While country music album releases didn’t exactly go into full blown hibernation during the Winter of 2011, the airwaves did seem to suffer a cold weather slow down when it came to introducing new songs. Many people who keep up with country music news, though, are celebrating a change of season with spring’s inclusion of numerous country album releases. Radio deejays and scores of fans alike are excited about current and upcoming releases from shining stars Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, Faith Hill and Josh Turner, along with getting-there Lee Brice and newcomer Kip Moore.
The ladies on that list have generated a lot of anticipation, garnered partly from their pre-album singles that warmed up the winter months, and the fact that it had been awhile since fans were graced with the golden vocal chords of these country queens. It had been since 2009 that Underwood last gifted fans with an album, and 2005 since Hill had blessed the country music world with her talent by way of an album.
Other excitement is from former Commodores and pop soloist Lionel Richie, whose aim to pay honor to his southern roots and upbringing is found in “Tuskegee,” an album that features him performing some of his best loved songs with a bevy of country’s favorite performers. Duets on “Tuskegee” include “Dancing On The Ceiling” with Rascal Flatts, “Sail On” with Tim McGraw, “Hello” with Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, “My Love” with Kenny Chesney, “Easy” with Willie Nelson, “Lady” with Kenny Rogers, “Just For You” with Billy Currington and “Endless Love” with Shania Twain.
Last but not least, even though Johnny Cash would have ushered in his 80th birthday on February 26 2012, it’s his fans who are actually unwrapping a lasting present as the Man in Black’s estate releases “Bootleg Vol. IV: The Soul of Truth.” Part of the “Bootleg” series, an installment collection that preserves the music of Cash’s long, genre-defining career, “The Soul of Truth” is a two-CD set with 51 tracks paying tribute to the music Cash made during the 1970’s and 1980’s, when his personal and spiritual lives had found the peace and stability that stayed with him from there on out. The CD is loaded with features like a complete album from 1975 that never made it to the stores, Cash’s Gospel Singer project that is now out-of-print, studio outtakes and collaborations with his great love, June Carter Cash, oldest daughter Rosanne Cash and others performers.
With the cold and somewhat dry spell of winter over with, country music news is once again filled with exciting info about favorite artists. For fans, that means one thing — long live country!
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