In 2020, Americana artists empathetically dealt with the things that bind us together and keep us apart. The albums on this list encourage hope for the future based on a belief in the human spirit.
Travel back five years ago when the release calendar was rife with stellar albums. 2015 offered such an embarrassment of musical riches, that we selected 80 albums as best of the year.
From the old guard reaffirming its status to upstarts asserting their prowess, personal tales voiced by true artists connected on an emotional level in the best Americana music of 2015.
Even in the coronavirus-shortened record release schedule of 2020, the year has offered a mountainous feast of sublime music. The 50 best albums of 2020 so far are an eclectic and increasingly "woke" bunch.
A down-to-earth roots musician who doesn't care if you call her instrument a violin or fiddle, Amanda Shires played it incredibly well while impressing Mile Highwomen, millennial men, and golden oldies alike during a hot winter night in Colorado.
Jack and Rachel Antonoff drew strong talent including Dixie Chicks, Jason Isbell, and Carly Rae Jepsen to the LGBTQ equality benefit for the Ally Coalition.
Putting two of America's top emerging songwriters of the past decade together makes for arguably the best combo tour of 2019.
Culled mostly from a series of sold-out 2017 Nashville shows, Live from the Ryman confirms Jason Isbell's status as a mesmerizing performer, and will likely convert new fans.
One of the most talented voices in Americana today, Jason Isbell's debut solo album Sirens of the Ditch receives a proper reissue.