I'm going obscure and old-school with the first pick of the new year. Willis Alan Ramsey, a Birmingham native raised in Dallas, has released only one album in his career. The self-titled Willis Alan Ramsey was produced by Leon Russell in 1972, and is an absolute classic gem.
Though you don't realize it, you've probably heard some of his songs yourself...."Muskrat Love" was covered by America, then a big hit for Captain & Tennille. Other songs off of this album have been covered by the likes of Widespread Panic, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Jeff Walker, Shawn Colvin, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and even Jimmy Buffett.
My favorite song of the bunch is probably the album closer, "Northeast Texas Women."
Ramsey is still alive and playing music to this day, and allegedly there is a second album in the works....who's guest musicians and vocalists include Sam Bush, Tim O'Brien, Victor Krauss, Marcia Ball, Mickey Raphael, Joel Guzman and more. I look forward to that release if it ever surfaces!