Here's a look at some of the best American folk, bluegrass, alt.country and folk-rock tunes to be released in 2007.
In her live show this year, Patty Griffin announced this song as a tune she wrote for her dog. In a year where there was so much to feel un-heavenly about, Griffin managed to channel the inherent peace and beauty all things posess into this gorgeous melody.
Alison Krauss and Robert Plant's collaboration was a long-anticipated release, and this song about trust and worry is one of the biggest highlights on the disc, Raising Sand
This title track of the Infamous Stringdusters' debut album
seemed to be blasting out of speakers just about everywhere I went this year, and with good reason. The band was one of the best new artists on the scene this year, and their first CD was one of the best of 2007.
Kane Welch Kaplin
released one of the best albums of 2007, and it was hard to not list every song here, but "Last Lost Highway" has a really nice rolling guitar part and lyrics that pay tribute to the suicide of a friend.
Laura Veirs has a serious knack for ambitious arrangements, and this song is no exception. She brought in a children's chorus to sing backup, and put to work her exceptionally tight backup band for a song about getting away from the big city for a while.
This beautiful ballad from Shepherd's Dog
isn't just wrought with beautiful southern gothic narration and imagery, but is also a lovely testimony to not wanting to let go of the past and being ready to survive anything.
Suzanne Vega's Beauty & Crime
CD was easily one of the best recordings of the year, and this tune was one of the most remarkable compositions on the disc. In Vega's trademark narrative, poetic way, it captures just about everything one can say about the city.
Life on the road is always its own inspiration when it comes to writing songs, and Brandi Carlile's "Downpour" (from The Story
) is a nice example. Carlile's super-emotive voice wraps nicely around this tune about missing loved ones.
Serena Ryder didn't become a huge star this year, but this song is one of the most heart-breaking heartbreak songs to surface in 07.
Laura Love's NeGrass
CD is an impressive collection of African-American spirituals set to a bluegrass theme, and "Saskatchewan" was one of the best tunes on the whole disc.