Welcome back to the Country Music Roundup, a weekly blog where we’ll give you the latest news in country music releases and local country shows. For a more in-depth analysis of the genre and where it’s headed, check back with our weekly Gone Country blog every Thursday.
This blog is typically reserved for new album releases and concert news, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the death of legendary Texas songwriter Guy Clark today. Clark was 74. I’ll be playing “Desperados Waiting for a Train” more than a few times today.
New Music This Week:
Brad Paisley feat. Demi Lovato: “Without a Fight”
Paisley’s new album doesn’t have a title or a concrete release date yet, but he has promised it will be available in the fall. In addition to this collaboration with Lovato, he’s hinted at songs with Mick Jagger and Timbaland. Paisley is well-known for his guitar skills and his interesting collaboration choices (looking at you, “Accidental Racist”) but this album is shaping up to be one of the most sonically diverse from the West Virginia native. If “Without a Fight” is any indication, the guests on the new album will enhance his sound, not take away from it.
Maddie & Tae: “Sierra”
From their 2015 debut “Start Here,” the anti-bro country duo serves up a catchy slice of karma to a friend who brags about her romantic conquests in “Sierra.” File this in the list of country songs with playful, almost profane plays on words (“You’re gonna find out that karma’s a…biiiiiiii…g pain in the…as far as I can tell”).
Craig Morgan: “I’ll Be Home Soon”
“I’ll Be Home Soon” is the lead single from Morgan’s June 3 album “A Whole Lot More of Me.” If the audio from the above video is what the new single will be like, it’s a welcome departure from much of country radio’s over-production. This song is a love ballad featuring only Morgan’s vocals, a guitar, a violin and a drum.
New Albums This Week:
Blake Shelton: “If I’m Honest”
No competition wants to touch Blake Shelton this week— his ninth studio album “If I’m Honest” drops this Friday, and it’s the only major-label release in country music on that day. Featuring a duet with Gwen Stefani and a gospel song, the album promises to be a look into the star’s life since his divorce from Miranda Lambert. I’m predicting huge things.
Country Music Shows:
Jody Kneiser & Kelly Smith of Tennessee Americana band Glossary play the Cactus Cafe with Bonnie Whitmore
Two Hoots & a Holler and Two Tons of Steel will be at Sun Radio’s weekly Texas Music Live broadcast at Guero’s.
All Saints Episcopal Church features Slaid Cleaves for its monthly “Unplugged at the Front Porch” feature.
Justin Moore plays the Nutty Brown Amphitheater; there will be a record-release show for Rob Baird at Threadgill’s; and Dale Watson will be at the Broken Spoke.
Joe Ely at El Mercado Backstage