Wilco

A Ghost Is Born

Nonesuch Records

Wilco’s evolutionary days appear to be over — at least for now.

Their first album, “A.M.,” was cut from the same mold as the band that spawned them: the alt-country outfit Uncle Tupelo. Their second, double-disc affair, “Being There,” saw the group spreading its wings and trying a little straight-ahead pop here and there. The third release, “Summerteeth,” was completely bereft of twang, and paved the way for a wave of bands to make albums that paid homage to their LP collections, in this case mainly the Beatles and the Beach Boys with a dash of Neil Young. The fourth CD, “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,” benefited from record-label rejection, leakage to the Internet, free streaming on Wilco’s website, a documentary about the making of the album and, last but not least, a new record company deal; plus it was simply an amazing piece of work, with the group seemingly settling on an identity.

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The Polyphonic Spree

Together We’re Heavy

Hollywood Records

What do you do next after folding your rock group following the lead guitarist’s drug-related death?

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dios

dios

StarTime International

Right out of the gate, dios makes their musical philosophy clear: There isn’t a lot of music worth listening to these days, and the best music was made in the late ’60s and early ’70s, so quit wasting your time looking for the next big thing and just groove.

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Railroad Earth

The Good Life

Sugar Hill Records

If the Ozark Mountain Daredevils had been bluegrass-rock instead of country-rock, they might have sounded like this.

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Jim Lauderdale

Headed for the Hills

Dualtone Music Group

When he was collaborating with Ralph Stanley in 1999 on their duet album “I Feel Like Singing Today,” Jim Lauderdale tracked down Robert Hunter because he had heard the Grateful Dead lyricist was a big Stanley Brothers fan. Hunter agreed to co-write some tunes, and sent lyrics to Lauderdale so melodies could be added. Three songs were written like that: two that ended up anchoring the first Stanley-Lauderdale disc, and a third that surfaced on Lauderdale’s solo album “Onward Through It All.”

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