Could somebody pump the breaks on 2023, please? I swear, I’m still getting over my New Year’s Eve hangover and it’s already the final New Music Friday of February. I guess time flies when you have plenty of killer tunes to get you by. It’s already been a great year for music and this slate of new albums shows that it’s just going to keep getting better.
This week brought us albums from established country artists, alt-country favorites, classic artists, and so much more. If you can’t find your weekend soundtrack in this list, you don’t like good music.
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New Albums for February 24, 2023
- Gravel & Gold – Dierks Bentley (Capital Records Nashville/UMG Nashville)
- Workin’ on a World – Iris DeMent (Flariella Records)
- Stampede – The Shootouts (Soundly Music)
- Glorieta – Matt Hillyer (State Fair Records)
- Should’ve Learned by Now – Lucero (Liberty & Lament Records)
- Punch-Drunk Life – Rose’s Pawn Shop (Blue Élan Records)
- Car Crash Life – Shoebox Letters (Independent)
- Cheery – Stuffy Shmitt (Independent)
- Dead Man – Channing Wilson (Ol’ Dog Records)
- Teenage Dixie – Muscadine Bloodline
- Ages – Volores (Broken Stag Records)
This is easily the best collection of new albums we’ve seen this year. New releases from Dierks Bentley and Muscadine Bloodline lead the charge, to be sure. However, that’s just the beginning. There’s new music from alt-country favorites Lucero as well as the amazingly talented Iris DeMent. And, if you need some Western swing in your life, The Shootouts have you covered.
There’s really too much to talk about here. So, let’s take a look at a few that I’ll be cranking this weekend.
Muscadine Bloodline made waves last year with their sophomore album Dispatch to 16th Ave. The album saw them giving up on making songs tailored for radio play and chart success. Instead, the Alabama-based duo started making the kind of authentic country music they wanted to hear. That bold choice brought them praise from critics and fans alike. Now, almost exactly a year later, they’re back with Teenage Dixie.
If you enjoyed last year’s release, you’re going to love this new album. It’s full of a great combination of blues, rock, and great country music. At the same time, they packed the album with great stories. For example, the story of a small-town stickup unfolds in “Inconvenience Store” and they created a sequel to the Charlie Daniels classic “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” with “The Devil Died in Dixie.”
If you’re looking for something that will suck you in and get your toes tapping, don’t skip this new album from Muscadine Bloodline.
Should’ve Learned by Now
Lucero burst onto the scene more than two decades ago with a raucous blend of punk rock, Southern rock, and country music. However, recent releases have seen the band dialing it back a little and getting a little darker. If you didn’t like the direction they’ve been going, you’re in luck. This new album is a return to form for the country-punk mainstays.
The album opener, “One Last FU,” is the perfect way to kick off this 10-song collection. It’s full of big, fuzzy guitar riffs, some great honky tonk piano runs, and the kind of chorus that you can scream at the top of your lungs with a PBR in your hand.
If you’re a longtime Lucero fan longing for the old days or just want something with a little edge to it, this is the new album for you.
The Shootouts have set a break-neck pace since making their debut in 2019. With their third album, they’re proving that they have no intention of slowing down any time soon. Additionally, the band packed this new album with stellar guest appearances. Marty Stuart guest spots bookend the 12-song collection. Additionally, Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel make an appearance on the album. Benson also produced the record.
More importantly, the Shootouts brought their signature blend of classic country and Western swing to the new album. So, if you’re in need of a pick-me-up or something to dance to, this is the new album for you.