Here’s our pick of the top new Country and Americana releases for the week of 28/08/2020.
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!
Chris Stapleton – Starting Over
When Chris Stapleton wiped clean his social media feeds earlier this week, it was immediately clear that something was coming down the line. What we have is an announcement of a new album, the title of which couldn’t be more suitable. Starting Over will be Stapleton’s first album since his From A Room volumes, and from the sound of this title track it’s going to be just what we need to lift this wild and crazy year.
Eric Church – Crazyland
The third song to be released ahead of Eric Church’s new album, Crazyland is set in a bar where all the customers are characterised in terms such as Sad, Sorrow, Lost, Regret. This dialed down, largely acoustic ballad written by Eric with Luke Laird and Michael Heeney is slower and steadier than the two previous tracks we’ve heard – and none the worse for that.
Ashley Campbell – Something Lovely
Ashley recently announced the follow up to her debut album The Lonely One will be released on 9th October this year. Title track Something Lovely brings together Ashley’s sweet vocal with a Spanish guitar https://sixshootercountry.com/2020/08/27/ashley-campbell-returns-with-something-lovely-on-second-album/and string arrangement and the somewhat retro, 1960’s feel of the track continues to show her willingness to push her sound into different directions.
Zephaniah Ohora – Listening To The Music
Through his debut album This Highway, Zephaniah Ohora has drawn comparisons to Merle Haggard. Those are some big boots to fill, but Ohora doesn’t step out of them with his latest album, Listening To The Music – in fact, if anything he leans a little further into the Bakersfield sound. With this title track from the album, he also borrows a melody line from Guy Clark’s L.A. Freeway. If you’re going to choose your inspirations, those are pretty good picks.
Granger Smith – Country Things
There’s a new album coming from Granger Smith. Country Things Vol. 1 will drop on 25th September and is the first album from the leader of the Yee Yee Nation since 2017. This title track carries a whole number of traditional country images over a suitably traditional up-tempo arrangement kicking off with banjo, mandolin and steel guitar.
Colter Wall – Big Iron
At 25 but with the voice of someone much older, Colter Wall is the perfect person to deliver a set of songs from the plains to today’s audience. His new album Western Swing & Waltzes and Other Punchy Songs is out today (28th August) and it cements his standing as a torch-bearer for those who are keen for both the sounds and the imagery of the past to be kept alive – as this cover of a classic Marty Robbins gunfighter ballad so perfectly illustrates.
Luke Laird – Music Row
A list of the artists who have benefitted from Luke Laird’s writing or producing talents would take up far too much room here, but needless to say it’s a veritable Who’s Who of country music over the past 15 years or so. Check the writing credit on Eric Church’s new song, as mentioned above, as if to illustrate the point. So it’s maybe a surprise that he’ll release his first album this year. This, the title track of the album, is an autobiographical tale of Luke’s beginnings in Nashville. Think The Mamas and The Papas’ Creeque Alley done in a contemporary country style, and you’ll catch the feel of the track. The album is out on 18th September, so not long to wait.
Outlaw Orchestra – It Happened Again
Here’s something that many a musician will identify with. You can’t drive past an instrument store. You have every intention of behaving yourself, but the pull is just oo strong and before you know it you’ve blown a wad of money on something you didn’t realise you needed SO badly – until you saw it. Well, you’re not alone, and The Outlaw Orchestra have chronicled their own experiences in this rootsy number that, we’re pretty sure, features any number of instruments they bought by accident…