Folk & Country 2011: 16 Best Albums

Folk & Country 2011: 16 Best Albums
Listen to our Best of 2011: Folk & Country playlist on Rdio by clicking here.

1. The Decemberists
2. Dan Mangan
3. Laura Marling
4. One Hundred Dollars
5. Snailhouse
6. Gillian Welch
7. Richard Buckner
8. The Deep Dark Woods
9. Daniel Romano
10. The Barr Brothers
11. Sunparlour Players
12. Nick Lowe
13. Ryan Adams
14. The Jayhawks
15. Hayes Carll
16. Jenn Grant

1. The Decemberists The King Is Dead (Capitol)
On the one hand, it's easy to wonder if the Decemberists' The King is Dead was so beloved because a) it wasn't the prog-rock mess that was their previous album, The Hazards of Love, and b) it was the kind of R.E.M. and Tom Petty record that neither artist has made in at least 20 years. Let's instead take The King is Dead for what it is: Colin Meloy putting his lifetime's worth of songwriting talent into nine concise country-pop songs, brilliantly performed by his seasoned band and augmented by the towering harmony vocals of Gillian Welch (who had more than a rather good year herself).
Michael Barclay