So far, it looks like a pretty thin week, compared to the ridiculously large number of album releases we’ve seen in some recent weeks.
Brent Cobb is a logical starting place, since his album was available for a free listen on NPR earlier this week. His style is distinctive and laid-back, and I’m curious to see how this album fares in the marketplace, since it doesn’t “fit” the various “scenes.” He released some songs early, and radio ignored him, so he doesn’t fit with them. His style doesn’t sound like the Texas scene or the Opry/RFD-TV people,either. The two songs that stand out to me are the first two, Providence Canyon and King of Alabama, because Providence Canyon is my favorite place in Georgia, and King of Alabama is about Wayne Mills, who was based in my hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama for much of his career. I don’t connect to the rest of the album as much.
Ashley Campbell is the other artist I’ve seen perform who has a new album. As with Cobb, she released some songs early, which radio ignored. She also has a distinctive style that doesn’t exactly “fit” anywhere. Banjo is her primary weapon of choice, and there’s a straight-up bluegrass instrumental with her godfather Carl Jackson (whose New Monday shows at Nashville’s Station Inn are a huge favorite of traditional country and bluegrass fans). On the rest of the album, it becomes quickly apparent that Ashley’s style is different from Carl’s, even though they’re working together. I don’t connect with much of this album, but the title track The Lonely One has a spot on my 2018 New Country Showcase. She will be performing at the Grand Ole Opry tonight, and next month, she’ll perform at CMA Fest and at the CMHOF for the CMT Next Women of Country event.
Jamie Lee Thurston is an independent country artist, and this new album is 13 songs.
Highland Travelers have a new bluegrass album- a straight-up bluegrass album for bluegrass fans who like bluegrass.
Grassfed also has a new bluegrass album, but I haven’t had the chance to listen to the album yet.
The National Reserve has a new Americana album.
Kix Garcia has a five-song EP. Here’s one for the Texas Country fans.
Addison Lea Thompson has a six-song EP in the outlaw country style.
Tim Griffin has a seven-song release entitled “outlaw sessions.”
Big-B is traditional country from Norway, and released a “best of” album.