Teen country sensation Jessica Andrews leads new country releases this week, with her sophomore effort, Who I Am, on Dreamworks Nashville. Following her 1999 debut, Heart Shaped World, which was released when the singer was only 15, the new album features 12 tracks, including the title track (RealAudio excerpt), which is also the first single.
Also included is Andrews' version of Melba Montgomery's "Never Had It So Good" and "Good Friend To Me," Andrews' sole co-songwriting contribution to the record. The track was written with Bekka Bramlett and Annie Roboff and deals with the ever-popular subject of relationships and just what is necessary to make them work.
Charles Sawtelle was a member of bluegrass band Hot Rize for over two decades, but he didn't live to see the release of his first solo record, Music From Rancho Deville. It's finally out this week, from Acoustic Disc, and it features a host of guest musicians, all joining in with the man widely known as "The Bluegrass Mystery."
Fellow Hot Rize members Tim O'Brien, Nick Forster and Pete Wernick all make an appearance on Rancho Deville, as do Vassar Clements, Norman Blake, Sam Bush and many others. Sawtelle handles some vocals himself, such as on Woody Guthrie's "The Ranger's Command" with Flaco Jiminez adding accordion, while Clements takes over vocal duties for Lefty Frizzell's "Mom and Dad's Waltz" and Blake takes on The Carter Family's "The Storms Are On The Ocean." Of course, there are instrumentals as well, including Sawtelle's own "My Life Is In Your Hands," showcasing the late performer's incomparable musicianship.
MCA Nashville has another offering in their 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection this week, featuring the recordings of Nanci Griffith this time. The Best of Nanci Griffith includes 3 live recordings ("Once In A Very Blue Moon," "Love At The Five and Dime" and "The Wing and The Wheel") among its 11 tracks. Other songs on the release include "Lone Star State Of Mind" (RealAudio excerpt), "From A Distance" and "Late Night Grande Hotel."
Meanwhile, Audium Entertainment is releasing a collection of material from veteran bluegrass musician Jimmy Martin, which includes 18 songs highlighting his ability as both an artist and a performer. The King Of Bluegrass is titled after Martin's oft-used nickname, and features "Grand Ole Opry Song," "The World Is Not My Home," and the heartwarming "Steal Away Somewhere and Die."
Also out on Audium this week is Young Buck: The Complete Pre-Capitol Recordings, a Buck Owens collection whose title says it all the CD's 21 tracks make up the entirety of Owens' catalogue prior to his releases on Capitol Records. Included on the release are alternate takes of 5 of the album's songs: "It Don't Show On Me," "Down On The Corner Of Love," "House Down The Block," "Right After The Dance" and "Blue Love."
Another new release, There Goes The Neighborhood is a nine-track collection from Varese Sarabande, teaming up bluegrass band The Dillards' Rodney Dillard with Christian singer-songwriter Bruce Haynes, under the banner of The Dillard Haynes Band.
Finally, Hank Williams fans will be pleased with not one, but three new releases this week, including a new collection called Lovesick Blues, from ASV's Living Era series. Featuring songs recorded between 1947 and 1950, the album includes such classics as "Lost Highway" and "Honky Tonkin'," as well as 23 more timeless tunes. It's joined on the shelf by two remastered reissues of Williams material from Mercury Nashville, Beyond The Sunset and I Saw The Light.