There is no one quite like Charley Crockett. While several of my pre-orders were filled yesterday, the one I was most looking forward to was ‘Lonesome as a Shadow’ by Mr. Crockett. There is a raw honesty to his music, rooted deeply in many different styles; he blends them so effortlessly that he almost requires his own genre.
The wider I open my eyes (And ears), the more I find in my own back yard. Case in point: Singer-songwriter Jenny Van West is a New Englander with an impressive array of sounds, all culminating in her new album ‘Happiness to Burn’, releasing today. On this album you will find folk, country, and jazz all mixed into a melting pot of pleasant vocal-driven Americana.
I’ve been waiting so long for this album from Joshua Hedley, that I was afraid I may have psyched myself up too much to enjoy it. When you go into an album with high hopes it is so easy to be disappointed; I knew Josh had the voice, and I knew he had the right folks backing him to allow creativity to flow, but you always wonder how it’s all going to jive when done… I’m happy to say that ‘Mr. Jukebox’ absolutely blew me away, even with such high expectations. This is blue ribbon country in 2018, as perfect now as it would have been 50 years ago.
Yesterday, for the first time ever, I heard an Ashley McBryde song on local country radio. I had waited patiently for this new album, since her 2016 independent EP, and hearing her on the radio was a moment of excitement; the world is now taking notice of this talent. While I don’t consider radio play to be the end-all for artistic accomplishment, it sure is nice to know someone you appreciate is finally getting recognized for their years of grinding.
About a month ago I was introduced to Jesse Terry and had the privilege of seeing him at one of my favorite venues. I had gone to see the opening act and avoided listening to more than a couple of Jesse’s songs before-hand, so I could experience the rest live first. What an experience it was; Jesse Terry showed himself to be a master of the storyteller song, with a soft-spoken stage presence that told the story with nothing more than his guitar and a microphone. I connected with the music, my wife cried when he played “Noise”, and Jesse earned himself a couple new fans.
Mark Currey is a singer/songwriter from Little Rock that I have recently become a fan of; he has a great ability to articulately lay out a song, sing it clearly, and make you feel what he is singing. After the Parkland shooting Mark was feeling much of the same helpless and angry feelings as the rest of us, but found hope in the youth making a stand for themselves. That hope led Mark to create the song “Land of Endless Summer”, which pays tribute to the victims, but also calls for us to “Let the children lead us”.
Jamie Talbert & The Band Of Demons are at #34 this week on the Texas Regional Radio Report with their current single “Back In My Arms”. I quickly highlighted these guys last year while “Whisky Drinkin” was climbing the charts, but with the new site I wanted to break things down a bit more. I figured it was a good time to talk about these guys and the album they released last year called ‘Do It’.
Usually when I sit down to write an article, it’s within a week of my first listen of an artist or their most recent record. That’s not the case with Matt York, I’ve let him ferment for months, waiting for the right time to spill the beans on one of Boston’s best troubadours. Taking my time has turned out to be a blessing; I’ve had the chance to get to know Matt a bit, meet his family, and see him belt it live at one of my favorite venues. As he gears up to record his next album we discussed the past, present, and future of this family man making an impressive run at the fabled world of music.
Next month looks to be a huge one for new music: We have new tunes coming in April from Sarah Shook, Joshua Hedley, John Prine, and Charley Crockett. I also included albums coming out March 30th from Ashley McBryde, and Kacey Musgraves. It's gonna be a good one!
20 years ago a not-so-young gun stepped into the music game with a freshman album, it was self-titled like many first releases, but there was something different about this one. The way the plight of the every-man was depicted felt fresh and poetic, rather than old and trashy, and it was near impossible to avoid being roped into the descriptive narratives throughout. Chris Knight had introduced himself and people took notice.