This has been a strange year to release a new record in, but that hasn’t stopped folks from releasing some great albums. Here is a list of my Top 20 Albums of 2020 So Far. I know I could have included more artists here, but I am working on a Top 50 list that will be published at the end of the year. I have included links to previous coverage of albums when we have it. Check these records out and support these bands while they cannot tour for their new records by buying merch or tipping during a livestream.
1. Kyle Nix – Lightning On The Mountain And Other Short Stories
NewsComments Off on 10 Most Anticipated Country Albums Out This Summer
By Joshua Wallace
As uncertainty becomes more and more a part of the new normal, it’s good to know that we can still count on some great country music albums coming up in the near future. We’ve got some quality records coming out in 2020 and it’s shaping up to be a big release year. COVID-19 has changed up the release schedule a bit, however, I have included albums with as solid of a release date as I can on this list. Check out our 10 most anticipated country albums out this summer.
Mike & The Moonpies – Touch of You – The Lost Songs of Gary Stewart – May 28th
Mike and The Moonpies just announced this release last week. It’s a collection of unreleased songs written by Gary Stewart and as soon as I heard about this record, it jumped to the top of my list. The Moonpies are one of the best honky tonk bands around and I’m looking forward to what they can do with some lost Gary Stewart songs. It’s a good thing we only have to wait a couple of days for this one. It comes out Thursday May 28th. This album is only available digitally at first, with physical items to come in the future.
Jaime Wyatt – Neon Cross – May 29th
Shooter Jennings has been on a tear lately as a producer and this new Jaime Wyatt album is looking to be no different. This album features guest appearances by Shooter Jennings himself and his mother Jessi Colter. I was a big fan of her 2017 album Felony Blues and cannot wait to see what she has as a follow up. This one is out in a couple of days on May 29th.
John Baumann – Country Shade – June 5th
I first discovered John Baumann with his 2017 album Proving Grounds. I was a huge fan of tracks like “Lonely In Bars” and “The Trouble With Drinking”. Baumann was also a part of the Texas country super group The Panhandlers who released one of my favorite albums of 2020 so far. I’m really looking forward to this solo record and if songs like “Next Ride Around The Sun” and “The Country Doesn’t Sound The Same” are any indication, Baumann has another big record here. I’m looking forward to this one out in early June.
Hellbound Glory – Pure Scum – June 5th
I have been a fan of Hellbound Glory for a long time. Their last album Pinball was a big favorite here at Gary Hayes Country and it sounds like Pure Scum will be the same. Shooter Jennings is producing this record (his second on this list). If singles like “Dial 9-1-1” and “Ragged But Alright” are any indication, this record will be high on our year end Top 50 lists. This one is out in June.
Bryan James – Politics or Religion – June 11th
I first became a fan of Bryan James with his 2017 record “Between The Devil and The Angel”. This album featured a pure country sound and had many great songs across it’s 19 tracks. Fast forward to 2020 and we have his highly anticipated follow-up album Politics Or Religion coming up in June. Check out a preview of the album here.
Kyle Nix – Lightning on the Mountain & Other Short Stories – June 26th
When I heard Kyle Nix of the Turnpike Troubadours was going solo, I knew this would be a good one even before I heard the first single. If that’s not enough, when you hear that members of Turnpike Troubadours serve as his backing band, then you know this will be a good one. That was all confirmed when “Lightning On The Mountain” was released as the first single. Now I can’t wait for the end of June for this record to come out.
Kyle Keller – All It Does Is Rain – June 27th
I have been a fan of Kyle Keller for a while. His 2017 EP was a collection of raw and real acoustic tracks. You can expect more sparse instrumentation here on All It Does Is Rain as the sad songs and stories are at the forefront of Kyle Keller’s music. If you’re a fan of good songwriting and slow acoustic sad country and folk songs, this album is for you. Look for it everywhere you can stream music on June 27th. I have also heard we might be getting a single released from this one soon.
Joshua Ray Walker – Glad You Made It – July 10th
Joshua Ray Walker blew me away with his 2019 debut album Wish You Were Here. He’s got an amazing voice and great songwriting skills to match. Earlier this year he released a new song called “Voices” that allows him to stretch his vocal chords out even further. I can’t wait to hear this entire album and we will be able to in early July.
S.G. Goodman – Old Time Feeling – July 17th
I first came across the music of S.G. Goodman through Spotify’s Indigo playlist. I was immediately drawn in by her voice which is very raw and unique. Her music comes across like a mix of Kentucky influences and a blend of rocking Mississippi delta blues. I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of the album as her early release singles have been very solid. This one is out in July.
The Texas Gentlemen – Floor It!!! – July 17th
Finally, we have a new record from the Texas country funk outfit The Texas Gentlemen. You have most likely heard The Texas Gentlemen serving as Paul Cauthen’s backing band on his albums like his 2019 release Room 41. They also have a previous album out called TX Jelly from 2017 that you should check out. This band is recommended if you like heavy doses of funk in your country. Check out the single “Bare Maximum” and the album is out in July.
Be sure to check back here at Gary Hayes Country for coverage on all of these and more great albums coming out soon.
NewsComments Off on Album Feature – The Panhandlers – The Panhandlers
By Joshua Wallace
The Panhandlers are a Texas country super group featuring William Clark Green, Josh Abbott, John Baumann and the front man of Flatland Cavalry Cleto Cordero. This project was produced by Bruce Robinson and it marks the first outing of this mega collection of Texas and Red Dirt country singers. This album was cut live straight to analog and done in a very lo-fi fashion so the production values might not be what you’d expect, but it is a very good record with lots of great performances. Whether you’re a fan of these four singers or not, you’ll find something to like here.
The album kicks off with “West Texas In My Eye” which is a love letter to west Texas where these singers are from. All four of the singers trade verses on a track written by west Texas songwriter Charlie Stout. It’s a great mellow start to the record and I dig the pedal steel here on this one. The title track “The Panhandler” is another great track that tells the tale of a panhandler. The banjo that rings throughout this track makes it a great upbeat number. I also love the harmonies on the chorus for this one. Finally, “This Is My Life” is an ode to the life on the road that these four singers live year round. It’s extra special because of everything going on in the world right now that is preventing these singers from living the life they describe in this song. I particularly love the final verse where Josh Abbott goes through and talks about all 4 of the singers on the record including himself.
The Panhandlers has been one of our most anticipated records of 2020 and it lives up to the hype. The lo-fi straight to analog production gives the album a live in the studio feel and these four singers live up to their billing of being a part of a Texas country super group. Time will tell if this ends up being a side project for these four or something they revisit from time to time. I hope I get the chance to see this band live as it seems like it would be a fun show. Check out The Panhandler’s website for ways you can support the band by buying merch straight from the band. The Panhandlers is out everywhere as of March 06th, 2020.
Favorite Tracks : West Texas In My Eye, No Handle, West Texas Girl, The Panhandler, This Is My Life
NewsComments Off on Top 10 2020 Country Music Releases To Look Forward To
By Joshua Wallace
Feb. 7: Aubrie Sellers, Far From Home
We are big fans of Aubrie Sellers here at Gary Hayes Country. Her first album New City Blues introduced us to her low fi grungy brand of garage country and we’re looking forward to hearing more. I particularly dig “Drag You Down” from the pre-release singles.
Feb. 15: Billy Don Burns, The Country Blues
There is a new Billy Don Burns album out this month. While there is no pre-release single out yet, you can expect this album to be as real as it gets. A new Billy Don Burns album is always on our most anticipated albums list. This album includes some updated versions of some classic Billy Don Burns tunes such as “Runnin’ Drugs Out Of Mexico”, “Wild Dogs” and “Stranger”. “Wild Dogs” was recently covered by Colter Wall and “Stranger” was recently covered by Cody Jinks. Since there is no pre-release track from this ablum, I will include a link to hear the original version of “Runnin’ Drugs Out Of Mexico” from the Heroes, Friends and Other Troubled Souls album.
March 6: Brandy Clark, Your Life Is a Record
Brandy Clark is quickly becoming one of the top female country artists you should know. Her new album Your Life Is A Record promises more somber moments as indicated in pre-release tracks “Who You Thought I Was” and “I’ll Be The Sad Song”.
March 6: The Panhandlers, The Panhandlers
I think most of our Texas Red Dirt fans probably already have March 6th circled on their calendars. That is the release date for the new super-group The Panhandler’s debut self titled album. If you don’t know, this group features the likes of William Clark Green, Cleto Cordero, Josh Abbott and John Baumann. Check out the track “No Handle” for a preview.
March 27: Lilly Hiatt, Walking Proof
Lilly Hiatt’s 2017 album Trinity Lane was one of our favorites that year and her new record Walking Proof is probably going to continue that streak. Pre-release tracks “P-Town” and “Brightest Star” showcase a rock forward country sound.
April 3: Ashley McBryde, Never Will
This is a big one. If “A Little Dive Bar In Dahlonega” did big things for Ashley McBryde, “One Night Standards” and the trilogy of songs that it begins has been even bigger. I’m particularly a fan of the rocking murder ballad “Martha Divine” which is the middle part of that trilogy. This is one of our most anticipated albums of 2020.
April 3: Caleb Caudle, Better Hurry Up
Caleb Caudle is back with a follow up to his 2018 album Crushed Coins. This record was recorded with a bit of the soul of Johnny Cash at the Cash Cabin. The title track is out now and I’m really digging the sound he’s taking on with this one.
April 10: John Anderson, Years
One of the biggest surprises early this year was a new single from John Anderson. Years is an entirely new release produced by mega producer Dan Auerbach. Auerbach was already responsible for one of our favorite 2020 albums with Marcus King’s El Dorado. Some are comparing this record to Johnny Cash’s American Recordings albums and it could be a similar career revival for John Anderson. Check out the title track everywhere now.
April 18: Whey Jennings, Gypsy Soul
Whey Jennings has a new record coming out this year called Gypsy Soul. You might have heard of Waylon’s grandson as a touring act performing mostly cover songs and a few originals. As far as I can tell, this is his first recorded LP and I’m looking forward to hearing the entire record. The title track “Gypsy Soul” is out now and you can get a copy of the album at it’s album release show on April 18th at The Nashville Palace which is one of Whey’s favorite venues to play.
April 24: Whitney Rose, We Still Go To Rodeos
Finally, Whitney Rose has announced the follow up to her amazing 2017 album Rule 62. This one is titled We Still Go To Rodeos and you can hear the single “Believe Me, Angela” now. It’s not a typical cheating song in that it’s more about compassion than revenge. This has me looking forward to hearing the entire album in April.