For fans of great Americana music the early new year looks to be bringing a bounty of excellent choices.
- Americana and Country music legend Emmylou Harris will release her 21st studio release Hard Bargain, on April 26 on Nonesuch Records.Hard Bargain features 11 new songs by Harris as well as two covers, was produced by Jay Joyce (Cage the Elephant, Patty Griffin). A deluxe edition of the album, which includes a DVD featuring six performances interspersed with interviews, will also be available. In celebration of the release, Harris will embark on a series of special performances including a showcase at the 2011 SXSW Music and Media Conference on Thursday, March 17, at the Americana Music night.
- Up-state New York’s Felice Brothers will release Celebration, Florida on thier new label Fat Possum. The album was recorded in the library and theater of Beacon, NY’s old high school and is produced by Jeremy Backofen. I’m a huge fan of The Felice Brothers and the PR sheet about the new album sounds like it’s goig to be a good one, but one part gives me pause. “unexpected 808s, ambient synth lines.” I’m will to guess their screwing with me. They do offer a song on the new album entitled “Dallas” (my home town), so I may forgive much more than I would. The Felice Brothers will embark on a six-week spring headlining tour of the US, Australia, and New Zealand. The Felice Brothers are also set to perform at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, TX, at Auditorium Shores on March 19th alongside Bright Eyes, Middle Brother, Man Man, and Kurt Vile, and will make their debut at the sold out Coachella festival in Indio, CA, on April 16th.
- Nashville’s Caitlin Rose full-length debut, Own Side Now, will be released on March 15, 2011 on Theory 8 Records. Rose co-produced the record with Mark Nevers (Lambchop, Will Oldham & Andrew Bird) & Skylar Wilson (Justin Townes Earle).
- Texas’ own beguiling Amanda Shires will release her new album Carrying Lightning, out May 3 on Silver Knife Records. She will tour soon-after.
- Check out Donald Gibson’s interview with Lucinda Williams whose new release, Blessed, came out this week.