Whichever way the challenging year tested you, the music of 2020 provided a brief escape from the turmoil outside our windows. It offered some of the best songwriting in years, with raw emotion, incredible empathy and outstanding artistry.
These are the best albums in the Country/Americana genre of 2020.
5. Brit Taylor – Real Me
From East Kentucky, Taylor’ extraordinary debut brings a mixture of old school wisdom with timeless principles of overcoming life’s curveballs. Suffering is not in the fact, it is in the meaning we give to these facts, and Taylor’s 10 song journey may as well be a pocketbook to achieve one’s purpose. A wonderful Lyrical and musical collection. Future is bright for this Nashville based artist.
4. Ingrid Andress – Like Me
A deeply personal collection of songs, Andress brings a new depth so what at first listen may seem like slick pop country. Dig in deeper, and find an artist coming to terms with that it means to struggle with your head and how it has affected her relationships. Ultimately, understanding that mastering your thoughts and head is where true freedom lies. Doesn’t hurt the production and slick editing is so damn catchy!
3. Alright Alright – Crucible
Did anyone say ‘saga’? When we had this wonderful husband-wife duo on our show, we equated their album to a Martin Scorsese film. Time has only deepened this emotion, as the epic 11 song collection is a gut wrenching look at real life’s struggle and the slow but stead overcoming of them through hope and despair. A very real album for very real times.
2. Margo Price – That’s How Rumors Get Started
Margo Price’s wonderful album sees her keeping her authentic self, core values and adding elements of classic rock to the equation. You will find yourself flabbergasted at the musical artistry that has signs of her Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline heart, but now adding elements of Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty. If that’s not a sign of a grand slam home run, I don’t know what is!
- Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – Reunions
Connecting to someone overcoming addiction can be filled with sensitivity and empathy. With Reunions, Isbell seems to look back at these struggles with alcohol with pride and defiance. Someone who sees himself at peace with here is, ready for what’s next but not without the realization there was collateral from life choices of the past. His backing band adds a sophistication element that takes the songwriting to another level.