Country & Folk
With Last Man Standing, Willie Nelson has added 11 essential new songs to his classic catalog. Comprised entirely of songs newly-penned by Willie along with longtime collaborator and producer Buddy Cannon, it is one of his most personal and introspective albums to-date. An album that acknowledges the transience of time while marveling at the joy, beauty and surprise the world has to offer, Last Man Standing finds Willie Nelson rolling at a creative peak, writing and singing and playing with the seasoned wit and wisdom that comes from the road.
The Mountain is Dierks Bentley's ninth studio album. The writing process came together quickly when Bentley returned to Telluride a short time later for a retreat with fellow songwriters Natalie Hemby, Luke Dick, Ross Copperman, Jon Randall, Jon Nite and Ashley Gorley. The bulk of the album’s songs, including the title track were written during that week, which Bentley describes as the most inspiring creative experience he’s ever had.
'It's all rock & roll -- no golf!' is how acclaimed singer/songwriter/violinist Amanda Shires describes her electrifying firth album, To The Sunset. She's borrowed a lyric from the effervescent track 'Break Out the Champagne,' one of ten deftly crafted songs that comprise her powerful new recording. The Texas-born road warrior, new mom, and recently minted MFA in creative writing has mined a range of musical influences to revel an Amanda Shires many didn't know existed. 'Isn't it refreshing?' Shires asks. Indeed. Distorted electric guitars, effects pedals, swirling keys and synths, and rockin' rhythms certainly suit Shire's visceral songcraft and lilting soprano.
With over 225,000 physical albums sold, millions of streams, and hundreds of sell-out live performances nationwide, Cody Jinks’ highly anticipated new album, Lifers, marks his debut for Rounder Records and the next chapter in a book of grass-roots country music superstardom. In the two years since he released his last album, (which made its impressive debut on the Billboard Country Albums chart at #4), Jinks and his band have relentlessly toured and cultivated an immense and loyal following among enthusiastic music fans who crave the kind of authentic country music on which he was nurtured. The title track and theme of the album celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and pays tribute to the often overlooked “lifers, the struggling strivers, working long after the day is done…the last of the great generation.”
Leading with his heart as much as with his head, AHI is an emotional yet discerning lyricist who would rather demonstrate love than use the word itself. He allows his light to shine inward but only to a degree, admitting to some autobiography on In Our Time but as glimpsed through an imaginative lens. While his music possesses a quality of timelessness, the sounds here reveal a broad spectrum of influence and also toe the line between retro and revelatory. None of that is by accident: the album, like its 2016 predecessor, We Made It Through the Wreckage, was recorded in Nashville -- a place AHI finds attractive for its sound and skilled studio hands rather than its glitzy polish -- and this time on analog-to-tape with flourishes of digital technology.
Hailed by The Washington Post as "one of Nashville's finest song interpreters," Kathy Mattea has enjoyed the kind of success many artists only dream of: two Grammy wins, four CMA Awards, four #1 country singles, and five hold albums (plus a platinum collection of her greatest hits). The dream almost ended thought when Mattea entered her 50s and began to find her voice changing. What followed was a three year journey through life challenges and vocal glitches that she describes as her "dark night of the soul," a trying time of personal anguish and professional uncertainty that threatened to silence her permanently. Instead, Mattea dug in with a vocal coach, re-committed to her music, and emerged with the most poignant album of her career, "Pretty Bird." Working with her old friend, music roots wizard Tom O'Brien, producing, "Pretty Bird" is a chronicle of her journey, song by song, back to singing for the sheer joy of it. It's an emotional, moving collection, one that draws its strength not only from Mattea's touching performances, but also from her uncanny ability to weave seemingly disparate material into a cohesive whole. From a playful take on Oliver Wood's "Chocolate On My Tongue" to a tender rendition of Mary Gauthier's "Mercy Now," from a British traditional to a Bobbie Gentry classic, these are the songs that helped Mattea reclaim her voice, and she inhabits each as fully as if it were her own.
Home and the people who make it have captivated Lori McKenna for years. Over the last three decades, as she became a wife and mother of five, she has also emerged as one of the most respected, prolific singer-songwriters in popular music. Her 2016 release The Bird and the Rifle netted three Grammy nominations, along with Americana Music Association nods all firsts for McKenna as an artist. Then, she made history: In 2016, she became the first woman ever to win the Country Music Association s Song of the Year two years in a row thanks to co-writing Little Big Town s Girl Crush and penning Tim McGraw s no. 1 Humble and Kind solo. Both songs also clinched back-to-back Grammy wins for Best Country Song. In 2017, she became the Academy of Country Music s first female Songwriter of the Year. The Tree is her much-anticipated eleventh studio album. Produced by Dave Cobb, The Tree takes one of McKenna s signature themes family and builds a tapestry of experiences she has lived and overheard, been told and dreamed up, to create a stunning ode to life s defining relationships.
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Just a few weeks after the surprise release of the Cuttin' Grass (Vol. 1): Butcher Shoppe Sessions album—which Uproxx called “the most sublime and delightful music he’s yet made on record”—Sturgill Simpson returns with the next installment of his bluegrass series, Cuttin' Grass (Vol. 2): The Cowboy Arms Sessions. The genre-defying singer/songwriter reconvened an A-Team of acoustic players (now dubbed "The Hillbilly Avengers") for another round of reinterpretations of his catalogue, this time largely focusing on 2016's A Sailor's Guide to Earth, which won the Grammy for Country Album of the Year and was nominated for Album of the Year. This volume also includes "Jesus Boogie," originally performed by Simpson's first band, Sunday Valley, and two previously unreleased songs, "Tennessee" and "Hobo Cartoon," the latter of which was co-written with the incomparable Merle Haggard—who once said that Simpson was "about the only thing I've heard that was worth listening to in a long time."
Cuttin' Grass Vol. 1 (Butcher Shoppe Sessions) is now available on Vinyl & CD.
Tales from Home, the debut album from Eleanor Tomlinson star of the PBS series Poldark, is an enchanting collection of folk-influenced songs. The album is long-awaited by fans of the series after they watched her stunning performances on the hit TV show. Tales from Home features classic hits from Simon & Garfunkel ( Homeward Bound ), Carole King ( Tapestry ) and Bonnie Raitt ( I Can t Make You Love Me ). Also included on the album are a number of Irish and Scottish folk songs such as The Spinning Wheel. The album is produced by Poldark soundtrack composer and Academy Award®-winner Anne Dudley who has previously recorded with the likes of Elton John, Tina Turner and Robbie Williams.
Eleanor Tomlinson is best known for her roles as Demelza Poldark in Poldark, Lady Isabel Neville in The White Queen and Princess Isabelle in Jack the Giant Slayer. Tomlinson has recently starred in the 2018 Academy Award® nominated film Loving Vincent with Saoirse Ronan, Douglas Booth and Chris O Dowd. She will also be featured in the upcoming film Colette with Keira Knightley and Dominic West as well as the BBC s adaptation of Agatha Christie s Ordeal By Innocence.
GRAMMY® Award-winning pair Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush are refreshing their musical visions while staying true to an authentic sound and emotive songwriting that has made Sugarland ubiquitous with Country music duos. The Georgia natives released their first new music in seven years with “Still The Same” setting the tone for their joint venture with Big Machine Records and UMG Nashville. Their highly-anticipated new album BIGGER will be released on June 8.
American Folk is the soundtrack to the award-winning 2018 independent film, American Folk, starring Joe Purdy and Amber Rubarth. In addition to both original compositions and classic folk song renditions by Purdy and Rubarth, the soundtrack includes John Prine's ''Some Humans Ain't Human'' and Jerry Garcia & David Grisman's ''Freight Train.''
See You Around is the full-length debut from I'm With Her, featuring multi-Grammy-Award-winners Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O'Donovan. Before coming together these artists co-founded seminal bands (Nickel Creek and Crooked Still) and since have collectively contributed to critically acclaimed albums from esteemed artists including Yo-Yo Ma, The Civil Wars, Kris Kristofferson, John Mayer, Alison Krauss, John Prine, and many more. This much anticipated release reveals the commitment to creating a wholly unified band sound. With each track born from close songwriting collaboration, I'm With Her builds an ineffable magic from their finespun narratives and breathtaking harmonies. The result is a collection both emotionally raw and intricate, with layers of meaning and insight within even the most starkly adorned track. Co-produced by Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Laura Marling, Paul McCartney) and the band and recorded at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios in a tiny English village near Bath, See You Around delivers a warmly textured sound that proves both fresh and timeless.
180g black vinyl w/ download card.
LANCO's story begins in the small towns where all five bandmates Lancaster, bassist Chandler Baldwin, multi-instrumentalist Jared Hampton, drummer Tripp Howell and lead guitarist Eric Steedly were raised. Spread across Tennessee, Kentucky and Georgia, they lived normal lives full of late nights, long weekends, hard lessons and young love. Alongside award-winning producer Jay Joyce, LANCO focused on capturing the spirit of their exuberant live shows, sharing the same goal to make everything sound authentic and human. If a particular song didn't click, LANCO would take it on the road and perform the new tune every night until things fell into place.
The sessions that produced Out In The Open were brisk and instinctive, expansive yet intimate, visceral and immediate - and they would have had to be, for herein are songs that tell the big story by drawing the small ones. There is, to my ear, as much of Raymond Carver's literate and humane influence on display as the Osborne Brothers, as much Welty in the pointed details - both sublime and confounding - as Clark and Van Zandt. Compassion and determination act as connective tissue when, throughout this song cycle, the bones, muscle, and blood of daily life dance with loose-limbed motion toward the inevitable, guided by an ethos best articulated by Sam Beckett who directed that when we falter, we try again and ''fail better.''
While in the studio, the Rangers stood in a circle - facing each other and the music with a well-worn brotherhood that was as well open to all they could not imagine transpiring between them. The songs were written as a map, and their shared history a compass blade, but the road itself - the journey - was a moving target and, as with all relevant music, remains one. And the Steep Canyon Rangers are moving along with it. - Joe Henry
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Chris Stapleton’s From A Room: Volume 2 will be released December 1 on Mercury Records Nashville. The multiple Grammy, CMA and ACM Award-winning musician first shared the album news from stage during the first of two sold-out shows at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena this past Friday. Of the special hometown concerts, CMT praises, “…cemented his status as one of music’s greatest talents to emerge from the current decade.”
The forthcoming album takes its name from Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A (the capital “A” in “From A Room”) where it was recorded over the last year with Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb. Along with Stapleton on vocals and guitar and Cobb on acoustic guitar, the album features Morgane Stapleton on harmony vocals as well as longtime band-members J.T. Cure on bass and Derek Mixon on drums. In addition to seven songs co-written by Stapleton, the album features versions of Kevin Welch’s “Millionaire” and the Homer Banks/Lester Snell-penned song made famous by Pops Staples, “Friendship”.
Volume 2 follows the release of From A Room: Volume 1, which debuted earlier this year at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart, #2 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and, with its RIAA Gold certification, remains the #1 best-selling country album of 2017. Stapleton’s 2015 double-platinum solo debut, Traveller, is currently the #2 best-selling country album of the year.
Penning seven of the 10 tracks, Bradbery embarked on a four-year songwriting journey in preparation of I DON’T BELIEVE WE’VE MET, alongside ACM Awards Male Vocalist of the Year Thomas Rhett as well as GRAMMY® Award-winning songwriter Emily Weisband and GRAMMY®-nominated songwriter Jeff Pardo to create songs that were an honest reflection of her story. Chart-topping songwriters Rhett Akins (Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean) and Nicolle Galyon (Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert) also penned tunes on the project.
Co-producers Josh Kerr, Afterhrs (One Direction), Alysa Vanderheym, Jason Gantt (Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Brooks & Dunn), Julian Bunetta (One Direction, Thomas Rhett) and Sam Ellis (Marina McBride, Hunter Hayes) all helped to fine-tune the “fresh new sound” (Rolling Stone Country) of the album.“I am more than ready to re-introduce myself with music that is true to my story and my sound after diving into the writing process over the past four years,” said Bradbery. “With I DON'T BELIEVE WE'VE MET, I got the opportunity to work with amazing writers and producers that brought out my unique style and allowed me to tap into so many different influences. This is the beginning of a new chapter for me, and I am so excited for everyone to hear what we've made."
A lot can change in a year: markets boom and bust, trends come and go, presidents get elected. In 2015, Margo Price was a country underdog just trying to keep enough gas in the tank to get to the next gig, but by the end of 2016, she was one of the genre’s most celebrated new artists and a ubiquitous presence on late night television and at major festivals around the world.
It’s the kind of year most musicians can only dream of, and the arrival of Price’s spectacular sophomore album, “All American Made,” proves that she hasn’t taken a moment of it for granted. Delivering on the promise of her debut and then some, the record finds Price planting her flag firmly in the soil as a songwriter who’s here for the long haul, one with the chops to hang with the greats she so often finds herself sharing stages with these days.
A prolific writer with a knack for candid self-reflection, Price has never had to look too far for inspiration, and on ‘All American Made,’ she and her songwriting partner/ husband, Jeremy Ivey, continue to depict the trials of everyday life with un inching honesty, painting poetically plainspoken portraits of men and women just trying to get by.
Highs and lows, long nights and hard days, wild women and cocaine cowboys, politics and sexism, it’s all in there, singularly filtered through Price’s wry, no-bullshit perspective. Throughout the album, her contemporary take on classic sounds is at once familiar and daring, an infectious blend of Nashville country, Memphis soul, and Texas twang that tips its cap to everyone from Waylon and Willie (who makes a guest appearance) to Loretta and Dolly, all while flipping a middle finger to the cookie-cutter pop that dominates modern country radio. Rich with swirling pedal steel, honky-tonk rhythms, and Price’s stop-you-in-your-tracks vocals, ‘All American Made’ is deeply reverent of tradition even as it challenges conventions, a nuanced exploration of conflicted emotions for our deeply conflicted times.
On his sixth album, Bryan wants to bring us together. “Let me hit you with some hometown truth,” he sings in the album’s title track, before sketching a series of country cliches—cowboys, ploughboys, kids running through Georgia pines—linked by their Southern roots. “We’re all a little different, but we’re all the same/Everybody doin’ their own thing.” Through philosophical musings on faith and fatherhood (“Most People Are Good,” “Pick It Up”) he bids listeners—and, notably, his sons—to be open-minded: “I believe you love who you love/Ain’t nothin’ you should ever be ashamed of.”
Good Woman was written and recorded in a time of tremendous turmoil and change forthe band, between theending of relationships,thedeath oftheir beloved mother, andthebirth of Emily’s first child. The album is a testament tothe Stavely-Taylors’ strength and that of other women; to sisters, mothers, and daughters; to love, loss, and change; and to trying to be a good woman.The band explains: “We have been working on this for a long time and are thrilled to share the title track. When we think about making this album we think about moments and snapshots of all the different contexts we were in as it was made. Living in each other’s pockets and then living with oceans between us. Of voice notes and field recordings and ideas in emails sent across continents. We think of homesickness and family. Of being an outsider. Of endless notebooks and scraps of paper. Of studios in the winter and recordings under the summer sun. Of rainy London days and long American nights with coffees and beers, dogs, and cats. We think of love. Big, big love. Our Mum. Our Dad. Our friends. And of loss. Death and birth. Womanhood, motherhood. Sisterhood.“And coming home.”
Country superstar Blake Shelton remains firmly rooted as a proud Oklahoman with his forthcoming album, Texoma Shore. “Lake Texoma has always been a place of great memories, new and old,” said Shelton. “I literally recorded this album here at its shore so it’s full circle to have the love of this place and the love of country music come together here.” Texoma Shore follows in the footsteps of Shelton’s last album, If I’m Honest, which was the best-selling country album released in 2016. That album earned Shelton a number of awards, including Top Country Artist at the Billboard Music Awards in May.So what can fans expect to hear on Texoma Shore? According to Shelton: “When you listen to the record it will go from something traditional to something that will make your head spin back to something even more traditional. That’s just what you can expect from one of my albums. At this point in my career it’s always good for me to try something different, with different sounds, and I think you'll hear hints of that on this record. I've explored about every part of country music you can explore and it seems like I always keep coming back to my roots, which is traditional country music. I love great songs and there are so many talented writers in Nashville, but I do have a song on the album that I wrote and I'm very proud of it.”
Vinyl LP pressing. 2017 live release. Shooter Jennings was the 48th artist recorded Live at Billy Bob's Texas in November 2016. The show was part of the Billy Bob's Texas 35th Anniversary celebration. Shooter Jennings is a singer/songwriter active mainly in the outlaw country music and Southern rock genres. He is the son of country music legend Waylon Jennings. Billy Bob's Texas is a country and western nightclub located in the Fort Worth Stockyards, Texas, United States. It promotes itself as "The World's Largest Honky Tonk," at 100,000 square feet of interior space and 20,000 square feet of parking space.
Danny Kroha’s Detroit Blues could be considered part two of his solo debut LP - Angels Watching Over Me. In his own words, “it was me in a room playing acoustic instruments and doing my own arrangements of some old songs”.
Not so fast man!, when you hear this record and dig a little deeper into the facts, you’ll have a heightened awareness of the sonic beauty found in the simplicity. On many of these traditional songs, Danny dropped, added or rearranged verses from various sources, mixing up music from one song and words from another and unintentionally created his own amalgamation of early blues and ‘60s folk.
Keep your ears peeled for familiar and wild homemade sounds. There’s a DIY one string washtub bass made out of some kinda bug spray can. There’s a lot of jug bass, blowing the bass notes over the jug opening, frequently heard in early rural American music but also with the 13th Floor Elevators who ran their jug thru an amplifier. The one string guitar, aka The Diddley Bow, on “Come Out Of The Wilderness” is extremely rare, aside from Danny, one of the last times we heard one was on One String Sam's “I Need A Hundred Dollars”. You have your traditional assortment of spoons, jawbones and other percussion instruments, but during one session, Danny and the album supervisor tried out several pairs of Danny's work boots to find the best tone for the foot stomps. We’ll report back soon on what brand was chosen.
Instead of following all the rules rooted the early blues and ‘60s folk, Danny Kroha mixed up all the rural and urban traditions and kicked out a new surreal sound that could really only happen in Detroit - “I listen to both genres, for sure. I just wasn’t TRYING to make a record that sounds like that. It just came out that way”.