Folk Alley’s Top 20 of 2020

2020. What a soul-crushing year on many levels. But fortunately, we had plenty of great music to keep us company and our spirits high. What would we do without music? We owe a giant debt of gratitude to all the great artists who inspired us this year, and who helped keep our eyes on the horizon for a better 2021. Before we flip the calendar, we want to look back and share our Top 20 of 2020: albums, artists, and songs that inspired us throughout the last twelve months, and we want to encourage you to support the artists you loved in 2020 by purchasing their music, their merch, or dropping a nice tip the next time they offer a live steam.

Sample our top 2020 favorites below, listen to them in our FreshCuts side channel, and, if you’re the Spotify type, we’ve also put together a playlist – here.


Bonny Light HorsemanBonny Light Horseman (37d03d)

Cinder WellNo Summer (Free Dirt)

Della MaeHeadlight (Rounder)

Eliza Gilkyson2020 (Red House)

Gretchen PetersThe Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury (Scarlet Letter)

HawktailFormations (Padiddle Records)

Jake BlountSpider Tales (Free Dirt)

John Prine“I Remember Everything” – [single] (Oh Boy)

Kelsey WaldonThey’ll Never Keep Us Down (Oh Boy)

Kyshona ArmstrongListen (Tone Tree)

The MammalsNonet (Humble Abode)

Resistance Revival ChorusThis Joy (Righteous Babe Records)

Rosanne Cash w/ John Leventhal – “Crawl into the Promised Land” [single] (Blue Note)

Rose CousinsBravado (Outside Music)

Sarah JaroszWorld On the Ground (Rounder)

Sierra Hull25 Trips (Rounder)

Sunny WarCan I Sit With You? (Harlan Steinberger)

Tré Burt“Under the Devil’s Knee” (feat. Leya McCalla, Allison Russell, and Sunny War) [single] (Oh Boy)

William PrinceReliever (Glassnote)

Yola and the Highwomen“Hold On” (feat. Sheryl Crow, Brandi Carlile, and Natalie Hemby) [single] (Why Queue)

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