Claire Lynch, Dear Sister: With one of the most distinguished voices in bluegrass music, Claire Lynch sure knows how to deliver. On Dear Sister, raw emotion and a bit of a country hue boldly shine on the debut album with Compass. The two-time IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year deservedly gets fantastic support from the likes of Tim O’Brien, Alison Brown, and Rob Ickes, along with the usual tight ensemble.
Key tracks: “Doin’ Time,” “I’ll Be Alright Tomorrow,” and title track “Dear Sister.”
(www.clairelynch.com, Compass Records)
Clinton Gregory Bluegrass Band, Roots of My Raising: While some people stick to their roots, some wander along. Clinton Gregory has found his roots again, and they’re in bluegrass. The country-turned-bluegrass artist debuts an album rich in melodies and deep in soul, giving new spins on bluegrass and country favorites, and diving deep into gospel and original songs.
Key tracks: “Roots of My Raising,” “Sittin’ On Top Of The World,” and “Crucifixtion.”
Karen Lynne, Shine Your Light: Karen Lynne has a gift for delivering melodies that are warmly received, with words that soothe and inspire. On Shine Your Light, Lynne delivers gospel messages of love, faith, resilience, and strength. With support from Daryl Mosley, and Stella Parton on a cover of Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors,” Lynne’s latest album is a special one. Key tracks: “Coat of Many Colors,” “Will There Be Any Stars,” and “Walk Slow.”
Mike Scott & Friends, Home Sweet Home: Producer and performer Mike Scott assembled an all-star group of musicians to salute the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War with an instrumental album. The 14-song album includes songs popular during the Civil War era. Adam Steffey, Rob Ickes, Bryan Sutton, Aubrey Haynie, Tim Stafford, Mike Compton, Ben Isaacs, and Jeff Taylor join Scott in paying tribute to a rich heritage. Key tracks: “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “Turkey in the Straw,” and “The Battlefield.”
Sleeping Bee, Heyday Maker: Skilled musicians and longtime friends Andy Goessling (guitars, mandolin, Bouzouki, Dobro) and Lindsey Horner (acoustic bass, whistles) join together with a collection of songs unique to their definitive styles and joyfully imaginative tastes. Together, the songs that make up this project reflect a rich freedom and impeccable musicianship. Folk fans will enjoy the Bob Dylan cover.
Key tracks: “Spirits,” Moorish Melody,” and “I Threw It All Away.”
The Expedition Show, Stormy Horizons: From Mountain Fever Records comes the 7th album for The Expedition Show, which shows off great songwriting from banjo picker and founding member Blake Williams and soulful harmonies. Throwbacks to old Earl Scruggs and Hank Williams songs round out the album which has a horizon more sunny than stormy.
The Roys, Gypsy Runaway Train: Brother and sister power team, The Roys, go full steam ahead on their latest venture. With a feeling of more freedom, Lee and Elaine explore the highs and lows of life while balancing their signature harmonies and broad sound. Gypsy Runaway Train is a fun, emotional, and compelling album from the award-winning duo with solid originals and favorite covers. Key tracks: “Half of Me,” “Another Minute” and “Gypsy Runaway Train.” Out June 4.
(www.theroysonline.com, Rural Rhythm Records)
The Spinney Brothers, No Borders: Nova Scotia brothers Allan and Rick are pros at bringing lyrics and to life with their latest Mountain Fever Records release No Borders. The songwriting is stronger than ever, touching deeply with relatable humor, emotion and compassion. With instinctive instrumentation and modern twists on traditional storylines, No Borders is an impressive attribute to their discography.
Key tracks: “Grandpa’s Way of Life,” “On That Glorious Day,” “The Moon Saw Me Crying.”
(www.spinneybrothers.com, Mountain Fever Records)
Trinity River Band Today Don’t Look Like Rain: With high energy, and tight harmonies, Trinity River Band have garnered a following with their professionalism and equal likability. With a fine blend of original songs, and covers from Pure Prarie League, and Dolly Parton & Porter Wagoner, this album definitely pleases anyone with an affinity for bluegrass, gospel, and country.
Key tracks: “Today It Don’t Look Like Rain,” “Riptide,” and “From Now On.”