The Sunday Morning … Column? (May 23, 2021)

The Sunday Morning Paper is (normally) 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.

OK, I’m going to level with you all. Until I finish editing and publishing my book project, this feature will be slightly shortened. Between the time spent doing that, writing other posts, and balancing real life with the website, I don’t have the time to keep up with every single event going on right now. With that said, I didn’t just want to put this feature on hiatus, given that people might rely on the weekly list of album and single releases. Basically, this feature will resume as normal after the book project gets published. Until then, I’m freezing the “Potent Quotables” section and framing this as a more direct recap of the week’s events. I apologize, but thank you for your understanding. Again, this feature will return to normal soon.

On the Horizon

New album releases:

May 21

  • Allison Russell – Outside Child
  • John Hiatt and Jerry Douglas – Leftover Feelings
  • Blake Shelton – Body Language
  • The Mavericks – En Español (Deluxe)
  • Ida Red – Harmony Grits
  • Oliver Wood – Always Smilin’
  • Desert Hollow – Thirsty
  • Candi Carpenter- When the Asteroid Comes (EP)

May 28

  • Shannon McNally – The Waylon Sessions
  • Ashley McBryde – Never Will: Live From a Distance
  • Blackberry Smoke – You Hear Georgia
  • The Infamous Stringdusters – A Tribute to Bill Monroe
  • Rhonda Vincent – Music Is What I See

Impacting country radio:

May 24

  • Drew Parker, “While You’re Gone”
  • Tenille Arts, “Back Then, Right Now”


Review log:

For those wondering, yes, I’m still planning on covering the Cole Chaney record. That’s about all I have on my plate for reviews right now, though. Y’all really don’t want me interrupting the book project to talk about Blake Shelton, right? I do want to hear those Allison Russell and Candi Carpenter releases, though.

Stacks of Facts

New album announcements: Jim Lauderdale will release Hope on July 30 (Music Row), Jade Bird will release Different Kinds of Light on August 13 (The Boot), Jason Eady will release To the Passage of Time on August 27 (That Nashville Sound).

In a sad update to a previous possible story for this feature, Jamey Johnson will not, in fact, release a new album anytime soon. “My steel player, he did an interview recently and he told them all this wonderful stuff that we’d gone in and recorded,” Johnson says. “And they turned around and printed that there’s a new album – which is news to me … No, I don’t have an album coming out.” (Rolling Stone)

Eight years after his death, a biopic dedicated to Cowboy Jack Clement is in the works, and if you’re not excited about that, you should be. (Music Row)

There’s a new interview in Relix about Billy Strings’ recent Grammy nomination for 2019’s Home. What I find more interesting is that it provides a thorough biography on Strings as well as his success story thus far, and it’s absolutely worth a read. (Relix, by Dean Budnick)

On the note of interviews, Joni Mitchell gave a rare virtual one at a recent Grammy Awards party about her songwriting legacy, and American Songwriter basically transcribed it, thanks to friend-of-the-blog Jason Scott. A quote that rings true for independently minded artists today: “People used to say to me, ‘Nobody’s ever going to cover your songs. They’re too personal.’ And yet, that’s not true, they’re getting a lot of covers. It’s just humanness that I’m trying to describe. This generation is ready for what I had to say, I guess, and is not so nervous about it. (American Songwriter)

Grady Smith posted a video on the power of album covers that has me thinking about Porter Wagoner’s The Cold Hard Facts of Life, because, man … that cover. And now I’m inspired to discuss some favorites myself. Hmm.

Porter Wagoner the cold hard facts of life

Make of this new long-ass Kacey Musgraves interview what you will, but on an interesting note – her new album will be released in late summer or early fall of this year and is a self-described “catharsis” for her. It’s also described as a three-act tragedy inspired by everything from Weezer to Daft Punk to the Eagles. (Elle, by Véronique Hyland)

Country Queer is readying a concert series in support of its crowdfunding campaign for next month. On June 1 and 2, the outlet will host shows on its YouTube channel, featuring acts like Mary Gauthier, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Jaime Wyatt, and more. (Country Queer)

For those who missed the premeire, The Marfa Tapes, a companion film to Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert, and Jon Randall’s album of the same name, is now available on iTunes and AppleTV.

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

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