The ongoing look at the albums I acquired this year:May Over the Rhine, The Trumpet Child (2007) A gift from a friend, and some good music. Check out "If a Song Could Be President." Counting Crows, Live in Denver (1994) My buddy Collins burned me this live recording of one of Counting Crows' first concerts in support of August and Everything After. It's awesome and wonderful to hear them back when they were just about to break, and the concert dates itself because they perform most of the album but not "Mr. Jones." It's a great recording. Steve Earle, Train a' Comin' (1995) A great collection of old songs and covers. Emmylou sings backup on "River of Babylon," which will make you fall in love with her for the thousandth time, and "Nothin' Without You" is another standout. Townes van Zandt, Rear View Mirror (1993) Recorded live in Oklahoma in the late 1970s, this is Townes doing his thing and doing it well, just like always. Try listening to "If I Needed You" and not feeling something. Willie Nelson, Songbird (2006) I picked this up because it was produced by Ryan Adams and features the Cardinals backing up Willie. Plus he covers "Hallelujah" and Gram Parsons' "$1,000 Wedding." Totally worth it. Various Artists, The Unbroken Circle: The Musical Heritage of the Carter Family (2004) Compilations like this one always have the potential to just spectacularly suck, but there are some great performances on here, including Kris Kristofferson and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band doing a sweet version of "Gold Watch and Chain." There's also Johnny Cash, George Jones, Emmylou Harris, and Marty Stuart. If you come across this one, pick it up. June Weezer, Weezer (Red) (2008) Listening to self-consciously ironic music is always a little bit mind-bending, but Weezer's latest record and third self-titled release still has some good pop tracks. I'll admit, I was sucked in by the single "Pork and Beans."