Strings, Guyton lead new music pack
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Strings, Guyton lead new music pack

Friday, September 24, 2021 – Bluegrass guitar player extraordinaire Billy Strings new album, "Renewal," is out today via Rounder Records. Produced by Jonathan Wilson (Conor Oberst, Roger Waters, Father John Misty) and recorded at Nashville's Sound Emporium Studios, the 16 tracks finds Strings getting more personal with bluegrass, classic rock, metal and psychedelic music in the mix. In addition to Strings (vocals, guitar, mandolin, piano, synth, guitjo) and Wilson (celesta, percussion, harpsicord), the record features Strings' band—Billy Failing (banjo, piano, background vocals), Royal Masat (bass, background vocals) and Jarrod Walker (mandolin, guitar, background vocals)—as well as special guest musicians Spencer Cullum (pedal steel), John Mailander (violin) and Grant Millikem (synth).

Long struggling to gain a foothold in country, Mickey Guyton's debut, "Remember Her Name," is years in the making. Guyton gained more traction with the emphasis by labels to pay more attention to black musician following the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. Guyton's release comes 10 years after she signed with Capitol Nashville. During that time, she has released three EPs. The title of the CD was in tribute to the memory of Breonna Taylor, who was killed in a police raid in her Louisville, Ky. apartment. The release includes the social issue songs "Black Like Me" and "What Are You Gonna Tell Her?"

Carrie Underwood goes deluxe with "My Gift (Special Edition)," a holiday release with three new tracks. Released Sept. 25, 2020, Underwood's first-ever Christmas album includes new songs "Favorite Time Of Year," "Let There Be Peace/Something In The Water (LIVE From HBO Max's MY GIFT: A Christmas Special From Carrie Underwood)" and "All is Well."

Seven-time GRAMMY-winner and Country Music Hall of Fame member, Randy Travis, is back again with the remastered version of his multi-platinum debut album "Storms Of Life (35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)." Travis was a game changer in country, offering a more traditional path to the music. Along with "Diggin' Up Bones" and "On The Other Hand," which originally hit the top of the charts in 1986, this remastered album also includes three previously unreleased songs from The Vault.

Larry Fleet is out with his label debut, "Stack of Records" on Big Loud. Produced by Joey Moi, Fleet covers country, Southern rock and soul influenced. the disc is the follow-up to 2019's Workin' Hard." Featuring 14 songs, the White Bluffs, Tenn. native worked with Jon Pardi, Jamey Johnson and Bryan Sutton.

Kidd G is out with his Big Machine debut, "Down Home Boy," a 14-song cross-genre disc. Growing up in the small Georgia town of Hamilton (population 1,130), Kidd G first gained notice online through TikTok and SoundCloud, where he got his start posting songs he'd recorded with his friend Nolie Beats. In spring 2020, he caught the attention of Rebel Music, who signed him on the strength of his genre-warping talents. While early tracks like his debut single "Sorry" leaned toward traditional hip-hop, he later brought old-school country into his songwriting. He gained more notice with the song "Dirt Road."

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CD review - Mickey Guyton Mickey Guyton, a Dallas native, follows in the footsteps of female singers like Carrie Underwood and Martina McBride on this 4-song, 16-minute CD that's probably meant as more of an introduction for those who never heard her 2014 very much under the radar EP, "Unbreakable." That translates into a powerful set of vocal chords that dominate. Guyton brings a sense of authenticity to the opening "Why Baby Why." She doesn't need to go full-blown vocally all the time, but ...

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