Singer/songwriter Georgia Middleman leads this week's new country releases, with her debut album, Endless Possibilities. Out on Giant Records, the album features the recent single "No Place Like
Home," as well as 11 others, including "Tap Dancing on the Highwire" and "There Ain't No Good in Goodbye."
Middleman, who has worked as a staff writer for Polygram Music Publishing, has written songs that have been picked up by Martina McBride and the Kinleys. With Endless Possibilities, for which she co-write half the songs, Middleman finally has the chance to shine as a performer as well, just like so many other songwriters who are stepping out into the spotlight these days.
Country trio Trick Pony also release their debut album this week, on Warner Bros. The self-titled release features the group's hit single "Pour Me," a rowdy drinking tune that plays off the self-pitying term "poor me." Also on the album is a cover of Johnny Cash's '50s hit "Big River," which sees Trick Pony's Keith Burns, Heidi Newfield and Ira Dean performing alongside Cash himself, as well as Waylon Jennings.
This week's final album of new material is Sean Watkins' Let It Fall. The album is the first solo release from the guitarist who is one-third of top bluegrass act Nickel Creek. Using the opportunity to
show off his impressive guitar and mandolin skills, Watkins delivers ten tracks of improvisational material on Let It Fall, which features guest appearances from the other two members of Nickel Creek, Chris Thile and Sara Watkins, as well as Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan and Glen Phillips.
Also this week, Varése Sarabande is reissuing albums from four country greats: Don Gibson, Roy Acuff, Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two, and Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys.
Don Gibson's 20 Greatest Songs celebrates one of the most popular and influential country singer/songwriters of the '50s and '60s. 20 Greatest Songs includes Gibson's first hit single, "Sweet Dreams" (
href="http://www.sonicnet.com/artists/clip.cgi?track=~y-XXXXXX/0158734_0103_00_0002.ra">RealAudio excerpt), which later became a hit for both Faron Young and Patsy Cline. The collection also features several of his top 10 singles from the late '50s-early '60s, including "I Can't Stop Lovin' You, "Blue Blue Day," "Who Cares" (RealAudio excerpt), "Just One Time," "Sea of Heartbreak" and "Lonesome Number One."
Roy Acuff's 20 Greatest Songs compiles tracks from Acuff's reign over the country charts in the '40s, including the classics "The Wreck on the Highway," "The Precious Jewel" (
href="http://www.sonicnet.com/artists/clip.cgi?track=~hh-XXXXXX/0114102_0105_00_0002.ra">RealAudio excerptand "Waltz of the Wind."
Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two: Roads Less Travelled offers rare and previously unissued singles recorded for Sun Records by Cash with guitarist Luther Perkins and bassist Marshall Grant in the mid-50's. Songs include "Don't Make Me Go" (
href="http://www.sonicnet.com/artists/clip.cgi?track=~a-XXXXXX/1507470012000a08.ra">RealAudio excerpt), "I Love You Because" and "Wide Open Road."
Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys' Echoes of the Stanley Brothers presents material from the bluegrass legend who has recently been thrown unexpectedly into the spotlight from his work on the country chart-topping O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, on which he performs the chilling a capella version of the song "O Death."