Once or twice a year you have one of those mega days of country music outings where the albums are so important and the number of outings so intimidating, you need a Field Guide or a Sherpa. to get you through it all. Luckily, you’ve got little old Saving Country Music here at your service to try and make sense of what will happen on Friday August 20 as a host on some super important albums comes out at the same time.
Many of these titles will also be reviewed here. Many have already been mentioned previously. But just so nothing gets lost in the shuffle, here’s a rundown.
Sierra Ferrell – Long time to come
A lot of people were eagerly awaiting news about when the debut album by gypsy jazz Appalachian folk phenomenon Sierra Ferrell would finally emerge after signing with Rounder Records in 2019. Well, we finally get his Rounder debut, and he s. ‘title appropriately. Long time to come. It’s fair to consider it as one of the most anticipated roots music releases for 2021.
Co-produced by 10-time Grammy Award-winning Gary Paczosa and Australian musician Stu Hibberd, Long time to come was recorded at Southern Ground and Minutia studios in Nashville, and finds the connection between ragtime jazz, bluegrass mountain music and classic country. A group of serious musicians including Billy Strings, Sarah Jarosz, Dennis Crouch, Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien, Chris Scruggs and Rory Hoffman have helped Sierra Ferrell along the way.
A native of Charleston, West Virginia, Sierra began singing at the age of 7, left home in her twenties to become a wandering minstrel playing in boxcars and at truck stops, then on the streets of New Orleans and Washington State before landing in Nashville. . (Read more)
Sturgill Simpson – Dood and Juanita’s ballad
Sturgill says of the conceptualized album, “I just wanted to write a story, not a collection of songs that tell a story, but a real story, cover to cover. [This album is] a roller coaster ride through all the styles of traditional country, bluegrass and mountain music that I love, including gospel and a capella. It’s a simple story of redemption or revenge.
Sturgill has always promised that he would only release five albums in his career, and that would make the 5th, although that does not count side projects and other releases, including his two recent bluegrass volumes under the label. Cut the grass Title. Whether they ultimately stick to this plan or not and The ballad of Dood & Juanita ends up being her last album, the release is likely to be significant in her trajectory anyway. (Read more)
“Dood and Juanita” are Sturgill Simpson’s grandparents (read more).
James McMurtry – Horses and dogs
In a brilliant economy of words, James McMurtry can bring entire characters and vast landscapes to life in songs, revealing details to the crevices of the dried soil and the contours of a face in the mind of the spirit. . He has compiled a body of work that rivals most other songwriters and certainly made his world-renowned novelist father, the recently deceased Larry McMurtry, monstrously proud.
Over the past twelve years or so, James McMurtry’s production has slowed down considerably, but his artistry and cunning have only sharpened. This is how his 2015 album Complicated game became the album of the year on a hardcore country site like this. It was announced over two years ago that McMurtry had signed with New West Records. But he’s just released his new album on the label, about seven years after his last release. (Read more)
Connie Smith – The cry of the heart
Country Music Hall of Famer and Grand Ole Opry member Connie Smith is set to release her first new album in a decade, and one thing is for sure, it will be country. “People ask me, ‘What is country music? “” Smith said. “I say, ‘To me, country music is the cry of the heart.’ We all have these experiences in our hearts and I try to identify and connect with people so they know they are not alone.
Hubby Marty Stuart has assembled an elite group of musicians, including pianist Hargus “Pig” Robbins who has collaborated with Connie throughout her career, and whom Connie calls her “secret weapon” (they were also inducted together into the Hall of Fame in 2012). Steel guitarist Gary Carter has also joined us to play a vital role. Connie says, “If I were an instrument, I would like to be a steel guitar.” And of course, Marty Stuart plays guitar and co-wrote many originals with Connie for the album. (Read more)
Garrett T. Capps – I love San Antone
Garrett T. Capps is like a country artist without a country. Or rather like a country artist without a planet. Space country is what he likes to call his music in an attempt to convey the atmospheric and psychedelic aroma of his brand of honky tonk. It’s kind of out there, which means it doesn’t fit well into a specific niche of the country and American scene. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a home. In San Antonio, Garrett T. Capps is considered a honky tonk resistant and a hero in a city where such figures are rare.
Garrett has long been a promoter and supporter of country music in San Antonio, and now he’s putting it to music in this new album. If the title track is any indication, that will be fun.
Wanda Jackson – Bis
Country, rockabilly, and rock & roll legend Wanda Jackson officially retired from the stage in March 2019, finally choosing to rest on her laurels after building up a career and legacy that saw her inducted at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with the Gospel and Rockabilly Halls of Fame. But we can’t be surprised that the woman who once dumped Elvis got a little restless and started writing music again.
Now at 83, Wanda is ready to give it back Bis. True to the tradition of working with interesting producers who saw her collaborate with Jack White and then Justin Townes Earle on her last two records, this time Wanda worked with fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Joan Jett and Kenny. Laguna.
And that’s not all. Joan Jett also appears on the album, as do Elle King, Angaleena Presley and Candi Carpenter. Co-authors Wanda collaborated with on the album include Angaleena Presley, Lori McKenna, Will Hoge, Chris Casello, and more. (Read more)
Adrien + Meredith – Bad for business
Maybe you’ve seen this couple duo for the past few years and think you’ve categorized them. But their new album is sure to take you on a lot of unexpected twists and turns on a fantastic journey with full band sound.
Recorded in the living room of their East Nashville home with people like Justin Townes Earle’s steel player Paul Niehaus and Calexico fame, and banjo player Fats Kaplan famous for playing with Jack White, Bad for business was produced and mixed by Mark Robinson of The Legendary Shack Shakers, which should give you a good idea of the wildness and variety of influences you can expect.
Sam Williams – Greenhouse children
The full official debut album from the son of Hank Jr. and grandson of Hank Williams, don’t rush in there expecting to hear a track from the old block. Sam has shown over the years that he is his own man and draws inspiration from influences far outside the country. Expect this to be a more contemporary sounding affair.
Greenhouse children includes co-writings with Dan Auerbach, Sean McConnell and Jaren Johnston of The Cadillac Three. He also features a collaboration with Dolly Parton on the song “Happy All The Time” and (cough) Keith Urban on the previously released single “Kids”. But hey, if it’s coming from Hank’s kidneys, it deserves at least some of our attention.
Karen Jonas – Summer songs EP + Gum balls Poetry book
Karen Jonas from Virginia has kept busy and keeps us busy releasing a four song EP dedicated to summer, including a rendition of “The Boys of Summer” by Don Henley. And coinciding with the EP’s release is a 60-vignette poetry book covering various aspects of Karen’s life called Gum balls.
Anderson East – Maybe we’ll never die
I haven’t heard it all yet, but if the first three singles in this selection are any indication, don’t expect the Anderson East of yore when he slammed Garth Brooks as a proxy for Miranda Lambert, and stepped out of the blue – eye-catching soul songs from the Stax era. Maybe we’ll never die is a radical change with lots of electronica and a decidedly contemporary pop sound with retro accents.
Darrin Bradbury – Advertising
A great Nashville-based songwriter, his 2019 song “Breakfast” rocketed a bit after being on Saving Country Music’s current Top 25 playlist. Now he’s back with a new album plunging into his angst and poetic muse released on Anti.
Ward Hayden and outliers – Free country
Previously known as Girls Guns and Glory, this alternative country-style group produced by Eric “Roscoe” Ambel would delve into “an examination of the socio-cultural divide in this country” with the new album, but not by sacrificing the joy of music.
Joe Troop – Borrowed time
Solo album of the Grammy nominated group’s banjo player Che Apalache.
Malcolm Holcombe – Tricks of the trade
Billy Law – Alone somewhere
Chris J Norwood – I am not cool
John Scott Sherrill – Copper tears
Jay Nash – Songs of the night
AJ Lee and Blue Summit – I’ll be back