Feb 14, 201209:10 AMThe Telegraph
The Premier Blog of the West
New Tunes: Feb. 14, 2012
Rascal Flatts, “Banjo” – These dudes have been an easy target in the past, not only for their frosted-tip hairdos but for their crossover-flirting poppiness. In the last few years, though, the guys have won back a lot of the traditional-country crowd with several bona fide Nashville jams (“Why Wait” being the best example). They take it a step further with their new single, an ode to the most recognizable of bluegrass instruments.
Punch Brothers, Who’s Feeling Young Now? – Speaking of banjos, this cutting-edge bluegrass group puts out its third album today. There’s at least one familiar face in the group for country fans – Chris Thile, formerly of Nickel Creek, leads the group and plays mandolin. Hard to go wrong with talent like his in the picture.
JT Hodges, “Goodbyes Made You Mine” – The Fort Worth native might have a hit on his hands with this catchy single and its tongue-twisting verses. We’ve only listened to it once and can’t get it out of the ol’ noggin.
Heartless Bastards, Arrow – Fans of Americana and country will definitely find something to embrace in the new release from this Austin-by-way-of-Ohio band. Its gritty material – elevated by the vocals of Erika Wennerstrom and the production of Spoon’s drummer Jim Eno – incorporates a wide range of rootsy influences.
Amos Lee, As the Crow Flies EP – Seems that the soulful, sometimes countrified singer-songwriter is getting some unreleased material out of the way between albums. We’ll take it!
Rosie Thomas, With Love – Thomas is another folksy singer-songwriter who could cross over into country with ease. But there’s no real defining genre at work on her latest album. Its acoustic-style tracks are simply earnest, heartfelt and melodic.
Gene Watson, 25 Greatest Hits – The Texas country legend releases his new best-of collection, including “Fourteen Carat Mind,” “Love in the Hot Afternoon,” and many more.