Bela Fleck, The Impostor – After a dozen close listens I’m starting to feel prepared for the most glorious moment of this year’s Bluegrass: Bela & the 50+ members of the Colorado Symphony on Friday evening.
Kris Drever, Mark the Hard Earth – Scottish singer-guitarist is joined by Tim O’Brien for a warm set of mostly-Celtic folk tunes, including the wonderful “Call And the Answer.”
Ray LaMontagne, Supernova – Ray goes 70s psychedelic on this new one, an intriguing new direction for his Bluegrass debut.
King Creosote, Bombshell – This is an epic “statement” album, including a rollicking song about the game Clue, and a tearfully gorgeous eulogy closer. KC’s Masterpiece, but still not officially available in the U.S.
Chatham County Line, Tightrope – On this, their sixth, the Line continue to craft one of the best repertoires of original songs in bluegrass, and a lovably swaying groove.
Robert Ellis, The Lights from the Chemical Plant –Good songs and fantastic arrangements by a forward-thinking Nashville country-folk band, including a knockout solo section to “Still Crazy After All These Years.”
Asgeir, In the Silence – The highest-selling debut ever in Iceland is disarming in its soulful blend of acoustic guitars and electronics.
Nickel Creek, A Dotted Line – I’ll admit to being a huge Mother Mother fan, so NC’s cover of “Hayloft” is pure joy, even with the unexpected percussion.
Lau, Live –Spellbinding live set from the Scottish guitar-fiddle-accordion trio whose music unearths deep passions with a modernist edge. The “Repeat All” setting was invented for this album.
Frank Solivan, On the Edge – They had me in the fiery first five seconds; then, their crazy-tight cover of “The Letter” literally had me dancing. Don’t miss them at FirstGrass, NightGrass and the Bluegrass main stage on Thursday.