IPR Music

IPR music hosts share their favorite songs of 2021

Derek Truninger

Iowa Public Radio music hosts Karen Impola, Barney Sherman and Bob Dorr joined Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe to share their picks of the best new music releases of 2021 for folk, classical and the blues. You can listen to their conversation here.

Below is a Spotify playlist of their picks, along with a complete list of each host's favorite songs.

Karen's picks:

"Why Would I Be Small" by the Awful Purdies, from the album "The Great Unraveling"

"Dreams" by Raldo Schneider, from the album "Memory Lane"

"Ten Pound Catfish" by Pete Kies, from the album "Ten Pound Catfish and other exaggerations"

"Waterbound" by Rhiannon Giddens from the album "They’re Calling Me Home"

"Insurrection Blues (Chickens Come Home to Roost)" by Corey Harris, from the album "The Insurrection Blues"

"Admiral Benbow" by Martin Simpson, from the album "Home Recordings"

"Last of the Better Days Ahead" by Charlie Parr, from the album "Last of the Better Days Ahead"

"I Breathe In" by Tim O’Brien, from the album "He Walked On"

"Farewell to the Haven" by Old Blind Dogs, from the album "Knucklehead Circus"10. Norman Blake — "The Dying Cowboy" off the album "On Top of Old Smoky: New Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music"

"Conspiracy Theory" by Lula Wiles, from the album "Shame and Sedition"

Barney's picks:

"For a Beautiful Land" by Iowa composer Linda Robbins Coleman, played by the Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Reuben Blundell, from the album "American Discoveries"

"Mack the Knife" section from "Little Threepenny Music" by Kurt Weill. It's performed by the University of Iowa Chamber Ensemble conducted by Richard Mark Heidel, from the album "The Voxman Project"

"Reflection (Brightest Days)" performed by Karen Black on a Dobson Pipe Organ at Wartburg College in Waverly, IA. This is from her new album "Ein Feste Burg: Dobson Pipe Organ 25th Anniversary"

"All in Due Time" by William Campbell from the album "All in Due Time"

"Alleluia" by Iowa composer Elaine Hagenberg. Sung by the Brigham Young University Singers from their album "Press Forward: Singing Through a Pandemic"

"Rockin' Jerusalem" in the setting by Stacey V. Gibbs and it's sung by the Luther College Nordic Choir conducted by Andrew Last, from their album "Coming Home to the Light"

Bob's picks:

"She's Tough" sung by Victor Wainwright from Tony Holiday's album "Porch Sessions Volume 2"

"Don't Mess With the Messer" by Diunna Greenleaf from Bob Corritore & Friends' album "Spider In My Stew"

"That's Why I'm Crying" by Colin James from the album "Open Road"

"City Country City" by Ricci/Krown from the album "City Country City"

"Child Don't Go" by Tommy Castro from the album "A Bluesman Came To Town"

"Dirty Rotten Guy " by Joyann Parker from the album "Out Of The Dark"

"Bust 'em Down " by Catfish Keith from the album "Land of The Sky"

"Night and Day" by Malcolm Wells & The Two Timers from the album "Hollerin' Out Loud"

"Santa Claus Is Back In Town" sung by by Victor Wainwright from the Wildroots Band off the album "The Wildroots Sessions Volume 1"

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Matthew is a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa
Karen Impola is the host of IPR's The Folk Tree
Barney Sherman is a Senior Music Producer and Classical Music Host
Bob Dorr is a Studio One Host