Dead Man Winter – ‘Furnace’ (Gndwire Records) – January 27
Minnesota singer/songwriter Dave Simonett takes from fronting the prog-grass Trampled By Turtles to release a set of deeply personal folk-pop songs traveling The emotional terrain scarred by divorce and the subsequent fracturing of his family.
Valerie June – ‘The Order of Time’ (Concord Records) – January 27
Following her 2013 breakout release, ‘Pushin’ Against a Stone’ that showered her with accolades from the New York Times and NPR, ‘The Order of Time’ has the Tennessee-bred singer/songwriter weaving folk, blues, Afro-rhythms and trip-hop atmosphere into a reflection on family, love and the nature of time. Produced by Matt Marinelli (Beck, Bad Brains), The Order of Time includes twelve original songs and features piano accompaniment from Norah Jones on three tracks and vocals from June’s late father and brothers on “Shake Down.”
Kasey Chambers – ‘Dragonfly’ – (Sugar Hill) – January ?
The 11th studio album by iconic Australian country/roots singer-songwriter Kasey Chambers will be released as a two disc set. The first, The ‘Sing Sing Sessions’ is produced by Paul Kelly. The second, ‘The Foggy Bottom Sessions’ is produced by Nash Chambers, Kasey’s brother. The release will feature ‘If We Had A Child,’ a duet with fellow Aussie and longtime friend Keith Urban and the previously released smoky liberation ballad ‘ Ain’t No Little Girl.”
Rose Cousins – ‘Natural Conclusion – (Old Farm Pony) – February 3
This collaboration with local Halifax artists and producer Joe Henry has Cousins crafting songs similar to early Patty Griffin and fellow Canadian Kathleen Edwards. The sparse economy of her folk songs belie their turbulent core.
Gurf Morlix – ‘The Soul & The Heal (Rootball Records) – February 3
Austin-based roots music legend Gurf Morlix has made a name for himself by working with roots artists like Blaze Foley, Robert Earle Keen, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Lucinda Williams. He’s also renowned for his extraordinary solo work and live performances. Morlix will release his self-produced 10th studio album, ‘The Soul & The Heal on his own Rootball Records in February and, given his attention to detail and feel for a great song, it’s sure to be a must-have.
Son Volt – ‘Notes of Blue’ (Transmit Sound) – February 17
Veteran Jay Farrar has built a legacy working within the alt.country territory he helped found with Jeff Tweedy, and Mike Heidorn when Uncle Tupelo formed in St. Luis. Now he steers his roots vehicle, Son Volt, toward the blues, the cousin genre following in the footsteps of other roots royalty like Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams.
Nikki Lane – ‘Highway Queen’ – (New West) – February 17
One of the few women that fit the stylistically daring and business savvy mode established by Willie and Waylon, Nikki Lane takes the co-production helm (along with Texas’ Jonathan Tyler) on her upcoming 10-track ‘Highway Queen’ that’s sure to brim with her personal stock of twangy grit and slinky 70’s inspired pop.
Old 97s – ‘Graveyard Whistling’ – (ATO Records) – February 24
Few bands have carried the alt.country flag so skillfully (and with such fun!) as Dallas’ own Old 97s. For decades the original band of hombres, guitar-slinger Ken Bethea, bassist Murry Hammond, and drummer Philip Peeples and front man extraordinaire Rhett Miller, will showcase their brand of rowdy style of melody wrangling When they release their anticipated 11th album.
Sunny Sweeney – “Trophy’ – (Thirty Tigers) – March 10
Texas’ own Sunny Sweeney looks to producer Dave Brainard, the man at the helm behind Brandy Clark’s breakout debut ’12 Stories,’ for her fourth release. Many of the songs are co-written by Sweeney along other pros like Lori McKenna. Look for a mix of personal introspection and barroom serenades.
Chris Stapleton – TBA ( Mercury Nashville) TBA
Two years is the time that labels like to pass before releasing another album and given the success of Stapleton’s debut ‘Traveler ‘ this is probably the year we’ll see a new erase from his label Murcury Nashville. One of the cuts possibly to be featured on this yet-to-be announced release is ‘Broken Halos,’ an unreleased song Stapleton debuted last month on Dolly Parton’s telethon to benefit victims of Tennessee wildfires.
The Secret Sisters – TBA ( Mercury Nashville) TBA
The third full-length by roots singer-songwriting siblings Laura and Lydia Rogers will be produced by Brandi Carlile and the Hanseroth twins. Look for this splendid release in the Spring.
Jason Isbell- TBA- TBA