A Year-End Playlist With New Bluegrass and More

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of awards, holiday preparations, big releases and countless deadlines. In these times of trial, I have one firm solution — listen to a lot of bluegrass. Even with those hard-driving rhythms, it naturally calms me down. Before I devote myself to holiday music for the rest of the year, I compiled this playlist of recommended new tunes. Roughly the first half is bluegrass, led by a song from Joe Diffie‘s notable Homecoming. The rest of the tracks mostly draw from the singer-songwriter realm. I concluded the playlist with a Viva Elvis track because seeing that dazzling show in Las Vegas was a personal highlight of 2010. There won’t be much new country music until mid-January. And that’ll be here before you know it. Here’s hoping the bluegrass will be bountiful.

1. “Somebody Tonight,” Joe Diffie
2. “Hurtin’ Again,” Boxcars
3. “Hard Luck Joe,” Blue Moon Rising
4. “Hold Whatcha Got (live),” Lonesome River Band With Audie Blaylock
5. “I Am on Your Side,” Kentucky Thunder
6. “East Virginia Blues,” Balsam Range
7. “I Wonder if They Ever Think of Me,” Charlie Louvin
8. “The Darlin’ Boys,” Rodney Dillard & the Dillard Band
9. “Here’s to You,” Brooke Fraser
10. “No One but You,” Doug Paisley
11. “Save All Your Dances,” Scott Gibson
12. “Goodnight Lane,” Colin Gilmore
13. “Little Things,” Stacie Collins
14. “Crashing Down,” Jason Spooner
15. “Empty Bottle,” Tumbledown
16. “Eternamente,” Depedro
17. “Grass Doe,” Ben Weaver
18. “San Angelo,” Highway Gothic
19. “Delphonic,” Wise-Magraw
20. “That’s Alright Mama,” from Viva Elvis

Craig Shelburne has been writing for CMT.com since 2002. He is also a producer for CMT Edge, Concrete Country and Live @ CMT.