Our Ten Favourite Roots Records of 2016 at FolkNRoots Radio

December 30, 2016 | By

Let’s begin by admitting that these sorts of lists are a game, at best. Any serious evaluation of music is a subjective enterprise, based on personal taste and opinion to a very large extent.

Having said that, there was a huge amount of great new roots music released in 2016, and here at FolkNRoots Radio we make subjective decisions every single week on what music to add, and what tunes to spin.

So here it is, for what it’s worth … our first annual Favourite Ten Roots Records of the year.

Blackie and the Rodeo KingsKings and Kings
The new record from the Canadian roots super group, featuring duets with an absolutely stellar group of male singers, including Rodney Crowell and Vince Gill, just to name two. Highlight track : Land of the Living feat. Jason Isbell.

Birds of ChicagoReal Midnight
A breakthrough recording for this husband and wife duo … he’s American, she’s Canadian, and the music is filled with love and soul and great harmonies. Highlight track : Real Midnight

Hayes CarllLovers and Leavers
Quite simply, a collection of brilliantly written songs, performed in their most stripped down versions, by the man who wrote them. Highlight Track : Sake of the Song

Lori McKennaThe Bird and the Rifle
Somewhat oddly, a record we are adding for the first time this coming week. Perfect testimony to the fact that there is more great music out there than it is possible to keep up with, this record is yet another stellar production effort from Dave Cobb; a collection of gems written and performed by songwriter to the stars, Lori McKenna. Highlight Track : The Bird and the Rifle

Margo PriceMidwest Farmer’s Daughter
The debut record from Margo Price, which has been making big waves all over the Nashville centered universe for being both recognized and ignored. We love this record here are FolkNRoots, and can’t wait to hear more from Margo! Highlight Track : Four Years of Chances

Parker MillsapThe Very Last Day

This is just about as perfect a record as could be imagined, from a young man who seems to be growing enormously with each outing. The writing is both brave and brilliant, and the performances are honest and passionate.  Highlight Track : Heaven Sent

Scott NolanSilverhill

Scott has written with both Hayes Carll and Mary Gauthier, and his latest record, Silverhill is a collection of honestly written and beautifully executed songs about small moments in real lives. Highlight Track : One Little Spark

Sturgill SimpsonA Sailor’s Guide To Earth

Sturgill turns everything up a notch, pulls in a full horn section, and lays down an album of great Americana R&B, leaving his audience shaken and stirred and wondering where he will head next! Highlight Track : Keep It Between The Lines

The Small GloriesWondrous Traveller

A couple of veteran Canadian folk musicians have gotten together and created something exceptional on this album of old timey roots music. Honest and true, and a treat in it’s overall simplicity. Highlight Track : Had I Paid

The WestiesSix On The Out / Michael McDermottWillow Springs

A bit of a cheat on this one, I suppose, but when one songwriter manages to write and record two great albums of songs in a single year, one with his band, and one on his own, it seems a bit silly to try to pull them apart. The songs on both of these records are gritty, honest songs of hard times, loss and redemption, from a writer who understands how to compellingly tell a tale. Highlight Tracks : Sirens and Butterfly

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Category: Artists We Play, Record Reviews, Special Features

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