99. Gillian Welch, Time (The Revelator) (Acony, 2001)

Released at the height of her O Brother Where Art Thou semi-popularity, Welch’s third album is her most minimalist, purist statement. With longtime partner David Rawlings, she casts her glance over the past in order to understand the present and manages to really say something about the passage of time without pretense or pontification. “Elvis Presley Blues” dares to liken the King of Rock and Roll to a chorus girl and a Harlem queen, and captures the man before his gargantuan celebrity consumed him. The unexpected applause following the solo in “I Want To Sing That Rock and Roll” gives me chills. The dangling “I Dream A Highway” is only one of two effective 14 minute closers I’ve ever heard (the other is “Pulse”, off Ani DiFranco’s Little Plastic Castle).