Angels and Alcohol - Alan Jackson, The Blade - Ashley Monroe, Gone Like The Cotton - The Cox Family, Cass County - Don Henley, The Traveling Kind - Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, Mr Misunderstood - Eric Church, and Pageant Material - Kacey Musgraves.
Absent from that list and indeed this category is a certain Mr Jason Isbell's Something More Than Free. The reason that it is absent is that it is due for far greater recognition to be revealed at a later date, so don't panic and don't be giving me grief!
The album I've chosen is the eigth studio album by Allison Moorer entitled Down To Believing. It had been a five year wait for a follow up to 2010's Crows Album and it's an album that's been crafted against the backdrop of a relationship split from Steve Earle and her young son's diagnosis with autism. It's an album that implies that there were mistakes made on the journey and diversions on the life's highway but she manages to craft from the pain and regrets etc a powerful bunch of tunes that surely must rank as her finest album to date.
Simon Holland, writing for Folk Radio UK said of the album:
"It’s a break-up record, recorded in the fall out of the unravelling of her seven-year marriage to Steve Earle. Now living as a single parent, it also comes on the back of their now five-year-old son’s diagnosis with autism. Both of those factors figure large in the record, but if you’re going to write the headlines then you should also be prepared to tell the story and there’s so much to this record. There is passion, anger, there are questions with few answers, but there is defiance, acceptance, a glimmer of reconciliation and a dash of hope. It walks a highly charged emotional line and in doing so delivers a record that confirms Allison’s place amongst the very best of America’s singer songwriters."
I think that's a great summary of the album.
It's probable that this will not feature highly on the Best of the Year Lists in the Music Press but I'm more than happy to declare it The S4L Country Album of the Year 2015.
Down To Believing - Allison Moorer
Entertainment One Music/Proper Records
Produced by Kenny Greenberg
Released 16th March 2015
US Country Chart #26
US Independent Albums Chart #36