This list will not look like many of the others you’ve seen, as it’s not a “best” of the decade but a “favorites” list, without regard to importance, popularity, or any other factor other than its staying power within my own musical listening habits and record collection…
Favorite albums of the 00’s
David Andrews, Get Me Out of This Place (Eastsound) (2000)
Little known singer-songwriter album from the Pacific Northwest, some great acoustic pop tunes.
Ryan Adams, Heartbreaker (Bloodshot) (2000)
Before he became even more of a brat and a caricature, the ex-Whiskeytown front man released his Dylan moment.
Slaid Cleaves, Broke Down (Rounder) (2000)
Cleaves pegs sorrow and despair more perfectly than anyone on this one’s title song and “One Good Year.”
David Clark, Myth America (Self-released) (2000)
A combination of stories, songs, and instrumentals from this Georgia storyteller and musician.
Eric Taylor, Scuffletown (2001)
One of the best, if most unsung, Texas songwriters.
Blue Highway, Still Climbing Mountains (Rounder) (2001)
One of the most popular contemporary bluegrass acts of the decade, this crisply performed set shows why.
Kate Campbell, Wandering Strange (Eminent) (2001)
Folk singer rediscovers her Baptist church roots on these traditional and newly written gospel tunes, recorded like a 70’s country album in Muscle Shoals.
Chatham County Line, Chatham County Line (2003)
Great young bluegrass from North Carolina.
Drive-By Truckers, Decoration Day (New West) (2003)
The best of the three DBT’s albums that included Jason Isbell.
Steven Jackson, Home From the Fight (self-released) (2003)
Little-known singer-songwriter from Tennessee with a big voice and bigger songs.
Anthony David, 3 Chords & the Truth (self-released) (2004)
David put out some of these on a major label album later on, but the raw indie takes here are funkier, and better.
Avett Brothers, The Gleam (Ramseur) (2005)
The moment I knew I liked the ‘quiet’ Avett songs better than the ‘loud’ ones.
Marty Stuart and his Superlatives, Soul’s Chapel (Dualtone) (2005)
Gospel music, Staples Singers style, by a killer country soul band.
Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, Exploration (New West) (2005)
Guthrie’s folk lineage didn’t prevent her from making this groovy 70’s leaning rock record with her musician husband.
Elizabeth Mitchell, You Are My Little Bird(Smithsonian/Folkways) (2006)
The first children’s music album I put on a year-end top ten albums list.
Josh Ritter, The Animal Years(V2) (2006)
One of the decade’s best songwriters; “Girl In The War” is a classic.
Bruce Springsteen, We Shall Overcome: The Pete Seeger Sessions (Columbia) (2006)
Funny that in the decade he regroups with old friends E Street Band, this one found him at his most unconsciously enjoyable best.
Betty Lavette, Scene of the Crime (2007)
Pair a rediscovered soul singer with the Drive-By Truckers and the results are predictably great.
Spring Standards, No One Will Know EP (self-released) (2008)
Fun band with a lack of pretense and some great male-female harmonies, what’s not to like?
The Avett Brothers, I and Love and You (American) (2009)
A little early to put it on this list, but it’s my list and in ten years I’ll bet it still deserves to be here.