Adult Country Folk Music: The Top 5 Albums You Need to Hear

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


If you’re a fan of country music, you need to check out these five albums from some of the best adult country folk artists around. You won’t be disappointed.

Introduction to Adult Country Folk Music

Adult country folk music is a genre that often gets overlooked. It’s easy to see why – with the popularity of country music, folk music, and indie music – but that doesn’t make it any less deserving of your attention. This type of music is perfect for anyone who wants to relax and unwind, or for those who want to take a break from the chaos of the world. If you’re looking for something new to listen to, here are the top 5 albums you need to hear.

What is Adult Country Folk Music?

Adult country folk music is a subgenre of country music that includes acoustic instrumentation and often tells stories of the American experience. It has been called “the sound of the heartland” and has its roots in the folk music of the United States.

While adult country folk music is often overshadowed by other genres like pop and rock, it has produced some truly excellent albums over the years. Here are five of the best adult country folk albums you need to hear:

The Carter Family – “The Carter Family”: This album from the early days of country music is considered one of the most influential records in the genre. The Carter Family were true pioneers of country music, and this album showcases their incredible vocal harmonies and songwriting talent.

Bob Dylan – “Blood on the Tracks”: Bob Dylan is one of the most prolific and influential songwriters of all time, and “Blood on the Tracks” is one of his finest works. This album saw Dylan return to his roots with a collection of personal, introspective songs that rank among his very best.

Willie Nelson – “Red Headed Stranger”: Willie Nelson’s “Red Headed Stranger” is a classic example of adult country folk music at its finest. This album features Nelson’s simple, yet moving songwriting style at its best, set against a backdrop of beautiful acoustic instrumentation.

John Prine – “John Prine”: John Prine is one of America’s greatest living songwriters, and his self-titled debut album is an absolute classic. Featuring Prine’s trademark wit and insight, this album captures the pure essence of adult country folk music.

Emmylou Harris – “Wrecking Ball”: Emmylou Harris’ “Wrecking Ball” was released to critical acclaim in 1995, and it remains one of her finest works. This dark, deeply personal album finds Harris at her very best, delivering some truly beautiful songs about love, loss, and hope.

The History of Adult Country Folk Music

Adult country folk music, also known as alt-country, is a subgenre of country music that emerged in the 1990s. Alt-country is characterized by a focus on traditional country instrumentation and songwriting, as well as a more alternative sensibility.

Alt-country found its roots in the punk and indie rock movements of the 1980s and 1990s. Bands like R.E.M. and The Replacements combined elements of country and rock to create a new sound that was both experimental and accessible. This new sound quickly caught on with listeners, and by the mid-1990s, alt-country had become its own distinct genre.

In the 21st century, adult country folk music has continued to evolve and grow in popularity. Today, there are hundreds of alt-country bands active all over the world, playing everything from traditional country to more experimental styles.

If you’re interested in exploring adult country folk music, there are plenty of great albums to choose from. To help you get started, here are five essential albums from the genre:

1) Uncle Tupelo – No Depression (1990)
2) Wilco – A.M. (1995)
3) Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker (2000)
4) The Drive-By Truckers – Southern Rock Opera (2001)
5) The Decemberists – The Crane Wife (2006)

The Top 5 Adult Country Folk Music Albums

If you’re a fan of adult country folk music, then you know there are a lot of great albums out there. But, which ones should you listen to? This list will give you the top 5 adult country folk music albums that you need to hear. These are albums that are sure to please any fan of the genre.

Album #1

The first album on our list is “The Long Way” by Broken Bow-based singer and songwriter Cody Jinks. Released in 2016, this album is a great example of what adult country folk music should sound like. With its simple production, twangy guitars, and Jinks’ smooth, deep voice, this album is perfect for any fan of the genre. Highlights include the title track, “Mama’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys,” and “I’m Not the Devil.”

Album #2

Chris Stapleton’s Traveller is the runaway favorite to be named album of the year at next week’s Grammy Awards, but it’s far from the only great country album released in 2015. Here are five more outstanding releases from the past year that any fan of adult country music should check out.

2. My Darling Clementine – Oh Will You Stand by Me
Wow, what a voice John Paul White has. The former Civil Wars member delivers a stunning set of original songs and traditional covers on this, his solo debut album. With its gorgeous melodies and heart-wrenching lyrics, Oh Will You Stand by Me is an instant classic of adult country music.

Album #3

Emmylou Harris – Wrecking Ball

Wrecking Ball is the twenty-fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Emmylou Harris, released on September 28, 1995. The album was produced by Daniel Lanois and features guest vocals from Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Neil Young, and Kate & Anna McGarrigle.

Wrecking Ball peaked at #4 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and #33 on the Billboard 200. The title track was a duet with Neil Young and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best CountryPerformance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. “Goin’ Back to Harlan” was also nominated for a Grammy in the same category.

Album #4

Album #4: The Unclouded Day – Various Artists

This compilation of old-timey musicians is the perfect way to scratch your adult country folk itch. The album features some of the best musicians in the genre, including The Carter Family, Gillian Welch, and Alison Krauss. If you’re a fan of traditional country music, this album is a must-have.

Album #5

The fifth album on our list is “The Civil Wars” by The Civil Wars. This album was released in 2013 and is a collection of country folk songs written and performed by The Civil Wars.

This album is unique in that it is almost entirely acoustic, with only a few electric guitar and bass parts. The focus is on the voice and lyrics, which are both beautiful and heartbreaking.

standouts on this album include “Dust to Dust”, “I Had Me a Girl”, and “From This Valley”. If you’re a fan of country folk music, or even just good music, this album is worth checking out.


As you can see, there are many great albums out there in the world of adult country folk music. We hope that this list has helped you narrow down your options and that you find some new music to enjoy. Thank you for reading!

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