Life’ll Kill Ya: Warren Zevon (Artemis). Death’s scythe often swings in Zevon’s music, and never more brutally than in this album’s title track; but his gruff, witty realism is ultimately refreshing.
Bilbao 00:00h: Kepa Junkera (Alula). Junkera is a Basque accordionist with universal appeal, which he displays on this double CD with help from guests like Irish legend Paddy Moloney and banjo master Bela Fleck.
In the Company of Strangers: Robin and Linda Williams (Sugar Hill). The loping folk music of this long-standing duo has grown sweeter over the years, but you can still hear the lonesome echo of Hank Williams in their gorgeous harmonizing.
A Quiet Eye: June Tabor (Green Linnett). Though she has often sung of her country’s ills in her brooding, elegant folk music, Tabor’s version here of Maggie Holland’s “A Place Called England” is the most vivid (and hopeful) portrait she’s ever evoked.