The 26 Albums of 2014 You Probably Didn't But Really Should Hear

From Dolly Parton's 'Blue Smoke' to Frankie Ballard's 'Sunshine & Whiskey,' the stellar albums you may have missed in 2014

The Howlin' Brothers, 'Trouble'
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Courtesy of Readymade Records2/26

The Howlin' Brothers, 'Trouble'

Produced by Raconteurs co-leader and power-pop songster Brendan Benson, Nashville three-piece mountain string band the Howlin' Brothers' second full-length Trouble is a rip-roarin', hootenanny on wax that puts a rocked-out spin on old-timey bluegrass. Complete with kitchen-sink percussion, front-porch pickin' and hollerin' three-part harmonies, the album careens through cuts like the fast-shufflin' "Pack Up Joe" and the rockabilly two-step "Pour It Down" with a loose production that puts spirited performances over slick sonics. Instead of smoothing out the sharp edges, Benson captures a playful, in-the-moment musical conversation that keeps the trio's traditionalist leanings from sounding like calculated throwback pastiche.

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