Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lots of New Country Albums to Look Forward to This Fall and Beyond

Over the last couple of weeks, many prominent artists have announced new projects that will be coming down the road. Here are just a few. Any favorites that you’re looking forward to the most?

Jake OwenEndless Summer EP- (9/25)- “It’s been almost a year since our album, Barefoot Blue Jean Night, came out,” says Jake. “And, I started thinking that I really wanted to put out a few new tunes that had a summer vibe. So, we decided to cut four songs and put out an EP entitled Endless Summer. No one ever really wants the summer to end, right? Hopefully, these songs will be ones that keep the party going into the fall and people will crank them up loud when they are out on the water enjoying their own Endless Summer.”

Johnny CashJohnny Cash: the Complete Columbia Album Collection- (10/30)- 63 CD’s. That’s what this massive box set includes. Thirty-five of those 60 are getting their first CD release ever, while two of the discs—Johnny Cash with His Hot & Blue Guitar and The Singles—are exclusive to the collection. Several rare discs are included, such as Johnny Cash pa Osteraker, recorded at Osteraker Prison in Sweden in 1972, Strawberry Cake, recorded at the London Palladium in 1975, and Koncert V Praze, recorded at the Sport Hall in Prague in 1978.The focal point of the set is Cash's first 19 albums (1958 - 1967), released for the first time in mono sound on CD. Each album is packaged as a mini-LP CD with its original artwork.

Josh Turner – Cracker Barrel Presents Josh Turner: Live Across America- (Available now)- In addition to being able to enjoy real home-style food and enjoy some shopping, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store guests can also take home a copy of Josh Turner’s latest album release. The 12-track album features live performances of Turner’s biggest hits, as well as his never-before-released version of Waylon Jennings’ “America.” The album is available in all Cracker Barrel locations as well as online at crackerbarrel.com.

Terri Clark- Untitled Classic Covers Album- (November) While she’s done many covers in her live shows over the years, this will be the first time that Clark has tackled an entire album of covers. Check out this track listing: It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels- Kitty Wells, Leavin On Your Mind- Patsy Cline, Love Is A Rose- Linda Ronstadt, Gentle On My Mind- Glen Campbell, Swingin Doors- Merle Haggard, Two More Bottles Of Wine- Emmylou Harris, Delta Dawn- Tanya Tucker, Golden Ring- George And Tammy, Don't Come Home A Drinkin- Loretta Lynn, How Blue- Reba, Movin On - Hank Snow.

Jason AldeanNight Train- (10/16)- "I feel really great about the songs we recorded for this album," says Aldean. "There are some surprises on there that might raise a few eyebrows, and there's also some more traditional stuff too. I don't like being put in a box, and I think with every record, we've had a lot of variety…'Night Train' is no different. I got to do a cool up-tempo song with Luke (Bryan) and Eric (Church), who've both been out with me over the last two years. I love collaborations like that, and I think the fans dig it when artists get together…it keeps it interesting."

Toby KeithHope On The Rocks- (11/13)- The first single from the Clinton native’s follow-up album is already making itself heard on the country charts in “I Like Girls That Drink Beer.” Co-written by Keith and his frequent collaborator Bobby Pinson, the single is one of the upcoming album’s 10 cuts, along with the title track. The deluxe edition of “Hope on the Rocks,” his 16th studio album, will have 14 cuts, according to a news release.

Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis Grits and Glamour- (Undetermined)- Says, Morgan, “I am currently working on a new album with Pam Tills, set to be released (soon).  Together, we are co-writing songs for the project and selecting material from some of Nashville's hit songwriters.  The album is in support of our current tour, Grits & Glamour.”

CW McCallWolf Creek Pass (reissue)- (Available now)- Rightly famed for his 1976 global mega-hit Convoy, C.W. McCall is an enigma in wraparound shades. At the crossroads of trucker anthems, high-octane hillbilly-homage and (perhaps incongruously) haunting environmental odes towers the strange figure of McCall. Reissued for the very first time is his 1975 debut LP Wolf Creek Pass is a highway fueled songs. Also included is the bulk of his second LP Black Bear Road- in includes 26 remastered tracks in all.

Lynyrd SkynyrdLast of a Dying Breed- (Available now)- Last Of A Dying Breed reunites the band with producer Bob Marlette who produced the last Skynyrd album, God & Guns. “It was great to get back in the studio with Bob for this new album,” said Gary Rossington “We kind of went back old school this time. All of us playing together in the studio as a band, tracking songs and creating licks. We had a lot of fun and the music really flowed for us, so that’s when you know you are on to something good. We can’t wait to let the fans hear these songs and play ‘em live.”

Mark Chesnutt – Your Room- (Available now)- A combo CD and DVD, this project was filmed at an intimate show in Los Angeles, during which Mark and his band performed 15 of his most beloved hits including "Too Cold at Home," "Going Through the Big D" and "It's a Little Too Late." AIX Records filmed the performance using 3D cameras and HD-audio recording techniques so that fans will get the feel of the country star performing right there in their living rooms.

Matraca BergLove’s Truck Stop (10/22)-  From the press release: Getting the introspective songstress to come forward is not always easy. When one bares their emotions, offers pain and falter without flinching, there is a natural gap that most be braved – and Berg would rather write the truth than throw herself out for the mass to consume. But when you love the people you write about, know the songs from the inside out the way the CMA Song of the Year winner does, there comes a point where being a good steward takes precedence.

The SteeldriversHammer Down- (2/5)- This will be the band's first album to include new members Gary Nichols on lead vocals and guitar and Brent Truitt on mandolin. "I think it is important for us as a band to continue the journey creatively with new people, new information and a new batch of songs," says fiddle player Tammy Rogers. "The second album was bluesier with the addition of the National (slide) guitar and turning Chris loose to belt a little bit. But, I think this new album has a little bit more emphasis on the picking, for lack of a better word. It's really interesting. I'm really happy with the direction we're taking. Obviously Brent is a mandolin master so he is bringing a lot to the table. And Gary is playing some leads that are very cool. On the other records, it was more me and Richard doing all of the fills and the instrumental stuff. But now, this feels like there is a lot of depth to all four instruments, so we're excited about that."

Dwight Yoakam's 3 Pears Album
Dwight Yoakam - 3 Pears- (9/18)- The 12-track release, his 26th, is produced by Yoakam, along with two songs co-produced with Beck: "A Heart Like Mine" and "Missing Heart". From the press release: 3 Pears exemplifies Yoakam's ability to incorporate multiple, competing influences into a piece of cohesive art. It balances his country core with a fiercely independent embrace of rock, Americana, pop and soul and builds on his trademark edginess with a notable, growing positivity. 3 Pears contains heartfelt love songs, which showcase Yoakam s authentic country vocals while maintaining his unmistakable classic sound.

Taylor Swift - Red- (10/22)- The young lady intent on complete world domination... okay, not COMPLETE world domination... has a brand new album coming out towards the end of October. The lead single "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" is her fastest selling single to date and went Gold in 20 minutes after its release. 20 minutes.

Jamey Johnson - Living For A Song: Tribute To Hank Cochran- (10/16)- When word got out that acclaimed Nashville artist Jamey Johnson was recording a tribute album to beloved songwriter Hank Cochran, musical superstars clamored to participate. "When we were talking about who to call, people just kind of presented themselves," Johnson says. "I think the word got out after awhile, and we were getting phone calls from people wanting to do it. There weren't a whole lot of arms that needed twisting."  The resulting cast includes the ranks of the Country Music Hall of Fame came George Strait, Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Ray Price and Vince Gill, not to mention Cochran's oldest and truest friend, Willie Nelson. Veteran stars Leon Russell, Elvis Costello, Bobby Bare and Asleep at the Wheel perform on the album alongside contemporary artists such as Alison Krauss, Lee Ann Womack and Ronnie Dunn.

Billy Ray Cyrus - Change My Mind- (10/23) From the press release: From start to finish, this album brings Cyrus full circle with a candid autobiographical snapshot of his life. Cyrus hails from Flatwoods, KY, located right off US23 better known as the Country Music Highway. With Change My Mind Cyrus returns to his country music roots and delivers a 10-song collection that showcases his bluegrass meets rock n' roll sensibility, songwriting prowess and captivating vocals. Produced by multi-award winning producer Brandon Friesen, the album features "Hillbilly Heart," a driving, unapologetic song about Cyrus' country roots, "That's What Daddy's Do," a tender ballad about the admiration of family and fatherhood, "Good As Gone" which sees Cyrus channeling his rock influences Pink Floyd, The Doors, Led Zeppelin and Willie Nelson. There is also a re-make of Cyrus' fan-favorite "I'm So Miserable," given a unique up-tempo twist that will leave fans far from miserable.

Wanda Jackson - Unfinished Business- (10/9)- The new album from legendary singer and “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” inductee Wanda Jackson, will be a Sugar Hill Records release. This is Jackson’s 31st studio album and marks the producing debut of fellow renowned musician and songwriter Justin Townes Earle. Of working with Earle, Jackson comments, “From day one I really liked Justin’s idea to take me back to my roots and make a record of country, blues, and rockabilly songs. The band was extra tight and great to work with during the whole process. The record just sounds terrific."

Billy Dean - Man of Good Fortune- (9/25)- Says, Dean, “We are releasing a new album of ten new songs. This record sounds young, but the lyrics are for grown-ups.” It will mark the first independent release since his 2010 album, The One Behind The Wheel. 

Big & Rich - Hillbilly Jedi- (9/18) Big Kenny Alphin said that the album's title "came out in a writing session we were doing with Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi. They are going to record the song on our new album and a line in the song was "hillbilly jedis with attitude." All of a sudden, Bon Jovi stops and says, "Hillbilly Jedis? That’s it. I’d buy that shirt." We were like, "Hey, that’s about a descriptive as you can get of what we are.""

Kix Brooks- New To This Town- (9/11)- The 12-song collection, with 9 co-written by Kix, was produced by Kix with Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts co-producing the title track. "I made an album that really is close to my heart, and it's a whole lot of fun," shares Kix. "For the most part, the music's just...it's kind of fun and games and hangin' it out there and thinkin' about gettin' back in a lot of those clubs and festivals and gettin' to play again. It's like, you know, people come to enjoy themselves, and I think this album in a lot of ways is about that."

Bucky Covington- Good Guys- (9/11)- The American Idol alum has already released two singles off of the new album, "I Wanna Be That Feeling" and a hot shot duet with Shooter Jennings called "The Drinkin' Side of Country." Through his work with Help The Good Guys, Bucky will also donate proceeds from the first week sales of his new record to the International Association of Fire Fighters Charitable Fund, benefitting our brave neighborhood heroes who keep our communities safe each and every day.

Chely Wright- Woman In The Moon (Reissue- Available Now)- Chely's 1994 debut album Woman in the Moon has been re-released at available for the for time ever on digital. This is the first time the album has been available in almost 10 years. It was previously out of print.

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