July was a hot month for country, Americana, and roots music. With the first New Music Friday of August, we see that the sonic temperature isn’t going down any time soon. We’ve got new albums from fresh faces and Americana mainstays as well as some bluegrass and stone-cold country music. In short, August is off to one heck of a start.
New Albums for August 5, 2022
- Something Borrowed, Something New – Various Artists (Easy Eye Sound)
- Old-Time Folks – Lee Bains & The Glory Fires (Don Giovanni Records)
- Tourist – John Calvin Abney (Black Mesa Records)
- Cover to Cover – The Brother Brothers (Compass Records)
- Slow Life – Will Stewart (Cornelius Chapel Records)
- Rachel Sumner & Traveling Light – Rachel Sumner (Sad Luck Dame)
- Arkansas – Reece Sullivan (Independent)
- Kenny Roby – Kenny Roby (Royal Potato Family)
- The Future’s Neon – CJ Solar (Raining Bacon Records)
- Across the Divide – Fireside Collective (Mountain Home Music Co.)
All of these new albums are 100% Outsider-approved. However, I’d be lying if I said that Something Borrowed, Something New wasn’t the star of the show today. John Anderson is a living legend and the collection of artists paying tribute to him on the album is unbelievable. We’ll have a full review of that one later today.
While the new John Anderson tribute album is going to be hard to put down, there are a few more must-hear albums this week. Let’s dig a little deeper into this stack of hot new releases.
Rachel Sumner & Traveling Light
Rachel Sumner spent the early days of her career singing and writing songs for Twisted Pine. With this new album, she’s striking out on her own with a brand new band. The self-titled debut features arrangements steeped in bluegrass and country traditions. Traveling Light is made up of top-notch musicians, but it is Sumner’s vocal delivery that takes center stage on this release. Her hauntingly wistful voice lends emotional weight to the tracks on this collection.
Highlights for me are the Johnny Cash poem put to music “If You Love Me” and “Come Along, Rowan,” a banjo tune written to coax a friend of Sumner’s child into the world.
The Future’s Neon
If you want a little rock mixed into your country music the debut album from songwriter CJ Solar is right up your alley. Solar spends most of his time penning songs for some of the biggest artists in the business. For instance, he’s written songs for Jason Aldean, Justin Moore, and Morgan Wallen. However, with this album, we see a new side of the songwriter. He saved some of his best work and penned a few new songs for this album.
Highlights on this one are “More Than She Loves Me” and the title track.
Across the Divide
Asheville, NC-based Fireside Collective has a sound that straddles the line between traditional and progressive bluegrass. That’s exactly what you’re going to get from their new album. For the most part, it’s traditional enough to get a purist’s foot tapping. However, when they break from tradition, Fireside Collective does it in style. There are moments that feel like throwbacks to classic country music and southern gospel. You’ll hear shades of jazz and blues from time to time as well. All told, Across the Divide is a beautifully balanced record.
Highlights on this one include the country-flavored “Not Today” and the high lonesome “Blue Is My Condition”.