Country music (for those who want to call it such nowadays) is among the mot popular of genres across the musical universe. From radio to television, it seems like it is inescapable. Just look at how many so-called country musicians get onto all of the karaoke contests across all of the TV networks. Look at all of the pomp and circumstance around all of the country music awards shows on television. While country music gets so much attention, sadly its brethren (of sorts) in the realms of bluegrass, Americana and folk get far less attention and credit from the mainstream. This is the case despite the reality that all of the genres are so tightly interwoven. That is why each year, Phil’s Picks has put them all together into one year-end list honoring the best of all four of those genres, which are all really part of one bigger family of music.
This year has seen plenty of notable releases from across those genres, too. Case in point is Delta Rae’s latest album, The Dark. This group, originally from Durham, North Carolina, has walked that blurred line of country and Americana so well over the years and continues to do so to this day, and its new record proves that so well. Bela Fleck’s latest album, My Bluegrass Heart, is unquestionably among the best of the year’s new bluegrass albums, on another hand. Ronnie Milsap also returned with a great new, pure country music record in the form of A Better Word For Love, showing that thankfully, real country music is not dead yet. Even Alan Jackson – another pure country artist – thankfully released new material this year that is noteworthy in the form of Where Have You Gone. The record is another nice reminder that there is still hope for real country in a sea that is so awash in pop music that masquerades as country. All of these records and more are part of Phil’s Picks’ 2021 Top 10 New Country/Bluegrass/Americana/Folk Albums list.
As with each list done annually, it consists of the year’s Top 10 New titles, plus five additional honorable mention titles. That brings the total to 15, yes, but the title remains, Top 10. Those honorable mention titles just deserve their own special recognition.
Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2021 Top 10 New Country/Bluegrass/Folk/Americana Albums list.
PHIL’S PICKS 2021 TOP 10 NEW COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS/FOLK/AMERICANA ALBUMS
- John Hiatt with the Jerry Douglas Band – Leftover Feelings
- Delta Rae – The Dark
- David Crosby – For Free
- Bela Fleck – By Bluegrass Heart
- Ronnie Milsap – A Better Word for Love
- Stoney Creek Bluegrass Band – A Miner’s Life
- Alan Jackson – Where Have You Gone
- Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – The Future
- Langhorne Slim – Strawberry Mansion
- Blackberry Smoke – You Hear Georgia
- Valerie June — The Moon and the Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers
- Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Raise The Roof
- The Felice Brothers – From Dreams to Dust
- Son Volt – Electro Melodier
- Rick Faris – The Next Mountain
That’s all for this year’s list of top new Country/Bluegrass/Americana/Folk records. It is still not the end of this year’s top new music lists, though. Still on tap are lists for the year’s top new rock and hard rock/metal albums, new live CDs, and the year’s top new albums overall. That is all on the way, so stay tuned!
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