Martina McBride's Greatest Hits Leads Country Releases

Alt-country favorites Buddy and Julie Miller make their first album together.

Martina McBride says it's by pure coincidence that she's sporting a small American flag on the cover of her new Greatest Hits LP, released September 18. The cover was designed well before the events of last week.

McBride, long known for her preference for reality-based songs, led a Nashville vigil last Wednesday to pay tribute to victims of the terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. Besides singing the national anthem at that event, she also sang "Independence Day," which is included on her hits album. That song, which is actually about domestic abuse, includes pointed references to righting wrongs, and it's become her signature song.

Among other hits such as "A Broken Wing" and "Safe in the Arms of Love," her album features four new songs, including her current single, "When God-Fearin' Women Get the Blues."

Buddy and Julie Miller have been champions of the alt-country movement for years. Buddy Miller has been a mainstay of Emmylou Harris' band, and the Millers have written songs for Harris, the Dixie Chicks, Brooks & Dunn, Lee Ann Womack and others. Each has released solo albums; now they have released their first album together. Aside from original songs, the self-titled LP on HighTone includes covers of Richard Thompson's "Keep Your Distance," Utah Phillips' "Rock Salt and Nails," and Bob Dylan's "Wallflower." Harris sings with them on "Forever Has Come to an End."

Aaron Tippin had an early Christmas release on Lyric Street with A December to Remember which includes, among other songs, "Run Rudolph Run," "Blue Christmas" and "Jingle Bell Rock."

Lyric Street also issued a Christmas anthology, No Wrapping Required: A Christmas Album, including contributions by Tippin, Ricky Skaggs, Sonya Isaacs, Porter Wagoner and others.