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Today’s "New" Music Is All Folked Up

One of today’s biggest musical trends owes a debt to one of music’s oldest traditions – buddies gathered on a front porch jamming with guitars, banjos, and mandolins. Some of today’s most popular groups sound like they belong in the Appalachian Mountains in the 1920s, not on alternative radio of the 2010s.

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Poor Moon: Poor Moon

Poor Moon still feels like its developing, which makes this first full-length an uneven, sometimes frustratingly safe record, but it also makes it an album of some promise.

Music

Birdy: Birdy

On her debut album full of indie-rock covers, this 15-year old proves that she can really sing; but Birdy's appeal may depend on how much you enjoy desperate, aching piano ballads, because there are a lot of them here.

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The 2011 Artists of the Year

This year's top artists are a diverse lot represented by two of the world's biggest pop divas, a plethora of critically adored indie faves, some new talents emerging from the hip-hop underground, a couple of veteran Americana acts, and a few alt-rock legends among many more.

Music

The Best Americana of 2011

If you ask a critic or music fan to define Americana, be prepared for an avalanche of diverse responses of opinion. Still, there remain some constant benchmarks, such as pedal steel, fiddle, acoustic guitars -- and good songwriting.

Steve Leftridge and Jeff Strowe
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