I posted my best of lists a little to soon I think. Since then I’ve found some tremendous releases that I missed during 2013, both metal and non metal, especially when it comes to country and folk music. Outside of metal, country and folk music are some of my favorite genres, even some singer songwriter stuff. Not all singer songwriters fall into country and folk of course, but my taste in those kind of musicians always veers that direction. Billy Bragg and Frank Turner are examples of this. They’re not entirely country or folk, but passionate nonetheless.
I think that’s why I enjoy these two wildly different genres so much. The passion that their best players each have for their music. It may sound like heehaw and cookie monster vocals to some, but I hear it as much more and if you give it a shot, you may find something there too.
Anyway, here are some amazing country, folk, americana, whatever releases from 2013 that should have been on my original list.
Jason Isbell – Southeastern
I’ve never been a big Drive By Truckers fan but if Jason Isbell is a part of them I may have to give them another shot. This album is beautiful, painful and so well written it makes my heart ache.
Mandolin Orange – This Side of Jordan
Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz have crafted a deeply moving and emotional bluegrass, american album here. Their interweaving vocal style and lyrics make it hard to ignore and you get drawn in like story time as a child only to have your emotions stepped on. This music is deceiving in it’s beautiful, powerful instrumentation and hut punching lyrics.
Holly Williams – The Highway
Some mournful, soulful, heart wrenching modern country. Country can still be a meaningful genre and Holly Williams is proof of that. Not to mention her incredible voice AND the half sister of Hank Williams III so granddaughter of Hank Williams. Her approach to country is wildly different than her half brothers dirty, DIY, punk rock take but it’s just as compelling. If this was the country music that was so popular instead of that Walmart Cowgirl, Ford Trucking crap I would be a happy camper. A heart broken, mournful camper. This one was hard to stop listening to.
Alela Diane – About Farewell
Simple, straight forward folk music. Sorrowful and warm all at once. Alela strips her sound down to the bare essentials and lets her soulful voice take center stage.
The Lone Bellow – The Lone Bellow
A soul infused, folk album. The abundance of players on this album help create a warm and comforting atmosphere while still managing to make the emotion run. A little poppy at times, a little country at times but overall welcoming and beautiful.
Bill Callahan – Dream River
That voice. Low and monotone but so full of emotion. Like a folky Nick Cave or a stripped down Leonard Cohen.
Patty Griffin – Go Wherever You Wanna Go
Patty Griffin writes some mournful, enchanting, beautiful songs. It’s near impossible to get through this album without feeling some sort of sadness and joy, sometimes all at the same time. Interwoven with masterful playing and her enchanting voice, this is a treasure I wish I dug up earlier.
Stay Creepy My Friends!