The Hodgepodge: Our Most Anticipated Albums

This is a busy week for me and there doesn’t seem to be a lot to discuss right now in country and Americana. Blake Shelton, Jake Owen, and Luke Bryan have all announced rather lack luster singles steeped in clichés and boring lyrics. And some of mainstream’s recent album releases have been just as shallow and boring. So given my time restraints, I’m just going to push out a quick and dirty list of some of our most anticipated albums expected to release this year.

I would like to write another historical snapshot soon for another country music legend. If there is someone you’d like for me cover sooner rather than later, please feel free to include in your comment, and I’ll take your vote into consideration!

  • Southern Family – Due out next week, the album is a concept album about family life in the south. Cobb’s main inspiration for the album is White Mansions, a multi-artist album from the late 70s that featured Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, Steve Cash, and John Dillon. Why are we excited for this album? Just look at the line up: Brandy Clark, Zac Brown, Jamey Johnson, Miranda Lambert, Anderson East, Chris & Morganne Stapleton, Jason Isbell, and many more. Some of the early song previews have been great, including Zac Brown’s “Grandma’s Garden” and Miranda Lambert’s “Sweet By and By.”
  • Margo Price’s Midwest Farmer’s Daughter Margo Price has a great traditional sound and a commanding voice for country music. Price was the lead singer from Buffalo Clover for a number of years and now is poised to release her first solo project. The few preview tracks for the album have sounded promising, and an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert has drawn interest to her album.
  • Parker Millsap’s The Very Last Day – This will be Millsap’s second album, and the Oklahoma roots rocker looks to continue making a big impression with The Very Last Day. Parker Millsap was nominated for Americana Emerging Artist of the Year in 2014 after the release of his self-titled debut album.
  • Sturgill Simpson’s A Sailor’s Guide to Earth I won’t go into too much about why we’re excited for this album. Josh covered the announcement last week. However, I’ll give my opinion saying that I’m looking forward to hear Sturgill’s new music. Between “Sugar Daddy” for Vinyl and his new single “Brace For Impact (Live a Little)” I think he sounds great with more heavy rock added to his music. Including a cover of one of my favorite Nirvana songs, I must say that I’m excited for April 15 to get here!

Others potentially great albums to look forward to that have been announced are Brandy Clark’s Big Day In A Small Town, Hayes Carll’s Lovers & Leavers and Jon Pardi’s California Sunrise. And of course there will be many more announced in the coming months. Maybe Jamey Johnson will finally release a new album!

Upcoming/Recent Country Releases

  • Chris King’s Animal will be released tomorrow.
  • Luke Bryan has announced his next single will be “Huntin’, Fishin’, and Lovin’ Every Day.”
  • Blake Shelton announced his new single “Came Here to Forget.” Shelton also announced the release date for his new album. If I’m Honest will be released on May 20.
  • Americana songwriter Michaela Anne will release her new album, Bright Lights and the Fame on May 13. Her new single, “Won’t Go Down” is available now.
  • Kenny Chesney has teased that he’s been working on a new album. No official details have been provided yet.

Throwback Thursday Song

Loretta Lynn “The Pill”. This 1975 song from Loretta Lynn stirred a lot of controversy upon its release. Blantantly dealing with the subject of birth control, this song challenged all the established and preconceived values of country music and gender stereotypes. Loretta Lynn, now 83, added one more album to her extensive collection with Full Circle.

Non-Country Suggestion of the Week

Nirvana Nevermind. 1991’s Nevermind is a masterful album. With songs like “In Bloom”, “Come As You Are” and the excellent “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, this album embodies grunge rock. If you have never sat down to listen to the whole album, I highly suggest you do so. Kurt Cobain was a musical genius lost too soon.

Tweet of the Week

While I do appreciate ambiguity in lyrics and allowing a listener to craft their own interpretation to the song, I must say I agree. Songs are meant to be listened to, not watched.

A Spot On iTunes Review

Granger Smith Review

Granger Smith’s new album Remington is terrible. It’s so bland that we’re not reviewing it now. But if we did review it, this review above covers what we would say in a nutshell.

16 thoughts on “The Hodgepodge: Our Most Anticipated Albums

  1. Raymond March 10, 2016 / 12:19 pm

    Correction; It’s only Zac Brown on “Grandmas Garden” the rest of the band isn’t on it.

    No official word has been announced for Kenny Chesney, but there has been a teaser for it. Kenny will at the very least debut it on the ACMs since he’s performing, I also imagine that since Jason Aldean is going to perform he will have a new song to premiere I imagine.

    I also don’t know why you guys aren’t looking forward to Dierks Bentley new album. Sure his current song blows, but he has yet to deliver a bad album, and I still have full confidence he will deliver.


    • Derek Hudgin March 10, 2016 / 12:22 pm

      Thanks for the correction, that was my mistake.


    • Josh Schott March 10, 2016 / 12:23 pm

      Because shitty lead singles tend to deter anyone from looking forward to an album. “Somewhere on a Beach” guarantees it won’t be a 10 and probably not even a 9 either. It’s ceiling is an 8. The albums we list above have a good shot at getting a 9 or 10.


      • Raymond March 10, 2016 / 3:47 pm

        While I no longer find “Somewhere On A Beach” to be “shitty” (pretty poor choice of words) more mediocre now than outright awful. I still think there is room for optimism when it comes to Dierks Bentley new album, I mean Dierks Bentley had “Am I The Only One” as the lead single for Home. That album turned out to be very great. So I think their is still room to be optimistic, there’s been plenty of examples of bad leadoff single which leads to a great album (Jon Pardi, Eric Paslay, Toby Keith’s latest as a whole, Carrie Underwood Blown Away). I think just judging by Dierks tone and overall how I perceive his intentions by interviews, I’m going to remain hopeful about Black as a whole.


        • Josh Schott March 10, 2016 / 3:51 pm

          Nah it’s the perfect word to describe it. Shitty describes it well.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Derek Hudgin March 10, 2016 / 4:39 pm

          I’m hopeful that Black will be good enough to warrant a high review grade, but compared to the albums listed above, I can’t say I’m as excited for it. Yes, there’s a chance that “Somewhere On A Beach” is the album anomaly, but it still doesn’t get me excited for the album. Yet hearing “Bourbon in Kentucky” or “I Hold On” prior to RISER, I was stoked for that album. Lead off single choices should be the kicker to what drives fans toward the album.


        • Raymond March 10, 2016 / 4:56 pm

          Ok I’m not quite as excited for Black as I’m for those albums particularly Southern Family. But I mean every mainstream act has there duds of a songs even legends (Alan Jackson, Reba, George Strait, they all have had dud singles or songs, Alan Jackson had “I Still Like Bologna” Reba had “Strange” and George Strait well imo “The Breath You Take”,). Dierks has yet to deliver a bad album and I still think there is room for optimism, I do understand though where you guys are coming from even if I disagree with it.

          Eh, maybe it’s the music video that’s changing my mind because that did help me tolerate the song a lot better.


  2. southtexaspistolero March 10, 2016 / 1:36 pm

    I might be disappointed if you guys didn’t eventually tear the Granger Smith album to shreds, but I’d certainly understand. Life’s too short to listen to bad music.

    Grunge was never my thing, though. I was mostly into country when grunge was the rage, but even after my tastes expanded to more rocking music I thought it was just boring as hell compared to the likes of, say, Iron Maiden and older Metallica. Add to that how everyone talks to this day about how grunge was so great because it killed “hair metal,” and…yeah. Sure, grunge killed “hair metal,” but there was a shit-ton of great not-hair metal that got swept away as collateral damage in the wake of all that no one ever talks about anymore. Just as an example…Warrant’s Cherry Pie and Poison’s Flesh & Blood came out in 1990, but so did Judas Priest’s Painkiller and Pantera’s Cowboys from Hell. And too many people put all of that under the same umbrella, as if Judas Priest and Poison both sucked. I realize all of that is rather ancillary to the music itself, but even beyond that I still think grunge is more or less what killed mainstream rock because it seems that rock didn’t really progress beyond that — at least if my own local rock radio station (99.5 KISS-FM in San Antonio) is any indication; the lion’s share of their playlist consists of Nirvana, Green Day, Pearl Jam, STP, and the like. I remember it being much the same in Southeast Texas. And I just don’t think grunge was worth it in the end for that, especially because of the effect of the death of mainstream rock on country music. For all any of us knows Eric Church and Brantley Gilbert would have gone rock instead of country had it not been for the modern state of mainstream rock.

    Anyway, sorry for the long-winded rant. That’s just one of my pet peeves anymore…


    • Josh Schott March 10, 2016 / 2:40 pm

      We might still get around to tearing that album apart. Will just depend on time. If not, the singles will definitely be torn apart.


  3. OlaR March 10, 2016 / 2:44 pm

    Granger Smith deserves every bad review for “Remington”.
    Was Dierks Bentley forced by his label to record trash like “Somewhere…”? A big label & an artist with a bunch of hits under his belt, should be able to release a better single.

    Checkout – New Releases:
    Dustin Sonnier – Country (EP with six songs): +1
    That’s Country! My highlights: “I Said I Loved You But I Lied” & “Whiskey Makes Her Miss Me”.
    Frank Ortega – Hard To Put Down (EP with five songs):
    Current single “Tell Me” is a new entry (78) on the Music Row Breakout Chart.
    Justin Joslin – The River (Album with 11 songs):
    Mix of country music with folk elements. Released an EP in 2011 called “Roots”.
    Jake Mcvey – Unknown Highway (Album with 10 songs): +1
    Fine song selection. My favourite tracks are “Unknown Highway” & “Most Unwanted Man”.


  4. theknightswhosayni4 March 10, 2016 / 5:33 pm

    Granger’s new CD was definitely a bit of a letdown when compared to his previous works, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s terrible. There are definitely some quality songs that are right in line with what Granger has always done. Tractor, Remington, Around the Sun and Tailgate Town are all solid songs. Also, Crazy As Me is definitely worth a listen, probably my favorite song on the album.

    Unfortunately he also cut a couple songs that kinda suck (Looking at you “Blue Collar Dollars”). He should stick to writing his own songs because the two that he didn’t write are by far the worst on the album.

    It’s too bad that Remington is a bit of a dud. Dirtroad Driveway was (is) one of my all time favorite CDs, and I absolutely love his Poets and Prisoners CD. I’ll still give a good ole Yee Yee though!


  5. Frank the Tank March 10, 2016 / 10:14 pm

    Maybe I missed it, but are you going to be reviewing “Full Circle?”


    • Derek Hudgin March 10, 2016 / 11:54 pm

      Yes we will review it.


      • Frank the Tank March 11, 2016 / 6:48 pm

        Awesome – thanks!


  6. Cobra March 11, 2016 / 1:15 pm

    It seems we can now add Jack Ingram’s “Midnight Motel” to the list.

    And I agree: “Somewhere On a Beach” is terrible. I actually don’t particularly dislike “Drunk One Plane,” but this new one is so below what Bentley is capable of.

    My top three I’m looking forward to now are Mary Chain Carpenter’s new album (she is a fantastic singer), Hayes Carll, and Jack Ingram.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cobra March 11, 2016 / 1:17 pm

      Mary CHAPIN Carpenter

      Stubby fingers and auto correct do not mix well.

      Liked by 1 person

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