Various artists

These Times We’re Living In: A Red House Anthology

This fusion of the very best of traditional blues, folk and country is called “Americana”—music that ranges from comforting to flat-out rocking. Red House Records calls it “roots music,” and after 20 years of making it, the label ought to know. This anniversary sampler features 16 Red House artists, including well-known acts like Greg Brown and A Prairie Home Companion favorites Robin and Linda Williams. But there are some nice surprises here, too. The Wailin’ Jennys, a trio of young women from Canada, take a beautiful bluegrass turn with “Arlington.” “Fourth of July” is a thoughtful meditation on the anniversary of 9/11 by David Francey. All these songs touch on America’s current state of affairs in different ways, while keeping a firm hold on our musical traditions.