Outsider-Approved New Albums for May 20, 2022

by Clayton Edwards

The past couple of months has delivered new albums from some of our favorite artists. Willie Nelson, Charley Crockett, Miranda Lambert, and plenty of others have dropped killer records. However, I think it’s safe to say that this is one of the best weeks for new music this year. If you blow out all of your speakers this weekend, don’t blame us.

New Albums for May 20, 2022

  • American Heartbreak – Zach Bryan (Warner Music)
  • Dirt Does Dylan – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (NGDB Records)
  • Anthems – Rob Baird (Tone Tree Music/Hard Luck Recording Co.)  
  • Carry Me Home – Levon Helm & Mavis Staples (Anti-Records)
  • I Hope I Know – Seth Walker (The Royal Potato Family)
  • Floating on a Dream – Avi Kaplan (Fantasy Records)
  • Undefeated – Left Arm Tan (Independent)
  • Fables in a Foreign Land – John Doe (Fat Possum Records)
  • Bullet in the Cabin Wall – Cheryl Cawood (Bobbitt Records)
  • One is One – Delta Spirit (New West Records)
  • The Beginning (Re-Issue)– Tony Joe White (New West Records)

What a week! We’ve got one of the most hotly-anticipated country albums of the year in Zach Bryan‘s American Heartbreak. As if that wasn’t enough, Dirt Does Dylan sees a legendary band covering one of the most influential songwriters to ever pick up a pen. To think, that’s just scratching the surface of the killer new music we’ve got on tap for the weekend ahead.

Bullet in the Cabin Wall

If you’re looking for some new Appalachian folk music, this album is for you. Cheryl Cawood only has to sing a couple of lines for you to know that her voice grew from the rich soil of the Appalachian region. It’s rich, earnest, and at times, haunting. More importantly, it fits her storytelling in this album perfectly. She tells those stories of strife and survival over gorgeous yet unpretentious acoustic instrumentation.

If mountain music is your thing, don’t sleep on this record.

“Ballad of Spade Cooley”


If we put together a list of criminally underrated country/Americana artists, Rob Baird would undoubtedly be on it. If there’s any question to his prowess as a vocalist and songwriter or his command of the sound he’s shooting for, this new album is the answer. Anthems finds a sweet spot that is somewhere between Southern rock and country, radio-ready and gritty independence.

“Loose Cannon”

Carry Me Home  

Carry Me Home sits on the list of new albums I didn’t know I needed in my life. The opening track, “This Is My Country” gave me chills. They didn’t go away for the rest of the record’s runtime. Mavis Staples, a legendary R&B and gospel singer and member of both the Rock & Roll and Blues Hall of Fame, unleashes the full power of her voice with nearly every line. The late great Levon Helm matches her passion with his storied skills on the skins.

Recorded live at Levon Helm Studios back in 2011, Carry Me Home captures the raw power of Staples, Helm, and the band that backs them. The high point of the record, though, is a performance of The Band’s signature tune “The Weight” in which Helm joins Staples on vocals for the only time on the record. To say that it’s powerful is an understatement.

“The Weight”