Who would've thought that the year 2013 would bring a renewed interest in the manly arts of folk-rocking, banjo plucking, vest wearing and truck driving? But Britain's Mumford & Sons and America’s Jason Aldean, Alabama Shakes and their brethren prove that sweaty, greasy, high-octane music is bigger than ever.
Mumford & Sons have jumped out of the UK folk-pop pack and soared up the charts worldwide. We offer the track "I Will Wait" off their latest wonder Babel, which came out while "Little Lion Man," a hit from their 2009 debut, was still flying off digital shelves. Country-rocker Jason Aldean brings in his blue collar brothers Eric Church and Luke Bryan on another of our featured tracks, "The Only Way I Know.” Alabama Shakes prove that when you add a sister, Brittany Howard, to the new bro-rock revolution you get such a blistering blues/country/soulful Southern stew that—as illustrated with free cut "Hold On"—it's as if a Delta-bred Janis Joplin took control of The Black Keys.
More hits from Dustin Lynch and Kip Moore (each have sweet videos set in garages) keep the country power flowing, while the Nashville indie-poppers Kopecky Family Band trade in the chop shop for the tennis court on the kick-ass hand-clapper "Heartbeat.” Finally, the strength of The Civil Wars is how deftly they balance their masculine and feminine sides, as they put a freaky, swampy take on rootsy material as ethereal as it is earthy. Everybody wins!
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