Isbell, Keith, ZBB, Hurd lead busy release day
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Isbell, Keith, ZBB, Hurd lead busy release day

Friday, October 15, 2021 – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit are out with "Georgia Blue," a covers album with proceeds going to politically-oriented organizations in Georgia. Created to celebrate Georgia's role in the 2020 election, the record consists of new versions of 13 songs with ties to the state, including tracks originally recorded by Georgia natives R.E.M., Drivn' N' Cryin', James Brown, Cat Power, Precious Bryant, Otis Redding, The Black Crowes, Indigo Girls, Now It's Overhead, Gladys Knight & The Pips, The Allman Brothers Band and Vic Chesnutt. Julien Baker, Brandi Carlile, Béla Fleck, Steve Gorman, Peter Levin, Amanda Shires, Brittney Spencer, Chris Thile, Sadler Vaden, Adia Victoria and John Paul White all play on the disc.

Toby Keith releases his first all-new Show Dog Nashville album in more than five years, "Peso In My Pocket." The release was co-produced by Kenny Greenberg and Keith. "Old School" is the first single from the release and was penned by Maren Morris, Ryan Hurd and Brett Tyler Keb Mo joined Keith in the studio on a cover of his "Old Me Better," as did well-known Oklahoma artist Mike Hosty, whose "Oklahoma Breakdown" kicks off the album. Keith also offers a tribute to the late John Prine on the Prine-John Mellencamp co-write "Take A Look At My Heart."

Zac Brown Band stages "The Comeback" today. Lead singer, Zac Brown co-produced the record and boasts a co-writer credit on every song, including lead single, "Same Boat." The release contains 15 songs. Blues artist Marcus King is featured on "Stubborn Pride." The disc is the follow-up to 2019's "The Owl."

Ryan Hurd's debut album, "Pelago," was released via Arista Nashville. The release contains the hit "Chasing After You," his first official duet with his wife, Maren Morris. The songs were inspired by Hurd's upbringing on Lake Michigan. "Pelago" was produced with childhood friend and longtime creative partner Aaron Eshuis, with further contributions from Jesse Frasure (Thomas Rhett, Kane Brown, Little Big Town) and Teddy Reimer.

"Thrive" is Cassadee Pope's genre-blending ninth career album. The project mixes pop punk melodies with country music storytelling. The music was produced by Nickolas Wheeler (All-American Rejects) and Karen Fairchild (Little Big Town).

Pokey LaFarge returns with "In The Blossom of Their Shade" on New West Records. The 10-song set was produced and arranged by LaFarge and Chris Seefried and recorded in Chicago and Los Angeles. The collection is the follow up to LaFarge's 2020 studio LP "Rock Bottom Rhapsody."

Americana singer/songwriter Erin Enderlin is out with a six-song EP, "Barroom Mirrors." Enderlin, who helped write all of the songs, gets help from Rosanne Cash on "Cut Through Me" and Terri Clark on "If There Weren't So Many Damn Songs." Enderlin has attracted success as a songwriter, having penned Alan Jackson's "Monday Morning Church," Lee Ann Womack's "Last Call," Luke Bryan's "You Don't Know Jack."

"Make Each Second Last" is the newrelease from Chris Jones and the Night Drivers. Filled entirely with material written by Jones and a handful of collaborators that includes both former and current Night Drivers, the release includes new members Grace van't Hof (banjo, ukuleles, accordion, vocals) and Marshall Wilborn (bass, vocals).

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CD reviews for Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

CD review - Georgia Blue Jason Isbell deserves kudos for putting a unique spin on the benefit album. Instead of throwing together a bunch of many times unrelated celebrities to pitch in, Isbell has brought together talented performers to cover Georgia-related songs and songs by Georgia-based artists. All proceeds support Black Voters Matter, Fair Fight and Georgia Stand-Up. Even if you may not support these groups, you will still enjoy this set of mostly familiar songs. The album opens and closes with two R.E.M. songs. ...
CD review - Reunions "It gets easier, but it never gets easy," Jason Isbell reminds us on the song "It Gets Easier." It's a simple couplet, utilizing small words, yet it expresses a big truth. Then, with the song's first verse, Isbell - a recovering alcoholic - relays a dream that finds him drinking again. "I woke up feeling fine/That's how I knew it was a dream," he explains, sounding both afraid and relieved. Yes, these words are personal for Isbell, but his message is ...
CD review - Live at the Ryman Jason Isbell didn't record this live effort at The Ryman Auditorium as a gesture to be country music's savior at The Mother Church of Country Music. The Alabama native's music is country-adjacent at best, more than it is traditional in the way, say, Sturgill Simpson's can be. He may not be coming to the faltering genre's rescue, but he's sure breathing life into modern music in general. "Live From the Ryman" finds Isbell and his sharp band (the 400 Unit) ...

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