Reissues from several prominent country artists, a new Riders in the Sky work, a tribute to Doug Sahm and several alt-country CDs lead new country releases this week.
Dolly Parton and the late Jim Reeves are represented in the Country Legends series from RCA Nashville. Many of Parton’s hits are included here, among them “9 to 5,” “I Will Always Love You,” “Jolene,” and “Love Is Like a Butterfly.” Reeves’ cuts include “Four Walls,” “Billy Bayou,” “”He’ll Have to Go,” and “Bimbo.”
Joe Diffie ’s 16 Biggest Hits (Legacy) includes “John Deere Green,” “A Night to Remember,” and “Is It Cold in Here.”
The late Tex Williams is remembered in Tex Williams & His Western Swing (Country Routes). Songs include “Roly Poly,” “Columbus Stockade Blues” and “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette.”
A 1990 live set by bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe is released as Live Vol. 1: Bill Monroe & the Bluegrass Boys (Rural Rhythm). The two-CD set includes “Kentucky Waltz,” “Uncle Pen,” and “Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms.”
The quartet Riders in the Sky’s new release is A Pair of Kings (Oh Boy). Newest member Joey Miskulin (“Joey the Cowpolka King”) again produces. Songs include “I’m an Old Cowhand,” “Clarinet Polka,” and “How High the Moon.”
Young Texas sensation Cory Morrow — known nationally mainly for duets with Pat Green — issues Outside the Lines on his own Write On record label. Morrow produced his fourth album with veteran Texas music figure Lloyd Maines. Songs include a cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Friend of the Devil,” the title cut and “Straight to Hell.”
Alt-country group Bottle Rockets have said that the late Doug Sahm was their Grateful Dead and Lynyrd Skynyrd rolled into one. What began as a multi-artist tribute to Sahm morphed into a Bottle Rockets tribute to the Texas music legend, Songs of Sahm (Bloodshot). Sahm songs covered include “Mendocino,” “At the Crossroads,” “Stoned Faces Don’t Lie,” and “Be Real.”
Alt-country supergroup the Twangbangers include occasional Merle Haggard guitarist Redd Volkaert, ex-Commander Cody vocalist and guitarist Bill Kirchen, steel guitarist Joe Goldmark, singer-songwriter Dallas Wayne, drummer and singer Jack O’Dell and bassist Johnny Castle. Their new 26 Days on the Road (HighTone), a live tour recording, includes the songs “I Got a Rocket in My Pocket,” “I Gotta Get Drunk,” and “Hot Rod Lincoln.”
Alt-country group Cross Canadian Ragweed release Carney (Underground Sound). Songs include the title cut and “Headed South.”
Gurf Morlix, who worked for many years with Lucinda Williams, issues his second solo album, Fishin’ in the Muddy (Catamount). Morlix wrote or co-wrote all 12 songs and plays most of the instruments on the rootsy album.