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Re: Best singer/songwriter of the last 20 years

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:28 pm
by Rob Hall
Chris P wrote:We've all got opinions, they say they're like assholes, except in one important degree of difference. One should inspect one's opinion/arsehole scrupulously and regularly, and then be prepared to amend it

I like that. I may steal it.

Re: Best singer/songwriter of the last 20 years

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:31 pm
by Chris P
reworded, packaged/formulated, but orig concept via Tim Minchin

Re: Best singer/songwriter of the last 20 years

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:38 pm
by Rob Hall
Well, there's a body of work that I'm sure falls within the last 20 years (without checking) by any number of US singer/songwriters gracing my CD shelves: John Hiatt, Lucinda WIlliams, Patti Griffin, Dave Alvin, Guy Clark, Steve Earle, Kevin Gordon ... there's loads of 'em. I would hesitate to say any of them were 'the best', and they're probably not to the taste of many people here, but they've all written songs that I like.

Re: Best singer/songwriter of the last 20 years

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:40 pm
by Chris P
Nigel w wrote:If the requirement is to have produced a consistently high standard of challenging work throughout the last 20 years then Albarn probably wins by a mile, although Will Oldham is also a good call.


A very interesting point of view. I'm not sure I'd use the word challenging here. I was just thinking which singer songwriters we've enjoyed

Re: Best singer/songwriter of the last 20 years

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:41 pm
by Chris P
More oldies again there Rob. Listen 'guys', can you take your oldie songwriter singers who are still fab, off onto another thread

I've amended the title of this thread accordingly

Re: Best singer/songwriter of the last 20 years

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:59 pm
by Nigel w
Chris P wrote:
Nigel w wrote:If the requirement is to have produced a consistently high standard of challenging work throughout the last 20 years then Albarn probably wins by a mile, although Will Oldham is also a good call.


A very interesting point of view. I'm not sure I'd use the word challenging here. I was just thinking which singer songwriters we've enjoyed


I meant challenging, Chris, as in artists who challenge themselves to do more than simply churn out variations on the same records they were making 20 years ago. Developing/progressing/ maturing/evolving or any other word that suggests forward movement and non-repetition might be more suitable...

Re: Best singer/songwriter of the last 20 years

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:44 pm
by Rob Hall
Chris P wrote:More oldies again there Rob.


You mean you only want young people?

(Edit: I see now that you have amended the title to say 'new'. This was not apparent previously as your amendment is not applied to subsequent replies and replies to those replies. Plus, I forgot to mention Gillian Welch.)

Re: Best new singer/songwriters of the last 20 years

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:12 pm
by Rob Hall
The new Frazey Ford album is very good.

Ron Sexsmith, though he went off the boil some time ago.

Lhasa De Sela

Howe Gelb

Paddy McAloon

Jim White

Again, I would hesitate to use the term 'best of' - these are just people whose work I have enjoyed.

Re: Best new singer/songwriters of the last 20 years

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:42 pm
by Chris P
all of those, I think, Rob are out of contention (apart from Lhasa & Frazey Ford), along with Cocker & Albarn, with apologies to Nigel & Andy. I have retrospectively amended the title of the thread. It's not about age Rob (ie young, old, or in-between), it's about whether they've emerged in the last 20 years. That part is the same as the original thread posting - "OF THE LAST 20 YEARS". With respect I think that sort of implies the current meaning too. Someone like Jarvis is "of the last 30 years" or so (I haven't done the math (still at work)

Re: Best new singer/songwriters of the last 20 years

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:19 pm
by Rob Hall
Dammit but you're a hard man to please Mr P. Jim White's first album was in '97; the large bulk of Howe Gelb's solo work (ie as a singer/wongwriter rather than as member of a band) has been produced since '98. I don't think you can say that, just because someone was previously part of a band, they cannot have emerged as a singer/songwriter in their own right (Tracey Thorn is another) subsequently. Which I think is what you are saying.

Re: Best new singer/songwriters of the last 20 years

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:31 pm
by Chris P
hehe, I think I can say Blur was Albarn's singing and some songwriting, and ditto Pulp and Jarvis.

Howie G and Jim White go forward then (unless Giant Sand discounts HG, I don't know if he was main singer or songwriter)

I'll listen to some GS

Tracey Thorne's singing voice was the 'voice' of her band with Ben Watt. She probably did lyrics and influenced or made some tunes too. So sadly, disqualified

Re: Best new singer/songwriters of the last 20 years

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:36 pm
by Rob Hall
And I demand a recount on poor Ron Sexsmith: his breakthrough album came out in '95 - the one that he made earlier had virtually no distribution and wasn't released properly until after he had emerged.

Re: Best new singer/songwriters of the last 20 years

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:39 pm
by Chris P
Come on we all knew about Ron and how great he was since the year dot. Sexsmith's out on this one. I imagine Q and Mojo were hymning him since he first interacted with their antennae. However I could quite possibly be wrong, let's date it from when Ron started to get talked about in the UK music press. I think that was pre-'95. I must admit I don't know any of his tunes to hum, whistle, or tap along to

Re: Best new singer/songwriters of the last 20 years

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:44 pm
by Chris P
Start a parallel thread - last 30 years, but some of that stuff is so dull compared to 60s and 70s, let alone the '50s. Jarvis would get a vote from me definitely, and Charles William "Chuck" Prophet

Re: Best new singer/songwriters of the last 20 years

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:12 pm
by Rob Hall
No need for a parallel thread (I, for one, am not sure I've got the enthusiasm for it) but Ron Sexsmith really wasn't talked about much anywhere outside of his native Canada (and probably not much even there) before '95. I caught him on his first 2 or 3 visits over here, and on the first one he was playing a very obscure venue in Bromley.

(And if you're not already familiar with his stuff, you should check out that first album that he did under contract, 'Ron Sexsmith': it really does have some fine songs on it.)