Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.
CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.
Country singer-songwriter Rachel Brooke reflects on life in a small town where winters are long and comforts can be few in "The Lovells Stockade Blues".
Americana musician Elliott Park's second family-friendly collection brings his daughters along for the ride.
The Lone Bellow's live performance was a pleasurable distraction in the middle of a pandemic. But I had forgotten how to attend a ticketed concert.
California singer-songwriter Rick Shea, whose credits include stints with Dave Alvin and Chris Gaffney delivers a dispatch on life of this most trying of years, 2020.
Mipso present a new music video that shows signs of perseverance and determination that they possess as versatile and accomplished musicians ready to release the fifth album in their nine-year career.
Drawing on inspiration from Gillian Welch, Ryan Martin delivers a song that taps into classic country-rock of the early 1970s. "You can certainly dance to it," he says.
A deep reflection on breaking up, Nashville indie rock/Americana outfit Creature Comfort's "Woke Up Drunk" is the most personal track from their new album, Home Team.
Becky Warren finds slivers of humor while addressing depression for the third time in as many solo concept albums, but now the daring artist is turning the focus on herself in a fight against a frightful foe.
3 Pairs of Boots are releasing Long Rider in January 2021. The record demonstrates the pair's unmistakable chemistry and honing of their Americana-driven sound, as evidenced by the single, "Everywhere I Go".
Brian Cullman's "Someday Miss You" taps into American roots music, carries it across the Atlantic and back for a sound that is both of the past and present.
For their latest EP, The Third Gleam, the Avett Brothers leave everything behind but their songs and a couple of acoustic guitars, a bass, and a banjo.
The first PopMatters Picks Playlist column features searing Americana from Rett Madison, synthpop from Everything and Everybody, the stunning electropop of Jodie Nicholson, the return of post-punk's Folk Devils, and the glammy pop of Baby FuzZ.
The tracks on the Band of Heathens' Stranger are mostly fun, even when on serious topics, because what other choice is there? We all may have different ideas on how to deal with problems, but we are all in this together.
How does Chris Smither play guitar that way? What impact does New Orleans have on his music? He might not be able to answer those questions directly but he can sure write a song about it.
The Cradle's Paco Cathcart has curated a thoughtfully multifarious album. Laughing in My Sleep is an impressive collection of 21 tracks, each unapologetic in their rejection of expectations.
Hawktail's Jordan Tice impresses with his solo work on "Bad Little Idea", a folk rambler that blends bluesy undertones with satiric wit.
Captured live at Philadelphia's Johnny Brenda's, Kirby Sybert breathes new life into "My Maker" from his LP, Happy People Make Happy Things.
Folk pop's Darlingside share "Green + Evergreen" from the upcoming LP, Fish Pond Fish. As usual, Darlingside sport divinely gorgeous harmonies, so beautiful they really drive the song.
Journalist Brian Cullman teams with members of Ollabelle for an LP that serves as a testament to his friendship with the late Jimi Zhivago.
On Aftermath, Elizabeth Cook reflects on what has passed and continues as a protagonist who has been changed by experience. She's not willing to accept what is.
"Lucy's song was written in the dark days of the shutdown. Lucy has a way of inviting people in. I was thrilled when she played it for me," says Suzzy Roche.
Wood Brothers' guitarist and vocalist, Oliver Wood releases a new reading of well-known the protest anthem with Bandcamp proceeds going to the ACLU. "I wanted to contribute something that kept peoples' momentum going," he says.
Americana artist Brennen Leigh's "Billy and Beau" offers a story of LGBTQ+ love and coming-of-age that remains universally relatable.
Debbie LaGrange and Michot's Melody Makers Deliver "La chanson des moustiques" (premiere + interview)
Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, former nurse Debbie LaGrange turned to songwriting and celebrating the preservation of the Cajun-French language and heritage.
Singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly discusses his new album, Shape & Destroy, facing demons, and working with family.
Life during the pandemic just got busier for Roanoke singer-songwriters Taylor Dupuis and Joey Beesley, who are finding more creative ways to get heard while starring in a Goonies-inspired music video with a "mystical '80s rock narrative".
Americana trio Front Country's "The Reckoning" is a healing hymnal that focuses on the positive shifts amidst times of pandemic and social/political strife.