The Top 10 Folk And Americana Albums Of 2013

Jason Isbell performs at the 2013 Newport Folk Festival. (Meagan Beauchemin for NPR)

It was a banner year for the acoustic guitar. NPR Music partner Folk Alley presents the best the genre had to offer.

The best folk music released in 2013 was, almost without exception, of the intensely personal variety. These remarkable albums struggled with addiction and death, coming of age, faith and the unstoppable rhythm of change. Three of these releases came from well-loved artists making music in ways that nobody saw coming. But all of the recordings listed below challenged us to open our minds and consider things differently, find beauty in small places and discover possibility in life's many challenges.

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