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Producer Cobb, radio host Bones top many new releases

Friday, March 18, 2016 – Lots of new releases dot the musical landscape today ranging from a disc put together by hot producer Dave Cobb to a syndicated radio show host to several bluegrass albums by veteran bands to a few newcomers putting out EPs.

Dave Cobb has gained much acclaim for producing Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson. On "Southern Family," Cobb enlists folks like Brandy Clark, Zac Brown, and Miranda Lambert plus Isbell and Stapleton on songs encompassing country, blues folk and rock. The disc was inspired by the Civil War concept album from 1978, "White Mansions," which featured Waylon Jennings and Eric Clapton. Shooter Jennings, Waylon's son, also participates on the new disc.

Newcomers Kane Brown and William Michael Morgan both release EPs. Brown is out with "Chapter 1" after gaining a following by putting out his music independently. The Georgia native achieved play with "Used to Love You Sober," which also is on the five-song set he released. He gained his initial following via social media.

Morgan, 22, a Vicksburg, Miss., native, dropped a six-song EP. He has scored a hit with "I Met a Girl," written by Sam Hunt, Trevor Rosen of Old Dominion and Shane McAnally. Morgan had a hand in writing one of the songs.

Bobby Bones And The Raging Idiots', the comedy group comprised of Bones, a country radio show host, and producer Eddie of The Bobby Bones Show, release their first full-length album, "The Critics Give It 5 Stars." Kelsea Ballerini, Lindsay Ell, Charles Kelley, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood help out on t he disc.

Sean Watkins is best known for being one-third of Nickel Creek, but he steps out on his own with "What to Fear," his fifth solo disc. Sister Sara Watkins, also a member of Nickel Creek, helps out as does Benmont Tench of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The sometimes-quiet sounding disc contains 10 songs, including one instrumental.

Bluegrass bands Lonesome River Band and The Boxcars are out with new sets as well. Lonesome River Band offers "Bridging the Tradition," a dozen songs from the three-decade plus old group. Sammy Shelor spearheads LRB on banjo.

The Boxcars are two-time IBMA Bluegrass Instrumental Band of the Year and are back with "Familiar with the Ground," which features a new band member this time out. The band consists of Adam Steffey, Ron Stewart, Keith Garrett and Harold Nixon plus newcomer Gary Hultman. He replaced John Bowman.

Lorrie Morgan releases her second album in two months. "A Picture of Me - Greatest Hits & More" consists of re-recordings of her greatest hits plus several unreleased songs among the 16. "Five Minutes," What Part of No" and "Except for Monday" are among the songs on the set.

Veteran Portland, Ore. band Richmond Fontaine is calling it quits after "You Can't Go Back If There's Nothing to Go Back To." The band, led by lead singer Willy Vlautin, has been making its brand of alt.-country music for about 20 years and bears a resemblance to Wilco.

More news for Sean Watkins

CD reviews for Sean Watkins

What to Fear CD review - What to Fear
A veteran of numerous collaborative combos - most famously, Nickel Creek, Fiction Family, the Watkins Family and WPA - Sean Watkins' solo excursions have often been overshadowed by his work with others. That said, "What To Fear" is the kind of album that can change those assertions once and forever. It forms an instant connection, flush with melodic tunes delivered in intimate settings and with minimal accompaniment. Several special guests make appearances - most notably, sister »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Rising Appalachia buck the mainsteam, and that's fine with them – Rising Appalachia would not be accused of being in the musical mainstream. Not too many bands who combine folk and Appalachian sounds with new world music could possibly be. And that suits the sister-led duo of Chloe Smith and Leah Song just fine. In fact, at one point, Chloe made it clear she did not embrace radio play as a sign of success... »»»
Concert Review: Bingham plays with something to prove – Ryan Bingham mainly focused on songs from his sixth album "American Love Song," for this lively show. Backed by a supportive band that also included two female backup singers and a fiddler, Bingham's eclectic setlist touched upon country, singer/songwriter folk, rock and blues. Bingham reached for lively country sounds early on, with... »»»
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