Monday, November 21, 2016

Lots Of New Country, Bluegrass & Americana Albums On The Horizon

Artist: Ray Benson & Dale Watson
Album: Dale & Ray
Label: Red House
Release date: January 6, 2017

For the first time ever, Ray Benson and Dale Watson are teaming up for an album of classic country duets and original new music.  Under the simple moniker of Ray and Dale, the beloved Ameripolitan musicians will release a self-titled LP on Jan. 6. The record will feature a cover of Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard’s “Write Your Own Songs” and “I Wish You Knew” by the Louvin Brothers. Fans will also enjoy some brand new tracks, including “Feelin’ Haggard,” “Dale and Ray,” and “Bus Breakdown.”


Artist: Band of Heathens
Album: Duende
Label: BOH Records
Release date: January 13, 2017

Duende, the title of The Band of Heathens’ fifth studio album (and eighth overall), marks their tenth anniversary as a group. It's an apt name for a record whose themes explore the collective search for connection and communion in a technology-fueled world increasingly splintered, distracted and lonely. As band co-founder Ed Jurdi, who first learned of the term, explains, “It’s the essence of the artist,” or as partner Gordy Quist says, “It’s a word we don’t have an equivalent for in English, artistically, that’s where we tried to set the bar, to do what this band does best.”


Artist: The Infamous Stringdusters
Album: The Laws of Gravity
Label: Compass Records
Release date: January 13, 2017

"Written in the middle of the most divisive, damaging presidential election in recent memory, 'This Ol' Building,' the lead-off single from the Infamous Stringdusters' upcoming album Laws of Gravity, finds the Virginia-based bluegrass band ringing a warning bell, hoping to startle all unengaged listeners out of their stupor...mixing the Infamous Stringdusters' arsenal of unplugged instruments - guitar, Dobro, upright bass, banjo and fiddle - with an implied beat that stomps and swaggers...The highlight, though, is the song's a cappella outro, which finds bandmates Andy Hall, Andy Falco, Chris Pandolfi, Jeremy Garrett and Travis Book piling their voices into harmonized stacks. As the pattern repeats itself, the harmonies begin overlapping, sounding like the contemporary, minor-key cousin of the Doobie Brothers' 'Black Water.'" --Rolling Stone Country, 11/17/16


Artist: Whitney Rose
Album: South Texas Suite
Label: Six Shooter Records
Release date: January 27, 2017

Whitney Rose may be a native Canadian, but the sound the young singer-songwriter has crafted for herself is entirely Texan twang. On January 27th, Rose will release the new EP South Texas Suite. A collection of six songs, the project is the follow-up to last year's Heartbreaker of the Year, produced by Raul Malo of the Mavericks. On South Texas Suite, however, Rose goes it alone, producing the entire EP by herself. Songs like lead single "My Boots" – available today on iTunes – and the south-of-the-border tribute "Three Minute Love Affair," a paean to the Lone Star State's dance halls, bristle with local flavor. Now residing in Austin, Rose cut the record at Dale Watson's studio in town.


Artist: Nikki Lane
Album: Highway Queen
Label: New West Records
Release date: February 17, 2017

Outlaw country-rocker Nikki Lane's been hard at work on the follow-up to her most recent LP, 2014's Dan Auerbach-produced All Or Nothin'. For Highway Queen, due Feb. 17 via New West Records, she's taken on the role of producer herself, working at Denton, Tex.'s Echo Lab and at Nashville's own Club Roar with engineer Collin Dupuis (whose recent credits include JEFF the Brotherhood's Zone and Angel Olsen's My Woman).  That's a helluva lot of work — not to mention that she runs her own vintage clothing store — so it seems perfectly fitting that she would need a break here and there.


Artist: Ned LeDoux
Album: Forever a Cowboy
Label: Thirty Tigers
Release date: December 2, 2016

Having the last name LeDoux in country music carries a big, storied and bittersweet shadow but it’s one Ned LeDoux proudly stands in as he prepares to bring the cowboy back to country on December 2 with his debut EP Forever a Cowboy.

“I’ve been working around country music for a long time, long enough to have seen Chris LeDoux and understand how much he meant to the rodeo community,” said David Macias, President, Thirty Tigers. “He was them and became one of the most important chroniclers of that life through his music and artwork.”

“Sometimes when a child of the truly great decides to follow in the footsteps of the parent, we hold our breath and hope for the best, but in Ned, we find something exciting, something informed by the tradition that he came from, but also very much his own. I should have known when I found out that he was working with Mac McAnally that it would be terrific, and it is. We are excited to welcome Ned into the Thirty Tigers family. I hope (and think) that this will be a long and fruitful relationship.”

Forever a Cowboy, produced by award-winning Mac McAnally, includes “We Ain’t Got It All,” the first new Chris LeDoux co-write in over two decades. When Ned’s mom passed along a stack of his dad’s papers that included a list of unfinished song ideas and lyrics, Ned packed them up and travelled to Nashville to work with McAnally where they finished one of the ideas which became “We Ain’t Got It All,” – a brand new song by Chris LeDoux, co-written with his son Ned and McAnally. The song has now become Ned’s personal favorite to sing on the road because it’s the first original song he co-wrote with his Dad saying it’s a nice tribute as it seems to pick up right where his Dad left off and carries on the LeDoux sound to and from a new generation.

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