With just a month to go before Christmas, it’s no surprise to see that the new releases this week are heavily focused on festive themes.
Not exclusively, however, and we have selected our favourites accordingly…
JOHN BAUMANN – ‘TOKYO SMILE/TEXAS DEAD’
We loved his ‘Country Shade’ album which was released in June, and Texan John Baumann finishes the year with the release of a double single entitled ‘A/B Sessions Vol. 1’. The tracks are ‘Tokyo Smile’ and ‘Texas Dead’.
We of a certain age will recall the days when singles were released as 45rpm vinyl and had two sides. The A-side was the radio single, and the B-side usually a future album track. Some were also ‘double A-sides’, and this is what Baumann is recreating here.
Both songs are an ode to Texas culture, and we can expect volume 2 early in the new year.
DEVIN DAWSON – ‘HE LOVED HER’
We are still wondering why Devin’s ‘I Got A Truck’ isn’t a massive hit, but he’s back with another gem from the six-track EP ‘The Pink Slip’, due early next year.
‘He Loved Her’ is a special song for Devin. It’s written and performed in homage to his grandfather Jerry. He describes him as “one of the most important people I’ll ever know”.
He feels it’s also one of the most important tracks he’s ever written, as it expresses a personal emotion is a simplistic way.
KACEY MUSGRAVES – ‘GLITTERY’
A couple of years ago it seemed like everyone in Nashville was releasing a Christmas album. The one album that stood apart from the rest at the end of 2016 was Kacey’s ‘A Very Kacey Christmas’, which featured her take on a number of festive classics, but also new and very impressive Christmas songs.
The response from the critics and fans was universal praise, and she truly embraced the Xmas spirit with her promotion of the album. Amazon Prime have teamed up with Kacey for a Christmas special ‘Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show’ last year, and ‘Glittery’ has now been released as a live recording from the show.
HANNAH DASHER – ‘GIRLS CALL THE SHOTS’
Hannah’s been signed by Sony Music Nashville after her huge success on her TikTok channel, which amasses 500,000 followers, and she has now released her debut single, ‘Girls Call The Shots’.
She wrote ‘Go To Bed Early’ which was included on Brad Paisley’s last album, and it seems that this Savannah, Georgia girl will have a very busy 2021.
The single is traditional country, and she cites her influences as Patsy Cline, Trisha Yearwood and Dolly Parton.
ASHLAND CRAFT – ‘TWO WILDFLOWERS AND A BOX OF WINE’
Ashland Craft was a contestant on season 13 of ‘The Voice’ in the US, and moved to Nashville after the show ended, from her native South Carolina.
She has now released a Southern Rock-infused track, written with Rob Snyder and Jonathan Singleton, that we just had to include in our weekly list.
It’s a song which deals with the desire to get away and leave the hustle and bustle of normal life, and the video does credit to the song. She’s already supported Luke Combs and Morgan Wallen, so she’s another who will be looking forward to 2021 and the chance to get back on stage.
DAN & SHAY – ‘TAKE ME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS’ / ‘CHRISTMAS ISN’T CHRISTMAS’
The best things come in twos don’t they? This year, Dan & Shay have treated us to a double helping of festive cheer, with two tracks that emphasise the importance of families at this special time of the year.
Both were written by the guys themselves, and Dan Smyers produced. The video included here has their families featured, and they will be performing on CMA Country Christmas which airs on November 30th on ABC.
SAM PALLADIO – ‘UNDER THE TREE’
A new Christmas song by Nashville star Sam Palladio, who is now appearing in the Netflix original movie, ‘The Princess Switch: Switched Again’.
It was written with his fiancée Cassadee Pope, and the song will also be featured in the movie that premiered on Netflix last week.
The film is the sequel to 2018’s ‘The Princess Switch’, which starred Vanessa Hudgens and also featured another Palladio-penned Xmas song, ‘Bring The Snow’.
JIMMIE ALLEN & LOUIS YORK FT. THE SHINDELLAS – ‘WHAT DOES CHRISTMAS MEAN’
Jimmie is good mates with Louis York and The Shindellas, and has teamed up to create the doo-wop, feel good ‘What Does Christmas Mean’, which combines Jimmie’s Country/Soul with the Jazz and R&B of Claude Kelly and Chuck Harmony, who form the group Louis York.
With the addition of Nashville-based band The Shindellas, we have a perfect cocktail of talent to perform a song that was originally featured on Louis York’s EP, ‘Masterpiece Theatre: Act III’.
The song will be performed by the guys on the annual Nashville Christmas Parade on December 5th, which will air on ABC.
KOE WETZEL – ‘LUBBOCK’
We had to include this boot-stomper from Texan Koe Wetzel, who has recently signed his first major label deal with Columbia Records.
He’s just released his album, ‘Sellout’, which is a subtle pointer towards the accusations that his new label might want him to change to a mainstream style, after nine years rocking it up on the Texas Country scene.
‘Lubbock’ puts to bed the suggestion that he is mellowing his style. Written in 2013, it makes reference to a bar called The Blue Light in Lubbock, which is situated in the middle of nowhere, but has a unique draw for touring Texan artists.
THE DIRTY KNOBS FT. CHRIS STAPLETON – ‘PISTOL PACKIN’ MAMA’
The Dirty Knobs are fronted by Tom Petty guitarist Mike Campbell, who also played for Fleetwood Mac.
He worked on Stapleton’s new album ‘Starting Over’, and the favour has been returned with a co-write on ‘F*ck That Guy’ and vocals on this country-rock treat, ‘Pistol Packin Mama’, which features on the band’s album ‘Wreckless Abandon’.