This list has it all: indie rock, blues, country, folk, pop, reggae, jazz and everything in between. It's the kind of year-end roundup KDHX loves to make, because it illustrates the passion and curiosity of our DJs -- and of you, our loyal listeners.
Written by Dave Hamilton and Clarence Paul, and recorded by Marvin Gaye in 1964, "Purple Snowflakes" isn't known as a holiday classic, even though it really should be. St. Louis band Rough Shop updates the dreamy, jazzy, psychedelic sound with a cover that's both faithful and fully inspired.
The cover photo of this disc is a composite of Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge, one image overlaid on the other. It's hard to see who belongs to which hands, or which head goes with which shirt, and indeed, the music on this disc continues in that vein -- they play so closely together, it is as if the two minds have become one. It's unreal.
In band years, 16 orbits of the sun is an eternity. Formidable and formative alternative-country group 6 String Drag is finally back with new music, notably the guitar-surfing "Drive Around Town," a representative slice of twangy cruising life from the Raleigh, North Carolina veterans.
Lera Lynn is a rising Americana star on the move.
The Lowest Pair has a timeless old-time sound. Promo photos aside, Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee make no pretensions to authenticity. On a track like "Moving On," the beauty of their harmonies and intricate banjo-and-fiddle arrangements speaks for itself.