You Should Be So Lucky, Benmont Tench

On his first solo album, Tom Petty’s keyboardist handles the songwriting and vocal duties admirably, his baritone sounding much like former Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler.

Tarpaper Sky, Rodney Crowell

Rodney Cro­well, longtime guitarist for Emmy­lou Harris, hit songwriter for Waylon Jen­nings and the Oak Ridge Boys, demonstrates artistic integrity here, refusing to cave to country-pop trends. Nothing here is calculated; the album was recorded live in a studio.

Bluesamericana, by Keb’ Mo’

You can call Keb’ Mo’ a lot of things, but “unpredictable” isn’t one of them. His blues tradition is more down-home than hard-charging, more Delta than Chicago. His 11th album is basically more of this, and as usual it sounds great. Keb’ Mo’ doesn’t reinvent himself. Keb’ Mo’ plays the blues.

Stay Gold, by First Aid Kit

On the Söderberg sisters’ third album and their second with producer Mike Mogis, the sound is bigger and lusher, even utilizing strings and winds at times. But it remains rooted in ’70s folk rock, straight-ahead and fingerpicky and richly effective.

Bach Sonata No. 1 in G Minor / Partita No. 1 in B Minor, by Chris Thile

Chris Thile is equally committed to the mandolin—that oh-so-traditional instrument he plays so uncommonly well—and to progressive stylistic exploration. Often this makes his projects come off a bit cute, the Harlem Globe­trotters of acoustic music. On paper, this audacious new crossover project—Thile playing J. S.