The Sunday Morning Paper: Country Singer Gets Dog and Truck Back Without Playing Song Backwards (April 25, 2021)

The Sunday Morning Paper is a weekly feature where I share news that’s occurred within the country music industry over the past week and quote from any further pieces that interest me, and may interest you. Click on the hyperlinks provided at the end of each blurb to find out more.

On the Horizon

New album releases:

April 23

  • Eric Church – Soul
  • Tracy Lawrence – Hindsight 2020, Vol. 1: Stairway to Heaven/Highway to Hell
  • Justin Moore – Straight Outta the Country
  • Elvie Shane – Country Roads EP
  • Todd Snider – First Agnostic Church of Hope and Wonder
  • Scott Sean White – Call It Even
  • Josh Washam – Squash Blossom
  • Mary Karlzen – Shine

April 30

  • Carrie Underwood – My Savior (vinyl)
  • Amy Speace – There Used to Be Horses Here
  • The Shootouts – Bullseye
  • Ashley Monroe – Rosegold
  • Ronnie Milsap – A Better Word for Love
  • Thomas Rhett – Country Again (Side A)

Impacting country radio:

April 26

  • Brothers Osborne, “I’m Not For Everyone”
  • Mo Pitney, “Local Honey”


Review log:

Well, I think it’s finally time to tackle that huge Eric Church project in full. Stay tuned, folks. Otherwise, my backlog is looking spare, thankfully. I’m reserving the latest Justin Moore and Tracy Lawrence projects for a future roundup post.

Just the Facts, Jack

Ray Wylie Hubbard. Photo credit: Alan Messer

It’s urgent news but no longer urgent news, thankfully: Shane Smith had his truck stolen earlier this week with his dog, Gretchen, inside. Thankfully, both the truck and Gretchen have now been found. (Wide Open Country)

There’s speculation floating around as to Kacey Musgraves’ next move regarding her music. She will reportedly release her new album jointly through Interscope and UMG Nashville, and the sound will reportedly be even more genre-bending than 2018’s Golden Hour. Given the chilly reception from country radio throughout her career, I can’t say I’m surprised. Stay tuned. (Variety)

New music announcements: Yola will release Stand for Myself on July 30 (Rolling Stone), Tylor & the Train Robbers will release Non-Typical Find on July 9, produced by Cody Braun of Reckless Kelly (band website), JP Harris will release Don’t You Marry No Railroad Man on June 25, a collaboration with former Old Crow Medicine Show member Chance McCoy (The Boot), and Rhonda Vincent will release Music Is What I See on May 28 (artist’s website). Sunny Sweeney also posted on Instagram that she has new music coming soon, reportedly produced by Paul Cauthen.

In the this-just-sounds-cool-on-the-premise-alone category, Jack Ingram interviewed Ray Wylie Hubbard on the latest episode of his Jackin’ Around podcast. Far from sounding nasty, the interview is a hoot.

Brent Cobb will release his first children’s book Little Stuff on Father’s Day, June 20. Pre-order it here. (Music Row Magazine)

A country music video roundup: Rhiannon Giddens & Francesco Turrisi (“Avalon”), Charlie Worsham (“Fist Through This Town”), and Rory Feek (“Small Talk Café”)

In an update to a story I discussed in an earlier edition of this feature, Dwight Yoakam’s Guitar, Cadillacs, Etc. Etc. has now been completely removed from streaming services, which comes around approximately one month after fans noticed singles such as “Honky Tonk Man” and “Miner’s Prayer” had been removed. This follows a lawsuit between Yoakam and Warner Music Group, in which the former party sued the latter for failing to return the copyrights of songs from his 1986 debut album. The main lesson for us? Buy your music and support your favorite artists. (Billboard)

Potent Quotables

“I remember calling our manager at the time, and I told him, ‘I can’t go in the studio. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I don’t know why I’m not happy. I’m depressed. My anxiety is through the roof. I can’t sleep. My ears are ringing,’ John noted regarding a particularly painful moment in 2019 while recording Skeletons, the brothers’ latest album.” – John Osborne of the Brothers Osborne, on how mental health problems almost caused him to outright quit music while recording last year’s Skeletons, stemming from an anxiety that’s followed him since his childhood. Thankfully, that album was completed, it rocks, and John is reportedly better now. (CMT, by Marcus K. Dowling)

“That record opened me up to explore the idea of how to create the illusion of more: How can you get more music out of one instrument than just one playing rhythm through the whole thing? And also how to incorporate some of my own bass lines into my playing and be able to play rhythmic-sounding stuff while also making sure that the coloration feels full in the song. I feel like that carried over to 25 Trips.” – Sierra Hull, on how pushing outside of her comfort zone helped her to make 25 Trips, one of the best albums of last year, in my opinion. (Guitar Player, by Jim Beaugez)

“As much as Rogers was likely to believe that Prince wrote ‘You’re My Love’ specifically for him, that may not be entirely true. However, the fact that it could very well be Rogers-inspired is entirely possible. Historical research through Prince’s archives shows that Prince wrote ‘You’re My Love’ in 1981, five years prior to its release, and recorded and tracked his version of the song – that he later sent to Rogers – in March 1982.” – An excerpt from Marcus K. Dowling, who dives into the mystery surrounding the 1986 recording of “You’re My Love” by Kenny Rogers, penned by Prince, which comes as a timely read following the five-year anniversary of the latter artist’s death. (CMT)

“I’ve heard you compare the way that you store melodies in your head to storing files that you can just pull from when you find a lyric to use with it. Do you do the same with lyrics as well? Do you even have to pull out a pen and paper to write music? Or is the entire songwriting process something that you’re able to do in your head?” – “Yeah, that’s just how I do it. I just store all of that in my brain. Lyrics and all. Every now and then I’ll write something down, but not usually. If it’s something that I know I’m going to use, then I’ll always remember it. If I forget something, then to me it just wasn’t worth using. It’s weird!” – Morgan Wade, when asked about her one-of-a-kind songwriting process. (The Hippies and Cowboys, by Jayson Potter)

“When we were workin’ on this stuff, there was no future for touring. Nobody knew what was gonna happen. Everybody was just kinda in a holding pattern for makin’ records or anything. We were listenin’ to these and we were like, ‘Gosh, man, Miranda Lambert fans would love to hear this!’ You hear her and us guys writing these songs in its rawest form, you know? So I think the timing was everything. It wasn’t meant to go to radio. It wasn’t gonna conflict with her or Jack’s album release schedules – or mine for that matter – and if there was a blessing in it, that was it.” – Jon Randall, on the beauty of making music in its rawest form and sharing it with both Miranda Lambert and Jack Ingram ahead of the group’s The Marfa Tapes release next month. (Sound and Soul Online, by Aaron Irons)

That’s all, folks! Anything else? Let me know!

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