Take the High Road, by Blind Boys of Alabama

With roots stretching back seven decades, the Blind Boys of Alabama  still chug along, aided here by a host of country luminaries, including Vince Gill ("Can You Give Me a Drink?") and the Oak Ridge Boys ("Take the High Road," which pairs majestic vocals with laid-back twang).

Love & Gravity

Songs from LaSalle Street Church

Chicago's LaSalle Street Church has become a haven for musicians. This is largely due to the dynamic ministry of Gary Rand.

Long Player Late Bloomer, by Ron Sexsmith

Why don't more people listen to Ron Sexsmith? The critically acclaimed singer-songwriter crafts masterful pop songs, records them with topflight producers and sings them in an understated croon. Unless you hate music that makes you smile, what's not to like?

The Party Ain’t Over, by Wanda Jackson

Wanda Jackson may be the queen of rockabilly, but Jack White is king of this collaboration. The roots-obsessed producer takes charge, offering a high-octane reimagination of various '50s styles. But where White's work on Loretta Lynn's Van Lear Rose (2004) came off as reverent and almost subtle, here 73-year-old Jackson's presence seems like an afterthought.