NPR logo Folk Alley's Favorite CDs of 2007

Folk Alley's Favorite CDs of 2007

Folk Alley presents a sampling of its favorite CDs this year, submitted by hosts and staff: Elena See, Jeff St. Clair, Barb Heller, Jim Blum, Chris Boros, Ann VerWiebe and Linda Fahey.

Folk Alley programmers have also posted their personal favorites at the Folk Alley Blog.

Folk Alley's Favorites

Cover for Gospel Truth
Probably Not
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Susan Werner

  • Song: Probably Not
  • from The Gospel Truth

Werner uses her singer-songwriter talents to create an unusual collection of ruminations on faith -- told from an agnostic’s point of view. A CD that makes you think while you’re enjoying the well-crafted songs.

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Song
Gospel Truth
Album
Gospel Truth
Artist
Susan Werner
Label
Susan Werner
Released
2007

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Cover for Children Running Through
Trapeze
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Patty Griffin

  • Song: Trapeze
  • from Children Running Through

An eclectic mix: from jazz to R&B, piano ballads to gospel and contemporary folk. This is her finest CD to date.

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Song
Children Running Through
Album
Children Running Through
Artist
Patty Griffin
Label
Ato / Red
Released
2007

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Cover for Dirt Farmer
Single Girl, Married Girl
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Levon Helm

  • Song: Single Girl, Married Girl
  • from Dirt Farmer

After overcoming throat cancer and a fire that destroyed his recording studio, Helm returns with a gritty tribute to his rural Arkansas roots. It's his first solo CD in 25 years.

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Song
Dirt Farmer
Album
Dirt Farmer
Artist
Levon Helm
Label
Vanguard
Released
2007

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Cover for Eilen Jewell
Where They Never Say Your Name
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Eilen Jewell

  • Song: Where They Never Say Your Name
  • from Letters from Sinners & Strangers

Straight out of a speakeasy that only serves the good stuff.

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Song
Letters from Sinners & Strangers
Album
Letters from Sinners & Strangers
Artist
Eilen Jewell
Label
Signature Sound
Released
2007

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Lau
Hinba: Hinba/Funny Weather
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LAU

  • Song: Hinba: Hinba/Funny Weather
  • from Lightweights & Gentlemen

High energy Celtic sounds from a trio that sounds like a sextet.

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Song
Lightweights & Gentlemen
Album
Lightweights & Gentlemen
Artist
LAU
Label
Compass
Released
2007

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Skaggs Hornsby
Mandolin Rain
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Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby

  • Song: Mandolin Rain
  • from Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby

An unexpected acoustic collaboration that draws on the strengths of two talented musicians. Long a master of traditional bluegrass, Skaggs uses his instrumentation to blend with the versatile Hornsby.

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Song
Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby
Album
Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby
Artist
Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby
Label
Legacy
Released
2007

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Infamous Stringdusters
Fork in the Road
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The Infamous Stringdusters

  • Song: Fork in the Road
  • from Fork in the Road

The International Bluegrass Music Association's Emerging Artist of the Year, this group of younger Nashville veterans has done a fine job with every one of the dozen tracks on this album.

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Song
Fork in the Road
Album
Fork in the Road
Artist
Infamous Stringdusters
Label
Sugar Hill
Released
2007

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Greencards
Here You Are
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The Greencards

  • Song: Here You Are
  • from Viridian

American bluegrass filtered through the perspective of two Aussies and a Brit who met in Austin, Texas. A good range of traditional roots music and a more contemporary sound.

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Song
Viridian
Album
Viridian
Artist
The Greencards
Label
Dualtone
Released
2007

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Richard Shindell
Northbound 35
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Richard Shindell

  • Song: Northbound 35
  • from South of Delia

After careful consideration and personal reflection, Shindell chose 12 songs fraught with personal meaning. It's a covers album full of unlikely juxtapositions. And yet it works.

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Song
South of Delia
Album
South of Delia
Artist
Richard Shindell
Label
Richard Shindell
Released
2007

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Cover for Quartet
Shady Grove
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Peter Rowan & Tony Rice

  • Song: Shady Grove
  • from Quartet

These two bluegrass greats can even make "Shady Grove" sound fresh -- tight harmonies throughout, plus sublime guitar work. The final song says it best: "Perfection."

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Song
Quartet
Album
Quartet
Artist
Peter Rowan/Tony Rice
Label
Rounder

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