And so the old year passes once again. And in our ears, there is music, echoing for all to hear.
In previous “Year’s Best” features, we’ve prefaced our final musical offering with an attempt at data analysis – a sort of state of the folkways address, as glimpsed through the lens of coverage.
This year, other than to note that there’s a good lot of tradfolk in the mix, we’re skipping the formalities of trend and tribulation. Instead of trying to make sense of what is ultimately as much a private act as it is a collective one, we’ll let the genre speak for itself, and focus in on the song.
Because at year’s end, we find ourselves holding a full deck: 52 well-loved tracks, one for each week; each one a winner on its own, and nary a joker in the bunch.
Taken as a set, this curated collection shows the margins of folk, and its underbelly; yawing wide and deep, it runs and rambles, confronting and comforting with the manic, the maudlin, and everything in between.
But taken song by song, it offers 52 chances to fall in love again with the world. And in the end, maybe that’s the more powerful reason we come here, every year, to lay the year at your feet, and begin again.
So download the entire collection here, or sample track-by-track below, as Cover Lay Down proudly presents our favorite coverfolk singles, b-sides, live tracks and deep album cuts of 2016, from indie to traditional, and all the contemporary singer-songwriter, alt-country, and acoustic poprock genres in between – with thanks, as always, to the artists, the labels, the promoters, and you, for holding us up, and in, and close, when the world keeps spinning right round, like a record.
Join us, as we rejoice in a year gone by, and welcome in the new, with the beautiful, the bountiful, and the bold – the very best coverage of a year now ended, with a whisper of what is to come from the darkened wings.
The Year’s Best Singles: A 2016 Coverfolk Mix [zip!]
- 3hattrio: Get Up, Stand Up (orig. Bob Marley) [via]
- Molly Tuttle: How Can I Tell You (orig. Cat Stevens) [via]
- Sam Moss: Working On A Building (trad.) [via]
- Will Cookson: Death With Dignity (orig. Sufjan Stevens) [via]
- Quiles & Cloud: You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere (orig. Bob Dylan) [via]
- Daphne Willis: Something (orig. The Beatles) [via]
- Billy Bragg & Joe Henry: Gentle On My Mind (orig. John Hartford) [via]
- Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker: Dark Turn Of Mind (orig. Gillian Welch) [via]
- OKKO: Heartbeats (orig. The Knife) [via]
- Elouise: I’ll Fly Away (trad.) [via]
- Civil Twilight: Dancing With Myself (orig. Billy Idol) [via]
- William Fitzsimmons: Everywhere (orig. Fleetwood Mac) [via]
- Red Tail Ring: Wondrous Love, Lay Aside Your Crown (trad.) [via]
- Peter Katz: Sorry (orig. Justin Bieber) [via]
- Jane Kramer: Down South (orig. Tom Petty) [via]
- Bees Of Paradise: Dancing In The Dark (orig. Bruce Springsteen) [via]
- Allysen Callery: Sundown (orig. Gordon Lightfoot) [via]
- Anna Elizabeth Laube: XO (orig. Beyoncé) [via]
- Vini, Lindsay & Isaac: She Said She Said (orig The Beatles) [via]
- Maryam Raad: I Walk The Line (orig. Johnny Cash) [via]
- Suzzy Roche and Lucy Wainwright Roche: Bleecker Street (orig. Simon & Garfunkel) [via]
- The Oshima Brothers: Hearts On Fire (orig. Passenger) [via]
- The Infamous Stringdusters w/ Nicki Bluhm: Somebody To Love (orig. Jefferson Airplane) [via]
- The Paul McKenna Band: Song Of Choice (orig. Peggy Seeger) [via]
- The High Bar Gang: Silver Dagger (trad.) [via]
- Emily Mure: Between The Bars (orig. Elliott Smith) [via]
- Jenna Mammina & Alex de Grassi: King Of Pain (orig. The Police) [via]
- The Man Who Fell In Buffalo: Blank Space (orig. Taylor Swift) [via]
- Noah Wall: Sittin’ On Top Of The World (orig. Mississippi Sheiks) [via]
- Aoife O’Donovan: Nebraska (orig. Bruce Springsteen) [via]
- Jen Lane: Thirteen (orig. Big Star) [via]
- Phosphorescent: I Want You (orig. Bob Dylan) [via]
- Johnnycake Street: Hello My Old Heart (orig. Oh Hellos) [via]
- KINLEY: Evil Eye (orig. Al Tuck) [via]
- Eli West: Rainbow Midst Life’s Willows (trad.) [via]
- SHEL: Enter Sandman (orig. Metallica) [via]
- Kathryn Williams: Autumn Leaves (orig. Yves Montand) [via]
- Chris and Morgane Stapleton: You Are My Sunshine (orig. The Pine Ridge Boys) [via]
- Pilgrim’s Way: Boston City (trad.) [via]
- Robert Nottingham: You’re The One That I Want (orig. Grease) [via]
- Miranda Sykes & Rex Preston: SAD (orig. Boo Hewerdine) [via]
- Coty Hogue: Poor Ellen Smith (trad.) [via]
- Sean Rowe: Vincent Black Lightning 1952 (orig. Richard Thompson) [via]
- Jemma Johnson: Hey There Delilah (orig. Plain White T’s) [via]
- Chris Coole: Led Me To the Wrong (orig. Ola Belle Reed) [via]
- Nataly Dawn: Still Crazy After All These Years (orig. Paul Simon) [via]
- Parker Millsap: You Gotta Move (orig. Missippippi Fred McDowell) [via]
- Odell Fox: Moonshiner (trad.) [via]
- Fantastic Negrito: In The Pines (trad.) [via]
- Caitlin Canty with Darlingside: Wildflowers (orig. Tom Petty) [via]
- Jameson: Sweet Pea (orig. Amos Lee) [via]
- Juliana Daly and Bryce Merritt: Somebody Else (orig. The 1975) [via]
Cover Lay Down thrives throughout the year thanks to the support of artists, labels, promoters, and YOU. So do your part: listen, love, share, and above all, purchase the music, the better to keep it alive and kicking.
Got goodwill to spare? Want to help keep the music flowing? Please, consider a year’s end contribution to Cover Lay Down. All gifts go directly to bandwidth and server costs; all donors will receive undying praise, and an exclusive download code for a special gift set of alternate favorites and rare covers otherwise unblogged. Click here to give – and thanks.