Alt-country, neofolk and the American Roots music movement have technically been around for more than 20 years – but one might be tempted to argue that they’ve always existed. Here’s a selection of songs with a taste of the county fair: some are urban songs sung with a country twang, some are in the purest country and folk traditions with a dash of edgy instrumentation to modernize them, but all have an essence that is undeniably and authentically American Roots.

If you are someone who’s decided you don’t like country or folk music, give this a listen and then tell us your thoughts.

  1. New Madrid – Uncle Tupelo (Anodyne)
  2. Farewell Transmission – Song: Ohia (Magnolia Electric Company)
  3. Magheeta – My Morning Jacket (It Still Moves)
  4. Boy with a Coin – Iron and Wine (The Shepherd’s Dog)
  5. I’m The Man Who Loves You – Wilco (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot)
  6. All the Pretty Horses – Calexico (At the Crossroads: A Benefit for Homeless Youth)
  7. Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Step-Mother! – Sufjan Stevens (Illinoise)
  8. No One’s Gonna Love You – Band of Horses (Cease to Begin)
  9. Come Pick Me Up – Ryan Adams (Elizabethtown OST / Heartbreaker)
  10. Rise – Josh Rouse (1972)
  11. Moses – Patti Griffin (Living With Ghosts)
  12. Lonely Girls – Lucinda Williams (Essence)
  13. Porchlight – Neko Case and Her Boyfriend (The Slaughter Rule)
  14. Two Seconds – Volebeats (Sky and the Ocean)

Compiled by Spike Stockdale, a long, cool, drink of water who enjoys quiet walks on the beach and iambic pentameter. Spike has a tendency to pick fights after his third Mai Tai and is known for his opinions on music, and many other subjects.

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