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.

Small Town Heroes, by Hurray for the Riff Raff

On Alynda Lee Segarra's fifth album as Hurray for the Riff Raff, the Puerto Rican Bronx native wraps social commentary around Americana references.