Honoring the past while respecting the present seems to be JD McPherson's main goal on his sophomore album, "Let The Good Times Roll," which showcases musical influences from many decades, but especially the '50s.
Son Volt's "Honky Tonk" calls on inspiration drawn directly from the heartlands of America and takes on a much more classic approach to their alternative-country craft.
"Across the Imaginary Divide" is another foray for Béla Fleck into jazz, coupling with a pianist much as he has done with Chick Corea in their live shows and on their CD "The Enchantment" (2007). The trio is filled out by Rodney Jordan on bass and Jason Marsalis on drums.
Mixing jazz, blues and a big shot of old style rock 'n' roll into a fierce cocktail, JD McPherson pushes time backward with his swinging analog grooves.
High on both the CMJ and Americana charts is "Voyageur," the latest release from singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards. This from-the-heart batch of songs is her most developed work yet.