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Folk Alley casts a wide net to the world of folk, roots and Americana music. Year 'round you hear a healthy mix of all of it, as we champion the best traditional folk, contemporary singer-songwriters, bluegrass, Celtic, blues, indie, world and more, from both long established artists and up-and-comers.
So when it's time to look back at our favorite albums of the year, it's always interesting to see what percolates to the top. It's very much an organic process and we never know what we'll end up with. Our wide net and the bounty of great music released each year always make choosing a Top 10 list simultaneously fun and daunting. There's also the dash of dread — not for what makes the list, but for what's left off (I'm looking at you Ana Egge & the Sentimentals, Dori Freeman, We Banjo 3 and Mavis Staples).
This time, if there are any themes running through our list for 2016, they might include: young artists who have continued to grow and innovate (Sarah Jarosz, The Stray Birds, Aoife O'Donovan, Birds of Chicago, Courtney Marie Andrews); deeply moving songwriting (Lori McKenna, Hayes Carll and Parker Millsap each had songs that made me cry while driving this year) and exciting new collaborations (Neko Case/k.d. lang/Laura Veirs and The Small Glories).
Find more individual Folk Alley host and staff Best of 2016 lists on the Folk Alley website.