George Strait, Kathy Mattea, Aaron Watson, Willie Nelson release new CDs
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George Strait, Kathy Mattea, Aaron Watson, Willie Nelson release new CDs

Tuesday, April 1, 2008 – George Strait and fellow Texan Aaron Watson release new music today along with Josh Gracin and Kathy Mattea's theme focused disc. Old reliable Willie Nelson is also out with a new release today - well actually 99 of the 100 songs on the 4-disc set already were released.

George Strait is like clockwork in releasing new music every year, and he also stays true to being traditional in his sound on "Troubadour" (MCA Nashville). Strait offers 12 new songs here with Tony Brown once again producing. The first single is "I Saw God Today." Strait duets with Patty Loveless on "House of Cash. Ace songwriters like Leslie Satcher, Al Anderson and Dean Dillon contribute several songs. Dillon duets with the Texan on "West Texas Town."

Aaron Watson is another one of those Texas artists, who is unknown outside his home state, but appears to have a healthy career going. He's out with his seventh CD, "Angels & Outlaws" (Thirty Tigers). Watson, who sounds a lot like Gary Allan, releases his seventh disc. He helped produce along with Asleep at the Wheel's Ray Benson and Sam Seifer. Watson recalls Gary Allan vocally.

Gracin first gained fame as being on American Idol. He parlayed that into a record deal with Lyric Street and several hits from his debut. But his sophomore effort was a long time in coming thanks mainly to singles that were released but did not do well on the charts. "We Weren't Crazy" marks Gracin's return with the title track the current single.

Kathy Mattea releases her 17th album, "Coal," a collection of songs paying tribute to her West Virginian family heritage in the region's coal mining culture. Mattea's grandfathers were miners, and her mother worked for the union. The album features traditional and contemporary songs, many by songwriters with Appalachian roots. Songs by Jean Ritchie, Billy Edd Wheeler, Hazel Dickens, Si Kahn, Utah Phillips, Merle Travis and Darrell Scott are on the CD produced by Marty Stuart. Mattea released the music on her own Captain Potato imprint.

Willie Nelson's "One Hell of a Ride" (Sony Legacy) traces the long career of Willie. The set includes 100 songs stretch from 1954 to the present day. Nelson was first known as a songwriter, especially coming to prominence when Patsy Cline recorded "Crazy." Nelson's own version of "Crazy" is included on disc one, as is "Funny How Time Slips Away" and a slew of his other hits. The only new song is the final one, "When I've Sang My Last Hillbilly Song," which also opens the four-CD set in a different version.

More news for George Strait

CD reviews for George Strait

CD review - Honky Tonk Time Machine At this stage of his nearly four-decades-long career, George Strait sure knows his sweet spot. Take a look at the cover of his 30th studio album, and it's understood that it's the honky tonks that are part and parcel of the tall Texan. Not to mention the title. And that means, Strait is going to be singing about drinking, loving and faith in styles ranging from honky tonk to straight ahead country to Tex-Mex stylings to ballads. You're also going to hear fiddle and pedal steel ...
CD review - Cold Beer Conversation recording front. This surprise release shows an artist now in his early 60s completely capable of being the leading voice for his brand of country music, which is increasingly rare these days. Strait always has enjoyed a voice that resonates and is dexterous depending on the style. And the Texan sticks with the types of styles that brought him to the top - traditional country ("Let It Go," "Goin' Goin' Gone"), Texas swing ("It Takes All Kinds") and Zydeco ...
CD review - The Cowboy Rides Away: Live From AT&T Stadium George Strait has been one of the most dependable country music stars for three decades. In this day and age, the Texan is a certifiable throwback. He's low key, not a self-promoter. All's he has done is churn out hit after hit for decade after decade. He has not been the kind of artist who put his finger up in the air either or trading his cowboy hat for a baseball cap. When looking up the definition of traditional country, George Strait sits at the top. Strait tackles 20 songs on ...

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