The Fates Have Been Kind — New Music for 2017

The Fates have been gracious again to Americana music this year.

2017 has featured several strong releases from long-time Country music stars (Alison Krauss, Marty Stuart, Willie Nelson), Alt.Country should-be stars (Son Volt, Mavericks, Jason Isbell), and ignored-by-radio Texas Country stars (Aaron Watson, Sunny Sweeney).  I’ve been streaming a LOT of music this year, and frankly, I’m having a hard time keeping up with the cornucopia of new music while also enjoying my favorites.  What a beautiful conundrum.

Some favorite new Albums released so far in 2017:

Alison Krauss – Windy City:  Alison honors her Country heroes with her own take.  This would chart higher except for the multiple custom “Deluxe” releases (Spotify has one, I bought a different one from Target, etc.) messes up Last.fm’s Scrobbles.

Marty Stuart – Way Out West:  Marty Stuart credits his whole band with this production evoking wide open spaces and classic Country music–in fact he has both kinds of music, “Country” AND “Western”.

Aaron Watson – Vaquero:  A nice-guy cowboy in the cut of George Strait, Watson throws in just enough pop country to keep the radio DJs happy.

The Mavericks – Brand New Day:  This disc is just plain fun, with plenty of horns to liven up the dance line.  Their last release made into to my Top 10 for 2015 and I’m thinking this one’s a keeper.

Sunny Sweeney – Trophy:  Wow.  Just wow.  Powerful songwriting.  Powerful performance.

Some others:

  • Otis Gibbs – Mount Renraw
  • The Infamous Stringdusters – Laws of Gravity
  • Songs of the Fall – Confessions (Colorado local band touring internationally)
  • Kasey Chambers – Dragonfly (late release in the U.S.)
  • Son Volt – Notes of Blue
  • Willie Nelson – God’s Problem Child
  • Rhiannon Giddens – Freedom Highway
  • Dead Man Winter – Furnace (Trampled by Turtles lead’s side project)
  • Nikki Lane – Highway Queen
  • Blackie & the Rodeo Kings – Kings and Kings
  • Lindi Ortega – Til the Goin’ Gets Gone (4-song E.P.)

And very strong recent releases:

  • Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – The Nashville Sound:  This is the future of Country music.
  • Chris Stapleton – From A Room: Volume 1:  I’d settle for this as the future of Country music, too.
  • Amanda Anne Platt – Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters:  This is how we write music for the future based on our rich musical traditions of the past.  Now if we could get the Scrobbles to

And last but far from least, Halden Wofford & The Hi-Beams – Missing Link: Hot off the record press, if you can find it, buy it.  Classic Colorado real country, rock-a-billy, whatever, it’s good stuff.

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