Bluegrass on year end lists

Melonie Canon - And The Wheels TurnAs is always the case, the close of each year heralds a slew of “Best Of” lists of every imaginable description. They are a staple in all sorts of news and entertainment media (see our Favorite Bluegrass Recording of 2008 poll), and in addition to filling space in print and online, provide helpful tips for folks looking hunting Christmas gifts for friends and family with specific tastes.

We found a couple recently with bluegrass themes or content.

CMT.com compiled a list of 10 Indie Albums You Might Have Missed, which includes Melonie Cannon’s And The Wheels Turn CD.

One of the most expressive singers in Nashville, and not merely in bluegrass circles, Cannon compels you to listen to these stories of everyday life, whether she’s consoling a new friend or stumbling into love after swearing it would never happen.

Dave Royko has also submitted his annual list of the top bluegrass/newgrass releases of the year for The Chicago Tribune, published yesterday (12/14).

Dave chose:

  • Abigail Washburn and the Sparrow Quartet, self-titled
  • Punch Brothers: Punch
  • Corbett/Chrisman/Tice, self-titled
  • Ralph Stanley: Old-Time Pickin’‚ÄîA Clawhammer Banjo Collection
  • Bela Fleck & the Flecktones: Jingle All the Way

You can read Dave’s comments about each project online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.

  • mwrowe

    Interesting– do any of these albums actually qualify as bluegrass? Or even newgrass? Sure, they all have banjo, but beyond that… even the Ralph Stanley album is clawhammer, which I always took as one of the things that distinguishes old timey from bluegrass.

    Don’t get me wrong– these are great albums! But what does it say about the state of bluegrass?

  • David Royko

    I hear you–for a number of years now, I’ve submitted my year-end piece to the Trib under the heading “Bluegrass/Newgrass” and always wonder what the piece will appear under. This year, it was “FOLK/BLUEGRASS”. So it goes. Here’s the full piece with comments (don’t know if the Trib keeps it up beyond 7 days):
    http://www.geocities.com/davidroyko/BestOf2008.html
    As for newgrass, I think all but the Stanley disc falls squarely into the “newgrass” catagory, but of course, WINA? 😉
    Dave Royko