Lonesome Onry and Mean

Lonesome Onry And Mean's Top 11 Obscure 2010 Albums

As per previous years, Lonesome Onry and Mean isn't going to bother with running down all this year's major-label releases. Ranking the relative merits of Lady Gaga, Carrie Underwood and Adam Lambert is the Houston Chronicle's job, we suppose.

Seeing major players like Robert Plant, Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp atop the annual Americana charts, meanwhile, just kinda soured our stomach a bit. Big fish in a small bowl; yawn... So here's LOM's annual list of little guys and girls, up-and-comers, and over-the-hillers who stayed in heavy rotation on our player in 2010.

11. Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More: No one was more surprised than LOM as this odd English freak-folk outfit raced up the Billboard pop music charts in 2010. Of course we were blown away by "Little Lion Man" and all that it summed up about love and loss and screwing things up in four minutes, but there's way more than one hit single to this smarty-pants British outfit. Boo on those who are already declaring that Mumford's 15 minutes are up. The proof will be in the next album. "I really fucked it up this time / didn't I, my dear?"

10. Richard Julian, Girls Need Attention: A sleeping off-radar monster, this jazzy, smart, funny album by Norah Jones sideman Julian is totally Americana without sounding anything like the usual Americana offerings. And did we mention this guy is smart? "Get your drunk ass up."

9. Magic Slim & The Teardrops, Raising the Bar: We seldom have a blues record grab us and hold on, but this one has been on repeat since it dropped in May. Great songs, soulful singing, wicked Chicago picking, nothing but legit. This is how you do 21st century blues. "Had to find myself a part-time love."

8. Hacienda, Big Red and Barbacoa: Two albums into a career that is going to be huge, these young San Antonio rockers are still experimenting with styles and sounds, working out their own thing. Any band that can take its cues from the Sir Douglas Quintet, Sunny and the Sunliners, Black Keys, and Brian Wilson is A-Okay by us. "Whose heart are you breakin' now?"

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William Michael Smith