Folk Alley’s Best of 2015 – Ann VerWiebe’s Favorite Albums of the Year

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Ann VerWiebe’s Favorite Albums of the Year

The best part of my job is listening to the new releases that have been added to the Folk Alley stream so that I can write about them in the ‘AlleyChat’ newsletter. And, this year has been crazy good! So many albums were previewed at FolkAlley.com, making me fall in love with new music time and time again!


Rhiannon Giddens, ‘Tomorrow Is My Turn’ (Nonesuch)
As much as I hate it when bands I love break up, a bunch of amazing work was born out of the Carolina Chocolate Drops split. Rhiannon Giddens is a vocal powerhouse with a love of roots music of all sorts, laying down emotion and power that blows the walls down. iTunes * Amazon.com


Caitlin Canty, ‘Reckless Skyline’ (Caitlin Canty)
This collection is well-deserved of the praise it’s receiving. Great songs, snappy performances. I’m happy Folk Alley caught a piece of her rising star. iTunes * Amazon.com


Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, ‘Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats’ (Stax)
You can tell when I love someone because I won’t stop tweeting about them. This CD is honky-tonk soul and once I picked it up, I could not put it down. iTunes * Amazon.com


Jayme Stone, ‘Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project’ (Borealis Records)
We crossed paths with the Lomax Project at Summerfolk in Owen Sound, Ontario. The album is a true crossing of folk old and new with songs collected by Alan Lomax and contributions from some of the best players in the business. iTunes * Amazon.com


Jason Isbell, ‘Something More Than Free’ (Southeastern Records)
Talk about lightening in a bottle! With two well-deserved Grammy noms, each song on Isbell’s latest CD made me jump to the next with gleeful anticipation. iTunes * Amazon.com


Mike + Ruthy Band, ‘Bright As You Can’ (Humble Abode Music)
I’ve been a fan of Mike and Ruthy since their time with The Mammals (just try Googling that!). This collection adds an Americana vibe to what feels like a family get-together. iTunes * Amazon.com


The Decemberists, ‘What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World’ (Capitol)
The entire band back together after four years of solo work and side projects (including Black Prairie). This album reflects a band that has had its share of real-world struggles. iTunes * Amazon.com


Patty Griffin, ‘Servant of Love’ (PGM)
Patty Griffin’s voice cuts through a wall of mediocrity. Her songs shut out everything happening around me and pull me a world of their own. And, I’m so glad they do. iTunes * Amazon.com


Darlingside, ‘Birds Say’ (More Doug Records)
Here was my surprise of the year. Tightly written, atmospheric songs that make this album the big bowl of happy I want to pour over my face daily. iTunes * Amazon.com


The Good Lovelies, ‘Burn the Plan’ (Six Shooters Records)
The Good Lovelies are my queens of harmony. The Canadian trio have grown personally and musically, and bring an expanded world view to an album inspired by life’s indirections. iTunes * Amazon.com

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