MacArthur genius grant winner Rhiannon Giddens' new album, there is no Other, invites us to do more than share our misery. It asks us to see ourselves as part of something bigger.
While some festivals introduce you to new bands, Big Ears introduces participants to new concepts, to new paradigms. And in a world where the ills seem greater than the remedies, Big Ears is a potent and welcome elixir.
Where female pop musicians tend to age out of the field, country musicians tend to possess a greater reverence for their predecessors, lionizing their greatness and proclaiming their influence at each and every opportunity.
In Americana music the present is female. Two-thirds of our year-end list is comprised of albums by women. Here, then, are the women (and a few men) who represented the best in Americana in 2017.