Veterans, Newcomers Among Those In Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Country/Bluegrass/Folk/Americana Albums

Courtesy: Mercury Nashville

Country music, bluegrass, folk, and Americana fans have had a lot to be happy bout in 2020.  That is because the genres, which are so closely related to one another, have seen a lot of enjoyable new albums released.  Bluegrass fans saw Steep Canyon Rangers release its new album Arm in Arm.  The country music world saw Chris Stapleton’s new album Starting Over, which is some of his best work to date in his still young career.  Steve Earle and his fellow musicians The Dukes released a new album that audiences can easily put into the Americana category while the folk world while Delta Rae’s new album The Light can just as easily be added to the folk/neo-folk category just as much as the Americana category.  All three albums are featured in this year’s Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Country/Bluegrass/Folk/Americana Albums list along with lots of others, including Chatham County Line’s new album Strange Fascination and the recently released independent band Royal Horses’ new album A Modern Man’s Way To Improve.  That album crosses the border of country, bluegrass and Americana. 

As with each year’s past lists, this year features the year’s Top 10 best new albums from the noted genres along with five additional honorable mentions for a total of 15 albums.  Without any further ado, here is PHIL’S PICKS 2020 TOP 10 NEW COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS/FOLK/AMERICANA ALBUMS.


  1. Chris Stapleton – Starting Over
  2. The Okee Dokee Brothers – Songs For Singin
  3. Josh Turner – Country State of Mind
  4. Delta Rae – The Light
  5. Reckless Kelly – American Girls/American Jackpot
  6. Steve Earle & The Dukes – The Ghosts of West Virginia
  7. Chatham County Line – Strange Fascination
  8. Jack The Radio – Creatures
  9. Royal Horses – A Modern Man’s Way To Improve
  10. Steep Canyon Rangers – Arm in Arm
  11. Brothers Osborne – Skeletons
  12. Bruce Springsteen – Letter To You
  13. Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – Reunions
  14. Mile Twelve – Roll The Tapes All Night Long
  15. Special Consensus – Chicago Barn Dance

Next up from Phil’s Picks is 2020’s Top 10 New Rap & Hip-Hop Albums.  Stay tuned for that. 

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Willie Nelson Is First Place This Year With “Last Man Standing”

Courtesy: Sony Legacy

Country music is big business nowadays.  One need only look at shows like The Voice and America’s Got Talent to see that.  Also, look at the ratings for the Country Music awards shows that air on television every year, as well as the overall record sales and the glut of country music stations airing the past, present and future of the genre nationwide.

Keeping in mind the popularity (and ongoing success) of said genre, it is only fitting for the genre to get its own list of the year’s top new albums.  Phil’s Picks has compiled its own list of those albums, and it — like the noted radio stations — features a who’s who of country music’s past, present and future.

Topping this year’s list is Willie Nelson’s new album Last Man Standing.  The “Red-Headed Stranger” is in fine form in this latest offering, contemplating mortality, friends lost along life’s long road and some other, deeper topics.  Musically speaking, Last Man Standing is just good, old-fashioned country; everything that country music purists enjoy.

Second on this year’s list is fellow country musician John Prine and his new album The Tree of Forgiveness.  The soul in his lyrical themes and his performance make this song so powerful.  It is an album that every country music purist needs to hear.

Taking the third spot in this year’s list is Shooter Jennings, Waylon’s boy.  Shooter is everything that audiences have come to expect from him over the course of his career.  Yet again, listeners get more growth both musically and lyrically from the outlaw country musician that continues to place Jennings in his very own place separate from his contemporaries.  Again, this is another must for those who want to avoid all of the pop country that currently pollutes the country music scene today.

Moving on, the rest of this year’s list features some unexpected names and some more familiar names mixed in for good measure.  As always, the list features 15 total names and titles.  The top 10 are the best, and the next five are honorable mention titles.

Without any further ado, here is the Phil’s PIcks 2018 top 10 New Country Music Albums list.


  1. Willie Nelson — Last Man Standing
  2. John Prine — The Tree of Forgiveness
  3. Shooter Jennings — Shooter
  4. Old Crow Medicine Show — Volunteer
  5. Jason Charles Miller — In The Wasteland
  6. David Michael George — 1,000 Yard Stare
  7. Eric Church — Desperate Man
  8. Pistol Annies — Interstate Gospel
  9. Kenny Chesney — Songs for the Saints
  10. Brothers Osborne — Port Saint Joe
  11. DeVotchka — This Night Falls Forever
  12. Dierks Bentley — The Mountain
  13. Devin Dawson — Dark Horse
  14. Patricia Vonne — Top of the Mountain
  15. Sugarland — Bigger

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