WILLIAM MICHAEL MORGAN – ‘BEHIND CLOSED DOORS’
Those of us old enough to remember the days when Country Music featured extensively at the top of the UK music charts will know that this was a hit for Charlie Rich in April 1974. In February of that year, Rich had reached the heights of #2 with his song ‘The Most Beautiful Girl’, and followed up with ‘Behind Closed Doors’ which peaked at #16.
William Michael Morgan has stayed true to the original, but we wouldn’t expect anything else from the arch traditionalist who steadfastly supports the heritage of his beloved genre.
TRISTON MAREZ – ‘ONE DAY’
Another guy determined to keep it traditional is Texan Triston Marez, who seems to get better with every new release.
Plenty of fiddle and steel, and a driving foot-tapping beat accompanies the rich vocals. Pure country music and our pick of the new releases this week.
PAUL BOGART – ‘WHEN SHE GETS A HOLD ON YOU’
Our first three picks this week would all be filed in the traditional section of the record store. Paul Bogart cites George Strait as his musical idol.
This is pure 90’s authentic country heritage. A romantic ballad that ‘The King’ might have recorded back in the day.
He’s released a couple of albums, ‘Leather’ and ‘Oklahoma Wind’, so if you like what you hear, check them out.
OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW – ‘PRAY FOR AMERICA’
We all know that 2020 has been a pretty dismal year, not just for the USA but the world in general. Old Crow’s talisman and lead singer Ketch Secor decided to address the issues in a song, and wrote ‘Pray For America’ as an escape from the daily grim news.
He said that he wanted to write a song that felt like ‘God Bless America’ with a little of ‘This Land Is Your Land’ mixed in. He wanted to inspire unity and we think he has done a sterling job. Check it out.
NIKITA KARMEN – ‘BETTER’
Nikita has an awesome back story that you should really check out on her web site. She was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. She has an identical twin, and her parents were in an 80’s band.
She had a dream of moving to Nashville from a young age so she and her sister booked a month off and travelled to Nashville for CMA Fest. They returned to Australia, where she remained for a couple of years before returning for an extended stay living in an Airbnb in East Nashville.
She played open mic nights, but after another month she returned home to Oz. She learned that Bobby Bones was conducting Skype interviews for a support on his Raging Idiots tour. She impressed him, and moved back to Nashville where she toured with Bones and his band.
The rest is history, as they say. She now has a publishing deal with Black River Entertainment and is preparing to release an album in August. ‘Better’ is a track from that album, and it’s so catchy. ‘Never give up on your dreams’ has to be the message.
MATT ROLLINGS – ‘STAY’ FT. ALISON KRAUSS & VINCE GILL
Grammy Award-winning producer, pianist and songwriter Matt Rollins has worked with just about everyone in the industry. He was awarded Keyboardist of the Year on 10 occasions by the Academy of Country Music, and his solo album ‘Matt Rollins Mosaic’ will be released on 14th August.
It features collaborations from Lyle Lovett, Willie Nelson, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, and this gorgeous track which showcases the talents of Alison Krauss and Vince Gill.
JOSH TURNER – ‘COUNTRY STATE OF MIND’ FT. CHRIS JANSON
A cover of Hank Williams Jnr’s ‘Country State Of Mind’ is the first release from Josh Turner’s new album. The original was a #2 placed hit on the Billboard Country Charts in June 1986 for Williams Jnr.
It’s the title track of Josh Turner’s album, which drops on 21st August, and features collaborations from Kris Kristofferson, Allison Moorer, Runaway June and Maddie and Tae as well as Randy Travis who has completed his first recording session since his stroke in 2013.
JUSTIN KEMP BAND – ‘MONEY IN MY POCKET’
Another track that’s steeped in Texas music tradition. Justin Kemp hails from Hobbs, New Mexico, very close to the border with Texas. The band features his Dad on bass and fiddle player Megan Poppe, and they have worked with the majority of the Texan headliners including Wade Bowen and Randy Rogers.
It’s a song for the party crowd and the line dancers with plenty of energy!
COLTER WALL – ‘WESTERN SWING AND WALTZES’
It’s been a traditional week in our list, and we couldn’t overlook the guy who epitomises modern day western musical output. Colter Wall releases his third album, ‘Western Swing & Waltzes and Other Punchy Songs, on August 28th. It’s his follow up to 2018’s ‘Songs of the Plains’.
The album was recorded at Yellow Dog Studios in Wimberley, Texas with his touring band.
His previous album was produced by Dave Cobb, but on this occasion Colter has produced the album himself.
RASCAL FLATTS – ‘HOW THEY REMEMBER YOU’
This one is certainly a throwback to Rascal Flatts’ classic style.
It’s been described as a song that deals with the band’s legacy, and the lyrics certainly touch upon the emotions and reflections that their fans will now feel with the news that the band will be saying farewell to touring.
It was written by Marc Beeson, Josh Osborne and Allen Shamblin. It remains to be seen if this will be the culmination of a 20-year collaboration or merely a chance to reflect rest and go again, if and when the spark reignites.
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