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Rewinding 2019 | The Firmly Rooted Singer-Songwriters

The best and the rest of the year's troubadours.

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I reviewed enough singer-songwriters this year that I decided to divide them into two groups. If you’re looking for the rootsy kind — your folksingers, your acoustic troubadours, your southern pickers and strummers — you’re in the right place. Here are the ones that made the grade in 2010:


TINNITIST’S PICK

J.S. Ondara
Tales of America

The American Dream doesn’t get much better than this. Six years ago, 20-year-old Nairobi native J.S. Ondara won a Green Card lottery and moved to Minnesota — where he promptly taught himself to play guitar like his hero Bob Dylan, began writing songs, snagged a major-label record deal and went on the road with artists like Lindsey Buckingham. It’s an incredible backstory. But not even half as incredible as his stunning and essential debut album. Tales of America is more than just an auspicious introduction; it heralds the arrival of a world-class talent.

READ THE FULL REVIEW AND HEAR THE ALBUM HERE


HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Ryan Bingham | American Love Song
Rodney Crowell | Texas
Jim Cuddy | Countrywide Soul
Jesse Dayton | Mixtape Vol. 1
Justin Townes Earle | The Saint of Lost Causes
Robert Ellis | Texas Piano Man
Kinky Friedman | Resurrection
Jade Jackson | Wilderness
Olivia Jean | Night Owl
Will Kimbrough | I Like it Down Here
Erik Koskinen | Burning the Deal
Jesse Malin | Sunset Kids
Allison Moorer | Blood
Lee Harvey Osmond | Mohawk
Allison Moorer | Blood
Todd Snider | Cash Cabin Sessions Vol. 3
John Paul White | The Hurting Kind

TO FIND REVIEWS OF THESE ALBUMS, PLEASE USE THE SEARCH WINDOW AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE