PopMatters – Best of Bluegrass 2012

popmattersIt’s that time of year again, where pundits assess various aspects of the past 12 months.

One of the first to do so and publish their list of favourites is PopMatters, the international magazine of cultural criticism.

PopMatters’ bluegrass Top Ten listing includes a good sample from mainstream bluegrass with albums from Lou Reid & Carolina, The Grascals, Town Mountain, Steep Canyon Rangers and Balsam Range among the favored few.

That said, PopMatters has a big tent philosophy, which is demonstrated by the inclusion in the Top 5 of Trampled by Turtles’ Stars and Satellites and, at No. 1, the Punch Brothers’ Who’s Feeling Young Now? album.

Here’s their Top Ten ….

10. Ricky Skaggs – Music to My Ears (Skaggs Family)

09. Lou Reid & Carolina – Calling Me Back Home (KMA)

08. The Boxcars – All In (Mountain Home)

07. The Grascals – Life Finds a Way (Mountain Home)

06. Town Mountain – Leave the Bottle (Pinecastle)

05. Trampled by Turtles – Stars and Satellites (Banjodad)

04. Bill Evans – In Good Company (Native and Fine)

03. Steep Canyon Rangers – Nobody Knows You (Rounder)

02. Balsam Range – Papertown (Mountain Home)

01. Punch Brothers – Who’s Feeling Young Now? (Nonesuch)

A critical review of each album can be found here.

What do you think? Let us know. If there’s enough interest we might publish a readers’ Top Ten.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.