Through the Lens

Focusing on the finest roots music photography

Amos lives in West Virginia, where he works with Mountain Stage and takes stunning photographs of live music performances.

Through the Lens

Focusing on the finest roots music photography

Amos lives in West Virginia, where he works with Mountain Stage and takes stunning photographs of live music performances.

The Ten Best Roots Music Releases of 2017 (So Far)

These Best of lists always bring out the "what about...."

So here goes.

"The Nashville Sound" has some damn good ditties.


It does Mr. Mutt...

Good list Amos...the Sun Records tribute is excellent, as is the Rhiannon Giddens and also the Will Kimbrough and Brigitte DeMeyer...Kimbrough is such a fine player...there's a few here I'll have to pick up that I haven't heard, based on your recommend...thanks!

So many records...

I'm a sucker for album lists, and because I've already done a "Fave 17 of '17 (So Far)" for my Lost Music Saloon radio show, it's easy (too easy!) to share it here:


Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit: The Nashville Sound
Micah Schnabel: Your New Norman Rockwell
Steve Earle: So You Wannabe an Outlaw
Old 97s: Graveyard Whistling
Nikki Lane: Highway Queen
Son Volt: Notes of Blue
Chuck Prophet: Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins
Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires: Youth Detention
Slaid Cleaves: Ghost on the Car Radio
Ryan Adams: Prisoner
Bash & Pop: Anything Could Happen
Rodney Crowell: Close Ties
Sam Baker: Land of Doubt
Sunny Sweeney: Trophy
The Sadies: Northern Passage
Kasey Chambers: Dragonfly
Hurray For the Riff Raff: The Navigator

Some great ones there too Garry...

Some lovely stuff there, to add to to Amos' list.

I'd probably want to add

Chris Stapleton - From A Room 1 (perhaps he's getting too popular for some people),

Justin Townes Earle - Kids on the Street (I think this is his best album

Sam Outlaw - Tenderheart  

Andrew Combs - Canyons of my Mind  &

John Moreland - Big Bad Luv

Each of these would get in my Top 20 for the year so far


Many thanks for your take,  as lists are just the beginning of the conversation, and, yes, I like what I have heard on yours. As I said in my intro, mine was more oriented to what I listened to the most, the ones I kept returning to, etc. But that's what lists are for, to spurn on other lists, etc. and turn folks onto things they might not be aware of.  There are many new ones coming down down the pike, such as Motel Mirrors which I got an early copy of, but as it has not been released, it was not included. Others to put on your radar: Richie & Rosie, Sweetback Sisters, Willie Watson, the US release of Applewood Road whose UK release was in my top 10 of 2016, and Bronwen Exter. Again, thanks for your thoughtful and considered comments.

Sam Baker's "Land of Doubt"?

Is it available for sale or did you get a promo?

I've got the CD, but it's available for downloaded mp3s, or on CD , at Amazon if you're interested.

Thanks! For some reason I thought it was scheduled for a fall release date. Just ordered it!

Wow some very deep selections in your post and from commenters, this has been a good year, thus far.
Man, Mr. Crowell's record is terrific, I even like a Steve Earle record for once in a long while.  Jason Isbell and Son Volt also outstanding.

You have some good choices here, but can't believe that you didn't give jason isbells new record any love. It is one of two records (gibbons as well) that are worthy of the best record so far this year. Unfathomable

What about Jason Isbell's "The Nashville Sound?"

The thing I like about these lists, is it gives you other artists to try.

Some of my 2017 buys so far that I really like are Hurray for the Riff Raff, Ryan Adams, The Secret Sisters, Son Volt, Steve Earle and Valarie June. I never got into Ryan's music after Whiskey Town, but his latest I like. Similary I never got into Son Volt's music (liked Uncle Tupelo), however again the latest one is a winner.

I'm yet to listen to the latest from Shannon McNally, The Mastersons and Sam Baker.

In New Zealand there seems to be an upsurge in Alt Folk music.

Recently there have been releases by Aldous Harding (Party), Nadia Reid (Preservation) (cut in 2016 and released in 2017), Reb Fountain (Hopeful/Hopeless EP), and The Miltones (Fleetwood Mac like?).

I'm looking forward to new releases by NZ artists Tiny Ruins, Eb & Sparrow, Holly Arrowsmith, Emily Fairlight and Reb Fountain(full length album). Also the following "overseas" artists The Molly Conley Band (ex Porter Hall Tennessee), Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, Sue Foley, The Wild Ponies and Dori Freeman.