Your 50 Favorite Albums of 2016

Sturgill Simpson, Drive-By Truckers, Lucinda Williams lead the pack

Is the full ranked list available as it has been in prior years? The top 50 is wonderful and I would love to see the entire list!

A fine list indeed. Should you want to go off the beaten path, here's my own eight Un-Americana titles that didn't make the reader's cut. 

Those are a bunch of really nice songs, all by people I've never listened to -- thanks for the post!

I had Dori Freeman in my top ten.  I'm just a little surprised not to see her at all in the top 50, as I think she got a fair amount of roots community buzz.

Not going to argue about what is/is not Americana/Un-Americana music, but I'll just say that my Americana umbrella might be bigger than Easy Ed's.  I'm familiar with 7 of the 8 releases on Ed's list (haven't heard the Jack & Amanda Palmer), and would place most of them squarely under the Americana banner (in fact, three of his selections: Handsome Family; Freakwater; and Dori Freeman, are on my own lists).  Unless he's just saying that his "Un-Americana" albums are actually "Americana" albums that he feels were unjustly overlooked by most polls - - but doesn't almost everybody who listens to a lot of new music each year have a list of those kinds of albums?  If that's the case, my "eight" overlooked albums might include:

 - Becky Warren: War Surplus
 - Angie and the Deserters: "You"/"Blood Like Wine" EPs
 - Courtney Marie Andrew: Honest Life
 - Two Cow Garage: Brand New Flag
 - Michael McDermott: Willow Spring
 - Tommy Womack: Namaste
 - Richmond Fontaine: You Can't Go Back If There's Nothing To Go Back To
 - Brian Fallon: Painkillers

I'd put all of those under "good Americana music" (and all of them appear on my year end lists) but, so far at least, are seeming to be overlooked in most of the year-end polls that I've seen.


@Garry: Yeah...calling them Un-Americana was my way of needling the establishment and authoritative AMA radio list for excluding some mighty fine artists, along with those you've mentioned. It's by nature of the sheer amount of music being released that makes all lists merely just that...lists. There is no way to seriously define best or greatest or whatever other term you come up with so the object here is what you and I both did: share new music others are likely to have missed. 

I got tied up in new ventures and family issues so forgot to vote. I only have 5 which shows how deep I'm getting into  western and western swing.

Linda Chorney, robbed again!  Hackers!

Yeah, it'd be interesting to see the full list and number of votes too.

Five of My Top 10 made the Top 50 & three of them made the Top 10....

A great list...5 of my top 10 made the list and 9 of my top 20...would be good to see a list of all the albums that got votes as others above have suggested. Just a little point of information...No. 36 should read Angel Olsen not Olson(sorry but correct spelling of names is a bit of a bug bear of mine). Thanks for all the hard work in compiling this list!

I would love to see the whole list too!!!!


So it's not Brennan Cook?

haha...I deserved that!

Looks like it's been Isbell/Simpson/Isbell/Simpson for the top spot in the last fours years.  I had the previous three efforts ranked high in my top ten for their respective year (if memory serves, #1, #3 and #2 respectively), but didn't have Sturgill's latest effort in my top ten this year.  I have been a Sturgill fan since the beginning of his solo career (e.g., pre-ordered High Top Mountain and saw him do a sparsely attended no cover show at DC's Hill Country BBQ in late 2013).  I like ASGTE a lot but don't quite love it.    That's ok.  Personal taste and all that.

For some reason I didn't find 2016 to be quite as rich as the two previous years, in part because a good number of the albums on this list just haven't been readily available here on Vancouver Island -- the distribution of CDs has become much more difficult and I still prefer to buy them instead of buying digital downloads. More than a few that I did like a lot -- Carrie Rodriguez's Lola and Rosswell Rudd & Heather Masse's August Love Song aren't in the top 50, nor is Elephant Rival's Petals and all of those have been in my rotation since they came out.

Always one of my fave year-end lists to check out.  This year might have been the closest to my own list (11 of the 20 albums in No Dep's top 20 also appear in my own top 20) that I've ever seen.  

On The Ropes may not be their strongest effort, but I'd love to see The Honeycutters from Asheville, N.C. get more attention.  Amanda Ann Platt has a great voice and her songwriting is the real deal.  And personally, I never thought I could tolerate another cover of Halelujah, but their version swings.  Maybe they made the top 100?

As "A Sailor's Guide" is number one and my review, praised by many, was not "featured," if interested:

Sturgill's 'Sailor's Guide' has to be one of the less-likely albums to be so widely praised in year-end lists, imho.  No surprise that it's highly rated here and in other roots-y places (American Songwriter (#4); Bitter Southerner (#4); etc), but it also scored well in the year-end album lists in Paste (#19); Uncut (#7); and even USA Today (#25).  Gotta wonder how much that Nirvana cover helped.  If curious, it came in just outside my own top 10, at #11.

Btw, that USA Today year-ender list was a surprise to me.  In addition to the (expected) commercial stuff scoring highly, they found room for Sturgill at #25; the Drive By Truckers (#33); Lambchop (#37); and maybe most surprisingly, and all within the top 8 (!!!) picks, are Jeff Rosenstock's 'Worry' @ #1; Pinegrove's 'Cardinal' @ #4; Car Seat Headrest's 'Teens of Denial' @ #5; and Lucy Dacus' ' No Burden' @ #8.  All fine albums, even if a couple of them fall outside the No Dep universe.