As most of you may have noticed, the last month or so has been a bit slow as far as my posting has gone here at BORN Country (outside of the weekly Throwback Top10), and of course that was due to wedding planning and prep for the big day. I am now officially a married man and we should be getting right back into the swing of things here as far as new articles go!
Today, I’d like to take a brief look back at some of the albums that have been released over the last few months that I didn’t get a chance to tackle upon their street date. These are of course not full on reviews, but just quick thoughts. All album cover images will link you to the Amazon page in which to purchase them. Any purchase that you make through our Amazon links directly support BORN Country, as Amazon will kick back a small percentage of each sale in our direction for advertising.
The Mavericks – All Night Live, Volume 1
Release Date: October 14, 2016
Label: Mono Mundo Records
Live albums tend to get a bad name sometimes as some people don’t like to hear the crowd sing-a-long or in some cases, the artists change up the music too much. There is that rare case, however, when a live recording brings so much energy to a set of songs that no one can deny the experience (Think Garth’s Double Live.) It’s time to add another live record to that list in All Night Live, Volume 1 from The Mavericks! Raul Malo and the guys have most certainly drifted far from the country sound of their early years, but they have easily become one of the best live touring bands out there today. In fact, I just took in a show last night and I can truly say that this record ALMOST catches the excitement of their live show. If The Mavericks aren’t coming to your town anytime soon, GET THIS RECORD. If they are, make sure to be at the show and then GET THIS RECORD! Here’s to hoping that All Night Live, Volume 2 isn’t far behind…
Kenny Chesney – Cosmic Hallelujah
Release Date: November 4, 2016
Label: Blue Chair Records, LLC/Columbia Nashville
Having seemingly abandoned the long run of “island country” for his 2014 album, The Big Revival, Kenny Chesney continues the trend with Cosmic Hallelujah. When I heard that the album would include a duet with pop artist P!nk, I admit that I was a bit skeptical. Well, I was wrong. The second single, “Setting The World On Fire” is easily one of the strongest tracks on the album. While Cosmic Hallelujah hardly shows the influences of country music as Chesney’s early releases did, this is a solid example of Kenny’s sound infusion of pop-country that continues to sell out stadiums and amphitheaters around the world.
Tracy Byrd – All American Texan
Release Date: October 10, 2016
Label: Self Released
This one came out of nowhere! In 2009, Tracy Byrd semi-retired from the road to spend time with his family. He has been fairly quiet on the social media platforms ever since. While skimming my Facebook timeline, I spotted a post from Tracy saying that the new album, All American Texan was finally available! I had no clue that this was even in the works, but I had it streaming on my phone within a minute of finding out! Being that Tracy had been one of my absolute favorite artists to listen to in my teen years, I immediately had high expectations and let me tell you, they were met right off of the bat! From classic honky-tonk to the love ballads that Byrd had become known for, this new album has it all. All American Texan will undoubtably be finding a spot on our end of the year “Best Of 2016” list!
Dwight Yoakam – Swimmin’ Pools , Movie Stars…
Release Date: September 23, 2016
Label: Sugar Hill
Dwight Yoakam has never been one to change his style for the mainstream. In fact, in the case of Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars… he did the exact opposite. Following up his 2015 release, Second Hand Heart, Dwight has put together an incredible assortment of bluegrass recordings of previously released songs. Classics like “Guitars, Cadillacs,” “Two Doors Down” and “Sad, Sad Music” all receive the bluegrass treatment from the Pikeville, KY native. To cap it all off, Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars… wraps up with a cover of the late Prince’s “Purple Rain.”
Steve Wariner – All Over The Map
Release Date: October 28, 2016
Label: SelecTone Records
All Over The Map couldn’t be a more accurate title for the latest studio album from Steve Wariner. With a touch of country, this record transcends genres, including a handful of instrumental tracks that range from blues to rock ‘n’ roll and beyond. While I of course would never want less vocals from Wariner, All Over The Map leaves me hungry for more guitar tracks! I haven’t the chance to truly dig into this new project just yet, but I have a feeling that this one is going to stand for many repeat listenings.
Have you listened to these five recent albums? Share your thoughts in the comments below! I’d love to know what you think of each one, good or bad. Stay tuned for our upcoming Best Albums Of 2016 list, as a few of these are shoe-ins!