1. Chelle Rose's Ghost of Browder Holler
Mark your calendar. While this album doesn't officially come out until May 1st, Rose's newest collection of songs is a stunner. It comes over a decade after her last release, Nanahally River, and is produced by Texas legend Ray Wylie Hubbard. The finished result is a hard-driving gritty collection utilizing a piece of her own life path. An example is“Rufus Morgan (Preacher Man)." Part biography and part genealogy, this story of a Rose’s cousin and his influence on “the mountain people” rocks along to extremely personal lyrics set to a gospel-themed chorus led by the The McCrary Sisters. Stay tuned for an interview with the lovely Miss Rose later this week.
2. Sugar and The Hi Lows- "See It For Yourself"
If you were a fan of the Allison Krauss and Robert Plant Americana album Raising Sand, check this one out. Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup make up the duo Sugar and the Hi Lows and "See It For Yourself" is the first radio release off of the album. S&THL have been touring with Marc Broussard and the new band got a fun little PR push when this video premiered on, of all places, The Huffington Post.
3. Amy Dalley's "Peace Sign" and "Somebody Said It Rained"
Amy Dalley has a brand new March album release called Coming Out of the Pain and there are two terrific gems on the album worth checking out. The first is a fun upbeat kiss-off song called "Peace Sign." Dalley's delivery and Southern Dixie charm provide incredible contrast that she's telling her man that he's put "the F-U in fun." Check out the live version below. The stand-out on the album, however, is the seductive and romantic slow burner that was surely recorded with candles covering a recording studio, "Somebody Said It Rained." A couple vacations together, never leaves the bedroom, and never notices that it rained the whole time. Both are worth adding to your collection.
4. Josh Thompson's "Comin' Around"
“I’m comin’ around, I’m figuring out a lot of things I thought I knew / I never dreamed I’d be seeing things from this point of view / I’m still a little ways from slowing it all the way down / But I’m comin’ around."
Most country radio listeners remember Josh Thompson from his debut single "Beer on the Table" and the follow-up, "Way Out Here." This, Thompson's first single from his sophomore album, is a major winner. It's self-reflective without being preachy, sentimental without blinders.
“I never been that big a fan of gettin’ up on Sunday morning / And listenin’ to that ol’ preacher talk was always kinda boring / I’m still a little more lost than I am found / But I’m comin’ around,” he sings. It's a great track- one of our favorites of the new year thus far.