Singletary, Lauderdale, Coffey, Douglas Lead New Releases

A traditional foray from Daryle Singletary , two varied releases from Jim Lauderdale , a solo work from vaunted Dobro player Jerry Douglas , the debut CD by Kellie Coffey, the return of Russell Smith and bluegrass albums mark new country albums releases this week.

Singletary’s That’s Why I Sing This Way (Audium) is heavy on the traditional and is starting to gain considerable notice. Singletary has been a consistent champion of traditional country, and he does not hold back on this work. The songs are steeped in country history, from “Love’s Gonna Live Here” to “I Never Go Around Mirrors” and “Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music)” and more. Guest vocalists include George Jones , Dwight Yoakam , Rhonda Vincent and Merle Haggard . The duet with Johnny Paycheck on the latter’s trademark “Old Violin” may well turn out to be Paycheck’s last recording.

Lauderdale continues to be the man of 1,000 masks in country music. Once again he releases two albums simultaneously. Lost in the Lonesome Pines (Dualtone) is his second bluegrass collaboration with musical pioneer Ralph Stanley and his Clinch Mountain Boys. Songs here include “Zacchaeus,” “Redbird” and the title cut. Lauderdale’s second entry is the solo album The Hummingbirds (Dualtone). Such stalwarts as Sam Bush, Tony Rice, Buddy Miller, Bekka Bramlett and Julie Reeves accompany Lauderdale on 12 cuts.

Dobro player extraordinaire Douglas also plays lap steel and guitar and sings background vocals on his new Lookout for Hope (Sugar Hill). He enlists such singers as James Taylor and Maura O’Connell and such pickers as Bryan Sutton, Chris Thile, Stuart Duncan, Sam Bush and Viktor Krauss on a set of songs including Duane Allman’s “Little Martha,” “Monkey Let The Hogs Out,” “The Sinking Ship,” “The Wild Rumpus” and “Patrick Meets the Brickbats.”

Oklahoma native Coffey sang behind Barbra Streisand before embarking on a Nashville career. Her debut CD When You Lie Next to Me (BNA) features her current single, “When You Lie Next to Me,” which is No. 20 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. She made her Grand Ole Opry debut on April 19.

Smith attracted a large following while lead singer of the Amazing Rhythm Aces. His latest solo outing is The End Is Not in Sight (Muscle Shoals). It includes such gems from his Rhythm Aces days as “Third Rate Romance,” five new songs and some Smith-penned country hits for other artists, such as “Old School,” “Look Heart, No Hands” and “Keep It Between the Lines.”

Veteran bluegrass ensemble Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver return with The Hard Game of Love (Sugar Hill). Songs include “Hand Made Cross,” “Nightingale,” “As Long as the World Stands” and “My Trust in You.”

Bluegrass group Baucom, Bibey & Blueridge includes Terry Baucom, Alan Bibey, Junior Sisk and Ed Biggerstaff. Songs on their new Come Along With Me (Sugar Hill) include “Gonna Travel On,” “I’ll Still Write Your Name in the Sand,” “I Know My Heart’s Gonna Set Me Free” and “The New John Henry Blues.”