Folk & Country 2011: 16 Best Albums

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6. Gillian Welch The Harrow & the Harvest (Acony)
Welch may have taken the risk of vacating her Americana country-folk throne by taking eight years between records, but the superb The Harrow & The Harvest found her right back at the top of her game. Her eloquent if sometimes bleak narratives make a perfect soundtrack for these recessionary days, and that clear as a mountain stream voice has never sounded better. The decision to record live off-the-floor with her constant creative comrade Dave Rawlings also proved an astute artistic decision. The album was brought to compelling life in the duo's Toronto show, a highlight of the year's concert calendar. During Welch's absence from the recording spotlight, a plethora of rootsy songstresses attempted to fill the void, but she remains Queen Gillian.
Kerry Doole

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Elliot Brood's Days Into Years not in the top 16? Someone's not paying attention
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Where's the new Matt Andersen album? Surprised it doesn't make it after two great album reviews!
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I agree with the poseur above. This list should be invalidated for not including Elliott Brood. For shame, Exclaim. They are one of Canada's most excellent bands.
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Has anyone heard of Fleet Foxes ?
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Where is Chuck Ragan??

Sure he isn't playing popular hipster folk like The Decemberists or Dan Mangan, but he not only won over the oft picky punk crowds with his hints of bluegrass & gritty folk, he is also promoting the most interesting folk in the genre with his brilliant Revival Tour!

I would also argue that Trampled By Turtles and Blackie & the Rodeo Kings are obvious exclusions.
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all the bands your talking about suck
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Um, Fleet Foxes? Helplessness Blues? You know, the best album of the year? You may have heard of it?
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I'd also add William Elliott Whitmore to the list.
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maybe bruce cockburn, you know that dude that just won an award for best folk album yesterday. Jenn Grant? Please. I dig Chuck Ragan. I like most of this list though.
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William Elliott Whitmore!!!!! ya!!!!
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Article Published In Dec 11 Issue