27 Best Albums You Didn't Hear in 2013

The best of what flew under the mainstream radar

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Anais Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer, 'Child Ballads'
Righteous Babe Records14/27

Anais Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer, 'Child Ballads'

An ambitious folk-rocking pal of Ani DiFranco, Mitchell puts down her pen here to tap the vast song collection of scholar Francis James Child, the 19th century Alan Lomax. Simply arranged and delivered in close, clear harmony with singer/songwriter Jefferson Hamer, the set brings a freak-folk tartness to some British folk revival gems, notably "Willie Of Winsbury" (see: Pentangle), "Geordie" (see: Maddy Prior and June Tabor), and "Tam Lin" (see: Fairport Convention). Only flaw: at seven songs, it leaves you hungry for more.

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