There are few constants at present. The world as we know it seems to be changing daily. What seemed like a cataclysmic event just last week for us country fans, the postponement of C2C, seems almost a sideshow now. It looks as though the vast majority of us will be on home lock down for the foreseeable future, but we at least have our passion for country music to keep us entertained.
The quality keeps on coming, and here is our list of new releases to keep us all distracted from the dreaded C word….
MICKEY GUYTON – ‘WHAT ARE YOU GONNA TELL HER?’
Variety described this as a potential song of the year.
Country Radio Seminar took place at the Ryman last week, and during UMG‘s Nashville artist showcase, Mickey performed this song to the industry execs. The 2400 strong audience of programmers and presenters gave her a very rare standing ovation. It’s only happened twice in recent times – Kacey Musgraves when she performed ‘Merry Go Round’, and Chris Stapleton when he debuted.
It’s been a long and generally fallow 8 years in Nashville for Texan Mickey Guyton, but it seems that this powerful ballad may now provide her with a breakthrough. This reflects the diversity and quality that female artists are bringing to the table.
LAURA OAKES – ‘OLD GHOSTS’
We can’t keep up with the influx of new releases from Laura in 2020. The flood gates have certainly opened!
Not only was her appearance at C2C postponed last weekend, Laura’s appearances with Twinnie on tour have also been severely affected by the latest developments. We have been deprived of some special country moments over the last couple of weeks.
‘Old Ghosts’ is a product of a writing session with Jason Lehning and Palmer Lee. Enjoy…
GONE WEST – ‘SLOW DOWN’
They are still relatively under the radar but we predict that this won’t be for long. Gone West are Colbie Caillat, Justin Young, Nelly Joy and Jason Reeves, and their four-part harmonies and catchy radio-friendly tunes are starting to attract attention.
Dan caught up with them in Nashville last year and his interview is available to view online.
‘Slow Down’ is a taster for the debut album, ‘Canyons’, which will be released on 12th June.
HOLLOWAY ROAD – ‘EVEN IF’
Jack and Rob were also deprived of the opportunity to perform their new single at C2C last weekend, and we anticipate that their UK tour which was due to kick off in April will also have to be rescheduled.
25% of the profits from this single will be going to Middle Tennessee Emergency Relief to help with the rebuilding process.
We might all be feeling very deprived of live country music at present, but when this is all over and the shackles are removed, we can’t think of a better band to party with.
AMERICAN AQUARIUM – ‘THE LONG HAUL’
American Aquarium have seen band members join and depart with relative haste over the last few years. The only consistency has been the involvement of BJ Barham, who despite his regular solo sojourns has held the band together during the highs and the lows.
‘The Long Haul’ would therefore serve as a statement of intent.
The band are on the up at the moment with a debut appearance at the Grand Ole Opry coming on 1st May, the same day that they release their latest album ‘Lamentations’, so hopefully stability will endure, at least in the short term.
STEVEN LEE OLSEN – ‘TALKIN’ ABOUT LAST NIGHT’
Our regular examination of country music in Canada enables us to highlight the latest release from Newmarket, Ontario’s Steven Lee Olsen, who is signed with Columbia Nashville.
It’s one of three new tracks that he’s released in the last couple of weeks. Check out ‘Unhappy Hour’ and ‘If You’re With Me’, which have emerged as part of a multi-day, multi-track release campaign.
WILLIE NELSON – ‘OUR SONG’
One of our favourite new releases this week is Willie Nelson’s ‘Our Song’, which will feature on his forthcoming studio album, ‘First Rose of Spring’, which will be released on 24th April. It will be his 70th studio album.
‘Our song’ was written by long-time admirer and co-performer, Chris Stapleton.
HOT COUNTRY KNIGHTS – ‘MOOSE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE’
Dierks Bentley’s side project goes from strength to strength with their modern take on country music’s traditional novelty songs.
For those of us old enough to remember the 70’s with Ray Stevens and C W McCall, you’ll recall that in those days, novelty songs like ‘The Streak’ and ‘Convoy’ were huge UK hit singles reaching the top of the charts. Mainstream local acceptance of country music has declined since then, but Hot Country Knights seem able to maintain the high quality that has been displayed with their two previous releases.
The line dancers will be filling the dance halls for this one, just as soon as they are able to do so.
MO PITNEY – ‘AIN’T LOOKIN BACK’
It’s been a while since we were able to highlight new music from one of our favourite traditional exponents. Over the last couple of weeks, Mo has released ‘Ain’t Lookin Back’ and also ‘Ain’t Bad For A Good Ol’ Boy’, which is featured on ‘The Ranch’ soundtrack.
It’s been a while since we had the pleasure of seeing him perform in the UK too, so let’s hope he makes a return visit after the restrictions are lifted.
LOGAN MIZE – ‘HOMETOWN’
Another worthy inclusion in our highlights list from Kansas native and UK fan favourite, Logan Mize.
Check out Logan’s post about this track on Facebook – it’s influenced by his own personal story, having to move out of Nashville to be closer to his family, once his Mom required radiation and chemotherapy.
“Was it more important to be 20 minutes from my manager, agent, and record company, or 20 minutes from being able to spend an afternoon with our family? The answer was clear “