Top 17 for 2017
Here are my picks for the Top 17 folk-rooted or folk-branched albums of 2017. As in past years, I started with the list of hundreds of albums that landed on my desk over the past year and narrowed it down to a short list of about 30. I’ve been over the short list several times over the past couple of weeks and came up with several similar – not identical – Top 17 lists. As I’m about to take a break from blogging until January, today’s list is the final one. The order might have been slightly different, and there are several other worthy albums that might have been included, had one of the other lists represented the final choice. Note: A couple of these albums were actually released in late-2016 but I only heard them for the first time in January 2017.
1. Various Artists – Woody Guthrie: The Tribute Concerts – Carnegie Hall 1968, Hollywood Bowl 1970 (Bear Family Records). This magnificent set of three CDs and two stunning coffee-table-sized hardcover books document the Woody Guthrie tribute concerts held in 1968 at Carnegie Hall and at the Hollywood Bowl in 1970 featuring such artists as Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Judy Collins, Joan Baez, Tom Paxton, Odetta, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Richie Havens and others. There are many performances not included in the original LP release and CD reissue and the sequencing has been arranged to reflect the actual concerts rather than a hybrid of the two as on the LPs.