Category: Album of the Week

Lorrie Morgan – Letting Go…Slow


Lorrie Morgan spent most of the 2010s quietly, teaming up with Pam Tillis for Dos Divas, but otherwise keeping her powder dry until Letting Go…Slow, her first solo album since A Moment In Time in 2009. Released on an indie label, Letting Go…Slow feels as hushed as its title suggests, proceeding at a relaxed gait…

Chuck Wicks – Turning Point


Starting Now, the album he made in 2008 after appearing on the short-lived Fox reality show Nashville, didn’t turn Chuck Wicks into a star but it did get his foot into the door of the Music City. Over the next eight years, he has worked steadily behind the scenes as a songwriter – his most…

Randy Rogers Band – Nothing Shines Like Neon


Three years after Trouble, the Randy Rogers Band return with Nothing Shines Like Neon, a swift, straight-ahead record that showcases their simple strengths even when they invite such heavy-hitters as Alison Krauss, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Jamey Johnson into the studio for duets. Compared to Trouble, which contained one too many coats of varnish, Nothing…

Granger Smith – Remington


Granger Smith designed Dirt Road Driveway, his 2013 album – and his first to not be self-released – as something of a demo tape: it was big, bright, and assured, the kind of record that functioned as a calling card for his commercial potential. Fittingly, it earned him his shot at the big time, with…

Randy Houser – Fired Up


Comparisons between Luke Bryan and Randy Houser will become more convincing after you listen to the 17 songs on Fired Up, Randy’s 5th studio album. The two vocalists share many of the same writers, embrace similar themes and (with this album) lean into more progressive production. Of course, Randy Houser’s big country voice separates him…

Loretta Lynn – Full Circle


Full Circle is no accidental title for this, Loretta Lynn’s first album after a 12-year break. Released as she approaches her 83rd birthday, Full Circle not only deliberately returns the country legend to her Kentucky roots, it’s constructed as a summation of her life. It opens with the first song she ever wrote – a…

Charles Kelley – The Driver


Stepping away from Lady Antebellum, Charles Kelley spreads his wings on his solo debut The Driver and, in the process, he reconnects with his Southern roots. These roots aren’t precisely entangled in the backwoods. Based on this swift nine-track record — clocking in at under 40 minutes, just like records used to back in the…

Wynonna & the Big Noise – Wynonna & the Big Noise


Wynonna Judd didn’t exactly take an extended hiatus following the release of What the World Needs Now Is Love in 2003, but her attention did drift away from new songs. She dabbled in her past – she staged a live retrospective, embraced nostalgia on her 2006 Christmas album, sang covers on 2009’s Sing: Chapter 1,…

Reba McEntire – Love Somebody


Reba McEntire sat out the first half of the current decade, spending time concentrating on a new television show, the sitcom Malibu Country, which lasted the 2012-2013 season, before signing with Nash Icon, an offshoot of Big Machine, for her new album Love Somebody. Stakes were relatively high for Reba. She still was one of…

Vince Gill – Down To My Last Bad Habit


The last two Vince Gill albums announced their intentions within their titles: 2011’s Guitar Slinger found plenty of space for his six-string prowess, whilst his 2013 duet with Paul Franklin was a valentine to Bakersfield country. Down to My Last Bad Habit, his first solo album in a half-decade, is a slightly more complicated affair….