Folk Alley’s Best of 2011 – Matt Reilly

by Matt Reilly, host on FolkAlley.com M-F midnight to 5:00am; Sat 2:00 to 5:00 pm; and Sun 2:00 – 7:00pm (ET).

It’s always tough to whittle a best of list to just 10. Someone always gets left out. With that in mind, I came up with my top 10 by asking myself what albums do I listen to most frequently in my free time? Which artist has stepped up their game or created something that will stand the test of time within their body of work? What have been my favorites to share with the listeners? Now that you know my process and the votes have been tabulated, ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Matt Reilly Top 10 Folk(ish) Albums of 2011.

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Robert Ellis

Willie Nelson and George Jones had a baby and they named him Robert Ellis. This Houston native, who is only in his early 20’s, has basically crafted a two sided album: the first half is introspective singer songwriter fare with a twang, and the second is full blown honky-tonk that reminds us that real country ain’t dead.

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Iron & Wine
Kiss Each Other Clean

Sam Beam continues to evolve sonically by adding production elements that most artists who are labeled folkies eschew. Modern and retro all at the same time.

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Paul Simon
So Beautiful Or So What

Not content to look backwards, Paul Simon continues to amaze with his sharp songwriting and melodic and intricate song structures. While this album certainly harkens back to his late 80’s ‘Graceland’ work, it feels like it belongs in the 21st century.

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