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Out of the Box Album of the Week with Paul Shugrue Cover
Out of the Box Album of the Week with Paul Shugrue Profile

Out of the Box Album of the Week with Paul Shugrue

English, Reviews, 1 season, 697 episodes
About
All week, on each edition of Out of the Box, listen for songs from one of the best albums that’s just hitting stores and hear Paul Shugrue's review of that album.
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The Avett Brothers

On their first album in five years, a self-titled effort, they return with nine songs that go from infectious energy to melancholy reflection without a hint of irony
5/20/20240
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Rick Estrin & the Nightcats

The title of the new album “The Hits Keep Coming” doesn’t refer to hit singles but the body blows delivered by a lifetime of playing the blues.
5/13/20240
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Camera Obscura

“Look to the East, Look to the West” is their first album in 11 years but they waste no time re-capturing the essence of what they are known for; effortlessly blending catchy hooks with thoughtful songwriting surrounded by lush, modern arrangements.
5/6/20240
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St. Vincent

“All Born Screaming” is a thrill ride of psychedelic, dystopian experimentation
4/29/20240
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Pearl Jam

"Dark Matter" is their twelfth studio album, a vivid testament to their enduring artistry and evolution.
4/22/20240
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Maggie Rogers

Her third album “Don’t forget me” has many songs about coping with the sudden rush of fame.
4/16/20240
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Vampire Weekend

“Only God Was Above Us” is about history, their own, and most notably that of their former hometown, New York City
4/8/20240
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Sue Foley

The award winning blues artist plays a nylon sting acoustic on the album whose title says it all “One Guitar Woman: A Tribute to the Female Pioneers of Guitar.”
4/1/20240
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Waxahatchee

Katie Crutchfield veered away from her indie rock roots with her last album and on “Tigers Blood” she doubles down on that pure americana sound to deliver an almost perfect follow up.
3/25/20240
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Bleachers

Jack Antonoff, on Bleacher’s new self-titled album, has his band cruising the interstate rather than the red carpet.
3/11/20240
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Liam Gallagher John Squire

“Liam Gallagher John Squire” despite it’s unimaginative title, goes a long way to contributing to their enduring legacies.
3/4/20240
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Hurray for the Riff Raff

“The Past is Still Alive” is like a modern day western, tough and tender and full of personal experiences that, while traumatic, inspire the feeling that life goes on.
2/27/20240
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Middle Kids

The indie rock trio from Australia's third album is “Faith Crisis Part 1”
2/19/20240
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Brittany Howard

“What Now” is the second solo album by the Alabama Shakes lead singer. As the title suggests you never know what’s going to happen next.
2/12/20240
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J Mascis

on his new solo album “What Do We Do Now” he combines two approaches, layering acoustic guitars under his trademark electric riffs
2/5/20240
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Sarah Jarosz

"Polaroid Lovers" is unlike anything she has done before
1/29/20240
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Sleater-Kinney

"Little Rope" is a captivating part of the band’s second act, it’s their fourth album since coming out of retirement.
1/22/20240
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Chris Stapleton

"Higher" is a masterful blend of country, soul, and blues that showcases his remarkable vocal range.
11/14/20230
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Michael Franti & Spearhead

A Sense of Community is what they are after on their 13th studio album “Big Big Love.”
11/7/20230
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The Mountain Goats

“Jenny From Thebes” is a full blown rock opera about a character first introduced on a 2002 album.
10/30/20230
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Rolling Stones

“Hackney Diamonds” is the return to form that no one ever expected
10/23/20230
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Margo Price

“Strays 2” a companion recording to an album she released in January that stands on it’s own but also expands the first album’s mythology
10/16/20230
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Sufjan Stevens

“Javelin” is a career defining work
10/9/20230
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Wilco

On their 13th album “Cousin” they offer some great reflections on the world today and their inability to understand it.
10/2/20230
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Lowland Hum

Their newest album “From Self With Love” arrives after a tumultuous year for them
9/25/20230
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The Record Company

On their fourth album, called “The Fourth Album” they get back to the basics of what they started out being; a kick-ass, original blues-rock band.
9/18/20230
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Slowdive

“Everything is Alive” evolves the band’s sound bringing them into the forefront of the neo psychedelic scene.
9/5/20230
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Old Crow Medicine Show

“Jubilee” is an album of songs with common themes like romance, grief, reuniting with old friends and...cockfights.
8/28/20230
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Hozier

He’s literate, adventurous and earnest and he continues to amaze with his third album “Unreal Unearth.”
8/21/20230
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Tell Everybody! 21st Century Juke Joint Blues from Easy Eye Sound

Dan Auerbach is not only the leader of The Black Keys and the Arcs, he’s also the founder of a record company, an in demand producer and a talent scout who has brought together his most recent discoveries on this album with a self-explanatory title
8/14/20230
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Bethany Cosentino

"Natural Disaster" is the solo debut album by the leader of Best Coast
7/31/20230
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Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway

“City of Gold” is a quick follow-up to last year’s “Crooked Tree” which won the Grammy award for Bluegrass Album of the Year. For the new album she returns with the same crew.
7/24/20230
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Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real

On “Sticks and Stones” it’s clear he doesn’t care what people are saying about him. His wit and wisdom are what makes this album such a hoot.
7/17/20230
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Anthony Rosano & the Conqueroos

"Cheat the Devil" is a thrill-a-minute ride through the power of his guitar and his voice that melds into it.
7/10/20230
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Lucinda Williams

On “Stories From a Rock and Roll Heart” she has recovered from a very dark time in her life to create one of her greatest albums.
7/3/20230
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Eliza Gilkyson

Her new album “Home” is a stirring collection of songs celebrating the familial setting it refers to.
6/26/20230
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Jenny Lewis

The former Rilo Kiley lead singer, has always had a little country influence in her solo albums and on “Joy’all” she embraces that style
6/12/20230
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Bully

“Lucky For You”, with equal parts punk, shoegaze, brit pop and anthemic rock, is an album meant to be played loud.
6/5/20230
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Arlo Parks

The follow up to her Mercury Prize winning debut from 2021, “My Soft Machine”
5/30/20230
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Dave Matthews Band

On their tenth album “Walk Around the Moon” they continue to find innovative ways to keep the groove fresh.
5/22/20230
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Parker Millsap

“Wilderness Within You” is his 6th album and juxtaposes songs that vary wildly in arrangements from acoustic front porch strummings to psychedelic electronic experiments
5/15/20230
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Eilen Jewell

“Get Behind the Wheel,” her tenth album, tells of the nadir her career hit during the pandemic and how, by refocusing her life, she was able to liberate herself
5/8/20230
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The National

Their 9th album “The First Two Pages of Frankenstein” builds on their already well-established core sound of poetic somberness
5/1/20230
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Lael Neale

Her third album “Star Eaters Delight” distinguishes her as a lo-fi singer songwriter with a voice and instrumental approach that sound like no other artist today.
4/24/20230
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Natalie Merchant

"Keep Your Courage" is the first solo album in nine years from the former 10,000 Maniacs lead singer.
4/17/20230
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Wilco

Wilco (the album) is the first cd in the band's history to be recorded by the same personnel lineup as their previous album and the consistency pays off.
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Feral Conservatives

Heres to Almost is the first great recording to come out of Hampton Roads this year. They describe themselves as a mandolin based indie rock post garage pre folk mid noise band.
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Santana

The cagily titled new album IV reunites the band that last recorded on the album III forty five years ago. They prove that not only were they great back then, but they've improved.
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The Whigs

"In The Dark" is the third album from this Georgia rock trio and gives us hope for straight ahead rock and roll bands.
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Eleanor Friedberger

This is the solo debut album by the artist who is one half of the Fiery Furnaces, an avante garde indie band. But on Last Summer the music is more concise, friendly and streamlined.
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Ruston Kelly

“The Weakness” comes after his divorce from Kacy Musgraves, it’s theme deals more with the resilience needed to handle all transitions in life
4/10/20230
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Nikki Lane

"Denim & Diamonds" takes the alt-country rocker into new territory, with a tougher and heavier musical attitude
9/26/20220
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Death Cab For Cutie

“Asphalt Meadows” keeps up a high degree of reinvention that has served them so well
9/19/20220
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Andrew Bird

Are You Serious has an optimism evident in every song that makes it one of his most lyrically direct and possibly, best album of his twenty year career.
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The Last Bison

This Hampton Roads band has just released Inheritance, their major label debut of beautifully layered acoustic chamber pop.
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Damien Rice

After an eight year absence the Irish singer songwriter returns with an album of songs that play like a personal message to his long lost muse.
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Old Crow Medicine Show

Remedy is their eighth studio album and finds the band in a rambunctious mood, jumping from one banjo and fiddle fueled hoedown to another.
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Galactic

On Into the Deep, this long time New Orleans band perfects a type of party funk that accents the eight guest singers and gels into their best album yet.
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Neil Young

The ever experimental artist is at it again bringing in a 92 piece orchestra and a rollicking big band to give himself yet another new musical persona.
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Jackie Greene Giving Up the Ghost

The New York Times calls him the Prince of Americana.
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Josh Ritter

"So Runs the World Away" secure's Josh Ritter's place as one of America's most expressive singer-songwriters.
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Beabadoobee

“Beatopia” is a confident and endearing second album
7/18/20220
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SOAK

The band's Bridie Monds-Watson let it be known publicly that they are non-binary and that revelation informs the subject matter of their third album “If I Never Know You Like This Again”
5/23/20220
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Ray Wylie Hubbard

“Costarring Too” is the followup to his 2020 collection of collaborations and features an even more impressive lineup of guest musicians.
3/21/20220
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St. Vincent

Her sixth album “Daddy’s Home” draws it’s inspiration from her father who spent years in jail but it was his record collection that’s responsible for the unabashed retro sound
5/17/20210
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Parker Millsap

His new album “Be Here Instead” is a bold step forward instrumentally, maintaining his folkie style but experimenting with electronic effects that bring about a change in his approach to his already well proven talent for songwriting.
4/12/20210
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Bob Dylan

The double album “Rough and Rowdy Ways,” is his first of original material in eight years
6/22/20200
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Hiss Golden Messenger

Hiss Golden Messenger is the name M.C. Taylor has been recording under since 2009. “Terms of Surrender” is his eighth album and he describes the songs as being “my therapy and my church.”
9/23/20190
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Eilen Jewell

Her new album “Gypsy” is a tug of war of emotions as songs of politics and dissent push and pull at songs about happiness and empathy, putting into words and music the daily struggle of the human condition.
8/19/20190
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Rory Block

The acoustic blues great's last seven releases have been tribute albums to some of the greatest old-time bluesmen, now she’s starting on the women. "A Woman's Soul: A Tribute to Bessie Smith” is the first of a series she will dedicate to the women of the blues.
7/9/20180
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Randall Bramblett

“Juke Joint at the Edge of the World” is the eleventh album by the songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and it’s musical grit and funky tunes make it one of his best.
7/10/20170
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Radiohead

A Moon Shaped Pool is a surprise new album, their first in five years and ranks among their best.
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Lennon reimagined

2007 has seen an unusual amount of covers albums, tribute projects and cover songs on individual releases. "Instant Karma: The Campaign to save Darfur" with it's compelling beneficiary - Amnesty International, it's sole focus of John Lennon's solo recordings and it's wide range of contributing artists is the highest profile tribute of the year.
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Bruce Springsteen

“Letter To You” is a true love letter to his fans as he reunites with the E-Street Band for an album recorded live in the studio over a mere four days.
10/26/20200
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Norah Jones

“Pick Me Up Off the Floor,” her eight studio release was not expected so soon. Says Jones: “I don’t know if I was just in a zone or if this process turned it on, but I’ve felt more creative in the last year than I ever have,”
6/15/20200
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Better Oblivion Community Center

This collaboration between Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers had better be good just to live down the name they've given it, thankfully it is.
2/25/20190
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The Shins

The Shins have been around long enough to fall into the not-as-good-as-they-used-to-be stereotype by jaded critics. But on their fifth album “Heart Worms,” their music continues to charm and this being only their second album in ten years, they also know how not to wear out their welcome.
3/13/20170
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Butch Walker

Afraid of Ghosts is a tribute to the singer songwriters father who passed away recently. Its produced by Ryan Adams and is the kind of album Adams used to make, acoustic, introspective and utterly moving.
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Sufjan Stevens

One of the best albums of 2015, Carrie & Lowell. Hear more from this album and all the best releases of the year during the Out of the Box Retrospective Season.
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The National

"High Violet" is the followup to their higly acclaimed last cd and has the makings of a true break through for this band of post punk survivors.
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Johnny Winter

Roots is a tribute album to the most influential Blues songs on Johnny Winter's career but also a chance for a host of collaborators to play with one of the original blues/rock guitarists.
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Waxahatchee

Katie Crutchfield’s band sets off on a new course for the album “St. Cloud.” The thirty three year old singer-songwriter has fully embraced a sober lifestyle and an Americana direction that has resulted in the best album of her career.
3/30/20200
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Bob Dylan

"Together Through Life" shows that 68 year old Bob Dylan still has that late career hot hand going.
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Massive Attack

"Heligoland" is the trip hop pioneers' first album in seven years and they stay true to the original concept of the band while making a stylistically different album.
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M.S.G. The Acoustic Blues Trio

"The Hampton Roads band has just released their second album of traditional and original blues called "Done Spke My Mind"
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The Jayhawks

on Paging Mr Proust the band continues to define the term Alt country by looking back over their thirty year legacy while forging ahead with new ideas.
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Red Hot Chili Peppers

This is the tenth studio album by the notorious funk rockers and finds them making a smooth transition from their long time guitarist John Fruciante to newcomer Josh Klinghoffer.
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Laura Veirs

With an earnest approach much like other great folk artists, Veirs has put together a collection of some of the best lullabyes, ballads and campfire songs ever written on Laura Veirs Sings Folk Songs for Children.
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Various Artists covering The Velvet Underground

“The Velvet Underground & Nico” came out in 1967 and “I’ll Be Your Mirror”is a new, song for song tribute to that groundbreaking debut.
9/27/20210
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Madeleine Peyroux

"Standing on the Rofftop" is the fifth album by this singer who is usually compared with Billie Holliday. On her new album she lessens the jazz influence and adds gospel, folk and blues.
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The Black Keys

"Brothers" is a back to the basics garage rock milestone for the guitar and drums duo who make much more music than two musicians should be able to.
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Jay Farrar and Benjamin Gibbard

"One Fast Move or I'm Gone" is a musical transcription of the Jack Kerouac novel "Big Sur" by the frontmen of Death Cab For Cutie and Son Volt.
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Parker Millsap

The Very Last Day is an impressive sophmore album that combines religious imagery with apocalyptic themes.
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Ryan Bingham - Mescalito

From the weary sandpaper vocals on his major label debut, "Mescalito" you can tell Ryan Bingham has led a hard lifethe thing is, he's only 25 years old.
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Old Crow Medicine Show

Old Crow Medicine Show's third album, "Tennessee Pusher" continues to drag string band music kicking and screaming into 21st century.
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Conor Oberst

The long time leader of Bright Eyes releases his best solo album since that band's hey day in 2005. Its called Upside Down Mountain and is his first album in three years.
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American Aquarium

“Chicamacomico”is a life saving station on the Outer Banks and a metaphor for the heart wrenching songs on this North Carolina band's album.
6/13/20220
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Dawes

On their seventh album “Good Luck With Whatever,” they come to grips with being thirty-something and dealing with growing up.
10/5/20200
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Drive By Truckers

"Go Go Boots" is another collection of songs capturing the southern gothic character of life in the South.
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Lucinda Williams

The veteran singer songwriters second double album in a row is inspired by the southern highway from Florida to Louisiana where she grew up.
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Mumford and Sons

Babel is one of the most anticipated albums of the year after the sleeper success of their debut in 2009. The new album builds on that sound.
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Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals - Lifeline

The Gospel According to Ben. With his recent prolific song production Ben Harper has been in danger of wearing out his welcome. Lifeline however, defies the odds, and like the five other albums he's released this decade, it is close to flawless.
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Eric Gales

"Crown" is a modern blues showcase that is equal parts soul, funk and blues.
1/31/20220
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Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson

"Rattlin' Bones" is the first collaboration between these Australian singer songwriters who have been Married since 2005.
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The Swell Season

"Strict Joy" is the first album under that group name for the duo who won the Oscar for Best Song in the Movie "Once."
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Tedeschi Trucks Band

"I Am the Moon" was released on four eps between the beginning of June and the end of August. The twenty four tracks are all loosely related to a 12th Century Persian poem
8/29/20220
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Wes Charlton

The artist from Virginia's Northern Neck creates a singular artistic vision with his fourth album “Breaking Light.” Performing all the instruments and vocals, the songs range from deeply personal to outright political.
11/9/20200
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Sarah Jarosz

On her new album “World on the Ground” she sings all about her small Texas hometown with songs that play out like a collection of short stories.
6/8/20200
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Backtrack Blues Band

Old school, that’s the perfect description, other than their own name for their seventh album “Your Baby Has Left.” Although the album is mostly original songs, they’re not trying to redefine the genre, just reveling in the inspirational coolness of the blues.
4/6/20200
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Nada Surf

Power chords, shimmering harmonies and bashing rhythms have defined their music since their beginning and “Never Not Together” brings it all home.
2/10/20200
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Patty Griffin

Her self titled, tenth studio album comes after a frightening bout with cancer and serves as a kind of musical rehab, allowing her to relate her own life to the greater truths and experiences that she sings about.
3/11/20190
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Joe Louis Walker, Bruce Katz, Giles Robson

The Blues has never sounded more intimate than on the all acoustic new album “Journeys to the Heart of the Blues.” It’s an authentic recreation of rare and classic blues songs.
10/29/20180
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Jim James

The third solo album from the leader of My Morning Jacket has a title that perfectly describes it. “Uniform Distortion” is a collection of guitar ready rockers about the digital age and it’s darker side.
7/3/20180
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Ry Cooder

On his new album “The Prodigal Son” there are eight covers of old Blues and Gospel songs and three new originals, illustrating his view of himself as a caretaker of American roots music, one who has returned to where he started more than 50 years ago.
5/15/20180
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David Byrne

The former Talking Heads leader has released his first true solo album in 14 years “American Utopia” and says “These songs attempt to depict the world we live in now. Many of us ask ourselves-well, does it have to be like this? These songs are about that asking.”
3/12/20180
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First Aid Kit

The Swedish sisters of First Aid Kit could not have known that the "Metoo" phenomenon would be taking hold while they were recording their fourth album, “Ruins” but it is the perfect sound track for a movement that empowers women and encourages individuality.
1/23/20180
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Madeleine Peyroux

"Bare Bones" is Madeleine Peyroux's fourth cd but her first with all original songs. It's sultry, seductive and she is definitely in her comfort zone.
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Justin Townes Earle

“Kids in the Street” completes a trilogy of music about his family, putting the lamenting of “Single Mothers” and “Absent Fathers” behind him, the focus more comfortably trained on himself with great results.
5/29/20170
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Blind Pilot

The Portland Oregon band takes their time, “And then Like Lions” is their first album in five years and only their third since 2008. Their music has a similar tendency, each song starts slow but builds in intensity and meaning.
8/15/20160
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Chris Isaak

First Comes The Night is a set of sultry, twangy originals hitting the retro sweet spot between Elvis and Roy Orbison, all quirky enough to fit in the David Lynch wheelhouse of melodrama.
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Sons of Bill

The trio of brothers from Charlottesville, Va take a huge step forward with this David Lowery produced third album, and they were pretty good to begin with.
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The Wood Brothers

“One Drop of Truth” has an irresistible friendliness to it, not only in Oliver Wood’s quirky southern twang but the way the songs are unique to themselves, like enthralling stories told by a gifted raconteur.
2/6/20180
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Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams’ “Prisoner” comes on the heels of his divorce from actress Mandy Moore but since he’s been there before, his first solo release is considered a classic breakup album, he sings instead of accepting the sadness and living with it rather than dramatizing it.
2/18/20170
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Seth Walker

The title of "Gotta Get Back" refers to recapturing the spirit of what inspired him to become a musician and relates to all things in life that provide, as he says, “the laughter, the struggle, the hurt feelings, the mend, the love, the muse.”
9/6/20160
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Saffire The Uppity Blues Women

"Havin the Last Word" is the farewell album by this trio of Blues women from Fredricksburg, VA after ten albums and twenty years together.
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Gina and the Cow Tippin Playboys

Trailer Swift is a raucous, rowdy, blow out of an album with songs about love, drinking, lies, drinking, sex and...drinking.
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Steve Earle and The Dukes

Terraplane, his sixteenth album, uses his knack for writing songs about the comMon man and sets his stories within the context of the most comMon form of music, the blues.
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Mitski

Mitski’s new album "Laurel Hell" warns of the pitfalls that are inherent in the pursuit of love.
2/7/20220
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The War On Drugs

The Philly band’s newest "I Don't Live Here Anymore" is a complex balancing act between anthemic rock and experimental successes.
11/1/20210
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Rob Oliver

The Hampton Roads native has just released his debut album, “Highs & Lows & Blues.” With help from some of his favorite area musicians he has created an album of world class, utterly original roots-rock music.
2/24/20200
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Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors

The quintessential musical troubadour further refines the anthemic roots-rock music he’s been making for over ten years on his new album “Souvenir.”
3/27/20170
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Eddie Shaw and The 757 Allstars

This first time collaboration between the legendary blues sax man and a group of all Hampton Roads blues musicians is proof that the blues are alive and well.
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Gary Clark Jr.

To say the Texas blues guitarist's major label debut is explosive, is an understatement. It detonates.
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Elvis Costello and The Roots

Wake Up Ghost is a collaboration between these two legendary acts, bending to each others style creating something not heard on either of their albums.
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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

One of the first totally indie bands, they released their debut in 2005 fully on their own. That D.I.Y. appeal is still evident on their album “New Fragility.”
2/15/20210
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Ziggy Marley

“More Family Time” is the perfect project for parents who love reggae and have kids at home this fall.
9/21/20200
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The Avett Brothers

The bands says that they will probably never make a sociopolitical record. But if they did it might sound something like their new one, “Closer Than Together.”
10/7/20190
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John Mayer

With alot to apologize for, Mayer has chosen the sensitive singer songwriter approach on his new album Born and Raised, and he wears it well.
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Old Crow Medicine Show

An old time string band that plays all new music, this is their fourth studio album and their best since their debut of 2004
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Kishi Bashi

“Omoiyari” is his fifth and most accomplished album, a set of songs all inspired by the Japanese interment camps in the US in World War II.
6/10/20190
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Mandolin Orange

“Softly, tenderly, using delicate voices,” those are the final words on the new album “Tides of a Teardrop” and it’s an apt description of the Chapel Hill NC band’s approach to these songs that deal with loss, grief and ultimately comfort.
2/5/20190
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Michael Franti & Spearhead

Eighteen years after vol. 1, they have released "Stay Human vol. 2." It’s an album with a serious message but is bursting with positivity.
1/29/20190
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Beth Orton

On “Kidsticks” Beth Orton rediscovers the folktronica sound she started twenty years ago. Marrying these two seemingly unblendable genres she has created her most kinetic album yet.
5/31/20160
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Jenny Lewis

The Voyager is her first solo album in six years and that long dry spell is addressed with songs about recrimination, second guessing and eventually, vindication.
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Erin McKeown

Manifestra is a bold and challenging combination of original arrangements and politcally charged lyrics.
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The Decemberists

"On The Decemberist's fifth album "The Hazards of Love", they have put together powerful concept album that follows the travails of a woman named Margaret and her experiences with, among other things, a shapeshifter, a forest queen and a lecherous, cold hearted rake.
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The National

“I Am Easy To Find” is the eighth release for this brooding and melancholy band and, if possible, their music has become even more cinematic with the addition of an Oscar winning filmmaker overseeing the production.
5/20/20190
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Tedeschi Trucks Band

This 12 piece rock ensemble continues to be greater than the sum of it’s many parts with "Signs" their fourth studio album.
2/18/20190
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Robert Earl Keen

Happy Prisoner The Bluegrass Sessions is the longtime Texas singer songwriter's tribute to the music he grew up with.
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Kane Welch Kaplin - Kane Welch Kaplin

Godfathers of Americana. Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch and Fats Kaplin have collaborated on two highly satisfying albums as a trio but now that they are joined by Kane's son Lucas on drums, they're ready to get serious about being a band.
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Buddy Guy

Born to Play Guitar was released the day after this bluesman turned seventy nine years old but he sings and plays with a young man's zeal,charm and ferocity, cementing his legacy as one of the greats of the genre.
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Son Volt

Jay Farrar ressurected the Son Volt Brand in 2005 and the music he's made since has been the most compelling of his career including the latest, "American Central Dust."
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Hurray For the Riff Raff

Alynda Lee Segarra's songs and voice are the centerpiece of this set of gothic Americana with an understated nod to traveling folk troubadours like Woody Guthrie.
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The Civil Wars

The Grammy winning duo have made a sophmore album even worthier than their first, but after announcing their break up, its also their swan song.
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Yo La Tengo

On their 16th studio album, “This Stupid World,” they brilliantly toggle between loud and quiet textures.
2/13/20230
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Emmylou Harris

"Hard Bargain" is a showcase for the accomplished singer's song writing abilities as it is a straight forward and up front collection of mostly original songs.
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Mark Rogers

“Rhythm of the Roads” is the second album from this Hampton Roads-based singer song-writer. The band he has assembled just plain make the songs move.
10/4/20210
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Paul Thorn

Too Blessed To Be Stressed is a concept album about feeling good by this Mississippi roots rock singer songwriter and its positivity is infectious.
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Alejandro Escovedo

His tenth album, "Street Songs of Love" continues Escovedo's razor sharp focus on poetic Rock and Roll that can change the world, or at least help us survive in it.
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Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears

"Scandalous" is the second album from this Texas based party that is equal parts soul and garage rock.
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Rockin the Blues

Rylo is a blues band that doesn't really have the blues. You won't find any "woe is me, I've got bad luck and trouble" slow blues songs on their second album "Automatic Oil." Instead, this Hampton Roads quartet uses blues forms to shape ten original songs that rock, boogie and party like they're sitting on top of the world.
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Sea Wolf

“Through a Dark Wood” has arrived just in time. As millions shelter in place to ride out the global pandemic, Alex Church, the band’s leader has crafted a set of cathartic songs that has the listener coming out of a dark place and into the light.
3/23/20200
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The Flaming Lips

Psychedelic fairy tales abound on The Flaming Lips’ new one “Oczy Mlody.” On their 21st album they ditch the discordancy of past releases and rely on melody and their trademark quirkiness for one of their most pleasing efforts ever.
1/16/20170
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Joe Louis Walker

Hellfire is this blues vets 21st album but his first for Alligator records and heralds his position as one of the great bluesrock artists of his generation.
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Desaparecidos

Conor Oberst's return to one of his earliest bands is nothing like the music he's become known for. The album Payola is righteously defiant punk rock with a heavy dose of political commentary.
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Mike Aiken

Mike Aiken is Hampton Roads' own sea-faring musical troubadour and "Hula Girl Highway" is his fourth album. Listen at the end of the podcast for exclusive acoustic versions of three songs from the album recorded live on Out of the Box.
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Bottle Rockets

This dixie fried rock band from Missouri channels their frustrations into songs about surviving and moving forward.
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Jimmy Cliff

Rebirth is the reggae legend's first album in eight years and is a return to form with the help of a younger, kindred spirit.
0
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Spoon

"Transference" is a seemingly flawed self produced album that uses those imperfections to make a bigger point.
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Sarah Jarosz

Build Me Up From Bones is the third album by this 22 year old virtuoso musician and singer songwriter with an artistic vibe that belies her young age.
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Monsters of Folk

If supergroup is the name given to a band that is greater than the sum of it's parts, then this collaboration between Conor Oberst, Jim James, M. Ward and Mike Mogis fits the bill.
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MSG Acoustic Blues Trio

The Flood is authentic PeidMont Blues by this Hampton Roads band that evokes the old days of front porch concerts and truehearted folk music.
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Tommy Castro

The long time blues vet live up to his Entertainer of the Year award from the Blues Foundation last year with a fiery new album.
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Bonnie Raitt

Her first album in seven years has some of her most fiery guitar playing ever and her voice hasn't aged one bit after all these years.
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Sigur Ros

"Sigur Ros is an Icelandic band and their fourth album "Meo Suo Ee Eyrum Vio Spilum Endalaust" continues their unique approach to music.
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Great Lake Swimmers

The fifth album by this Canadian band is their first in a proper studio, but their music still inspires a gentle bucolic feeling.
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Larkin Poe

"Blood Harmony," their new album, pays tribute to their southern heritage conjuring up gritty, swampy images with fiery slide guitar solos and soulful vocals.
11/14/20220
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Plains

“I Walked With You a Ways” is the debut by two artists who are already known for their solo work, Katie Crutchfield and Jess Williamson.
10/17/20220
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Christone "Kingfish" Ingram

This twenty two year old blues phenom's 2019 debut was nominated for a Grammy and makes his new one, “662” highly anticipated. With fiery solos, soulful vocals and great songs, he doesn’t disappoint.
7/26/20210
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Duke Robillard and Sunny Crownover

"Tales from the Tiki Lounge" is the first of what will probably be many tribute albums to the late Les Paul who passed away last summer and set a standard that artists like Robillard are living up to.
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James McMurtry

One of the best albums of 2015, Complicated Game. Hear more from this album and all the best releases of the year during the Out of the Box Retrospective Season.
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Rilo Kiley - Under the Blacklight

Even More Adventurous. Rilo Kiley's major label debut album "Under the Blacklight" is also a major tour de force for their lead singer Jenny Lewis
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Chimes of Freedom

This four cd, 76 track Bob Dylan tribute album is a testament to the respect his songs command from so many different musical camps.
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John Hiatt

"The Open Road" is Hiatt's 19th studio album and his homage to life on the road.
0
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Band of Horses

Mirage Rock has a much more acoustic vibe than previous albums and is produced by the legendary Glyn Johns.
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boygenius

“The Record” is the full length debut album by Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker.
4/3/20230
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Ann Gray

She's a sixteen year old Hampton Roads high school student who’s debut album is “The Half of It.” Forget all the “for her age” qualifications, this is a fully formed songwriter
1/30/20230
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The Mountain Goats

“Bleed Out” is a musical thrill ride that’s not soon forgotten.
8/22/20220
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The Brother Brothers

Their third album “Cover to Cover” pays homage to their early influences by covering an eclectic set of songs, most of which were popular before they were born.
8/8/20220
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J Mascis

Tied to a Star is the second mostly acoustic solo album in a row from the frontman of Dinosaur Jr. and improves nicely on his last, with more emphasis on his singing and virtuoso acoustic guitar playing.
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Sonny Landreth

"From The Reach" is a collaboration by this Louisiana slide guitar great with other guitar legends like Mark Knopfler and Eric Clapton
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Tim Obrien

"Chicken and Egg" features a lot of music parables from the veteran folk and bluegrass player.
0
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Jolie Holland

""The Living and the Dead" finds Holland's songwriting catching up with the unique quality of her voice for her best album yet.
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Nickel Creek

“Celebrants” is their first in nine years and only their fifth album going back to their 2000 breakthrough. It’s not a reunion album, it’s a continuation of what they started
3/27/20230
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The Record Company

“Play Loud” has the band not only rocking loudly but moving beyond their blues based roots to a newer sounding rock and roll vibe.
10/11/20210
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Langhorne Slim

The first album of the week for 2021 is an album of pandemic inspired songs called “Strawberry Mansion.” It’s his seventh album and he might as well have called it “What I did during the covid quarantine.”
2/1/20210
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The Jason Cale Band

“World of Wonder” captures the same magic from the night they played the Out of the Box Series earlier this year when they blew the crowd away.
9/14/20200
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Big Thief

“Two Hands” is their second album of 2019 and including vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Adrienne Lenker’s solo album from last October that’s three albums in one year. Considering that each is better than the last this is the rapid emergence of an important band.
10/14/20190
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Justin Townes Earle

His ability to create characters through his songs has never been sharper than on his new album “The Saint of Lost Causes.”
5/28/20190
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LCD Soundsystem

The unexpected comeback album, “American Dream” arrives following an equally surprising 7 year hiatus after releasing a trilogy of the some of the best dance rock of the 2000’s. James Murphy’s trepidation with getting older not withstanding, he is the hippest 40-something on the planet.
9/4/20170
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Arcade Fire

How do you comment on the over-consumption of society while adding more content to consume? The band’s fifth album, "Everything Now" never answers that question but dances its way through a great set of songs trying to.
7/31/20170
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Ray Davies

The recently knighted Sir Ray Davies has always had a love hate relationship with America and on his new solo album "Americana" he expands on his fascination with this country.
4/24/20170
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Norah Jones

"Day Breaks" will no doubt be compared to her first album because of the jazzy style similarity but the new album is by a more seasoned performer who has a better idea of what she wants and the ability to get it right.
10/10/20160
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Pokey Lafarge

Something in the Water is the fifth album by this midwestern master of western swing, ragtime, jazz, folk and blues whose contemporary lyrics make his music more timeless than retro.
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The Black Keys

Following the success of their last album, Turn Blue draws on a different texture of the band's sound while still maintaining their crdibility and identity. Quite a feat.
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Lily Allen

"It's Not Me It's You" is Lily Allen's second cd as she continues her spunky social commentary as tries to graduate from pop star to artist.
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Natalie Merchant

Her self titled, first album of new material in thriteen years luxuriates in magnificent austerity and transcends the singer songwriter genre with elegance and grace.
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Keb Mo

BluesAmericana is a return to form for the artist who been been imposing his acoustic, humorous and poetic point of view on the staid old blues genre for twenty years.
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Bryan Ferry

The first album of new material in eight years from this former Roxy Music leader has him reclaiming his title: Godfather of Cool.
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Eels

Wonderful Glorious is the tenth album from songwriter and vocalist Mark Oliver Everett and his band and delivers an uplifting, rocking reason for living.
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Indigo Girls

The new Indigo Girls' cd "Poseidon and the Bitter Bug" is a full circle return to indie status, with their first independent release since their debut album
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Lyle Lovett

Release Me is his final album for his long time record label but even when he's only coasting, it's a heck of a fun ride.
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Joe Louis Walker

“Weight of the World” is one of his most adventurous albums, as it breaks down genre barriers between soul, blues, jazz, funk, rock and roll and more
2/20/20230
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Seth Avett

"Seth Avett Sings Greg Brown" is the Avett Brother’s tribute to an artist he first heard when he was 15 years old and has been one of his musical guiding lights since then.
11/7/20220
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Vanessa Peters

She has been flying under the radar artistically since her debut in 2003 but her new album “Modern Age” should give her a serious foothold.
4/26/20210
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Chuck Prophet

“California Noir” is how the long-time roots rocker describes his new album, “Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins.” The album is a return to the two guitar, bass and drums essence of rock and roll.
2/14/20170
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Death Cab For Cutie

"Codes and Keys" is the seventh album by this usually melancholy band from Washington, but Ben Gibbard's suddenly happy love life is reflected in the new album.
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Bahamas

As Afie Jurvanen's fifth album’s title,“Sad Hunk” implies, he’s struggling to live up to his own reputation.
10/12/20200
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Fleet Foxes

Released at the exact moment of 2020’s autumnal equinox, “Shore” has songs that focus on luminescence in a time of darkness, and tranqulity during upheaval. It’s a return to form with some of their most brilliant songs.
9/28/20200
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VickiKristinaBarcelona

Their love for the tragic-comedy of Tom Waits’ songs is what makes the album “Pawn Shop Radio” so irresistible.
6/1/20200
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Sturgill Simpson

"Sound and Fury" is an onslaught on crunching electric guitars, howling synths and heavy metal drumming from the artist who's last album won the Grammy for country album of the year.
9/30/20190
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The Black Keys

Since their last album rock and roll hasn’t had much to rally around, but “Let’s Rock” shows the way forward with it’s fuzz guitar riffs smothered in digital processing, vocals overdubs that capture the frenzy of the moment and a voodoo bass and drum rhythm section.
7/8/20190
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Sean McConnell

The long-time singer songwriter takes an artesian’s approach to his new album “Secondhand Smoke’ crafting each song himself, playing most of the instruments, using his years of songwriting experience to create modern folk music that is instantly relatable.
2/11/20190
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Erika Wennerstrom

It’s fascinating when an artist can take personal experience and turn it into inspiring music. That’s what The Heartless Bastards' leader has done on her solo debut album.
3/26/20180
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Langhorne Slim

The new album “Lost at Last Vol. 1” is made up of songs adhering to a central theme about “living in amazement, wonder and following our soul’s actual calling."
11/14/20170
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A Bad Think

This Hampton Roads act is actually studio wizard Michael Marquart and his latest recording is a concept album about a waitress and her customer.
0
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Minus The Bear

The Fifth album by this Seattle Indie band combines anthemic rockers with slow, hypnotising musicianship for their most polished album to date.
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Guy Clark

My Favorite Picture of You is the latest album from one of the lone survivors of the pioneering wave of artists who defined Americana Music.
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Big Red Machine

The second album by the collaboration between Aaron Dessner of The National and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver is called “How Long Do You Think It’s Gonna Last?” The band is a It champions the communal nature of music by featuring vocal contributions from Anais Mitchell, Sharon Van Etten, Fleet Foxes, Taylor Swift and more
8/30/20210
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Mosquito Cabaret

On one of the most unique recordings of the year, the Hampton Roads band have released their debut album “The Modern Life of Insects.”
8/26/20190
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Feral Conservatives

The third album by the Virginia Beach band has songs about overcoming obstacles and the energy makes “Better Lives” a musical diamond in the rough.
11/7/20170
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The Waifs

As the trio celebrates 25 years together their new double album “Ironbark” includes 25 new songs all recorded live and acoustic. It captures the honesty and spontaneity of their live shows, but with all new songs.
3/7/20170
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Alejandro Escovedo

He has reached retirement age but you wouldn’t know that from his new album “Burn Something Beautiful.” The highly influential, Texas-born roots rocker has changed up his collaborators to give his music a more freewheeling sound
10/31/20160
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Bon Iver

Experimental, groundbreaking, a glimpse into the musical future, that’s what’s offered on the new album "22 A Million."
10/3/20160
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Quiero Creedence

Creedence Clearwater Revival's music gets a Latin makeover on this unique tribute album by some of the top Latin rock artists in the world.
8/1/20160
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Band of Horses

"Why Are You OK" is the band's fifth album and their most focused, combining leader Ben Bridwells' sweet voice with swirling, layered guitars and sonic vocal harmony.
6/14/20160
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Phish

The first album in five years by Phish was recorded live in the studio to bring phish-heads the closest thing to a live performance and it's their best studio album ever.
0
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Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel

"Willie and the Wheel" is a collaboration between the two Texas institutions on an album of Western Swing standards
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Bruce Springsteen

Wrecking Ball is his most powerful album yet and that's saying alot after seventeen studio albums and countless blue collar anthems.
0
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BNQT

As fleeting as so-called super-group formations can be, the new album by BNQT “Volume 1” has compelling contributions from the leaders of the bands Midlake, Band of Horses, Franz Ferdinand, Grandaddy and Travis.
5/1/20170
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Lucinda Williams

"Little Honey" is a lusty celebration of Lucinda's new love.
0
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Mudcrutch

Tom Petty's first band from the seventies, reunited for their debut album.
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The Wallflowers

Jakob Dylan is the only original member and has released his first album since he officially turned his band into a solo project, the aptly titled “Exit Wounds.”
7/12/20210
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Phosphorescent

Five years after releasing his turbulent sounding break-through album Phosphorescent, aka Matthew Houck has put his restless demons aside for a stable, hazy groove of contentment on “C’e La Vie.”
10/8/20180
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Devotchka

“This Night Falls Forever” is dripping in bittersweet romanticism with dramatic flourishes that are spine-tingling.
8/27/20180
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Taj Mahal & Keb Mo

"Tajmo" is the first collaboration by two venerable blues artists, a collection of blues, afro-pop, soul and folk that can’t help but inspire smiles all around.
5/8/20170
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The Devil Makes Three

The success of other artists with this same loose, energetic Americana style gives this long time gypsy folk band a well deserved break and they respond with their best album yet.
0
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The Decemberists

this live album perfectly captures their quirky nature and playful geekiness.
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The Mavericks

This country rock band's first album is ten years has little to do with country or rock. Like their name implies, they have a unique style of music that has to be heard to be believed.
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Eilen Jewell

"Sea of Tears" is the thrid solo album by the Eilen Jewell, known as an earnest folkie, a honky tonk chanteuse and now a roots rocker.
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Ryan Adams - Less is More

For an artist who's been accused of being wildly inconsistent, Ryan Adams' last five albums have been unfailingly uniform. From "Love is Hell" through 2005's trilogy of country rock gems and now "Easy Tiger", Adams has adhered to acoustic arrangements, sad songs and some of the best songwriting of this century. His last project, producing Willie Nelson's album "Songbird" probably gave him insight into how to tame his prolific nature and, as the title suggests, chill.
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Lucero

“Should’ve Learned By Now” is an antidote to their last couple of albums, tapping into their bar band ethos.
2/27/20230
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Neil Young and Crazy Horse

On the wagon but back on the horse, Psychedelic Pill weaves more great electric guitar jams that Neil and Crazy Horse are so well known for.
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Avett Brothers

This trio from North Carolina prove they are ready for the big time with their major label debut album.
0
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Gomez

The cd "A New Tide" is the sixth album for Gomez who continue to experiment with their complex textures and folkie rhythms.
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Wilco

“Cruel Country” is the best sounding country rock album since the band’s beginnings.
5/30/20220
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Band of Horses

“Things Are Great” is a back to basics album from a band relying on the strengths that have made them special from the beginning.
3/7/20220
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Julie Clark

"Change Your Mind" is the second album for Hampton Roads singer-songwriter Julie Clark. It sets a new high water Mark for the local recordings
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Justin Townes Earle

His ability to create characters through his songs has never been sharper than on his new album “The Saint of Lost Causes.”
5/28/20190
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Bob Dylan

After recording most of the songs for his landmark 1974 album, "Blood on the Tracks" Dylan was ready to release it but suddenly changed his mind and re-recorded much of it. Those original recordings are now released for the first time on “More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series Volume 14.”
11/9/20180
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Lucy Dacus

The Richmond, Virginia artist has released her second album, “Historian” and, as good as her debut was, the 22 year-old’s music has grown by leaps and bounds and her understated confidence makes this an album that will be noticed all over the country.
3/5/20180
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Stu Larsen

His second album "Resolute" is a travelogue of his wanderlust, relating the places he’s been to his romantic relationships.
7/24/20170
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Sara Watkins

"Young in all the Wrong Ways" is the third solo album by one of the original members of Nickel Creek. She uses the metaphor of the break up of a romantic relationship to redefine her own musical style.
7/5/20160
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Tommy Castro and the Painkillers

Method to My Madness one of the best of this veteran bluesman's twenty plus years career combining his humor, riffs and powerful moments into a great new studio recording.
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Band Of Horses Cease To Begin

Band of Horses' second album Cease to Begin never misses a step progressing their sound further along from their debut last year
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Norah Jones

Her fifth album fuses the tempo of her blockbuster debut album ten years ago with the modern approach of her producer, Dangermouse.
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Mike Aiken

Captains and Cowboys by one of Hampton Roads own, is recorded with a crack Nashville session band and has songs awash with daredevils and adventurers.
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Bodeans Still

The Bodeans eighth album pairs them again with producer T-Bone Burnette for their best album since the last time they worked together
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Erin go Bruce

There was a time when a live album from Bruce Springsteen was a rarity. His first live recording Live 1975-85 was so anticipated it became the first three disc set to be the number one selling album in the country. Since then he's put out five live albums. What is there about "Live in Dublin", a two cd live album from his Seeger Sessions tour that avoids suffering from overkill? A lot, actually.
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James McMurtry

On his new album “The Horses and the Hounds” he channels his preoccupation with aging.
8/23/20210
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Tab Benoit

"Medicine" is the first album of new material in over four years for this cajun blues guitarist and is a collaboration with fellow New Orleanian Anders Osborne.
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Suburban Key Party

The Va. Beach band's fourth album “Darkness and Rainbows” is a combination of the layered guitar work of guitarist/singer Tom Southern and his sophisticated, original songs.
5/2/20220
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The Ben Phelps Project

Everything about “Wake Up the Guards”is big. From the scorching saxophone blasts, to the torrid bass, guitar and keyboard interplay to it’s fifteen tracks of rock jazz and soul fusion, it's a big step forward for this Hampton Roads band
4/22/20190
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Beck

Morning Phase is a companion piece to his 2002 mostly acoustic album Sea Change, its mellow, gauzy and lush, moving like a lava lamp through its melancholy themes.
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Bob Dylan

The Cutting Edge is number twelve in the Bootleg Series, focusing on studio out takes from the 14 Month period in the mid sixties when he recorded three groundbreaking albums.
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The Beatles

On Air Live at the BBC Volume 2 features 37 previously unreleased live recordings, most from fifty years ago, capturing the innocently exhilarating beginning of a Rock and Roll era.
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The Strokes

Comedown Machine is almost like a tribute to the new wave bands of the eighties, with updated music.
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The War and Treaty

On “Lover’s Game” they draw on traditional folk, country, R&B, and spirituals, often combining them all in one song.
3/13/20230
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Bruce Springsteen

"The Promise" is a two cd set of songs recorded for his "Darkness on the Edge of Town" album which didn't make the cut. It is his great lost album.
0
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Tedeschi Trucks Band

Let Me Get By is the third album by the husband and wife fronted band and Marries together blues, r and b, Americana, and gospel adding their own jam band sensibilities.
0
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Calexico & Iron and Wine

The two long-time indie rock pioneers have joined forces for a second time on the Album “Years to Burn.”
6/17/20190
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Robert Plant

"Band of Joy" the golden god ages gracefully with this stunning followup to his grammy award winning last album.
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The Record Company

This old fashioned power trio kicks new life into roots music with songs inspired by blues greats but retaining a personality of their own.
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Neil Young

"Sugar Mountain Live at Cantebury House 1968" is an archival release recorded at one of Young's first solo acoustic shows
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The Baseball Project

3rd arrives just in time for opening day of Major League Baseball and will make you feel like watching the game again. Its a rock and roll album of original songs about the myth, lore and legend of baseball.
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Laura Marling

A Creature I Don't Know is the third album by this twenty one year old British songwriter. It's her best album and one of the best of the year.
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Marc Broussard

"S.O.S. 4: Blues For Your Soul” is a charitable album of mostly covers by the powerhouse New Orleans singer, co-produced by Joe Bonamassa who plays on four tracks
3/6/20230
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The Avett Brothers

The Carpenter is the follow up to their break through album and they rely on the same qualities that made that album work; earnestness and attention to musical detail.
0
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Blackberry Smoke

They celebrate twenty years as a band with the release of their seventh album, “You Hear Georgia.” Their reverence for their home state is what make this one of their best albums yet.
6/1/20210
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Steve Earle

"Townes" is Steve Earle's tribute to his friend and mentor Townes Van Zandt, the legendary Texas folk troubador.
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The Pretenders

"Alone" is a collaboration between two Akron, Ohio native rockers Chrissie Hynde and Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. It's the first album under the Pretenders name in eight years.
10/24/20160
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Ghost Brothers of Darkland County

This collaboration between novelist Stephen King, rocker John Mellencamp, producer T-bone Burnette and an allstar cast is scarey good.
0
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Blitzen Trapper

VII is the culmination of this bands funky hipster image and a quirky, southern fried musical charm.
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Cadillac Records Soundtrack

The film Cadillac Records chronicles the rise of Chess Records and the actors who portray the blues legends who recorded for that label sing their songs on the soundtrack
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Paul McCartney

Considering that he is now 76 years old, “Egypt Station” his first album in five years should be savored. That it happens to be his best collection of songs in decades is just icing on the cake.
9/10/20180
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The Twilight Saga:Eclipse

The soundtrack to the third installment in the vampire movie series is made up of some of the best indie rockers today doing songs specifically written for the film.
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Brett Dennen

Por Favor is the sixth album from this baby faced, high tenored singer whose profound songs compel us to take him more seriously.
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James McMurtry

Complicated Game is his first album in six years and the character studies of struggling hunters, war vets and fisherman prove he can create a novels worth of storyline in one song.
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Rogue Wave

The indie band has, after six albums, come up with their signature release, Delusions of Grand Fur, combining power pop, acoustic ditties and a little electronica.
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Jack White

He forges a new link on his rock and roll family tree with his first solo album and one of his best.
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Weezer

"Raditude" is Weezer's attempt to come to terms with their own aging while remaining true to their slacker lifestyle. It works
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Willie Nelson

“First Rose of Spring” is the eighty-seven-year-old's 70th studio album. His voice sounds no worse for the wear and the emotion he uses makes this sound like it could be his last album
7/6/20200
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Courtney Barnett

Guitars rule on the Australian artist's new album “Tell Me How You Really Feel.” The Nirvana inspired bashing combined with her deadpan vocals make this a welcome anomaly in a music world increasingly dominated by synths and auto-tune.
5/21/20180
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Bruce Springsteen - Magic

Set the wayback machine for 1987. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band are riding high from the success of the "Born in the USA" album and tour. In this alternate universe however, rather than going off on a fifteen year solo jag, Springsteen and band record the follow-up to their blockbuster. "Magic" is the album they would have made.
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Teddy Thompson - Upfront and Down Low

Country Comfort. With a pedigree like Teddy Thompson's, an album like "Upfront & Down Low" is quite a surprise. The son of folk-rock pioneers Richard and Linda Thompson has had a mildly successful career but not one that would indicate a reverence or insight into the country music genre he pays tribute to on this album.
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Brandi Carlile

The Firewatcher's Daughter combines elegant harMonies with foot stomping rockers and songs recorded quickly to assure spontaneity.
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Conor Oberst

On “Salutations” his best solo album by far, he has musically colorized the songs from his solo acoustic album “Ruminations” last year with a full band.
3/21/20170
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Sting

He's done everything he can to distance himself from rock and roll on his most recent releases so his return to the genre on the album “57th & 9th” proves absence really does make the heart grow fonder
11/14/20160
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Natalie Merchant

"Leave Your Sleep" is the first album in seven years from the former leader of 10,000 Maniacs. It is a collection of childhood poems set to music.
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Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield

These two well known singers in their own right join together to pay tribute to the tortured genius of the late Elliott Smith.
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Frank Turner

Positive Songs for Negative People completes the British singers transition to punk rock troubador and mixes solo acoustic songs with fiery, inspirational anthems about moving on.
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Amy Helm

Didn't It Rain is the solo debut by the daughter of the late Levon Helm of the Band and a member of Ollabelle. Its gospel influenced folk make it one of the best roots rock albums of the year.
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Marcia Ball

The Tattooed Lady and the Alligator Man is a party starter of an album with equal parts blues, roots and cajun music, rollicking rhythms and one of the best boogie woogie piano players of all.
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David Bowie

The Thin White Duke travels back in time to create an album as good as his seventies masterpieces. His first album is ten years is a spectacular comeback.
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Dylan LaBlanc

The 25 year olds third album Cautionary Tale is a languid, melodic, acoustic exercise in country soul.
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Low

The understated veteran indie band works with Jeff Tweedy of Wilco to evolve their slow, quiet, melancholy sound.
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Guster

The first album in four years from this critic's darling is an album with some of the catchiest songs of the year.
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Bob Dylan

”Springtime in New York: The Bob Dylan Bootleg Series Volume 16” has meticulously culled previously unreleased outtakes, alternate versions, rehearsals and live performances of songs, mostly recorded for the albums "Shot of Love", "Infidels" and "Empire Burlesque" in the early 1980s.
9/20/20210
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Chuck Prophet

His new album, his 14th, is called “The Land That Time Forgot” and showcases his portraits of people in many different situations.
8/24/20200
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Suburban Key Party

“The Chase” is an album that comes out blazing and rarely lets up. Each song began as an acoustic track with layers of different sounds and harmonies added in highly creative ways.
8/3/20200
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Haim

“Women in Music pt. lll” is the third album by the trio of sisters. The title is meant as an understated kiss-off to critics who have stereotyped them because of their sex.
6/29/20200
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The Wood Brothers

They've been a big part of the jam-band circuit for years and on their new album, “Kingdom in My Mind” they use that freewheeling mindset by jamming on the songs in the studio and then editing them to a manageable length afterward.
1/28/20200
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Buddy & Julie Miller

The married duo decided that for their 40th wedding anniversary they’d release their first album in ten years. It’s called "Breakdown on 20th Avenue South."
6/24/20190
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Erin McKeown

"Hundreds of Lions" is Erin McKeown's first album of original material in nearly five years and is as quirky, challenging and inventive as ever.
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The Gurleys

The Gurleys are Hampton Roads folk music veterans and with the addition of their daughter Macon, their new cd is a true family affair.
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Ray LaMontagne

Ouroboros,whose title refers to a serpent eating its tail, is a pychedelic divergence from the artists acoustic origins.
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Rick Estrin and The Nightcats

You Asked For It...Live! captures an inspired performance in front of a pumped up hometown crowd that features wit, funky rhythms and a thoroughly modern version of the blues.
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Davina and the Vagabonds

The band has been around for 15 years but the new album “Sugar Drops” is their first recorded in a proper studio. The album, as she describes, is “about 100 years of Americana.”
8/5/20190
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Apex Manor

"Heartbreak City" is Apex Manor’s first album in eight years, during that time Ross Flournoy, the bands leader faltered, then righted himself and returns to music with a new outlook; sober and ready to share his conviction to stay that way.
6/4/20190
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Vampire Weekend

Their first album in six years “Father of the Bride” reflects a lot of changes within the band that results in an 18 song tour de force of irresistible, imaginative and trend setting music.
5/6/20190
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Over The Rhine

Their 15th album Love and Revelation is a somber and earthy collection of songs about grief and loss and how to rise above it.
3/18/20190
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Sharon Van Etten

“Remind Me Tomorrow” reflects all her new artistic outlets by evolving her sound to be more ambitious, atmospheric and grander.
1/21/20190
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Wes Charlton

A native of Virginia’s northern neck, Charlton has lived a lot of life and his new album “Morning Stars” draws on those experiences with dense guitar work, driving rhythms and earnest vocals.
7/24/20180
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Eliza Gilkyson

“Secularia” is her twentieth album and amid contributions from different members of her family she sings of spirituality. The songs praise the mystery and wonder of the world.
7/16/20180
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Dan Auerbach

“Waiting On A Song” is the epitome of what a solo album should be; a triumphant glimpse at another side of the artist few have heard.
6/5/20170
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Mercy Creek

Based in the Northern Neck of Virginia, “Back home” is their seventh studio album and begs the question: Why doesn’t the whole world know about them yet?
5/15/20170
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Elbow

On their seventh studio album "Little Fictions" the British band known for it’s quiet take on progressive music have created a consistent and positive piece of work that stands with their best.
2/7/20170
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Tift Merritt

Before recording her sixth studio album, the North Carolina Americana artist says she was “turning 40, getting divorced and scared out of my mind.” Two years later, she is the mother of a baby girl and has released an album that captures her emotional highs and lows called “Stitch of the World.”
1/31/20170
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Jonah Tolchin

"Thousand Mile Night" is like the only cd you have to play on an all night road trip. Each song becomes precious and memorable with repeated listenings.
8/8/20160
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Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley

Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley are all about authenticity with their new album "The Country Blues." Recording a set of originals and covers all done live in the studio they burn up their respective fret boards with some great picking and wonderful song selection.
7/12/20160
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The Avett Brothers

"True Sadness" is their ninth studio album and reflects the ability to grow for the bigger audiences they are playing to. The experiments with bigger production values doesn't compromise their rootsy integrity.
6/27/20160
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Tom Russell

"Blood and Candle Smoke" finds the iconic folk singer following a new direction on this collaboration with the Southwestern band Calexico.
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Wilco

One of the best albums of 2015 on Out of the Box, Star Wars.
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Iron and Wine

"Around the Well" is a musical history of Iron and Wine through a sterling compilation of rareties and unreleased songs by neo-folkie Sam Beam.
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Widespread Panic

"Dirty Side Down" the eleventh studio album from this veteran touring band succeeds in bringing their on stage excitement to the studio.
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JJ Grey and Mofro

"Georgia Warhorse" is named after a tenacious kind of grasshopper in Grey's native nNoprthern Florida that, like this neo southern rock band, has a resiliancy that makes it keep coming back.
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The Weepies

Sirens is the first album in five years from this Married duo and the songs are inspired by Deb Talans struggle with stage 3 breast cancer and her eventual triumph over it.
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Keith Richards

Crosseyed Heart is his first solo album in twenty three years and offers a fascinating look into his swaggering gypsy persona.
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Robert Plant and Alison Krauss "Raising Sand"

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer, Robert Plant joins the most decorated female Grammy winner of all time, Alison Krauss for an album of duets titled Raising Sand.
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Imelda May

Imelda May's debut album is a collection of retro blues, rockabilly, and vocal jazz and is quite simply the best debut so far of 2009.
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Lucky 757

“Rockabilly Revival” brings the 1950’s genre kicking and screaming into the 21st century by recalling the frenetic energy of its pioneering artists.
1/24/20230
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Lucinda Williams

Her righteous fury has never been more ignited that on her new album “Good Souls, Better Angels.”
4/27/20200
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Ceelo Green

Gnarls Barkley's lead singer Ceelo Green's third solo album defines his own sort of cool that's impossible not to smile at.
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El Vy

On the debut album Return to the Moon, Matt Berninger of The National stretches out with a more playful musical attitude on this solo project.
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Conor Oberst

Conor Oberst is the leader of Bright Eyes and this is his first solo album since the begining of that band.
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Firewater

Firewater's Todd A. recorded "The Golden Hour" on location in the Middle East using only backup musicians from those countries.
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Damon Fowler

He is a guitar slinger, blues belter and veteran road dog who, with his new album “Alafia Moon” can add great storyteller to that list.
3/29/20210
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Puss N Boots

Puss N Boots is a trio of solo artists, Norah Jones, Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper but their latest album “Sister” is more than just a collection of guest appearances. It’s an album by a self-contained band who have written and recorded all the songs as a trio that speaks as one.
2/18/20200
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Dawes

Stories Don't End is the third album by this California band, honing the sound originated in the famed Laurel Canyon.
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Neil Young and The Promise of the Real

A full on protest album against the huge farming corporation, The Monsanto Years spits fire and vitriol at GMOs, one percenters and public apathy.
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Rick Estrin and the Nightcats

Estrin continues on the legacy of this band that has also recorded as Little Charlie and the Nightcats, redefining the blues in the twenty first century.
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Rag'N Bone Man

“Life By Misadventure” is the follow up to his immensely successful debut and he does it with a more subdued vocal approach.
5/11/20210
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Kim Richey

Her new album's title,“Edgeland,” is a term used to describe areas of the United States that fall between the urban centers and the rural countryside. It’s the perfect metaphor for her hard-to-categorize music.
4/2/20180
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Brandi Carlile

Her sixth studio album "By The Way I Forgive You” is an exercise in using forgiveness as a source of strength and the past to prove her right. She is in a strong place and ready to sing about it.
2/20/20180
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Iron & Wine

Sam Beam's new album "Beast Epic" returns to the more purely acoustic style of his first few albums.
8/28/20170
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Radiohead - In Rainbows

It was released two Months ago for internet downloading only but is now avaiable on cd.
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AMong the Oak and Ash

The self-titled debut by AMong the Oak and Ash is a partnership between solo artists Garrison Starr and Josh Joplin covering mostly tradional folk songs in a sometimes untraditional way.
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Calexico

“El Mirador” is a joyful celebration of all good things in life, including the Latin influences of their work.
4/11/20220
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Roomful of Blues

The band has a fifty year history of raising the roof wherever they play with raucous, jump, swing and rock steady blues and on their first studio album in nine years, “In a Roomful of Blues” they keep that tradition alive.
3/16/20200
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Bon Iver

The band's fourth album "i,i" was released three weeks ahead of schedule, echoing it’s ahead of the curve musicianship and songcraft and probably because it was just too good to hold back.
8/12/20190
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Various Artists pay tribute to Frightened Rabbit

The Indie rock community has come together to lovingly pay tribute to the late Scot Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit by re-creating the 2008 album “The Midnight Organ Fight.”
7/15/20190
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Super Doppler

This self-titled, second album by the Hampton Roads band continues to forge a unique sound whose bright harmonies and shimmering guitars combine for an exuberant collection of new songs.
7/1/20190
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Anderson East

Anderson East’s second album, appropriately titled “Encore” is a hot mess of Rock, soul, blues, Americana and something that sets this 29-year-old apart from other newcomers, a voice roaring with emotion and experience
1/16/20180
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Jessica Lea Mayfield

Her fourth album “Sorry is Gone” musically chronicles her real life escape from an abusive relationship.
10/2/20170
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The New Pornographers

"Whiteout Conditions" is this collective of solo artists' seventh album and their better late than never realization of the power to be more than the sum of their parts.
4/8/20170
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Butch Walker

Butch walker is rockin’ again on his new album “Stay Gold.” He’s wearing his heartland influences on his sleeve with a rollicking, fist pumping, stadium-ready rock album.
8/29/20160
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Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers

The artist goes nowhere near a piano on "Rehab Reunion" a rootsy new album, relying on playing the dulcimer and his vocal Virginia twang to bring out his humorous storytelling ability.
6/20/20160
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Kathleen Edwards Asking Flowers

Kathleen Edwards is a Canadian singer songwriter and Asking for Flowers is her third cd
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The Decemberists

"The King is Dead" is a musical immigration to a more Americana style for the band previously known for their English folk prog rock.
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Vampire Weekend

On their third album Modern Vampires of the City the band finds a unique and fun way to explore their quarter life crisis.
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Beth Orton

The Sugaring Season is the first album in six years from this unique vocalist and songwriter.
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Various Artists

We Walk the Line a Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash is a live tribute album to the artist who would have turned eighty this year.
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Brandi Carlile

Bear Creek, her fourth album captures the bucolic imagery of her songs with a more rustic and rootsy direction than previous albums.
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Devotchka A Mad and Faithful Telling

The fourth album by this Denver based band is the followup to their successful soundtrack album to the film Little Miss Sunshine
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Delbert and Glen

Blind Crippled and Crazy is the first album in forty years from Delbert McClinton and his first recording partner Glen Clark. It astonishes with its swagger, grit and humor.
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Larkin Poe

A duo of sisters, Rebecca and Megan Lovell, have released their fifth album in six years, “Self Made Man.” Like most siblings they have extraordinary vocal harmonies but what sets them apart is the harmony their guitars create on these bluesy rock originals, or as they call it “guitarmony.”
5/4/20200
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The Record Company

The final song on the new album “All of This Life” is called “I'm Changing” but fans of the band’s Grammy nominated debut need not worry they are still rockin’ the blues like no other band today and using the experience of the success they’ve had to inspire them to ever greater heights
6/25/20180
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Slaid Cleaves

“Ghost on the Car Radio” brings to life some of the characters who have been affected by the crumbling of small town America.
6/23/20170
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Jack Johnson Sleep Through The Static

This is the fifth album from this one time professional surfer.
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Ann Savoy and Her Sleepless Knights

"Black Coffee" is a tribute to the music pioneered in the 30s and 40s by The Hot Club of France, with spot on instrumental chops and even a sultry babe singing in French.
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Josh Rouse

“Going Places” has a relaxed vibe of breezy, rhythmic gems.
8/1/20220
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Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

The band known for their dark, foreboding minimalism set the bar even higher on the new album “Ghosteen,”
11/12/20190
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Sons of Bill

Charlottesville, Virginia's Sons of Bill are a neo-southern rock band of brothers who sing "the lovesick, hungover, hillbilly blues."
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Looking Into You a Tribute to Jackson Browne

In this first ever tribute album to one of our greatest singer songwriters, Browne's songs are performed by a mix of old friends, fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famers and young admirers.
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Thurston Moore

"Demolished Thoughts" is the third solo album by the leader of Sonic Youth and is produced by Beck.
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Blitzen Trapper

the sixth album for this indie band from Portland, Oregon, it's a mostly acoustic oriented Americana travelogue.
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The Duhks

"Fast Paced World" is The Duhks's fourth album but they have a new singer and principal songwriter since being awarded and Juno trophy and a Grammy Nomination.
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Norah Jones

"The Fall" Norah's "rock experiment" turns out to sound more like a natural evolutionary step for her music.
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Anders Osborne

The long time New Orleans musician celebrates his new found sobriety with a power that sounds like he's back from the brink.
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Various Artists in a Tribute to John Denver

The Music is You pays gives us a new perspective on Denvers songs without the goody-goodiness of the originals.
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Los Lobos

"Tin Can Trust" is the thirteenth studio album for this highly original Chicano based roots rock band. They've put out some great albums and this is one of their best.
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Soccer Mommy

The third album by Soccer Mommy, ”Sometimes, Forever” is the perfect follow-up to the groundbreaking second album from 2020.
6/27/20220
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Exploding Sun

The Hampton Roads band spent 2020 in lockdown like everyone else but made good use of their time off and recorded “Truesonic,” their eighth album.
3/22/20210
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Mavis Staples

Living on a High Note uses the power of positive thinking for a joyful celebration of new music with a message.
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Sufjan Stevens

Carrie and Lowell is a sparse and brilliant examination of Stevens' complicated relationship with his Mother and Stepfather.
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The Little Willies

Norah Jones and Richard Julian have gotten the band back together for another set of rousing country cover songs on For the Good Times.
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Guster

Evermotion is their attempt to experiment, to move beyond college-rock band status and create a more permanent place for their infectious, melodic tunes.
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Fountains of Wayne

This is the fifth studio album by the band that mixes irony and wit with plenty of pop culture references.
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Conor Oberst and the Mystic VAlley Band

"Outer South" is the second solo album in a row for the leader of Bright Eyes and he's making such great music with his new band he may never go back.
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Spoon

One of the most reliable bands in rock and roll continues that dependability on their tenth album “Lucifer on the Sofa.”
2/14/20220
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Shawn Colvin & Steve Earle

After a tour last year where they shared the stage, they have recorded "Colvin & Earle," a duets album with an all-star band led by producer Buddy Miller. It highlights the best of both Americana icons and succeeds despite their obvious differences
6/6/20160
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Heartless Bastards

The fourth album by this band from Ohio, Arrow, is a showcase for the vocals and guitarwork of their leader Erika Wennerstom.
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Suzanne Vega - Beauty and Crime

New York is a woman named Suzanne Vega. "Beauty and Crime" is Suzanne Vega's first album in six years. Six years that must seem like a lifetime.
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Imagine Dragons

The new album “Mercury: Act 1” finds the band tackling more serious issues than their previous four releases, their trademark bombastic sound is more subdued but no less powerful.
9/6/20210
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Gillian Welch

This is the first album from the folk traditionalist and her husband and producer Dave Rawlings in eight years. The stark instrumentation and brilliant songwriting make it worth the wait.
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Angelheaded Hipster

The Songs of Marc Bolan and T-Rex is a double album that features artists who have been carefully picked, like the guest list at a lavish dinner party, to each bring something different to their performances of these classic glam-rock songs.
9/7/20200
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Sheryl Crow

There’s an abundance of everything on her new album “Threads.” There’s a lot of songs, 17, a lot of music 75 minutes worth, and an a-list group of collaborators whose performances are as jaw-dropping as the fact that they are all on one album.
9/2/20190
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Delbert McClinton

This Texas roadhouse singer touches on many different styles on his 19th studio album and proves he's still got it.
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Hunter at Sunrise

Hunter at Sunrise is a Sunday morning show on WHRV’s HD-2 Channel hosted by long-time radio vet Hunter Hughes. Each week he features a live music performance and he has compiled a double album of those in-studio appearances on “Sunrise Sessions Volume 2: The Pandemic Recordings.”
9/13/20210
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Neil Young

"A Treasure" is a live archival release that shows off just how good "country Neil" was back in the eighties.
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Lump

The new album, “Animal” is the sound of folk singer Laura Marling going down the rabbit hole with Tunng’s Mark Lindsey.
8/2/20210
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Sharon Van Etten

“Remind Me Tomorrow” reflects all her new artistic outlets by evolving her sound to be more ambitious, atmospheric and grander.
1/21/20190
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Old Crow Medicine Show

“Volunteer” is the 7th album from the best Americana band in America, the boisterous, street corner stomps and heartfelt ballads flow freely as they draw inspiration from their twenty years as band .
4/23/20180
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JD McPherson

The 40-year-old discovered his muse later in life than most but on his third album “Undivided Heart and Soul” he’s making up for lost time.
10/9/20170
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Pokey Lafarge

His eight album “Manic Revelations” is a sly collection of thoughts and impressions of present day life seen through a musical way-back machine.
5/22/20170
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Tweedy

Sukierae is the collaboration between Jeff Tweedy of Wilco and his son Spencer on drums. It is a generous and humble family project and its strength is its familiarity.
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Passenger

“Runaway” not only lives up to this British artist's name but reveals his love of America with it’s theme of traveling cross-country. It’s one of the great road trip albums ever recorded.
9/3/20180
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Josh Ritter

"Gathering" is the ninth album from the long-time singer-songwriter and one of his loosest but most compelling yet.
9/25/20170
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The Arcs

Led by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Your's Dreamily explores more soulful soundscapes with a slinky, psychedelic, R and B groove.
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R.E.M. Accellerate

Their fourteenth studio album has them rocking out like never before.
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The Helio Sequence

The long time indie duo's new album is self titled hinting at a new beginning for the band by adding an element thats been missing from the past albums, spontaneity.
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Corey Harris - Zion Crossroads

Jah Love. Anybody who has driven out past Charlottesville on 64 West will get the joke. The new Corey Harris album is called "Zion Crossroads", the name of a small town outside of Charlottesville where he lives and a perfect name for his first all reggae cd.
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Steve Earle and the Dukes

On his 20th studio album, “Ghosts of West Virginia,” Steve Earle is reaching out. He says, “I wanted to speak to people that didn’t necessarily vote the way that I did, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have anything in common.”
5/25/20200
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Michael Franti and Spearhead

"All Rebel Rockers" brings together Michael Franti's gift for rock, reggae and soul for his best album yet
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R.E.M

"Collapse into Now" is REM's 15th studio album and despite recent criticism, proves they are not ready to be put out to pasture yet.
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Major and the Monbacks

The self titled debut album from this Norfolk band captures a party like atmosphere with a horn section fueled set of originals and some real soul music showmanship.
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G. Love

“The Juice,” with a number of guest artists including his producer Keb Mo, confidently celebrates life in 2020.
1/21/20200
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Death Cab For Cutie

"Narrow Stairs" is this Washington State area band's second major label release
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Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson

Wreck and Ruin is a live from the back porch kind of album of duets that weds their stringband style with two voices that are made for each other.
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Carolina Chocolate Drops

"Genuine Negro Jig" is an album by a trio of young, African-Americans playing old time string band music.
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Darrell Scott

Couchville Sessions was originally recorded in 2001 by the long time Americana artist and it's so good it begs the question, what took him so long to put it out?
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Mt. Joy

“Orange Blood” delivers on the promise of their first two albums with positive, carefree messages wrapped inside psychedelic, folk tinged arrangements
6/20/20220
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The National

This British sounding American band bring their tradeMark doom and gloom sound to a level of artistic expression on their sixth album Trouble Will Find Me .
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Sunrise Sessions

This charity fundraising cd is a collection of rare, live, acoustic and eclectic performances from the Sunday morning show Hunter at Sunrise.
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The Last Bison

VA is the long awaited album from one of Hampton Roads best bands and is full of buoyant, rustic and earnest new songs.
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Nanci Griffith

"The Loving Kind" finds Nanci Griffith in a mood for social commentary on this first set of new songs in five years.
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Patty Griffin

"Downtown Church" is Patty Griffin's tribute to gospel music, giving over her voice to mostly traditional devotional songs.
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Amos Lee

"Mission Bell" is the fourth album from this Philadelphia singer songwriter and finds him adding a touch of Americana to his soulful crooning.
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Bonny Light Horseman

This trio of solo artists have followed up their first album of traditional folk covers with a new album, “Rolling Golden Holy” of all original songs that have the same timeless appeal.
10/10/20220
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Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway

“Crooked Tree” is her fourth album in five years, but its the most definitive and consistent release in her young career.
4/4/20220
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Aoife O'Donovan

The pandemic caused the long-time folkie to create her new album "Age of Apathy" alone and then virtually collaborate on the arrangements and instrumentation. Not surprisingly the result is a much more intimate set of songs.
1/24/20220
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The Mastersons

Their fourth album “No Time For Love Songs” captures a range of emotions. The title reflects the the idea that life is too serious now for simple love songs.
3/9/20200
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Coldplay

"Viva La Vida or Death and All Hisd Friends" is the fourth album by this rapidly maturing british band.
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The Living Sisters

"Love to Live" is the debut album from a trio of indie rock pals; Eleni Mandell, Inara George and Becky Stark whose harMonizing on this debut album is hard to resist.
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My Morning Jacket

"The Waterfall II" was recorded at the same time as their last album "The Waterfall" and since that time Jim James, the band’s leader has recorded five solo albums. If nothing else, the new album signals that the band is not yet over.
7/13/20200
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Shovels and Rope

Their new album “By Blood” is the boldest effort yet by the married duo who specialize in bringing together disparate elements.
4/15/20190
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Devotchka

"100 Lovers" is the fifth album from this gypsy rock band. Drawing on many different musical genres, they create mystery, romanticism and melodrama.
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Hozier

Five years after the release of his debut, "Wasteland Baby!" picks up where the first album left off, further defining his unique blend of rock, gospel and soul.
3/5/20190
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The Lone Ranger Wanted music inspired by the film

Its not the official soundtrack of the new movie remake but with such a wide variety of new songs from great Americana artists it captures the essence of this iconic American story.
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The Weepies

"Be My Thrill" is this Married duo's third album and their first since their now two year old son was born and their joy as new parents is named evident throughout.
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