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Rosanne Cash, Justin Townes Earle, Miranda Lambert and the rest of 2009's most notable country releases

December 17, 2009 |  5:41 pm


The year in country music brought some noteworthy breakthroughs (Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser) and some negligible ones (the overhyped Zac Brown Band, the inconsistent yet promising Lady Antebellum), while country-pop queen Taylor Swift posted another stellar performance.

More than ever, the most deeply touching music generally came from acts relegated to the commercial sidelines known as Americana or alt-country.

2009's most notable country releases

-- Randy Lewis

Photo, top left: Miranda Lambert. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
Photo, top middle: Justin Townes Earle. Credit: Joshua Black Wilkins / Bloodshot Records
Photo, top right: Rosanne Cash. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times