Sign up for newsletter
 

Morris debuts; Pope, Dan + Shay out with new music

Friday, June 3, 2016 – Maren Morris has enjoyed big hit with big-voiced "My Church" and now the Texas native releases "Hero," her major label debut on Sony Nashville. Morris, who previously released three CDs and an EP, put 11 songs on the regular version. A Target deluxe CD includes three extra songs. Four of the songs were on an EP put out November 2015. "80's Mercedes" will be the second single from the album. Morris had a hand in writing every song, which incudes material with soulful and reggae beats.

Cassadee Pope has enjoyed a hit single by singing with Chris Young on "Think of You." Now, Pope is out with a four-song EP, "Summer." Pope helped pen three of the songs, including the current single, "Summer."

Dan + Shay (Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney) release their second pop country disc today, "Obsessed." "From the Ground Up" is the lead single and was written by the duo with Chris DeStefano. Smyers produced 7 of the 10 songs with Scott Hendricks. Dan + Shay enjoyed success on their debut, "Where It All Began," with "19 You + Me" and "Nothin' Like You." The lead-off song on "Obsessed," "All Nighter," previously was released by Lady Antebellum on a deluxe version of "747."

Craig Morgan returns with "A Whole Lot More to Me," his first disc of new material in more than four years. Morgan co-produced the dozen-song set with Byron Gallimore (Tim McGraw, Faith Hill). Morgan's last CD was "This Ole Boy" in 2011.

The Lonely Heartstring Band makes its debut with "Deep Waters" on Rounder. The Boston-based modern bluegrass quintet is comprised of Charles Clements (bass and vocals), George Clements (guitar and lead vocals), Gabe Hirshfeld (banjo), Patrick M'Gonigle (fiddle, vocals) and Matt Witler (mandolin). The band and David Travers-Smith, co-produced with Gary Paczosa (Alison Krauss, Sarah Jarosz) on a cover of Paul Simon's "Graceland" and "The Road's Salvation."

Sister Sadie, a bluegrass female quintet, is out with its debut on Pinecastle. Dale Ann Bradley, Tina Adair, Gena Britt, Beth Lawrence and Deanie Richardson comprise the band. Bradley is a five-time IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year.

Bluegrass band The Farm Hands keep true to their roots on "Dig in the Dirt," out on Pinecastle. The quartet includes Tim Graves and Daryl Mosley.

Bryan Sutton, who has extensive work as a session player and also a member of Hot Rize, is out with his sixth solo disc, "The More I Learn," on Sugar Hill. The disc was produced and recorded at Zac Brown's Southern Ground studio in Nashville, by Brandon Bell (Dierks Bentley, Sarah Jarosz). Noam Pikelny and Chris Eldridge play on the release.

The Small Glories, a Canadian duo comprised of Cara Luft and JD Edwards, mines folk and roots sounds on their debut. These are not newcomers, however, as Luft was a founding member of The Wailin' Jennys, and Edwards has been leading a band for 10 years.

More news for Maren Morris

CD reviews for Maren Morris

GIRL CD review - GIRL
Maren Morris, who had a huge pop hit with "The Middle," is never going to be anybody's ideal traditional country singer. Although, thankfully, there isn't anything that mind-numbingly beat-driven on her "GIRL" album, this is a full-length that will likely appeal as much to Morris' pop fans, as her country followers. The first great song, "A Song For Everything," addresses that mysterious intersection between one's favorite songs and significant life events. »»»
Hero CD review - Hero
Maren Morris scored a hit out of the box with "My Church," the best of 11 songs on her major label full-length debut. The Texan infuses the song she wrote with uber producer busbee (he's worked with everyone from Keith Urban on "Ripcord" to 5 Seconds of Summer and Shakira and is one of three producers here including Morris) with mighty vocals powering a midtempo, soulful reading extolling the redemptive powers of playing music with the windows rolled down. »»»
Maren Morris CD review - Maren Morris
After going the indie route in her native Texas, Maren Morris releases a five-song EP to serve as an intro for the hoped for masses. Morris, who has penned songs for Tim McGraw and Kelly Clarkson, starts off with the edgier sounding "My Church." With an easy-going pace, Morris is elastic with her words, puts a bit of twang and gospel feel into her delivery and sings with authority when she asks "Can I get a hallelujah?/Can I get an amen?" But her salvation is FM radio - »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: With or without band, Isbell satisfies – Usually, when an artist performs without his regular backing band, it becomes about mathematics of subtraction. That artist is armed with far fewer artistic weapons at his/her disposal, after all. In Jason Isbell's case, though, when he performed with just his wife and fiddler Amanda Shires, it was more about substitution than subtraction.... »»»
Concert Review: Grammy nominations aside, Yola, Kiah are the real deal – Grammy nominations do not make the artist, but Yola and opener Amythyst Kiah underscored time and again on this night that the honors were well deserved. In fact, Yola and Kiah's other group, Our Native Daughters, are nominated in the same category - Best American Roots. Yola has three other nominations as well. The clear winners... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

The Mavericks "Play the Hits" When recording its album "Play the Hits," The Mavericks approached this covers album in much the same way the band creates any of its other studio albums. "Above all, we're always trying to reach a certain musical bar that we... »»»
Larue moves "Onward" The release of "Onward," his eighth studio album, finds veteran Texas Music/Red Dirt artist Stoney Larue at a crossroads. After almost two decades on the road, playing 200 shows a year across America and abroad, he has had success... »»»
Willis, Robison spin "Beautiful Lie" Eleven years ago, Kelly stepped away from music. She had just finished touring on 2007's exquisite "Translated From Love" and felt the angst of being a travelling musician with family at home. At that point, Willis and her husband, musician/producer Bruce Robison,... »»»
Tornillo CD review - Tornillo
The band name may suggest Appalachia and in some respects their sound does, but Lil Smokies hail from Montana, and deliver "Tornillo," their third release, which is named for the town where the studio for this release, Sonic Ranch, is located. »»»
Nightfall CD review - Nightfall
Little Big Town gets billed as a country music vocal group, but "Nightfall" plays out more like a four-headed singer-songwriter effort. Many of these songs hearken back to some of the best '70s introspective songwriter efforts. »»»
Formations CD review - Formations
Hawktail features some of the finest players of a generation in traditional American acoustic music. The product of their collaboration, "Formations," is a testament to the musical milieu in which they create.  »»»
Fully Loaded: God's Country CD review - Fully Loaded: God's Country
Blake Shelton has been openly critical of the traditional album format. "Fully Loaded: God's Country" is his fourth greatest hits album and third in the "Loaded" series. In an effort to release music more often, he packages five new songs  »»»
9 CD review - 9
Hollywood may be pushing a broadminded agenda where there are more genders than one can even count, but in Jason Aldean's world, there are only two: tough guys, and the women that love them. There's no confusion  »»»
Ocean CD review - Ocean
Lady Antebellum may lean a little too closely to pop music for many tastes, but it's hard to argue with the trio's song choices. And its latest collection is filled with many memorable songs. The single "What If I Never Get Over You," »»»