Would love to hear about your favorite releases in the comments!
Ben Bedford - "What We Lost" (Waterbug)
Ben is a very talented singer-songwriter who continues to grow and expand his writing and playing. "What We Lost" is the most biographical of Ben's releases. His background as a history major comes through as well. All combine to make for an excellent set of songs that are expressive and moving, and darn nice to listen to.
Carolina Chocolate Drops - "Leaving Eden" (Nonesuch)
Such a talented young group of musicians. I first heard of them in 2008 when I attended the Folk Alliance in Memphis. Seems like since then we've heard more and more about them. Their CDs keep getting better and better, and their first one was great!
Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, Anders Parker, Yim Yames - "New Multitudes" (Rounder)
These young lads have put some fine music to Woody Guthrie's words.
John Fullbright - "From the Ground Up" (Blue Dirt)
I'm so excited to hear that this fine young talent from Okemah, Ok. (Woody Guthrie's birthplace as well) has been nominated for a Grammy! Must be somethin' in the water in Okemah for two such great singer-songwriters to have come from there.
Caroline Herring - "Camilla" (Signature Sounds)
Caroline Herring is back this year with a strong CD of songwriting and storytelling.
Malcolm Holcombe - "Down the River" (Gypsy Eyes Music)
The gravelly voiced troubadour is supported by a stellar group of musicians: Andrew Hardin, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris and Darrell Scott, just to name a few.
The Honey Dewdrops - "Silver Lining" (Self-released)
Most exciting new discovery this year. Fine, fine harmonies, tunes, music from this duo who hail from Virginia. They bear a strong resemblance to Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, but are just as talented in their own right.
Tom Irwin - "Sangamon Songs" (Clyded)
It gives me goose bumps to hear Tom Irwin tell the story of the inspiration for this CD: A 16-year-old boy's diary found on Tom's family farm. The boy, Harry Ludlam, lived in the very same house over 100 years before. Tom's fine crafting of the music gives life to Harry's words in this wonderful concept album.
Lucy Kaplansky - write my paper "Reunion" (Red House)
Lucy Kaplansky's voice and songwriting are in fine form on this release. She put on a great show at Off Broadway in November.
Roy Schneider - "Walls That Talk" (Shiny Gnu)
This CD debuted at #3 on the National Folk Charts. Another pleasant surprise of a talent from 2012! I missed his show at the Wolf Pub House a few months back. I sure hope he'll come through town again soon!