And finally for 2017 album picks, non-Americans. This one is slightly tricky. I'm disqualifying Jeff Lang and Lloyd Spiegel as blues artists for playing American forms, even though they are Australians rather than Americans. Then, there's Richard Thompson. He released Acoustic Classics Volume II, and Acoustic Rarities. And then he put out Live at Rockpalast, but that was a set of old performances. In order to keep with the spirit of the series, I'm going to disqualify Thompson too, even though Thompson is one of my favorite musicians ever. The live album is rock, which is an American form, and the acoustic stuff is basically British folk, which is an influence on American music. Richard Thompson, Jeff Lang, Lloyd Spiegel... all great musicians, but not really where I'm going with this series. (A Brit and two Australians).
My pick here is someone I could have selected for the jazz series, although he isn't American. The fact that his instrument of choice is the oud, though, makes Tunisian musician Anouar Brahem an especially good pick for this series. Blue Maqams. Great, great album.