MUSIC OF THE YEAR: Give 'em a spin

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

It’s true what they say about quality over quantity. It seemed that fewer local artists released albums in 2010, but the ones that were released were all strong, good albums. Here are a few picks.

Drew Gatlin, “River Days”
drewgatlin.bandcamp.com

Saltillo singer-songwriter Gatlin’s debut EP is beautiful, sleepy and comforting.
“River Days” showcases his gorgeous voice – one of the best in the region – while highlighting his strong songwriting skills. It’s a perfect introduction to this budding artist.
Gatlin has plans to hit the studio again in 2011.

Justin Posey, “Bending Love”
justinposey.bandcamp.com

North Mississippi’s scarily good pop songwriter grew up a little bit, and wrote a record about it. The result is “Bending Love,” his first full-length album. It’s mostly just the Saltillo native and his guitar, but really, when the songwriting is this good, that’s all you need.
If all goes according to plan, 2011 will see Posey recording his first studio LP. He’s raising money for it now via Kickstarter.

Homemade Jamz Blues Band, “The Game”
hmjamzbluesband.com

Ryan, Kyle and Taya Perry’s combined age is 46, but they rock out on “The Game” like they’re each that age. This blues band matures with every album, but they have fun doing it.
Homemade Jamz will spend 2011 on the road, touring up North as well as overseas.

Busted Screen Door, “Southern Belles & Shotgun Shells”
bustedscreendoor.com

From the loud opener “Southern Thang” to the sweet “Till I Found You,” Tupelo country band Busted Screen Door shines on its first record.
“Southern Belles & Shotgun Shells” is full of potential hits, and the band sounds comfortable and Nashville-ready.

What were your favorite records and songs of 2010? Share your favorites at the Scene Now blog at NEMS360.com/pages/scene_ now.

MORE LOCAL RELEASES TO CHECK OUT:
– Paul Thorn, “Pimps and Preachers”
– Killjay, “The Verdict”
– Ironwood Bluff’s debut album, “Better Days,”will be released Dec. 29.