Here are some of the top new releases for the week of 13/12/2019.
All of this week’s new tracks are also on our New Release Round-up playlist on Spotify, along with every other song we’ve included in this feature during the year so far. The playlist is at the bottom of the page – if you’re a Spotify user, give it a follow!
The Wild Feathers – Jacksonville to Jackson Hole
Co-written by Casey Beathard and Eric Church, this is a breezy country rock track that looks back fondly on a well worn path from the sun and sea of Florida to the snow covered peaks of Wyoming – a journey of over 2,000 miles by road, but maybe longer in terms of life experience, growing up, etc.
John Baumann – Love’s A Word I Never Throw Around
Recorded and released as part of Bruce Robison’s The Next Waltz series, this is Baumann’s treatment of a old Robert Earl Keen break-up song. By slowing it right down it allows the heartbreak in the lyric more time to land, and that can only be a good thing. “So I’m going to the country to spend some time out in the woods | Countin’ stars and sleepin’ all alone | I can’t say for certain that It’ll do me any good | But it’s time I grew accustomed to being on my own.”
Sam Riggs – Obsessed (Acoustic)
Obsessed appeared as one of the tracks on Rigg’s Love & Panic release earlier in 2019. He’s now released the album again, but as Love & Panic: Heartstrings with all the same songs but done as “unplugged” recordings. As far as Obsessed is concerned, this acoustic treatment keeps the intensity of the original track but dials down on the rock bombast – to these ears it works a treat. It would be great to hear these arrangements played live in a smaller venue, for a listening crowd.
Mary Chapin Carpenter – Our Man Walter Cronkite
“Everything’s different, but nothing much changes”, sings Carpenter as she effectively mourns for the absence of a public figure like the legendary news anchor Walter Cronkite. Known as “the most trusted man in America”, Cronkite related some of the most dramatic events to the nation on TV for over 2 decades ranging from the JFK, RFK and MLK assassinations, to the Apollo 11 moon landings. Always in a most down-to-earth, human manner that served the story, rather than embelished it or distracted from it. This track has a somewhat sombre tone – it probably has to, really – but the accompanying video gives useful context to the lyric.
Nathaniel Rateliff w/ John Prine – Sam Stone
Sam Stone is one of Prine’s all time classics, from his debut album. It’s almost 50 years old, but a line like “There’s a hole in Daddy’s arm where the money goes” still has all the power and harrowing imagery it ever had. Prine and Rateliff share solo vocals on the verses, joining to sing together on the choruses. Released under the flag of The Marigold Singles, a collection of collaborations Rateliff has recorded and the proceeds of which will go to The Marigold Project – a foundation Rateliff set up to help fund economic and social justice non-profit organisations across the US.
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – Stockholm
Recorded in 2014 during the annual Warren Haynes’ annual Christmas Jam, this live performance of Stockholm has been released now ahead of the concert film and accompanying soundtrack album Warren Haynes Presents: The Benefit Concert Volume 16. The track originally featured on Isbell’s now classic album Southeastern.
Randall King – Burn It At Both Ends
What’s this? A song that sounds custom built for radio, but isn’t all click tracks and pop stylings? Yes, they do come along once in a while, and here’s the proof. Texas native King has carved his own neo-traditional niche and this new track is a great showcase.
Tenille Arts – Nothing To See Here
Canadian Tenille Arts releases here second album Love, Heartbreak & Everything In Between in January 2020. This track definitely has the heartbreak covered as it tells how places can bring back memories that once were happy, but in the shadow of a breakup are now painful. The chorus at the end of the song closes out with these lines: “But I’m learning lately | I’ll never get the piece of my life back that you got | So why won’t these memories disappear | And how can a place bring so many tears | If there’s nothing to see here”.
Drew Fish Band – Wishful Drinkin’
A real boot-scootin’ honky tonk foot -tapper from Texan Drew Fish. It’s also the title track of his new album, due out early in 2020. If you like your music in the style of George Strait, Keith Whitley, Dean Dillon, etc, then you’ll be right at home with the Drew Fish Band.
The Steeldrivers – Bad For You
Just about everybody knows the Steeldrivers as “Chris Stapleton’s old band”, but of course they didn’t just roll over and die when he left them. These days Kelvin Demrell picks up the vocal duties, and he has a very similar style to Stapleton as can clearly be heard on this moody, brooding mix of bluegrass and blues. It’s also the title track of their new album due in February 2020.
Here’s our New Release Round-up 2019 playlist – enjoy!