Take the Weather With You – Jimmy Buffett
Jimmy Buffett has recorded more than 40 albums, most of which have gone gold, platinum or multi-platinum. His last, License to Chill, debuted at No. 1 on both the pop and country charts back in 2004, and was his first No.1 record. This new album looks like it could rival its predecessor.
The accomplished singer, author and cult personality gets things groovin’ with “Bama Breeze.” This tune pays homage to the historic bars along the Alabama-Florida Gulf Coast. Buffett covers The Hag on “Silver Wings” and pulls out the mariachi horns on “Cinco De Mayo in Memphis.” Recorded mostly in Muscle Shoals, Ala., this album once again blends the singer’s country roots and Southern heritage, with a touch of the ocean. B+
Waylon Jennings: Nashville Rebel (Box Set) – Waylon Jennings
A whopping 92 songs are offered on this latest collection from “Hoss.” Since his passing in 2002, Jennings’ music has only increased on the country music airwaves. In fact, the release of the movie Walk the Line, where the singer is featured alongside his old pal Johnny Cash, brought him a wealth of new fans.
The four CDs that comprise Waylon Jennings: Nashville Rebel are titled according to the years they represent. Disc One: 1958-1969 contains such hits as “Jole Blon,” “The Chokin’ Kind” and “Nashville Rebel.” Disc Two: 1970-1974 contains “Ladies Love Outlaws” and “Amanda.” Jennings’ outlaw days shine on Disc Three: 1974-1980, including the Willie Nelson duets “Good Hearted Woman” and “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.” The final CD, Disc Four: 1980-1995 includes “America” and “Wrong.” This whole set is a fantastic smorgasbord of songs from the Hall of Famer. A+
Heard it in a Love Song – Mark Chesnutt
Co-produced by Mark Chesnutt, this comeback album is good, but it does include a lot of remakes. The title track is a new recording of the Marshall Tucker Band’s 1977 classic. The Beaumont, Texas, singer does a nice job covering his fellow Texan, Waylon Jennings, on “Dreaming my Dreams With You.” Even Bocephus, Hank Williams Jr., gets a little nod with a new recording of “I Just Ain’t Been Able,” originally on Williams’ Family Tradition album.
This CD, released on the independent CBUJ Recordings, mixes the remakes with newer material. Three songs from Chesnutt’s own 2004 Saving the Honky Tonk CD are packaged here, including a new acoustic version of “A Hard Secret to Keep.” This album is not as good as the singer’s work from the early ’90s, but boy he can still sing about as good as anybody! B
Big Iron World – Old Crow Medicine Show
Nashville-based Old Crow Medicine Show blends bluegrass, country and folk together to form a hip, unique sound. This collaboration is an amalgam of music, as the band markets itself with “Work songs, play songs, blues songs, drug songs, protest songs, killin’ songs, love songs and more than a few songs about spiritual renewal: tunes like tungsten to scorch the night.”
Big Iron World is the band’s sophomore disc. OCMS’ raw music style is showcased on “James River Blues,” a song about a boatman’s job being insignificant because of the birth of railroads. Fans of numerous genres will enjoy “Down Home Girl” and “Don’t Ride That Horse,” with its slow drag. Lead singer Willie Watson’s pipes roar on “God’s Got It.” Look for a lot more from this Tennessee fivesome. C+