Last year, the world's ears seemed to be turning toward American folk music and Americana with an enthusiasm that hasn't been seen in a few decades. Blame it on the Mumfords or the Coen Brothers or whatever have you, but the truth was that the people making real folk music were making some of the most interesting strides available in contemporary folk. From Chris Thile's MacArthur Grant-inspired mandolin performance of Bach compositions to the amplification of great up-and-coming artists like Hurray for the Riff Raff and the solo pursuits of folks like Jason Isbell and Aoife O'Donovan...I know I'm biased but, frankly, all the good music seemed to be happening in the folk/roots/Americana realm.
Well, that trend shows no sign of letting up. From new music (at long last) by old folkie favorites like John Gorka to the imaginative work of newercomers like Leyla McCalla and Parker Millsap, 2014 is starting to look like it might one-up last year in the realm of "great folk music releases". Get a headstart on learning about what's in store with this look at five albums you won't want to miss as this year gets revved up.
Hurray for the Riff Raff coverart © ATO Records