AllMusic 2014 Year In Review

Favorite Americana Albums -

Americana had a strong 2014, represented by excellent new music from Laura Cantrell, Shakey Graves, Hiss Golden Messenger, Lydia Loveless and the Old 97's.
South

Blackie & the Rodeo Kings

South

Eighth album from the Canadian roots music supergroup is simple, straightforward, and entirely satisfying.

Undefeated

Bobby Bare, Jr. / Bobby Bare, Jr.'s Young Criminals' Starvation League

Undefeated

Singer/songwriter embraces the joys of off-kilter pop and noisy rock, and well as the sorrows of failing relationships.

Tightrope

Chatham County Line

Tightrope

Sixth album from this bluegrass-inspired North Carolina quartet finds them exploring new sounds with their usual excellence.

Counterfeit Blues

Corb Lund

Counterfeit Blues

The Canadian country songwriter and his band re-record their early hits absolutely live from the floor of Memphis Tennessee's Sun Studio.

Doubled Exposure

D. Charles Speer / D. Charles Speer & the Helix

Doubled Exposure

Speer's most accessible album yet, if accessible means one can't help being kind of fascinated by it.

Common Ground: Dave & Phil Alvin Play and Sing the Songs of Big Bill Broonzy

Dave Alvin / Phil Alvin

Common Ground: Dave & Phil Alvin Play and Sing the Songs of Big Bill Broonzy

The Blasters' founders pay homage to the iconic bluesman Big Bill Broonzy in their first studio collaboration since 1985.

English Oceans

Drive-By Truckers

English Oceans

Mike Cooley steps up to co-star status on this band's tenth album, a relatively low-key set of thoughtful character studies.

Work and Love

Elliott Brood

Work and Love

The Canadian roots trio's fifth LP is as dark and daring as it is warm-hearted.

Sitcom Afterlife

Frontier Ruckus

Sitcom Afterlife

Michigan alt-country act delivers a poppier sound on their fourth album, but their atmospheric music is still literate and strong.

Lateness of Dancers

Hiss Golden Messenger

Lateness of Dancers

On their Merge Records debut, M.C Taylor and band emerge from the Southern Gothic darkness to deliver a gem.

So It Is with Us

Horse Feathers

So It Is with Us

The band's spirited fifth outing may not be a party record, but it makes a noble attempt to mingle with its guests.

Here Be Monsters

Jon Langford & Skull Orchard / Jon Langford

Here Be Monsters

Bitter but literate tales of lives in the balance dominate this album that finds Langford in especially strong musical form.

Single Mothers

Justin Townes Earle

Single Mothers

Spare, mournful set of songs about heartache in various forms; beautifully crafted, but takes its sadness very seriously.

Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone

Lucinda Williams

Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone

The singer/songwriter's first album for her own label is a grand-scale exploration of heart, soul, mind, and groove.

Somewhere Else

Lydia Loveless

Somewhere Else

Triumphant album from the Ohio-based singer and songwriter, who sings of love and lust with casual brilliance and power.

Shaken

Maggie Björklund

Shaken

On her sophomore offering, the Danish pedal steel guitarist and songwriter creates an intimate and powerful portrait of loss.

Most Messed Up

Old 97's

Most Messed Up

Rough, rowdy, and sounding like a boozy boys night out, the band's 10th album is one of their toughest and best in years.

Southern Comfort

Regina Carter

Southern Comfort

On her fine Sony debut, the violinist explores the folk traditions of the American South.

Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams

Cannily constructed, sometimes emotionally vulnerable re-creation of the golden age of studio rock from the savvy singer/songwriter.

Slap Back

Sallie Ford

Slap Back

Idiosyncratic singer and songwriter gets a new band and a new sound, but holds onto her powerful voice and soul-baring songs.

And the War Came

Shakey Graves

And the War Came

Melancholic and angelic melodies that gently take one's breath away.

Way Out Weather

Steve Gunn

Way Out Weather

On his second Paradise of Bachelors offering, the artist artfully and ambitiously showcases his increasing confidence as a singer/songwriter.

All the Labor: The Soundtrack

The Gourds

All the Labor: The Soundtrack

Captures the band's unique story with 18 classic, career-spanning songs.

Trouble

The Howlin' Brothers

Trouble

Crackling and well-constructed second set from the Nashville-based neo-bluegrass trio.

The Magik Sounds of the Pine Hill Haints

The Pine Hill Haints

The Magik Sounds of the Pine Hill Haints

Crackling energy and eerie themes come through in high definition from this long-running, spooky, rockabilly act.