These twenty-ish albums DIDN’T make my Top 30 roots albums of the year; still, a mighty stout list, me believes. I could spend a very satisfying weekend listening to nothing but these albums. Links to the original reviews included.
Bubbling Under- honourable mentions, in no particular order:
Victor Wainwright & the Train- Memphis Loud
Ashley McBryde- Never Will A worthy follow-up to the refreshing Girl Going Nowhere.
Will Kimbrough- Spring Sessions A true do-it-yourself, lockdown project, the earnest and omnipresent Mr. Kimbrough recorded this staggering set all alone. Naturally intimate, and a gem. “The Late Great John Prine Blues” is no little bit of a masterpiece, even retaining some of rhyming pattern and cadence of its inspiration.
John McCutcheon- Cabin Fever: Songs from the Quarantine
Drive-By Truckers The Unraveling/The New OK- A pair of kick-ass offering from DBT, the former a frequent guest for most of the year, the latter an unexpected arrival roaring into this fall.
RB Morris- Going Back to the Sky
Ray Wylie Hubbard- Co-Starring Not his strongest effort, but still better than most out there on the major labels.
William Prince- Reliever One of Canada’s freshest roots voices, almost a bit too close to mainstream pop or rock—like Ron Sexsmith—to be included.
The Harmed Brothers-Across the Waves
Robert Vincent- In This Town You’re Owned
Watermelon Slim- Traveling Man
Appalachian Road Show Tribulation With an attitude pre-dating bluegrass, this concept album plays like a living documentary.
Phil Leadbetter & the All-Stars of Bluegrass- Swing For the Fences
Joe Nolan- Drifters Edmonton’s premier folk troubadour expands his repertoire into Richard Thompson/John Martyn territories. Lovely.
Front Country- Impossible World
Last Year’s Man- Brave the Storm
A pretty strong selection of albums that didn’t make my Top Thirty Roots Favourites of the Year.
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