RecommNeds | The New Folk Edition
The new folk…
Sam Amidon: Lily-O
If RecommNed veteran Sam Amidon’s new album, Lily-O, was just him playing these songs solo, this would still be one of my favorite albums of the year. These are folk masterpieces, like something unearthed from an Appalachian mountaintop after a century of fine-wine aging. Amidon’s vanilla bean voice and banjo and guitar playing are exquisitely matched the material. As it is, though, Amidon has recruited a few grade A backing jazz musicians, most notably Bill Frisell, to flesh out the sound. The result is a gorgeous, slightly weird, utterly unique jazzfolk. It’s timeless, spellbinding, magical music.
Spotify: Sam Amidon – Lily-O
Pieta Brown: Paradise Outlaw
Like Amidon, Pieta Brown, takes a traditional folk and creates something both recognizable and singularly beautiful. Threaded throughout her new album, Paradise Outlaw, is an artfully light touch of banjo that is pure joy to listen to. The album is rife with wonderful songs that create a dreamy, minimalist folk-pop sound bracketed by Brown’s coffee-cream vocals and that ubiquitous banjo. This is not so-and-so’s daughter’s album, but a piece of art all her own. Enjoy!
Spotify: Pieta Brown – Paradise Outlaw
Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge: Avalon
If you love really great acoustic guitar playing, I’ve got just the thing for you. Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge have put out their debut album, Avalon, and it is a doozy of acoustic picking. Eldridge is the guitarist in the Punch Brothers and Lage is an accomplished jazz guitarist who pops up playing with all sorts of people. Together, they’ve found magic in recreating old school bluegrass and jazz tunes as well as some fantastic original instrumentals. This is guitar at its finest, the kind of music Tony Rice turned out with such skill… except there are two of them in perfect 6-string harmony and they make it feel brand new and all their own.
Steve Gunn: Way Out Weather
Steve Gunn has slowly but steadily achieved preferred status around here at the ReccomNeds HQ, making multiple appearances with his recent releases. With his newest LP, Way Out Weather, he’s outdone himself, building on the guitar mastery of his past work and blending in engaging songwriting and full-band jammers to create a superlative work of art. It’s ethereal and rocking and acoustic and electric and light and dense all at once. This is the real deal, friends, you won’t find much better released this year. Highly recommended.
Spotify: Steve Gunn – Way Out Weather
Written By: Aaron Stein