The artists in this year's list all use their music to create a sense of unity. Whether it is the acknowledgment of shared oppression, or in contrast, the visibility of identity, Best of Folk Music 2020 is defined by its ability to form a musical common ground.
In 2020, Americana artists empathetically dealt with the things that bind us together and keep us apart. The albums on this list encourage hope for the future based on a belief in the human spirit.
Even in the coronavirus-shortened record release schedule of 2020, the year has offered a mountainous feast of sublime music. The 50 best albums of 2020 so far are an eclectic and increasingly "woke" bunch.
Katie Crutchfield's latest as Waxahatchee is a high point in an already impressive career. Saint Cloud finds an artist operating at the top of her game to produce a thrilling and inspirational work.