Wayne Rice

How to Hear the Top 30 Bluegrass Albums of the Past Year

Listen Sunday Night 10pm to Midnight on KSON!

January 2, 2017

As we look forward to another great year of bluegrass music on KSON’s Bluegrass Special, it’s always good to look back—or more appropriately to listen back—and celebrate the amazing music that we heard during the past year. Here’s my list of the top 40 bluegrass albums of the year released in 2016. It’s always hard to narrow this list down to 40 (we had more than 150 to choose from) but these are the albums you heard the most on KSON.

I’ll be playing a selection from each of the top 30 albums below on Sunday night, January 8. Happy New Year!

  1. The Lonely Heartstring Band “Deep Waters” (Rounder)
  2. Volume Five “Drifter” (Mountain Fever)
  3. The Earls of Leicester “Ramble & Roar” (Rounder)
  4. Blue Highway “Original Traditional” (Rounder)
  5. The O’Connor Band with Mark O’Connor “Coming Home” (Rounder)
  6. Dwight Yoakam “Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars” (Sugar Hill)
  7. Michael Cleveland “Fiddler’s Dream” (Compass)
  8.  Balsam Range “Mountain Voodoo” (Mountain Home)
  9. The Lonesome River Band “Bridging the Tradition” (Mountain Home)
  10. Kenny & Amanda Smith “Unbound” (Farm Boy)
  11. The Boxcars “Familiar with the Ground” (Mountain Home)
  12. Josh Williams “Modern Day Man” (Rounder)
  13. Buddy Melton and Milan Miller “Secrets, Dreams & Pretty Things” (no label)
  14. Infamous Stringdusters “Ladies & Gentlemen” (Compass)
  15. Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers “Sacred Memories” (Rebel)
  16. Jeff White “Right Beside You” (no label)
  17. Del McCoury “Del and Woody” (McCoury Music)
  18. Rickey Wasson “Croweology” (Truegrass Entertainment)
  19. Kristin Scott Benson “Stringworks” (Mountain Home)
  20. Special Consensus “Long I Ride” (Compass)
  21. Sam Bush “Storyman” (Sugar Hill)
  22. Kristy Cox “Part of Me” (Pisgah Ridge)
  23. Adam Steffey “Here to Stay” (Mountain Home)
  24. Newtown “Harlan Road” (Mountain Home)
  25. Laurie Lewis & Her Right Hands “The Hazel and Alice Sessions” (Spruce and Maple)
  26. Sierra Hull “Weighted Mind” (Sugar Hill)
  27. Lou Reid & Carolina “Rollin On” (KMA)
  28. Irene Kelley “These Hills” (Mountain Fever)
  29. Bryan Sutton “The More I Learn” (Sugar Hill)
  30. Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle “Aim High” (Rural Rhythm)
  31. Junior Sisk “Poor Boy’s Pleasure” (Rebel)
  32. Frank Solivan “Family, Friends and Heroes” (Compass)
  33. Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver “Burden Bearer” (Mountain Home)
  34. Claire Lynch “North by South” (Compass)
  35. Spinney Brothers “Living the Dream” (Mountain Fever)
  36. Sister Sadie “Sister Sadie” (Pinecastle)
  37. Curtis Wright “Curtis Wright” (no label)
  38. Farmhands “Dig in the Dirt” (Pinecastle)
  39. Larry Stephenson Band “Weep Little Willow” (Whysper Dream)
  40. Sideline “Colors and Crossroads” (Mountain Fever)