Stringing along with the seasonal greetings and almost before the first slice of turkey is eaten are the ‘best ofs’ chosen for various music publications by writers who have their fingers on the pulse.
For PopMatters, an enthusiastic Steve Leftridge rates “2014 the best year for recorded bluegrass music in quite some time.”
Out of a crowded field of releases this year Leftridge pulls 10 CDs for his best of bluegrass 2014, embracing jamgrass, hot contemporary bands, two re-formed units, a solo album, a tribute band and a married couple who give a whole new meaning to the phrase “dueling banjos.”
This time in reverse order, his Top Ten is as follows ……..
10 Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen Cold Spell (Compass)
9 Hot Rize When I’m Free (Ten In Hand)
8 Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn (Rounder)
7 Bryan Sutton Into My Own (Sugar Hill)
6 Greensky Bluegrass If Sorrows Swim (Big Blue Zoo)
5 Chatham County Line Tightrope (Yep Roc)
4 The Earls of Leicester The Earls of Leicester (Rounder)
3 Nickel Creek A Dotted Line (Nonesuch)
2 Balsam Range Five (Mountain Home)
1 The Infamous Stringdusters Let It Go (High Country)
Leftridge comments on each of his choices and, in each case, provides a link to a YouTube video sampling from each of the bands.
You can read his piece online.