1. Cowboy “Manuel” Donley and His Trio Romantic-o – The Brown Recluse Sessions
An overdue gift from Austin’s godfather of tejano.
2. Kelly Joe Phelps – Brother Sinner and the Whale
One man and one acoustic guitar delivering standard-setting gospel and blues.
3. Chris Smither – Hundred Dollar Valentine
Aphoristic fun from a well-traveled troubadour.
4. The Wandering – Go Home, You Can’t Stay Here
A collective “hang out” cover song album that thwarts all skeptics.
5. Luther Dickinson – Hambone’s Meditiations
Acoustic guitar instrumentals from one very busy dude.
6. Vinicio Capossela – Rebetiko Gymnastas
The Italian Tom Waits goes Greek and sounds better than ever.
7. Maneli Jamal – The Lamaj Movement
Inventive acoustic instrumentals from an Iraqi virtuoso.
8. Angel Olsen – Half Way Home
Arresting songs that succeed in spite of – or because of – the verge-of-sobbing vocals. You decide.
9. Heikki Laitinen and Kimmo Pohjonen – Murhaballadeja: Murder Ballads
Strangely compelling feel-bad music from Finland.
10. Eric Bibb – Deeper in the Well
Another satisfying folk/blues outing demonstrating that time’s on Bibb’s side.