On August 12th, Dylan Scott will release his first full length album via Curb Records. The self-titled project contains thirteen tracks that showcase a contemporary country lean on songs including “Lay It On Me” and “Crazy Over Me,” which carry a FGL and Sam Hunt vibe, as well as current single “My Girl,” an ode to his now wife. In addition, there are tunes about the place in the middle of nowhere that he calls home (“My Town”), the headgear that makes his girl look good (“Ball Cap”) and the nostalgic, “Beer Buddies,” a nod to those who are friends til the end.
While the majority of songs are sonically modern and feature familiar themes, there are a few ballads - and those are undeniably Scott’s strong suit. His expressive vocals are filled with emotion, vulnerability and hurt particularly on the well-crafted “I Lost You” and “Living Room.”
The album is rounded out with “Rules” and “Do You Think About Me” two R&B slow-jams that once again bring a modern flair into the mix. If you enjoy the modern stylings of Cole Swindell, Luke Bryan and Sam Hunt, your ears will surely enjoy Dylan Scott.
iTunes Pre-Order: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/dylan-scott/id1114152219
Official Website: http://www.dylanscottcountry.com/
Due August 19th, Pushed To The Side, the fifth full-length album by Nashville roots-rock trio The Coal Men, journeys through twelve songs that are awash in honest emotion, carried by a deep, desolate undercurrent and Coleman’s soulful baritone.
The seductively jazzy, brooding twang of opener “Depreciate,” ponders one’s self-worth while growing older. “All the luster and the shine it’s bound to chip and fade/Do you roll it off that light, you depreciate.” That atmospheric vibe flows into the bluesy “Pushed To The Side” a dark and heartbreakingly hypnotic tune about the “lonely broken ones,” less fortunate, and alienated from others.
Well told narratives with fleshed out characters like that of the wandering “Willy Jett,” the somber fateful tale of “Lilly Hurst” and the intensely haunting “Travis” about a boy and his .38 will have your ears finely tuned while the sadly thoughtful “Faithless Eyes” will impact your heart. “Faithless eyes do not cry tears, just mark the years of all the burdens brought on by lust for desires/Faithless eyes are not blind, they see all things that remind a man that sees through them his love cast aside/there’s no purpose and no glory in drifting into a stranger’s arms/But on the surface there’s always a story/But the truth lies behind the faithless eyes.”
The trio tackle the crazy chaos of road life in the driving “Speeding Like A Demon” while “The Payoff,” a frank heartland rocker, looks at those in the game for the wrong reasons “So what’s it mean to make the scene/Dress yourself so squeaky clean, desperate to take one for the team/Another star that wants to shine twice as bright for half the time/Whose place are you holding in line.” The album is rounded out with the urgency of “Fast Rider,” the dreams and labor that became “Stones River” and the gritty retelling of a gig gone bad on “The Singer” (in Louisville) based on the short story by Tommy Womack.
The Coal Men - Dave Coleman, Dave Ray and Paul Slivka - have crafted an album that examines life with grit and authenticity. It’s real music that deserves your attention, don’t push it to the side.
On Top Of Old Smoky, the twenty-three-song compilation released by the Great Smoky Mountains Association, pays tribute to the more than the 4000 people who had to give up their ancestral homes to create the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The album features never before released performances of timeless Appalachian classics interpreted by such artists as Dolly Parton, Norman Blake, Courtney Hartman, and David Holt, among many others.
Based upon the field recordings collected in the Smoky Mountains by folklorist Joseph S. Hall who documented the musical culture of the residents as they left their homes, the album begins with Carol Elizabeth Jones singing “On Top Of Old Smoky” and takes you through the journey of the ancestors via the melodies and lyrics of “Man of Constant Sorrow” (John Lilly), “Come, All You Young Ladies” (Jody Stecher and Kate Brislin), “Ground Hog” (Alice Gerrard) and “John Hardy” (Martin Simpson with Dom Flemons) before closing with Dale Jett and Hello Stranger performing the beloved “Will The Circle Be Unbroken.”
The songs filling On Top Of Old Smoky honor and celebrate not only the musical history of a specific region, but the people as well, who unselfishly left a legacy in one of the most popular and beautiful national parks we have today.
Since 1953, Great Smoky Mountains Association has supported the preservation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park by promoting greater public understanding and appreciation through education, interpretation, and research. The project, the third album of traditional American music released by the organization, will be available August 21st.
Born and raised in South Carolina, Americana/Soul singer-songwriter, Noah Guthrie found fame covering chart-topping hits as well as through his role as Roderick Meeks on the television show, Glee. Guthrie, who is steadily building a reputation as one of the most powerful new voices in music, recently released his new single, "Pardon Me."
Co-written with Matthew Perryman Jones, "Pardon Me" relates the end of a relationship, where one not only wants, but needs, to know that their time spent together wasn't for nothing. Guthrie's incredibly soulful, emotive and intense vocal delivery has you not only hearing every word, but feeling them as well.
"Say that you wanted me.
Even after the fall.
Say that you needed me after all.
Lie to me and I play my part.
The pain is sweet when it's disguised as art.
Finally, I'm breaking it down.
I am just another jewel in your crown."
"Pardon Me" will be on Guthrie's new album, coming later this year.
Originally from Florida, Michael Lesousky began playing music when he was fifteen years old. Upon moving to Georgia (where he currently resides), Lesousky found his musical place with the Grassland String Band. And now, furthering his musical journey, Lesousky will independently release his first solo album, Deep Shade of Blue, on August 16th. The seven track project showcases a simple style, with only vocals and acoustic guitar, that flows with the sounds of country, blues, and folk.
Telling the story of Michael’s move to Athens and the path that led to him discovering himself as an artist and individual, the album begins with the simple honesty and gentle strumming of “Bored Out of My Mind.” That’s followed by the bouncy “Locomotion” where he plows forward while also acknowledging being held back by the “ghosts of my past,” the blues, and emotion, filled “Don’t Walk Away” and the desolate “Dark Hollow." The album is rounded out by three impactful tracks: “Back In The Bottle,” a sorrowful and lonesome song whose sentiments can be felt even more powerfully on “Deep Shade of Blue” and the reflective "Hope & Desolation" which features vocal assist from Mamie Davis.
According to Lesousky, Deep Shade of Blue aims to “move the listener to a deeper depth of emotion” and with his uncomplicated style he does it effectively, taking the listener through a journey of sadness...and ultimately hope.
On July 22nd, country newcomer and South Carolina native Cody Webb released his new self-titled EP which includes his gloriously catchy single, “More Than A Little,” as well as five other tracks, four of which Webb co-wrote, that are filled with contemporary melodies and relatable lyrics that fit nicely in today’s vast country landscape.
“She Ain’t Right” tells of a gal who may be a little (lovingly) c-r-a-z-y, but it’s something that works for him, “My My Girl” is the romantic tale of two shy souls that come together and “Love Me Like I’m Gone,” with its pulsating guitar licks, brims with immediate passion. The EP is rounded out by the clever (a la Brad Paisley) ballad “Nothin’ on You” and the drive with the top down and sing along, “Better At Night.”
If you like Jake Owen, Cole Swindell and Granger Smith, you’re going to want to give Webb “more than a little” listen and check out his EP.
Since 2011 Hymn For Her - Lucy Tight and Wayne Waxing – have been fixin’ their “riotous, rocking roadkill stew” and serving it up as they travel the highways and backroads in their airstream. On August 12th, the duo will release Drive Til U Die, an album that’s an ode to the place they call home – the road. The project’s eleven tracks, all written by the twosome, blend sounds from punk to psychedelia to pop and beyond beginning with the opening track, “Devil’s Train,” an electric rocker where they proudly declare, “All I know is when I go/I’ll be strumming a tune when I die.”
The sweetly romantic “Mazzy Star” (which calls to mind “Fade Into You”) features Tight’s airy vocals as does “Acetylene” and the dreamy “Seas of Croatia” while the poignant “Onebigachinheart” features the vocals of 102-year-old Great Aunt Lee (who has since passed) as well as their daughter, “Everybody misses somebody/The whole world has one big achin’ heart.”
The album is rounded out by the bluesy rockabilly of “Shine,” the encouraging, childlike air of “Milkweed” and the rollicking “Hi Ho Silver” before closing with “The Road Song” a slice of frenzied country-punk that leaves you picturing the family tearing down the highway onto many more musical adventures. “Ain’t nothin like this here life, got nothin to hold me down…. Feel them wheels hit the ground … keep rollin round!”
Corey Nolen's new EP Following The Song is a pleasant journey through relationships, the music business, and the trappings of the road. The six- song collection flows nicely from traditional country into more Americana territory with Nolen possessing a tear in his voice that wraps around every song, filling it with heartbreak and longing.
The album kicks off with "Missing You Tonight," a mid-tempo song driven by prominent fiddle that segues into what's probably the best on the EP, the bittersweet title track. The singer laments "....Now that the money's all gone, I guess I'm in it for love...'Cause I don't think they'll hear my voice on the radio..." This gem is exactly what we need to hear on country radio.
"Not Fighting" is an achingly sad duet with Ashley Spurling, where, as the years go by, they question their relationship and they realize they're just going through the motions of everyday life. "...It ain't the hurting we had...but it's a new kind of sad..." Spurling's sweet vocals add a heavy dose of poignancy to the ballad.
Closing out the EP is "The Road," a lonely, pedal steel weeper that follows the singer on his way down the road and back to his "broken home." "Lately waking up it's hard to know what town I'm in....Just moving at the mercy of whatever pays the bills..." The backdrop of the steel makes the song feel even sadder than it is - true country music at its finest.
The Alabama native has released three other albums, including a live EP which was released earlier this year.
Following The Song will be available August 14.
Review by Kelli. Find her on Twitter where she loves to discuss music, hiking and books.
The old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” certainly applies to Cheryl Deseree’s latest release. With purple hair and a pin-up appearance, one might wonder if a country album is in the cards when you press play, but make no mistake, Deseree is country - with a splash of jazz, swing, and sultry sass – to her core. The twelve tracks, all of which she wrote, paint vividly written pictures that are filled with honesty, grit, and quick witted, intelligent observations.
The collection kicks off with the western swing vibe of “Pillow Talkin” where she informs her paramour that their afternoon trysts are just that, “Baby your still hers and I’m still his/So let’s just call this what it is/A hot little escape from the cold day to day/So don’t fall for me and we can keep it that way.” The fierce female spirit continues with the old style jazz (complete with a fabulous trombone) of the New Orleans-flavored “Stage Door Jenny” perfectly complements her smoky vocals as she sings, “I’ve got the most to lose/I hope my feet can outrun my mouth.” and the delicious “Eye Candy” a warning of sorts to a player where she asserts that she’s “not some passing fancy to play with little boy…. keep your distance…for you I’ll ever be eye candy.”
In addition to her well-crafted lyrics, Deseree successfully employs various instruments to great effect throughout the album. The mandolin shines on “Cactus Flower” which, with its desolate feel, recalls how there was no fun to be had for a good time girl in the desert town she grew up in. “And skunks and manure will keep a girl pretty pure/Til that call of the wild blue starts to mature/Bucking and fighting as mean as I could/ I was chasin’ trouble flipping off my childhood.” Trombone re-appears on the bluesy “Keep My Name Off Your Lips” which is brimming with the self-assured swagger of a woman with attitude who has no issue calling out backbiting girls, “You’re the same as all the catty girls in this city/Got two faces and neither one is pretty.” Mandolin and acoustic guitar provide the somber tone of “Wildfire,” a tale of a drug addicted mother who goes to prison leaving her daughter alone to navigate the world on her own, “I was too young to do so much on my own/Now I’m dustin’ off the pain years down the road.” Finally, the clarinet and piano take the listener to a jazz club on “Last Night’s Face”, a different take on waking from a one-night stand. “Last night’s heart given in token/Wouldn’t admit I knew it’d be broken.”
It wouldn’t be a country record be without heartbreak and Deseree provides it (gloriously) in abundance. “Rabbit Hole” details the push and pull of a relationship where neither can seem to let go, “Lovin’ Behind My Means” is a heartbreakingly emotional waltz detailing the demise of a relationship after she became the woman she wanted to be “I wasn’t ready for the depths of lonely/My soul is drowning in” and “Sin Eater” merges a bluegrass/country feel on a tale of a woman who continues to come to the rescue of a drunken sinner. The album closes in the best way possible: with a cutting, tear-at-your-heart duet with Ben Douglas, “Don’t Look Now” as she sings, “There’s no more love in the life we built.”
Deseree has said that this record is “drenched in the sounds that encapsulate my heart - fiddle, steel guitar, mandolin, guitar & sexy horn lines.” Give it a listen, it’s sure to encapsulate your heart as well.
In 2014, singer-songwriter Mitch Rossell released I Got Dressed Up For This, a collection of twelve songs that introduced many to his strong songwriting and earned him a spot on Huffington Post’s “Top 20 Country Artists To Watch” list for 2016. On July 22nd, Rossell released his new album, Raised By The Radio which once again showcases his astute and thoughtful songwriting (sharpened even further) on eight well-crafted tracks that offer fresh perspectives on themes of love, life, and heartbreak.
Co-produced with his friend and mentor, Garth Brooks, Raised By The Radio, opens with the pulsating electric guitar riffs and instantly infectious melody of “All About Me” (which will immediately call to mind Keith Urban), a song that describes a man who was admittedly selfish and prideful with high emotional walls - until he met someone special. “It was my way and if you didn’t like it there’s the highway/Swore there’d never come a day when I changed but here I am breaking all the rules.” A similar theme continues on “Any Girl,” a charming, cleverly written ballad about the one who stole his heart and changed his ways, “I’m never gonna change my ways for any girl/Yeah I swear I’ll never fall too far for any girl/But you’re not any girl.”, while a sense of gratitude can be felt on “Sent From Heaven” a mid-tempo ode to the angel sent to “love the hell” out of a man whose demons run deep.
Also included on the album are two tracks co-written alongside Ben Stennis that tap into a more melancholy side, “Not Enough” and “Why I Drink.” The former is a banjo-accented song that finds him recalling a relationship, now over, where her love for him, and his ability to move on, are both inadequate. The latter, with its contemporary, stirring melody, relates why he drinks – and it might not be why you think. “I miss the taste of her lips so much/that’s why I drink, that’s why I drink this stuff.”
Raised by The Radio is rounded out by the radio-ready title track that is brimming with musical references and lyrics that tie together and demonstrate the impact music has had on his life and “The Rain” an uplifting, earnest ballad that expresses gratitude and hope, ending with the sound of a storm that feels more refreshing than ominous. “Cursing these clouds won’t do me no good….I know that these gray skies gonna turn blue/It’ll stop hurting the sun will shine through/But for now I’m thankful for this hurricane/Everybody knows nothing grows without the rain.”
Currently supporting Brooks on select dates, Rossell is winning over crowds nightly with his passionate performances and ability to capture the listener’s ear with his relatable songwriting. And with that sort of momentum, it’s only a matter of time before Rossell captures the attention of, and makes his mark on, country radio.