Albums of the Month – Nov 2019

We showcase our six faves for the month

The Mavericks – Photo: LTTL

Top Six New Releases – November 2019

By Rob Dickens

Charley Crockett

The Valley

Thirty Tigers

20 September 2019

“I ended up having two lifesaving heart surgeries in January of this year,” says Crockett in a letter to fans about The Valley. “I recorded this album one week before those surgeries. I needed to have these songs in case I didn’t get through. I needed them just to tell people my story. To show folks what I’ve been through in my life. I feel like I’m living on borrowed time in a lot of ways. It was luck that we discovered my desperate condition and I can’t help feeling that I cheated death somehow.

That says it all – the urgency and emotion is steeped throughout this masterly sixteen-track collection, with one of the most distinctive voices around at the helm.

Recorded in Wildwood, Texas at Fort Horton Studios and co-produced by Crockett, Jay Moeller and Billy HortonThe Valley conquers George Jones country, Tex-Mex, soul, honky tonk and blues.

Official Site

via Cooking Vinyl Australia

The Drunken Hearts

Wheels of the City

LoHi Records

18 October 2019

From an acoustic trio to an absorbing five-piece Americana/rock outfit. The Drunken Hearts come from all over but now live in the Denver/Boulder area of Colorado. Andrew McConathy, originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, plays acoustic guitar and is an hypnotic lead singer, somewhat Eddie Vedder-like.

The band wanted to try something new for this album, their fourth, which they started on the day after its predecessor (2018’s The Prize) was released. They created and recorded a new song each day, continuing until Wheels Of The City was realized.

The result is eleven, intelligently crafted songs. The riff in “Shining Eyes”, the rollicking “Unrest” and the self reflection in the title ballad are reasons enough to acquire this refreshing offering. Produced by Tim Carbone (Railroad Earth), the album was recorded at Silo Sound Studios in Denver, Colorado.

Official Site

via Dreamspider Publicity

Helene Cronin

Old Ghosts & Lost Causes


11 October 2019

Straight away you can tell. Here is a gifted songwriter with a knack for a turn of phrase and just the right melody. The result is that every ingredient in Old Ghosts & Lost Causes is impeccable, like you find with the likes of Lori McKenna and Mary Gauthier.

After fifteen years performing and songwriting — often for other people — Helene Cronin decided to concentrate on her own vision. Following two recent EPs, this is her first full length offering, produced by Matt King and featuring luminaries such as Kenny Vaughan and Byron House.

Cronin was a New Folk winner at the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival in 2018. A perfect and cohesive collection.

Official Site

Via Broken Jukebox Media

Jason James

Seems Like Tears Ago

Melodyville Records

4 October 2019

OK, this is real classic country, no apologies. The album cover says something in this regard – a bygone look, the suit, the shirt collar offer a tribute to the musical heroes of Texan Jason James.

The unalloyed sound here is a joy – honky tonk, waltzes, smooth crooning vocals with more than a twist of twang. Seems Like Tears Ago is James’s second offering, following a self-titled 2015 debut. It was produced again by John Evans (Hayes Carll, Corb Lund) and tracked in just three days at Signal Hill Recordings in Dripping Springs, outside of Austin, Texas. The band included Geoff Queen (electric and steel guitars), Cody Braun (from Reckless Kelly on fiddle) and Rick Richards (drums).

Like the offerings from Charlie Crockett, Classic Country is back.

Official Site

Via Conqueroo

The Mavericks

Play The Hits

Thirty Tigers/Mono Mundo

1 November 2019

One day at AmericanaFest in Nashville this September, I was lucky to see The Mavericks perform at The Station Inn (their third show of the day).

They announced that they had recorded songs that meant a lot to them and kicked off with the joyful, rollicking “Swingin'” (penned by John David Anderson and Lionel A. Delmore). We also heard wonderful versions of “Don’t You Ever Get Tired (Of Hurting Me)” (Hank Cochran/Ray Price) and “Hungry Heart” (Bruce Springsteen).

Now we have the full evidence – eleven tracks paying tribute to other greats such as Elvis Presley and Waylon Jennings. One of the best live bands on the planet, one of the most most contagiously-joyful groups around, wonderful songs treated with respect and class. What’s not to like?

Official Site

Via Conqueroo

Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley

World Full Of Blues

Compass Records

4 October 2019

Another highlight at AmericanaFest 2019. Ironically, another night at Nashville’s The Station Inn. Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley‘s decision to pair up a few years back was a surprise and with this latest release World Full Of Blues, is clearly an inspired one.

They have taken their musical ethos to a higher plane here. Introduced widely more diverse material (particularly blues), enlisted Taj Mahal and Vince Gill to help out, given full flight to Hensley’s vocals which are remarkably good and allowed more freedom for these two gifted performers to flourish.

Having seen them three times on stage before, I was not prepared for the brilliance these two exhibited that night in Nashville. Now we can all share the pair’s virtuosity on this masterful collection.

Official Site

Via The Groove Merchants


We showcase our six faves for the month

We showcase our six faves for the month

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Author: Rob Dickens

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