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CD Reviews

Reviews are listed in alphabetical order by the first name of the artist.
  1. 2005 Folk CD Reviews (13)
  2. 2006 Folk CD Reviews (64)
  3. 2007 Folk CD Reviews (54)
  4. 2008 Folk CD Reviews (47)
  5. 2009 Folk CD Reviews (37)
  6. 2010 CD Reviews (8)
  7. 2011 CD Reviews (17)
  8. 2012 CD Reviews (16)

Joan Baez - 'The First 10 Years'
Whether you're just learning about Joan Baez's music or are a long-time fan, 'The First 10 Years' is a great introduction to her music. Check out my full review.

'Gypsies and Clowns - Natalia Zukerman and Friends live at SPACE'
Natalia Zukerman gathered together Willy Porter, Edie Carey, Adrian Gonzalez, Erin McKeown, and others to record a live album in Evanston, Ill. Check out my full review of 'Gypsies and Clowns.'

Kris Kristofferson - 'Feeling Mortal'
Kris Kristofferson released his first album in four years, in 2013. Find out how worth the wait 'Feeling Mortal' was, with this full CD review.

Townes Van Zandt - 'Sunshine Boy: The Unheard Studio Sessions and Demos 1971-72'
This double disc collection of Townes Van Zandt rarities and demos will likely bowl over long-time fans of that great songwriter. Check out this full review.

Mary Gauthier - 'Live at Blue Rock'
Check out this full review of singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier's 'Live at Blue Rock' album.

Holly Williams - 'The Highway'
Check out my full review of Holly Williams' third full-length album - 2013's 'The Highway'.

The Decemberists - The King Is Dead
The Decemberists have become one of the most popular and influential indie folk bands to emerge from the Portland, Ore., roots music scene. Their sixth studio album, 'The King Is Dead,' leans ever closer to catchy indie pop, further from what had, on previous albums, appeared to be a strong narrative muse.

Buddy Miller's Majestic Silver Strings
On 'Majestic Silver Strings', Buddy Miller teams up with Marc Ribot, Bill Frisell, Greg Liesz, and a team of Americana music's most notable women singers to deliver an outstanding revival of traditional folk-country standards.

Loudon Wainwright III - 40 Odd Years

Sarah Jarosz - Follow Me Down
Sarah Jarosz's 2009 debut, 'Song Up In Her Head,' was a surprisingly mature and creative statement from an artist who was, at the time, barely at the end of her teen years. The disc's follow-up, 'Follow Me Down,' takes a more daring direction, veering from her traditional roots. But, the result is an imaginative collection of richly personal...

Gillian Welch - The Harrow and the Harvest

Jolie Holland & the Grand Chandeliers - Pint of Blood

Note of Hope: A Celebration of Woody Guthrie
In celebration of Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday in 2012, a number of tributes and celebratory recordings and events are in the works. Check out this first major contribution - a celebration of Guthrie's legacy and influence, featuring Pete Seeger, Tom Morello, Ani DiFranco, and more.

Paul Simon - Songwriter
Paul Simon has been considered one of the best songwriters in folk-pop for decades. Learn more about his collection of great songwriting, titled, aptly, 'Songwriter.'

Erin McKeown - F*ck That
Erin McKeown has dabbled in everything from folk to jazz and beyond. Now, she touches Christmas music...or at least the opposite of Christmas music. Check out this full review.

Paul Simon - So Beautiful or So What
Paul Simon's 11th studio album demonstrates what it is which separates this hugely influential singer-songwriter from the scores of other artists forging a path in contemporary folk music over the past half-century. Pulling together musical elements from around the world, Paul Simon's lyricism is, as always, front and center. Check out this full...

Alison Krauss & Union Station - 'Paper Airplane'
Alison Krauss may have started her career in bluegrass, but she's moved through a few other genres since her 1987 debut, 'Too Late to Cry.' Her music has become a much more unique and personal venture, veering from the standard stylistics of bluegrass and instead using bluegrass instrumentation to reach toward new directions. 'Paper Airplane' is...

Album Review: Bob Dylan, Together Through Life
If you thought Bob Dylan was beginning to slip into a predictable songwriting formula, his April 29, 2009 release, Together Through Life, should alleviate any fears. This is Dylan's biggest departure from anything resembling a groove since his mid-'60s experimental peak. Read the About.com review here!

Various Artists - 'My Favorite Gifts'
Christmas folk music doesn't always follow the straight line of traditional carols. Check out these contemporary tunes compiled by the fine folks at Ramseur Records.

Emmylou Harris - Hard Bargain
Emmylou Harris is one of the most respected singers in contemporary American folk music and Americana. Her vocals are smooth as honey and hugely emotive, and her new album 'Hard Bargain' delivers more of the same delicious sad songs we've come to expect from Emmy.

'Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan'
This is not the first - nor, likely, the last - collection of music paying tribute to Bob Dylan. But, it's certainly one of the most provocative. Check out my full review of 'Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan'.

Justin Townes Earle - 'Nothing's Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now'
Check out this full review of Justin Townes Earle's fifth studio album, 'Nothing's Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now' (Bloodshot, 2012).

Pete Seeger - 'The Complete Bowdoin College Concert 1960'
With this 2-disc set, Pete Seeger is shown to be the champion of American folk music he has always been. Learn more about this fantastic archival recording with this review of Pete Seeger Live at Bowdoin College in 1960.

Indigo Girls - Beauty Queen Sister
Read this review of the new album - Beauty Queen Sister - from the Indigo Girls.

Pete Seeger - 'Pete Remembers Woody' (Tribute to Woody Guthrie)
Check out this full review of Pete Seeger's oral hisotry and folk song tribute to his old friend Woody Guthrie, on the occasion of the latter's 100th birthday.

Ani DiFranco - Which Side Are You On?
Check out this full review of Ani DiFranco's 2012 release 'Which Side Are You On?'

Anais Mitchell - 'Young Man in America'
Anais Mitchell's followup to 'Hadestown' is a straight-up singer-songwriter album full of equally heartbreaking and enlightening songs. Check out my full review.

Carolina Chocolate Drops - 'Leaving Eden'
Check out our full review of the Carolina Chocolate Drops' new album 'Leaving Eden' and see how it measures up to their previous efforts.

Patty Griffin - 'American Kid'
Read more about Patty Griffin's seventh full-length studio album, 'American Kid', with this full album review.

Melissa Ferrick - 'The Truth Is'
Check out this full review of Melissa Ferrick's 2013 album 'The Truth Is' (MPress Records), with MP3s and other information.

Sara Watkins - 'Sun Midnight Sun'
Check out this full review of Sara Watkins' second solo album 'Sun Midnight Sun'.

Folk Uke - 'Reincarnation'
Learn more about the sophomore release from folk music humor duo Cathy Guthrie and Amy Nelson (i.e. Folk Uke). Joined this time by Arlo Guthrie and Willie Nelson, along with Shooter Jennings, this 2011 release is not to be missed.

Bobby Bare - 'Darker Than Light'
The great country singer Bobby Bare threw his hat into the folk music ring this fall when he released a collection of contemporary and traditional tunes called 'Darker Than Light'. Check out my full review.

Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, Anders Parker, Yim Yames - 'New Multitudes'
Check out this full review of the latest installment in the project to resurrect Woody Guthrie's lost songs and stories. How does this collection fare?

Kelly Joe Phelps - 'Brother Sinner & the Whale'
Learn more about Kelly Joe Phelps' 2012 album 'Brother Sinner & the Whale' with this full review of the CD.

Old Crow Medicine Show - 'Carry Me Back'
Check out this full review of the latest album from Old Crow Medicine Show - 'Carry Me Back' (ATO, 2012).

Wailin Jennys - Bright Morning Stars
The Wailin Jennys have long been a fixture on the folk festival circuit, bringing beautiful three-part harmonies to their original contemporary songs. On 'Bright Morning Stars' - their fourth studio album - the trio's emotionally daring lyrics traverse the precarious terrain of heartbreak. Check out this review of the Wailin Jennys - 'Bright...

Paul Simon - 'Graceland' 25th Anniversary Edition 2-CD/2-DVD Set
Twenty-five years after Paul Simon released 'Graceland', Legacy Recordings has pulled together a box set (including a documentary film about the making of the album). Check out this full review of the Graceland 25th Anniversary Edition.

Aoife O'Donovan - 'Fossils'
Check out my full review of Aoife O'Donovan's first solo album 'Fossils' - her first since her band Crooked Still released their final full-length CD in 2010.

Putumayo Kids Presents American Playground (Folk Music for Kids)
Check out my review of the newest disc from Putumayo Kids - American Playground, featuring performances from Dan Zanes, Elizabeth Mitchell, Guy Davis, and more.

'Woody Guthrie at 100! Live at the Kennedy Center'
Learn more about the new Woody Guthrie tribute album - 'Woody Guthrie at 100! Live at the Kennedy Center' - featuring Del McCoury Band, Old Crow Medicine Show, Rosanne Cash, Tom Morello, Ani DiFranco, and more.

Alice Gerrard - 'Bittersweet'
Learn more about Alice Gerrard's first ever full-length solo album of original songs, with this full review of 'Bittersweet'.

Amanda Shires - 'Down Fell the Doves'
Check out the About Folk Music review of Amanda Shires' fourth solo album, 'Down Fell the Doves' (Lightning Rod Records, 2013).

Elizabeth Mitchell & Dan Zanes - Turn Turn Turn
Check out this full album review of the collaboration between Dan Zanes and Elizabeth Mitchell - 'Turn Turn Turn.'

The Civil Wars - Self-titled
Find out how well the Civil Wars' sophomore LP measures up to their debut with this full review of the self-titled disc.

Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott - 'Memories and Moments'
Check out this full review of the latest release from Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott, in their collaborative partnership. Here's a closer look at 'Memories and Moments'.

Woody Guthrie: American Radical Patriot
Read my full review of the six-CD box set from the Woody Guthrie archive and Rounder Records. 'American Radical Patriot'.

Claire Lynch - 'Dear Sister'
Check out my full review of Claire Lynch's 'Dear Sister' album, released in May of 2013.

Review of Sarah Jarosz - 'Build Me Up from Bones'
Learn more about Sarah Jarosz's third full-length album for Sugar Hill Records with this album review of 'Build Me Up from Bones'.

Dave Van Ronk - 'Down in Washington Square' Review
Check out this full review of Dave Van Ronk - Down in Washington Square: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection, including recommended MP3s.

Patty Griffin - 'Silver Bell' Album Review
The long-awaited album from Patty Griffin was finally released in October of 2013. Check out this full review.

Review of Parker Millsap - Self-titled
Parker Millsap's first full-length self-titled album is one of the most impressive folk music debuts of the year. Check out my full review.

Nickel Creek - A Dotted Line
Full review of Nickel Creek's 25th Anniversary reunion album, 'A Dotted Line'.

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