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Buffalo's Best of 2005

BEST OF 2005
The Best Releases of 2005, in the Humble Opinion of Michael Buffalo Smith

2005 was a year plagued with sadness, the loss of more Gritz family members than in any year past - Jakson Spires, Danny Joe Brown, Vassar Clements, Little Milton, Dru Lombar, Jimmy Martin - to name a few. It was the year New Orleans was almost blown away by the evil winds of Katrina, and George Bush’s war raged on in Iraq.

But it wasn’t all bad news this year. We had some of the best major label and indie releases in recent years, and digital music rose to heights previously unheard of, via iTunes and satellite radio and internet radio.

All of that being said, we present the Top 25 of 2005 picked by yours truly, the editor. This year we also list the Top Ten D.I.Y releases as well.

1. The Real Deal - Billy Joe Shaver
Shaver is finally having his day in the sun; and this release, on which he brings along a few friends like Big & Rich, is one of his best yet.

2. Put the “O” back in country - Shooter Jennings
Waylon would be so proud. Shooter’s country debut is full of good country and good rockin, excellent lyrics and good humor.

3. Live At The Apollo Theatre - Ben Harper And The Blind Boys of Alabama.
2005 found the Blind Boys at the peak of their career, which has lasted over half a century. Their team up with Ben Harper has heart and a whole lot of soul.

4.Get Right With The Man - Van Zant
Ronnie’s brothers deliver their best album yet as a duo, with a standout single in “Help Somebody.”

5. Cherryholmes - Cherryholmes
IBMA entertainers of the year ruled in 2005, with an absolutely beautiful bluegrass debut.

6. Mad Dogs & Okies - Jamie Oldaker
Rock drummer Oldaker does it with “a little help from his friends.” Folks like Eric Clapton and Bonnie Bramlett.

7. The Mighty Jeremiahs
Greg Martin, Jimmy Hall and Company rock the gospel, and the results are inspired.

8. Give It To Ya - Tom Crain & The Crosstown Allstars
Former CDB guitar slinger Tom Crain and his band deliver a smoking blues - rock album.

9. Best Kept Secret - Jerry Douglas
The undisputed king of the Dobro, Jerry Douglas turns in an original, musically stellar release.

10. Live in North Carolina - Darrell Scott, Kenny Malone and Danny Thompson
What’s not to love? Scott is an amazing writer and player, and Malone and Thompson are the perfect compliment.

11. Architect - Monte Montgomery
Texan Monte Montgomery is simply one of the best guitarists of all time. Don’t believe me? Go see his acoustic show live.

12. 2- My Morning Jacket
It’s Southern rock of the 21st century. My Morning Jacket rocks, kids.

13. Better To Have It - Bobby Purify
Bobby Purify has soul, and this album is a fine example of his smooth style, with help from Dan P penn and Spooner Oldham.

14. The Band - A Musical History
The definitive boxed set.

15. Prairie Wind - Neil Young
Neil’s best since “Harvest Moon”

16. The Outsider - Rodney Crowell
Wow! Fate’s Right Hand” was the best Rodney ever, but this follow-up is even better.

17. Mile Marker - Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash
The sons’ best ever. Not a bad cut on it.

18. The Legend - Johnny Cash
The definitive boxed set; four CD’s and a DVD. The very best of the Man in Black.

19. You Ain’t Talkin’ To Me - Charlie Poole
An excellent box set tribute to one of the original pioneers of country music.

20. Born To Run - 30th Anniversary Boxset - Bruce Springsteen
One of classic rock’s best records, remastered with bonus tracks, DVD goodies and a lot more.

21. Last Time - Evanscapps
Bobby Capps from 38 Special and Ean Evans from Lynyrd Skynyrd rock the house, hard and heavy.

22. Songs from the Longleaf Pines - Charlie Daniels
Charlie’s first ever bluegrass album.

23. For The Soul and For The Mind - Demos 71’-74’ - David Allan Coe
Excellent early songwriting and singing from one of country's all time best.

24. The Road is Rocky - Complete Studio Masters 1956-1971 - Gene Vincent
The real king of rock and roll.

25. Moments From This Theatre - Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham
Muscle Shoals song writing legends play them all live. - Smooth...


1. Pedro Arevalo and Friends
2. One Monkey Don’t Spoil The Show - Silver Travis Band
3. It Is What It Is - Rebel Pride
4. Year of the Cock - Fiddleworms
5. Stevie Hawkins & Georgia Jam
6. Back to the Swamp - Russell Gulley
7. Waterfront View - Tom Coerver
8. Can You Feel It - Hurry Sundown
9. Rising High - Jackson Stone Band
10. Hung Out To Dry - Laney Strickland Band

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