• The Infamous Stringdusters: Let It Go

    The Infamous Stringdusters: Let It Go

    The Infamous Stringdusters have never had anything to prove as forward-thinking instrumentalists, but over time the quintet’s songwriters have become more daring too, perhaps taking a cue from the Steep Canyon Rangers in exploring existential ...
  • The Roys: New Day Dawning

    The Roys: New Day Dawning

    Following their 2011 breakout bluegrass hit Lonesome Whistle, the sibling duo of Lee and Elaine Roy probe deeper into their songs on New Day Dawning, and that’s saying something. Bridging country and bluegrass, The Roys ...
  • Rosanne Cash: The List

    Rosanne Cash: The List

    The List is a collection of country music classics bequeathed to Rosanne Cash shortly after her high school graduation by her father, Johnny Cash, who feared his daughter was lacking basic education in roots Americana. ...
  • Ricky Skaggs: Songs My Dad Loved

    Ricky Skaggs: Songs My Dad Loved

    This isn’t simply a Ricky Skaggs solo album, it’s really a Ricky Skaggs solo album—for harmonies, he double-tracks his own voice; for extra instruments, he overdubs them—twelve different ones total, all acoustic but for the ...
  • John Mellencamp: No Better Than This

    John Mellencamp: No Better Than This

    The backstory of John Mellencamp’s No Better Than This is compelling: 13 songs written in thirteen consecutive fevered days, T Bone Burnett enlisted as producer, and recording done at three legendary American shrines—the Sun Studio ...
  • Elvis Presley: Elvis 75

    Elvis Presley: Elvis 75

    The year 2010 marks the occasion of the Hillbilly Cat’s 75th birthday (how hard is it to imagine a 75-year-old Elvis Presley?), and with it comes a proper salute: four CDs (100 songs) of career ...
  • Dierks Bentley: Up On The Ridge

    Dierks Bentley: Up On The Ridge

    Dierks Bentley warned that Up On The Ridge would be more bluegrass-inspired than hardcore bluegrass, and he wasn’t just bumpin’ his gums, as Dizzy Dean would say. A gritty, driving, rock ’n’ roll edge informs ...
  • Punch Brothers: Antifogmatic

    Punch Brothers: Antifogmatic

    More than a year ago I chatted with Chris Thile about the Punch Brothers’ second album, specifically asking him how much of the material he had penned himself—a natural question, given his remarkable growth as ...
  • Lynda Randle: 'Til the Storm Passes By

    Lynda Randle: 'Til the Storm Passes By

    A powerful example of traditional and contemporary gospel seamlessly co- mingling with other roots styles, Lynda Randle’s ’Til the Storm Passes By also makes sure its inventive music never subsumes the praise and worship messages ...
  • Tim "Too Slim" Langford: Broken Halo

    Tim "Too Slim" Langford: Broken Halo

    Normally fronting the incendiary Taildraggers, Tim “Too Slim” Langford has (for the first time in about ten years) slipped away for a one-man-band effort. Employing modern technology to back himself with various acoustic and electric ...
  • Robert Plant: Band of Joy

    Robert Plant: Band of Joy

    The good news about Robert Plant’s Band of Joy? It’s not a reprise of his mega- platinum duets with Alison Krauss (Patti Griffin is the female vocalist here), it’s not a Zep or Honeydrippers album, ...
  • Eden Brent: Ain't Got No Troubles

    Eden Brent: Ain't Got No Troubles

    Having been compared to everyone from Bessie Smith to Dinah Washington to Diana Krall, Mississippi blues mama Eden Brent summons them all, and more, on her second album, recorded in New Orleans with some local ...
  • Eric Clapton: Clapton

    Eric Clapton: Clapton

    In a deeply satisfying work of self- exploration, Eric Clapton dives into some blues, gospel, pop, and southern-flavored rock ’n’ roll past and present; assembles crack bands on each track that include the likes of ...

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