, which broadcasts from Salem High School, provides his choices for his favorite albums of all time.  Following our rules for our Top 5 Albums contest, Bill's choices do not include Greatest Hits, Live or compilation albums, and based on his expert advice, they all deserve a listen:

Johnny Cash, American Recordings 1  - I would be more inclined to pick one of his hit collections to get all the best but the rules for this don't allow us.  I love his most recent work with Rick Rubin as the producer, and the first album is a great place to start.  He stripped Johnny's sound to simple guitar and voice recordings and showed that the old dog still had life in him.  Their work together breathed new life into recordings from Nick Lowe, Kris Kristofferson, Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits.  After listening to this you won't want to stop at just the first volume.

Behind the Eyes, Amy Grant  - Amy isn't usually held up as one of the best songwriters, but this album holds up well. She recorded this album just before the end of her first marriage, and the music reflects her honest sadness.

Gretchen Goes to Nebraska, Kings X  - This is the second album from these Texas hard rockers. Think hard rock and metal with a Beatles influence. Their influence goes well beyond their record sales as many hard rockers point to the importance of their music.
 
Audible Sigh, Vigilantes of Love - Bill Mallonee may be one of the best poets in Americana. I might even put him in the league of Bob Dylan. Buddy Miller does amazing things behind the studio controls, but it's the songs that make this such an important record. You get a real sense of the weariness of life on the road in songs like "Nothing Like A Train." Emmylou Harris and Julie Miller contribute background vocals.

Let's Stay Together, Al Green - The CD is worth the price for the title track alone. Al may go down as the smoothest R&B singer of all time. His latest albums that reunite him with longtime producer, Willie Mitchell, are also worth checking out.

What are your Top 5?

Win an iPod Shuffle! 
Email us your Top 5 list (we only want 5 to make this compilation a little easier on us) with the words "TOP 5" in your subject line, along with any comments about your choices you want to share.  We also will need the complete artist and album name. We’ll post some of these responses that contain good commentary on occasion while the voting continues, and when we do, YOU'LL WIN a pass for two admissions to the Emagine Theater in Canton (an Escape Sponsor).  The person that we feel comes closest to the first 5 choices in the compilation of all voters will be the winner.  A  return email address will be used to notify the winners of our contest, or the movie passes, and will not be used for any other purpose..

To hear the best new music first, listen to 88.1 FM, The Escape...and check-out the Escape page on this site!  

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