Here’s our pick of the top new Country and Americana releases for the week of 14/08/2020.
All of this week’s new tracks are also on our New Release Round-up 2020 playlist on Spotify, along with every other song we’ve included in this feature during the year so far. If you’re a Spotify user, give it a follow so you can keep up to date!
Mo Pitney – Til I Get Back To You
It’s been a long time in coming, but we finally have album #2 from Mo Pitney – and the wait was worth it. Ain’t Lookin Back is chock full of life, from reflective emotion to joy and laughter, with some soulful introspection in the mix too (you can read our review of the album here). Til I Get Back To You has Mo as a man clocking up the miles on the road, counting each one until he’s able to home with his lover.
Jon Pardi – The Bottle Let Me Down
Jon Pardi dropped a surprise 8-track album this week. Rancho Fiesta Sessions, named after Pardi’s home where the recording took place, is a set of covers from such legends of the genre as George Strait, Keith Whitley, Joe Diffie and Merle Haggard, plus a couple of outliers (one in particular is something of a surprise – but no spoilers here!). From the sound of this cover of Merle’s classic track, Jon and his band had a rollicking time putting the album together. It’d be great to see a video of the session at some point. Fingers crossed!
Parker McCollum – Young Man’s Blues
When Parker McCollum made the leap from the Texas scene to a major label deal in Nashville, there was something of a collective hold of the breath. Could he keep his identity, or would he become lost inside a larger organisation, as others sometimes do? Well, it seems to be working out pretty well for him so far. We await an album, but the singles he’s released so far this year should have set minds at rest. Young Man’s Blues sees him reflecting on growing up and the separation from his roots that can bring, wondering if people back home remember his name.
Caylee Hammack – Looking For A Lighter
If It Wasn’t For You is the major label debut album for Caylee Hammack (you can read our review of the album here). The Georgia born singer was set to open for Luke Bryan and Reba McEntire this year before the pandemic wrecked live music schedules, so this album is a real boost for her. It’s a great showcase not just for Caylee’s undoubted vocal skills, but for her songwriting and production talents too – she co-wrote and co-produced all 13 tracks on the album.
Jack Ingram – Times Like These
Texan veteran Jack Ingram reminds us that in these wild, crazy and often angry times, it’s the simple things in life that are important, and not to lose sight of that. It feels every inch a “live” studio recording, with a light and relaxed tone that fully suits the track.
Justin Moore – Small Town USA
Recorded during Justin Moore’s first ever headline show at the Ryman in 2018, this live release is so timely for a crowd starved of live music. There’s 17 tracks all told on the album, a mix of hits (such as this one, below), fan favourites and classic covers. There are guest appearances from Chris Janson, Ricky Skaggs and others, too. Justin is hinting that he’s getting ready for a new album, though no release information as of yet.
Kree Harrison – Nothing In This World
Two new tracks in a week from Kree Harrison, following last week’s release of That’s How Hearts Get Broken. This track is actualy the opener for her album, Chosen Family Tree, slated to drop on 21st August. Proof, were it needed, that good songs can come from TV shows, Nothing In This World was featured in season 1 of Nashville. It’s maybe unfair to expect a song on its own to reach the same emotional levels as when it’s used in a particularly heightened scene in a TV drama, but I think Kree gets just about as close as you can on this.
Backwoods Creek – Better Days
London-based Backwoods Creek return with a new single, the anthemic Better Days. It’s a song with an uplifting sentiment, looking beyond current hardships and trials, and a chorus that’s tailor made to be sung live – and that’s something we can all look forward to.