Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Artists celebrate country's groundbreaking streak on eclectic mix of new releases

Ray Price, Ronnie Fauss, Colt Ford and Dennis Roger Reed mine country music's rich past to hit timeless sonic pay dirt on latest releases.

Artist: Ray Price
Title: A New Place to Begin (Varese Vintage)
You might like if you enjoy: Hank Williams, Roger Miller, George Jones
Tell me more: When Ray Price passed away in December 2013, country music lost one of its great voices. The release of A New Place to Begin extends the singer's legend thanks to the inclusion of eight previously-unreleased recordings, all sure to please long-time fans of the Texas native. The Western Swing-styled "I'll Sail My Ship Alone," a beautiful cover of the standard "Stormy Weather" and the tender ballad "Starting New Memories" are among the outstanding new selections on the 16-track disc showcasing Price's rich baritone. In addition to those prized tracks, A New Place to Begin also boasts several songs featured in the Clint Eastwood film Honkytonk Man.  Information: VareseSarabande.com.
Buy 'New Place to Begin' here

Artist: Ronnie Fauss
Title: Built to Break (Normaltown Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Steve Earle, Gram Parsons, Rhett Miller, Old 97's
Tell me more: From the driving title track and rousing "A Natural End" to the acoustic ballad "The Big Catch" and rollicking country rocker "Eighteen Wheels" (the latter a stellar duet with Old 97's singer Rhett Miller), Ronnie Fauss exudes an edge as he blends indie and Southern rock with blues and other roots styles on a terrific collection featuring his original song craft. Information: NormaltownRecords.com.
Purchase 'Built To Break' today

Artist: Colt Ford
Title: Crank It Up! Colt Ford Live at Wild Adventures (Eagle Vision)
You might like if you enjoy: Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Toby Keith
Tell me more: As inspired by Run-D.M.C. as Johnny Cash, Colt Ford's groundbreaking mix of country, Southern rock, and hip hop is displayed on his first-ever DVD release. From the hard-edged "Answer To No One" and laid back party anthem "The High Life" to the rap country rock of "Country Thang" and the pretty ballad "Back," Crank It Up! Colt Ford Live at Wild Adventures boasts 20 songs and behind-the-scenes bonus features. Information: eagle-rock.com.
Get 'Crank It Up! Colt Ford Live At Wild Adventures' here

Artist: Dennis Roger Reed
Title: Songs About Tractors and Stuff (PlasticMeltdown Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Gram Parsons, The Byrds' "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" 
Tell me more: From the opening strains of his cover of the Johnny Cash classic "Folsom Prison Blues," it's clear Dennis Roger Reed is on a mission. Songs About Tractors and Stuff features plenty of original Reed songs (including the melodic "Crazy Old Arms of Mine"), but also features a number of artful remakes that celebrate authentic stylings that recall country music's rich past. Among the standouts is a cover of the Gram Parsons/Chris Hillman song "Sin City," a shimmering bluegrass-meets-country rock take on the instrumental "Spacey Grove" and an Americana-brushed touch to the Bee Gees gem "Words." Information: PlasticMeltdown.com.
Buy 'Songs About Tractors & Stuff' here

Robert Kinsler

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