The artists in this year's list all use their music to create a sense of unity. Whether it is the acknowledgment of shared oppression, or in contrast, the visibility of identity, Best of Folk Music 2020 is defined by its ability to form a musical common ground.
The historical references the virtuosic instrumental work, and the stunning close harmonies all took intelligence and skill to master, but that doesn't mean that Time (The Revelator) should be beyond critique.
Thile and Mehldau make a pretty great duo, but it’s also an idiosyncratic one. For the most part this album feels like Thile is playing around in Mehldau’s jazz-oriented world.
Americana supergroup Pine Hill Project, helmed by Richard Shindell and Lucy Kaplansky, takes on a Gillian Welch song in their latest music video, "Wichita".
Three unique takes on tracks from The Bends, spanning the stripped-down acoustic to the full-fledged orchestral, represent how these songs still have the power to stun two decades later.
Time (The Revelator) conjures a hazy post-millennial American dream of disappointment and ambition that's disturbed by what it sees and hears.