CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD, Barefoot In The Head
This was the year I fell in love with the Chris Robinson Brotherhood. I’m not sure what took so long as they’ve had six studio releases and several live recording leading up to this one—they are on fire. This also marks the second year in a row that I went with a bluesy jam band as my top pick having picked the Tedeschi Trucks Band in 2016. With the loss of Gregg Allman earlier this year, it’s like a torch has been passed and the Brotherhood are the new torchbearers. Now that’s something I can get behind. I hope you enjoy this album as much as I have this year.
Tom’s Top 25 of 2016
- CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD, Barefoot In The Head
6th studio release by the California-based blues rock band.
Recommended if you like: The Black Crowes, Gov’t Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band
- RYAN ADAMS, Prisoner
16th (or so) studio release by the Los Angeles-based alt folk singer-songwriter.
RIYL: Whiskeytown, Jason Isbell, Wilco
- OLD 97’S, Graveyard Whistling
16th (or so) studio release by the Dallas-based alt country band.
RIYL: Son Volt, The Bottle Rockets, Wilco
- JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE, Kids In the Street
8th studio release by the Nashville-based folk rock singer-songwriter.
RIYL: John Moreland, Jason Isbell, Ryan Bingham
- NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS, Prayer For Peace
8th studio release by the Mississippi-based blues rock band.
RIYL: Anders Osborne, Gov’t Mule, JJ Grey & Mofro
- JASON ISBELL & THE 400 UNIT, The Nashville Sound
6th studio release by the Nashville-based alt country band.
RIYL: Drive-by Truckers, John Moreland, Justin Townes Earle
- MARK BROUSSARD, Easy to Love
9th studio release by the Louisiana-based blues rock singer-songwriter.
RIYL: David Ryan Harris, Josh Kelley, Dave Barnes
- EILEN JEWELL, Down Hearted Blues
6th studio release by the Boise-based alt folk singer-songwriter.
RIYL: Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch, Pieta Brown
- JOSH RITTER, Gathering
9th studio release by the Idaho-based alt folk singer-songwriter.
RIYL: Joe Pug, Josh Rouse, Joe Purdy
- JD MCPHERSON, UNDIVIDED HEART & SOUL
3rd studio release by the Oklahoma-based blues rock singer-songwriter.
RIYL: Pokey Lafarge, The James Hunter Six, Shovels & Rope
- LYDIA LOVELESS, Boy Crazy and Single(s)
5th studio release by the Raleigh-based alt country singer-songwriter.
RIYL: Nikki Lane, Margo Price, Amanda Shires
- JULIEN BAKER, Turn Out the Lights
2nd studio release by the Memphis-based alt folk singer-songwriter.
RIYL: Phoebe Bridges, Waxahatchee, Big Thief
- THE WAILIN’ JENNYS, Fifteen
5th studio release by the Canadian-based alt folk band.
RIYL: Ruth Moody, Nickel Creek, Sarah Jarosz
- WILL HOGE, Anchors
10th studio release by the Nashville-based country rock singer-songwriter.
RIYL: Adam Hood, Stephen Kellogg, Jason Eady
- JOHN MORELAND, Big Bad Luv
7th studio release by the Tulsa-based folk rock singer-songwriter.
RIYL: Jason Isbell, Justin Townes Earle, Andrew Combs
- THE WAIFS, Ironbark
8th studio release by the Australian-based alt folk band.
RIYL: Holly Throsby, Little Birdy, The Audreys
- QUILES & CLOUD, Shake Me Now
2nd studio release by the San Fransisco-based alt folk duo.
RIYL: Mandolin Orange, The Honey Dewdrops, The Stray Birds
- THE WILD REEDS, The World We Built
2nd studio release by the Los Angeles-based folk rock band.
RIYL: Big Thief, Joseph, The Oh Hellos
- THE DUSTBOWL REVIVAL, The Dustbowl Revival
4th studio release by the Venice, California-based folk rock band.
RIYL: Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, Front Country, Spirit Family Reunion
- THE SECRET SISTERS, You Don’t Own Me Anymore
3rd studio release by the Muscle Shoals-based alt folk duo.
RIYL: Justin Townes Earle, Rhiannon Giddens, Parker Millsap
- THE LONE BELLOW, Walk into a Storm
3rd studio release by Brooklyn-based folk rock band.
RIYL: Mandolin Orange, Drew Holcombe & The Neighbors, Shovels & Rope
- LARKIN POE, Peach
3rd studio release by the Atlanta-based blues rock duo.
RIYL: Nikki Lane, Lily & Madeleine, Adia Victoria
- SAMANTHA FISH, Belle of the West
7th studio release by the Kansas City-based blues singer-songwriter.
RIYL: Joanne Shaw Taylor, Ana Popovic, Ruthie Foster
- THE SHOW PONIES, How It All Goes Down
3rd studio release by the Los Angeles-based folk rock band.
RIYL: Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellies, Mipso, Joy Kills Sorrow
- DEAD MAN WINTER, Furnace
2nd studio release by the Minneapolis-based folk rock band.
RIYL: Jamestown Revival, Shovels & Rope, Rayland Baxter
Just for fun, here’s my picks for the 2018 Grammys:
Album of the Year: Melodrama — Lorde
Best New Artist: Alessia Cara
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: Triplicate — Bob Dylan
Best Pop Vocal Album: ÷ (Divide) — Ed Sheeran
Best Dance/Electronic Album: What Now — Sylvan Esso
Best Rock Album: A Deeper Understanding — The War On Drugs
Best Alternative Music Album: Pure Comedy — Father John Misty
Best Urban Contemporary Album: “Awaken, My Love!” — Childish Gambino
Best R&B Album: Gumbo — PJ Morton
Best Rap Album: 4:44 — Jay-Z
Best Country Album: From A Room: Volume 1 — Chris Stapleton
Best Jazz Vocal Album: A Social Call — Jazzmeia Horn
Best Americana Album: The Nashville Sound — Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit
Best Bluegrass Album: Laws Of Gravity — The Infamous Stringdusters
Best Traditional Blues Album: Blue & Lonesome — The Rolling Stones
Best Contemporary Blues Album: TajMo — Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’
Best Folk Album: You Don’t Own Me Anymore — The Secret Sisters
Best Regional Roots Music Album: Top Of The Mountain — Dwayne Dopsie And The Zydeco Hellraisers
Best Reggae Album: Chronology — Chronixx
Best Comedy Album: What Now? — Kevin Hart
Best Musical Theater Album: Dear Evan Hansen
About the author: Washington, D.C. area web designer by day. Music is my muse. I host Twangville‘s weekly Readers‘ Pick.