What We Lost, by Ben Bedford

Ben Bedford creates cinematic folk music with the wisdom and depth of someone twice his age. “John the Baptist” is a rousing song despite its minor key, thanks to its carousel of organ, slide guitar and backbeat drums (“The devil skulks ’round every bend / And a broken soul you cannot mend / Not till you raise repentant hands”).

Kindred Spirits, by Carrie Newcomer

This collection draws on Carrie New­comer’s dozen releases on Rounder, adding two new tracks that continue in her tradition of exploring spiritual dimensions in everyday life. Newcomer’s gentle alto welcomes the listener with more warmth than a cappuccino.