Neal McCoy, Paul Overstreet Top New Releases Roster

Music from the Carter Family, the RipTones and slide-guitar masters also due this week.

Country music fan favorite Neal McCoy's 24-7-365 and singer/songwriter Paul Overstreet's A Songwriter's Project, Vol. 1 lead this week's diverse collection of new country album releases.

Also available this week is the latest from Chicago country roots-rockers the RipTones, Nashville singers/songwriters Kieran Kane and Kevin Welch's live Australian album, folklorist David Grisman's exotic exploration of slide and resophonic instruments and a box set dedicated to the career of venerable country music pioneers the Carter Family.

Neal McCoy, who was voted by fans as TNN/Music City News Entertainer of the Year in 1998 and 1999, moves over to Giant Records for the release of his eighth album of original material, 24-7-365. The 10-track disc features the singles "Forever Works for Me" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Every Man for Himself" and finds McCoy and his new record label working hard to propel this in-demand live performer back onto the country charts.

Paul Overstreet has made quite a name for himself by writing hits for country stars. Randy Travis, the Judds and Alison Krauss have all had great success with Overstreet songs. Most recently, Boyzone's Ronan Keating had a UK #1 single with a new version of Overstreet's "When You Say Nothing at All" (RealAudio excerpt).

A Songwriter's Project, Vol. 1 finds Overstreet performing some of his most memorable songs himself, including "Love Can Build a Bridge," which was made famous by the Judds, and "Diggin' Up Bones" and "On the Other Hand," which were big hits for Travis. The album, which also includes Overstreet's version of "When You Say Nothing at All," is released on Overstreet's own label, Scarlet Moon Records.

The RipTones third album, Buckshot (Bloodshot), finds the country-and-blues roadhouse band unleashing another batch of original revved-up rockabilly numbers, with one cover thrown in for good measure, a modernized take on the 1940 Hank Penny song "Army Blues."

Tone Poems III: The Sounds of the Great Slide & Resophonic Instruments (Acoustic Disc) features the musicianship of guitar player Mike Auldridge, guitarist and ukelele player Bob Brozman, and mandolin player and guitarist David Grisman. The collection of 21 songs spans the range of American popular music played on slide and resophonic (or resonating), unamplified string instruments. The songs range through country, bluegrass, folk, Hawaiian, swing, blues and ragtime. The two previous Tone Poem albums, both on Grisman's Acoustic Disc label, traced the history of acoustic arch-top and flat-top guitars and mandolins in American music.

This collection, which finds the three musical virtuosos performing on more than 50 instruments, includes original compositions and period pieces such as "Moonlight Bay," "Peach Pickin' Time in Georgia" and "Stompin' at the Savoy." The 21-cut CD includes a lavishly illustrated 48-page booklet.

Kevin Welch and Kieran Kane's 11/12/13 (Dead Reckoning) is a live release, documenting the duo's Nov. 11–13 performances at the Continental in Melbourne, Australia, last year. Including powerful songs like Welch's own "Something 'Bout You" (RealAudio excerpt) and Kane's "Eight More Miles," the album reflects an obvious bond with their Australian audience.

Finally, In the Shadow of Clinch Mountain (Bear Family) takes on the ambitious task of chronicling the career of the legendary Carter Family in a box set that includes 12 digitally remastered CDs, supposedly every known photograph of the family and a new biography of the Carter Family by country music historian Charles Wolfe.

If that isn't enough, the package, which boasts several recordings that have never been released on CD, also contains a recorded 1963 interview with Maybelle Carter and her cousin Sara Carter by folklorist Ed Kahn and folk artist and music historian Mike Seeger. It also has an introduction by Johnny Cash.