Country & Folk
The Willie Nelson Family finds Willie joined in his Pedernales Studios by a host of his family members and extended family of long-time band members, performing songs that they have performed for much of their lives. Sister Bobbie, sons Lukas and Micah, and daughters Amy and Paula all contribute plus band members Mickey Raphael, Kevin Smith and Billy and Paul English. Produced by Willie and Steve Chadie and shaped around a setlist of 12 favorite spirit-driven songs from the Nelson Family repertoire, the album draws on deep Americana (including A.P. Carter's "Keep It On The Sunnyside" and the traditional hymn "In The Garden") while celebrating classic songwriting from Hank Williams ("I Saw The Light") and Kris Kristofferson ("Why Me") to George Harrison ("All Things Must Pass") and Willie Nelson (who penned half of the album's compositions). Willie's son Lukas (who fronts his own band, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real) sings lead vocals on two of the album's tracks--"All Things Must Pass" and "Keep It On The Sunnyside"--while sharing lead vocals with Willie on "I Saw the Light," "I Thought About You, Lord" and "Why Me." These songs represent the final recordings Willie made with his longtime drummer and pal Paul English who was Willie’s drummer for over 50 years before he passed away in February 2020.
In 2007, Plant and Alison Krauss released Raising Sand, one of the most acclaimed albums of the 21st Century. It was an unlikely, mesmerizing pairing of one of rock’s greatest frontmen with one of country music’s finest and most honored artists, produced by the legendary T Bone Burnett. Now, after fourteen years, the two icons return with Raise the Roof, a dozen songs from a range of traditions and styles that extend this remarkable collaboration in new and thrilling directions.
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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.
Honoring the enduring inspiration of Frank Sinatra, That’s Life is Willie Nelson’s second album of classics made famous by The Chairman Of The Board. Willie’s first ode to Frank, 2018's My Way, earned Willie the Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Solo Album, and That's Life finds Nelson (who has penned a few standards himself) inhabiting 11 more of the most treasured songs in the Great American Songbook including the title track, "Luck Be A Lady,” "Nice Work If You Can Get It," "I've Got You Under My Skin," "You Make Me Feel So Young," and "I Won't Dance" (a duet featuring Diana Krall). Produced by Buddy Cannon and Matt Rollings, That's Life was recorded at Capitol Studios in Hollywood--where Frank Sinatra, created a string of album masterpieces--with additional recording at Pedernales Studios in Austin, Texas. Willie delivers 11 new studio performances, coming alive in a musical landscape animated by lush string and vibrant horn arrangements on an album mixed by recording industry legend Al Schmitt (who's recorded and mixed more than 150 gold and platinum albums and won more Grammy Awards than any other engineer or mixer). The album cover features a brand new painting of Willie and his iconic guitar, Trigger, standing in the glow of a twilight streetlamp, evoking classic Sinatra album covers of yore.
The Milk Carton Kids are releasing the live album Live From Lincoln Theatre, for the first time on vinyl. Comprised of singers and acoustic guitar players Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale, The Milk Carton Kids both filmed and recorded their set at this Columbus, Ohio theatre in October 2013 during their tour in support of the Grammy-nominated album The Ash & Clay. Released as a film in 2014, the newly remastered audio will be available on vinyl.
“Live From Lincoln Theatre is the truest representation of what Joey and I have been up to for the last decade,” Pattengale explains. “The set list is like a greatest hits album of Milk Carton Kids songs. I’ve never played guitar in the studio quite the way that it comes together on stage. Our voices also communicate something extra for the occasion. And, of course, Joey doesn’t ramble about our master recordings, but there’s no stopping him once the lights are dim and the mics are hot.”
Founded in 2011, The Milk Carton Kids swiftly emerged as a major force in the American folk tradition, blending ethereal harmonies and intricate musicianship with a uniquely powerful brand of contemporary songcraft.
The first Country act to achieve RIAA’s DIAMOND certification, GRAMMY-nominated duo Florida Georgia Line have been making history since 2012. They’ve tallied 17 career #1 singles, 13.1+ billion streams, sold more than 33.9 million tracks and 4.7 million albums worldwide, logged 1.5 billion video views, and played to over 4 million fans spanning massive headline tours. Honored by ACM, AMA, Billboard, CMA, and CMT Awards, Florida Georgia Line releases their anticipated studio album Life Rolls On.
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.”
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”.
The transcendent new album from Ani Di Franco, Revolutionary Love marks the latest proof of one of her most powerful gifts as an artist: a rare ability to give voice to our deepest frustrations and tensions, on both a personal and political level. “My songs have always reflected an acute connection between my personal life and the life of my society,” says the trailblazing musician and activist. “As I started to come out of years of dealing with marriage problems, I saw my entire country in the same situation; the complete breakdown of communication and loss of empathy and connection. But after what seems like unforgivable damage, then where do you go? You can’t kick each other off the planet, you can’t change the past, so what then?”
As the 22nd studio album in an iconic career— a musical career which forged one degree of separation between Pete Seeger and Prince and the accompanying career of founding her own precedent-setting label, Righteous Babe Records—Revolutionary Love began taking shape in the final weeks before the Covid 19 pandemic came to change the plans of everyone everywhere. Returning home to New Orleans from a West Coast tour in February of 2020, with a new batch of songs written on the road, Di Franco found herself without a path to recording those songs and lost in the creative abyss of the collective need for social isolation. “And then I decided I wanted to start pushing this new music out by fall… before the election,” she recalls. “I felt very strongly that I needed a horse to ride to try to help get out the vote—to get people inspired and get them believing in democracy, believing in each other and in themselves.”
Di Franco began to explore using live recordings from the tour as the basis for the new album but then she reached out to her friend Brad Cook, a Durham, North Carolina-based producer/multi-instrumentalist known for his work with artists like Bon Iver and Waxahatchee. The two had kept in touch after crossing paths at the Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival (an event co-founded by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, who appeared on Di Franco’s acclaimed 2017 album Binary), where she became enamored with one of Cook’s guitars. “Brad let me borrow the guitar and I ended up writing half this record on it,” says Di Franco. “I called him up and told him about the new pile of songs I’d pulled out of his guitar and about my recording predicament and he said to me, ‘Give me a week. If you can get yourself to Durham, I’ll take care of the rest.’”
Produced by Di Franco and recorded mainly in two whirlwind days at Overdub Lane in Durham, Revolutionary Love more than justifies the mad dash behind its making. As her first studio effort since the release of No Walls and the Recurring Dream (Di Franco’s widely praised 2019 memoir), Revolutionary Love arrives as an instantly transportive selection of songs. Rooted in her poetic lyricism and ever-commanding vocal work, the album unfolds in an understated yet captivating alchemy of folk and soul and lushly textured jazz-pop. In sculpting that sound, Di Franco and Cook assembled an eclectic lineup of musicians, including percussionist Brevan Hampden (Hiss Golden Messenger, Milton Suggs), horn/flute player Matt Douglas (The Mountain Goats, Josh Ritter), keyboardist Phil Cook (Megafaun, Shouting Matches), drummer Yan Westerlund (Quetico, Mipso) and Di Franco’s longtime touring band Terence Higgins on percussion and Todd Sickafoose on bass.
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Double 180gm vinyl LP pressing. 2020 release from the acclaimed country music singer/songwriter. The album has 14 new tracks and is Chris's first studio album of new material since 2017. Features the single "Starting Over". Chris has received five Grammy Awards, seven ACM Awards, ten CMA Awards, and five Billboard Music Awards to date and with his first three album he has sold over eight million albums to date, including his debut album Traveller which has sold over four million copies.
Produced by ACM Producer of the Year nominee Joey Moi and co-produced by Derek Wells, with additional production on select tracks by David Garcia and Jake Mitchell, A ROCK features a diverse cast of Nashville’s elite songwriters – from mainstay hitmakers Hillary Lindsey, Jessie Jo Dillon and Ashley Gorley to hot-on-the-rise newcomers Hunter Phelps and Zach Abend – and dives deep into every corner of HARDY’s influence.
Bleeding elements of Soundgarden, Pink Floyd, John Prine, Eric Church, Kid Rock and more into the record's sound while maintaining his own signature brand of Country throughout, the collection runs the gamut of genre and encapsulates the fullness of HARDY’s artistry, making it clear where he's come from, and exactly where he's headed next.
Warner Music Nashville's Gabby Barrett is setting the trend. Recently spotlighted as one ofCMT's Next Women of Country (Class of 2020), a 2020MusicRowNext Big Thing artist, aSiriusXM+PandoraAll-Genre and Country Artist to Watch, Radio Disney's Next Big Thing, andAmazon Music's Weekly One best performing Country female of 2019, she continues to rise through the ranks as "country music's next female superstar" (Country Now). Garnering critical acclaim, Barrett's current single "I Hope" was named one ofRolling Stone Country's "10 Best Country and Americana Songs To Hear Now" and claimed the #1 spot onSiriusXM's The Highway Hot 30 Countdown and onRadio Disney's Country Top 50 chart. "A voice you must hear, " (The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) Barrett has opened forDierks Bentley, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, Chris Lane, Dustin Lynch, Jake Owen, Bebe Rexha, Cole Swindell, Sugarland, andCarrie Underwood, and will take the stage at mile marker festivals like Stagecoach, Tortuga Music Festival, and Country Jam in 2020. With over 130 MILLION on-demand streams to her credit, Barrett previewed her upcomingRoss Copperman-produced album releasing new song "The Good Ones." The Pennsylvania native began singing in her local gospel choir at nine years old, and performed 136 shows in 2017 alone before rising to national prominence as a Top 3 finalist on ABC'sAmerican Idol.
With a sound that recalls Country music's acid washed golden era, the '90s influenced band Hot Country Knights has finally revealed more details about their debut album THE K IS SILENT, from Capitol Nashville, available May 1st. Produced by Dierks Bentley, the multi-Platinum entertainer also serves as a co-writer on over half of the 10 brawny tracks, serving up one of the most musically satisfying debut albums since 1999. Standout track "You Make It Hard" best represents their High-T philosophy.
2019 release. Breakout hitmaker Morgan Wallen isn't wasting any time leaving his mark on country music. Wallen has burst onto the scene as a dynamite solo artist and in-demand songwriter. His debut album If I Know Me was named one of Taste of Country's Top 10 Country Albums of 2018. With over 743 million streams to his credit, Wallen was spotlighted in CMT's Listen Up "18 for 2018" class of newcomers, chosen as a MusicRow2019 Next Big Thing artist, named a 2018 Taste of Country Riser and has toured with some of country's brightest stars (Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Chris Lane and Jake Owen). The Tennessee native has co-penned hits for Jason Aldean, Kane Brown, A Thousand Horses and Dustin Lynch.
Award-winning duo Maddie & Tae are drawing praise for their new music “anchored around their stellar vocal pairings and some of the tightest harmonies on Music Row” (Rolling Stone). Maddie & Tae first broke out in 2013 with their brilliant take down of bro-country, “Girl In A Country Song,” which took Country radio by storm, skyrocketing to the top of the charts and quickly going PLATINUM. The duo became only the third female duo in 70 years to top the Country Airplay charts, also earning trophies from the Country Music Academy and Radio Disney Music Awards along with multiple ACM, CMA and CMT Award nominations. Receiving widespread praise from NPR, Billboard, Entertainment Weekly, The Washington Post, Glamour and others, country music’s hottest stars including Dierks Bentley, Lee Brice and Brad Paisley have welcomed Maddie & Tae on the road, with Carrie Underwood recently inviting the duo out as direct support on her 2019 The Cry Pretty Tour 360. On April 10th, Maddie & Tae will release new album, "The Way It Feels". CD packaging includes a free poster offer, valid thru 10/1/20.
Steep Canyon Rangers are Asheville, North Carolina's GRAMMY winners, perennial Billboard chart-toppers, and frequent collaborators of the renowned banjoist (and occasional comedian) Steve Martin. The Rangers can now add their hometown Asheville Symphony to their long list of musical companions on the new album Be Still Moses. Each track on Be Still Moses features the Rangers and symphony breathing new life into signature Steep Canyon Rangers songs through newly inspired orchestral arrangements.The album's title track features what is perhaps their most singular musical partnership to date ' Steep Canyon Rangers teaming with not only the Asheville Symphony, but also Philadelphia soul legends Boyz II Men to completely overhaul the Rangers' original 'Be Still Moses,' which was first recorded on their 2007 breakout album Lovin' Pretty Women. The collaboration was recognized for its 'sublime harmonies and soulful ad-libs by Rolling Stone and resulted in both the Rangers and Boyz II Men performing the song live together in October 2019.
Vinyl LP pressing. 2020 release. Returning to the studio as Watkins Family Hour, Sean and Sara Watkins consider 'brother sister' a duo-centric record - yet one that feels bigger than just two people. With Sean primarily on guitar and Sara on fiddle, and with both of them sharing vocals, the siblings enlisted producer Mike Viola (Jenny Lewis, Mandy Moore, J.S. Ondara) and mixer-engineer Clay Blair to harness the energy and honesty of their live sound.
Multi-Platinum-selling country star Sam Hunt announces his eagerly-awaited sophomore album SOUTHSIDE, releasing April 3 on MCA Nashville. The album will feature his current Top 5-and-climbing radio hit “Kinfolks,” the introspective ballad “Sinning With You,” and more from the award-winning artist. SOUTHSIDE will be the first full album since Hunt’s critically acclaimed, GRAMMY-nominated, Triple Platinum-selling debut, Montevallo.
Jim Lauderdale comes back to his roots with When Carolina Comes Home Again, a bluegrass album of songs old and new. Chocked full of rich stories, tremendous foot stompin' tunes, and extraordinary musicianship, the album will delight bluegrass enthusiasts and beyond. With urgency and precision, the song 'When Carolina Comes Home Again' tells the tale of a man awaiting his lover, Carolina, to return home. In the cheeky 'Cackalacky' Lauderdale sings of his love of biscuits. Brimming with real life, there's a little something for everybody here.
Kim Richey celebrates the 20th anniversary of her album Glimmer with, A Long Way Back: The Songs of Glimmer, featuring new recordings of the songs from Kim's classic album. Produced by Doug Lancio, who also plays most of the instruments, A Long Way Back. . . allowed Kim to reinterpret these songs and give them a fresh, yet timeless sound. Other musicians on the album include Nielsen Hubbard and Dan Mitchell.
Produced by longtime collaborator Dan Horne (Circles Around The Sun, Allah-Las), Mapache's new album, From Liberty Street, captures the Los Angeles duo at their finest, with Sam Blasucci and Clay Finch weaving airtight harmonies around stripped-down, organic arrangements that blur the lines between traditional folk and modern cosmic country. The songs here reckon with longing, desire,and change, and the arrangements draw on everything from Hawaiian-steeped surf and Mexican boleros (Blasucci spent two years living South of the border) to Bakersfield twang and lonesome cowboy campfire tunes, all delivered with the kind of easy going charm and natural intuition usually reserved for blood brothers or married couples. It's an instantly engaging chemistry the two share, a captivating musical bond that mirrors the comfort, closeness, and camaraderie of the album's homespun roots.
'This record is about as close to the sound of home as you can get,' says Blasucci. 'We recorded it with a bunch of our friends in the house where we were living in a neighborhood that we loved. The studio was right downstairs, so we had the freedom to try all kinds of new ideas without any pressure or limitations. All the other folks who lived in the house were musicians, too, so it made for this communal atmosphere where everyone was always collaborating and creating together. 'The First Edition LP and CD of From Liberty Street includes a free Mapache air freshener in the packaging! Plus, the First Edition LP arrives on limited edition yellow vinyl!
“Recording in a foreign environment like Berlin, I was inspired to experiment with more cinematic, psychedelic sounds,” says Sam Doores, “but my love for old-school New Orleans R&B, Memphis Soul & Rock n’ Roll, Detroit Motwon & Gospel, Doo-Wop, Early Blues & Folk music will probably always bleed into whatever I do. Recording this album was an opportunity to explore the space between these worlds.”
With his captivating self-titled debut, Sam Doores has done precisely that. Written on-and-off over the course of several years, the collection is classic and contemporary all at once, blending traditional southern roots with adventurous sonic landscapes as it reckons with heartache and loss, love and gratitude, fresh starts and, ultimately, a whole lotta change. The performances are infectious in their ease, simple on the surface but built on foundations of deep emotional and harmonic complexity that belie their amiable exteriors.