15 Great Country and Americana Albums You Didn't Hear in 2016

From Mark Chesnutt's country tradition to Wheeler Walker Jr.'s country crass, 15 albums that flew under the radar

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Dylan LeBlanc, 'Cautionary Tale'

Dylan LeBlanc, 'Cautionary Tale'

"One day I won't be insane," sings Dylan LeBlanc on "Look How Far We've Come," a minor key, moody shuffle off his third album Cautionary Tale. If this is madness, then lock us up. Cautionary Tale, produced by Alabama Shakes' Ben Tanner and John Paul White, is a gorgeous 10-track journey about going through hell and surviving with a broken halo. LeBlanc has been compared to Neil Young – and if how "Easy Way Out" echoes the main two-bar vamp of "Ohio" isn't proof enough, just look at the biting lyrics of "Beyond the Veil" – but he melds a Seventies sensibility with a taste for the soothing, locomotive Southern blues. Other artists who record in Muscle Shoals, where Cautionary Tale was made, get preoccupied with sounding "swampy": LeBlanc, however, would rather surrender to the flow of the river than get stuck in the mud. M.M.

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