Oermann: Top Non-Country Releases of 2013

mechanical bull1As the whole world is finally aware, Nashville is far more than Country music. Here are 10 of my favorite non-Country releases of 2013. They range from Americana platters to hard rockers.

1. KINGS OF LEON Mechanical Bull (RCA)
They’re not just the best rock band in Nashville. They are the best rock band in America.

2. EMMYLOU HARRIS & RODNEY CROWELL Old Yellow Moon (Nonesuch)
Timeless voices making timeless music. The queen and king of the 2013 Americana hit parade.

3. JASON ISBELL Southeastern (Relativity)
New Nashvillian Isbell created a sublimely therapeutic album about addiction recovery and more.

4. PARAMORE Paramore (Atlantic)
Astoundingly, a complete reconfiguration of this rocking band made it even better. And it very seldom happens that way.

5. HOLLY WILLIAMS The Highway (Georgiana)
Hank’s granddaughter truly came into her own as a singer-songwriter on her 2013 outing.

6. THE McCRARY SISTERS All the Way (MS)
The year’s greatest Nashville gospel album, sung by every year’s greatest Nashville soul singers.

7. LORI McKENNA Massachusetts (Hoodie Songs)
This Americana singer-songwriter is a woman, not a girl, and that’s why these songs are as good as they are.

lori mckenna1118. BRENDAN BENSON You Were Right (Readymade)
He is frequently overshadowed by his famous Raconteurs collaborator Jack White, but Benson proves he’s his own pop-rock master here.

9. DIARRHEA PLANET I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams (Infinity Cat)
Loud, snotty and fun. What more could you want?

10. THE CIVIL WARS The Civil Wars (Columbia)
The future of John Paul White and Joy Williams as a duo might be in doubt, but there’s no uncertainty in this power-packed Americana outing.

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About the Author

Robert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.

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