Roundup: Best of 2009

After hundreds of hours listening to all types of new music from the last year, we’re pleased to bring you our “best of 2009” list with some of our favorites and a few that slipped through the cracks in our radar but we love just the same.

Download our Best of 2009 iMix with our favorite track from each of these records.

Shelley King – Welcome Home
iTunes
With all the soulful, gospel influenced vocals this album would be great even without the addition of John Magnie, Tim Cook and Steve Amedée.

Dave Rawlings Machine – A Friend of a Friend
iTunes
It’s not just a “Dave Rawlings sings lead on a Gillian Welch record” it’s a shining example of what can happen when’s brilliant sideman steps into the spotlight.

Blue Mother Tupelo – Heaven & Earth
iTunes
Husband and wife duo Micol and Ricky Davis channel everything we like about a Bonnie Raitt/Sheryl Crow/Patty Griffin vocal and mix it with some down home groove.

Brandi Carlile – Give Up The Ghost
iTunes
The “hit” tunes like “Dreams” can overpower the softer gems like “That Year” and “Dying Day” but “what can I say,” it’s a fabulous disc.

The Sweetback Sisters – Chicken Ain’t Chicken iTunes
Straight-up classic country with a bit of a modern twist.

Daniel Johnston – Is And Always Was
iTunes
The brilliance of Daniel Johnson was finally paired with enough production to make it more accessible to the masses.

Amy Speace – The Killer In Me
iTunes
On Judy Collins’ “Wildflower” label, Amy’s slightly jaded love songs retain just enough hope without sounding sappy or overdone.

Gregory Alan Isakov – This Empty Northern Hemisphere
iTunes
With haunting melodies, lyrics that subly float through your subconscious and Brandi Carlile on harmonies, this is a win-win-win.

Sarah Jarosz – Song Up In Her Head
iTunes
At 18-years-old, Sarah is already an articulate songwriter, not to mention a champion strings player with a maturity to her voice and style that comes from the fact she’s been a musician for the better part of her life.

BettySoo – Heat Sin Water Skin
iTunes
The “girl named Soo” and her captivating soprano pipes deliver heartfelt folk melodies with a touch of blues.

Po’ Girl – Deer In The Night
iTunes
Swapping out vocals, Allison Russell and Awna Teixeira make every track a delight with surprising combinations of instruments and styles.

The Harbor Collective – The Monday EP
iTunes
Even after nearly a full year of listening to this record, we still love the harmonies and beautiful simplicity of this indie release.

Neko Case – Middle Cyclone
iTunes
Exquisite alt-country that becomes better with each listen, though we’re still not sold on the frog chorus.

Buddy & Julie Miller – Written In Chalk

Long awaited and with more than a handful of incredibly talented friends (Patty Griffin, Emmylou Harris, Robert Plant) it’s a magical record.

Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel – Willie and the Wheel
iTunes
Finally, two Texas legends combined forces for a swingin’ set of tunes that took Willie back to his roots.

Scott Miller – For Crying Out Loud
iTunes
Witty and irreverent as always, the highlights (“Sin in Indiana,” “I’m Right Here My Love” with Patty Griffin) of this record are still in regular rotation on our iPods.

Some honorable mentions and a few we didn’t review but still love:
Slaid Cleaves – Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away
iTunes

Jill Sobule – California Years
iTunes

Rosie Flores – Girl of the Century
iTunes

Gurf Morlix – Last Exit to Happyland
iTunes

Monsters of Folk – Monsters of Folk
iTunes

Avett Brothers – I and Love and You
iTunes

Dave Alvin & The Guilty Women – Dave Alvin & The Guilty Women
iTunes

John Doe & the Sadies – Country Club
iTunes

Paper Bird – A Sky Underground
iTunes

Angie Stevens – Queen of this Mess
iTunes

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