This is the time of year when record companies scour their archives for reissues, and several such collections are being released this week. Past work by Travis Tritt , John Michael Montgomery , country legend Eddy Arnold and bluegrass banjoist Alison Brown is included on five CDs this week. Also out are new works by bluegrass Dobro player Rob Ickes and the duo Robin and Linda Williams .
Both Tritt and Montgomery have recently moved to new record labels.
Tritt is with Columbia Records and his previous label, Warner Bros., issues two Tritt CDs in partnership with Rhino Records.
The Lovin’ Side and The Rockin’ Side purport to present those two sides of Tritt’s music. Lovin’ includes such familiar works as “Help me Hold On” and also has Tritt’s duet with Patti LaBelle on “When Something Is Wrong With My Baby,” which appeared on the MCA Nashville anthology Rhythm Country & Blues. The Rockin set has Tritt hits such as “Ten Feet Tall and Bulletproof” and his duet with Marty Stuart on “Double Trouble.”
Montgomery moved to Warner Bros. after Atlantic Nashville was absorbed into Warner. Warner Bros. now releases Love Songs which includes such Montgomery songs as “I Swear” and “I Can Love You Like That.”
Country Music Hall of Fame member Arnold has 16 familiar songs on Looking Back (RCA). It includes numbers such as “Little Green Apples,” “Faded Love” and “Gentle on My Mind.”
Ickes is the award-winning Dobro picker for the group Blue Highway, has been named Dobro Player of the Year five times by the International Bluegrass Music Association and now releases What It Is (Rounder). For his third solo album, Ickes added saxophonist and bassoon player Paul Hanson to his regular acoustic rhythm section and achieves a fuller, more swinging sound on numbers such as “Scheerhorn Shuffle” -– a tribute to the Scheerhorn capos and bars Ickes uses in playing.
Brown now records on her own Nashville label, Compass Records, but recorded four albums for Vanguard in the early and mid 1990s. Such songs as “Wolf Moon,” “Mambo Banjo” and “Shoot the Dog” are now collected on Best of the Vanguard Years.
Singers and guitarists Robin and Linda Williams are joined on Visions of Love (Sugar Hill) by mandolin and fiddle player Peter Ostroushko, pianist Richard Dworsky and bassist Gary Raynor. The Williamses have been recording since 1975 and have become regular guests on Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion” radio show. Songs on the new album, produced by Keillor, include “Wandering Boy,” “Wash Me in Thy Precious Blood” and “After the Fire Is Gone.”
Several noted Texas singer-songwriters are represented on the new collection From Hell to Breakfast (Sugar Hill). The late Townes Van Zandt, Terry Allen , Robert Earl Keen, the Gourds and Guy Clark each have two songs, and represented by one song each are Lee Roy Parnell , the Austin Lounge Lizards , the Bad Livers, Rodney Crowell and James McMurtry.