The Lowest Pair serves as a vehicle for Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee to explore the bottomless well of American folk music, with an emphasis on banjo, guitar and front-porch harmonies. The double-banjo duet of "Living Is Dying" captures that sound exquisitely.
This has felt like the official year of "Well, it's about time!" recordings. There seemed to be so many albums from top-flight players who haven't released anything in, literally, years. In all cases, it was worth the wait.
It would be hard to overstate the importance and the beauty of the Everly Brothers' music, though with the passing of Phil Everly on January 3, 2014, many have tried. But that beauty always slips away. For a moment, Detroit-area band Frontier Ruckus manages to capture some of that elusive grace in its cover of "Like Strangers."
There were so many releases in 2013 and I know I only heard a small fraction of them. In my relatively small overall sampling of 2013 album releases, I found a whole lot to like, and it was difficult to narrow them down to a list of 10.
The year 2013 brought so much wonderful new music, but, like every year, it brought so much sad music news. The loss of Jason Molina, leader of Magnolia Electric Co. and the voice and vision behind Songs: Ohia, was one of the toughest. "Just Be Simple," a demo from the Songs: Ohia release "Magnolia Electric Co.," is a poignant reminder of his astonishingly honest, unpretentious art.
A year can only be what you make of it. In 2013 the artists behind these 10 albums chose to dig deep and offer up music that provides a map to navigate one's own emotional landscape.
The thing about Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott is that each project comes with the feeling that you're joining a show already in progress. That's true of their latest studio release, "Memories and Moments," which comes a full decade after their first.
The DJs of 88.1 KDHX have picked their "Songs of the Year," and the resulting list -- spanning all manner of sounds and styles, ranging from radio hitmakers to local heroes -- forms a pretty comprehensive (and thoroughly enjoyable) look back at the year in music that was 2013.