Ricky Skaggs, Billy Dean, Waylon Jennings Lead New Independent Releases

John Hiatt, Mumford & Sons Offer New Albums

Ricky Skaggs, Billy Dean and the late Waylon Jennings are among the country artists releasing new albums on Tuesday (Sept. 25).

Skaggs’ Music to My Ears includes a mix of new songs and bluegrass standards. He dedicated a new recording of “Tennessee Stud” to the late guitarist Doc Watson. Along with writing a new bluegrass instrumental titled “New Jerusalem,” Skaggs also co-wrote a comical song inspired by one of Bill Monroe’s sayings, “You Can’t Hurt Ham.” Skaggs scored 19 Top 10 country hits in the 1980s.

Dean’s A Man of Good Fortune is his first album of all new material in nearly four years. He co-wrote seven of the 10 songs on the project. Dean scored 10 Top 10 county hits in the 1990s, then rebounded in 2005 with “Let Them Be Little.” He will perform a free show at Nashville’s 3rd & Lindsley on Wednesday.

Jennings’ Goin’ Down Rockin’ compiles 12 recordings made in the years leading up to his 2002 death. Jennings worked with his longtime accompanist Robby Turner during the recording sessions. Turner recently completed the recordings while keeping Jennings’ original vision for the album in mind. Only one of the album’s 12 tracks has been previously released. Jennings wrote all but one song on the album. With 53 Top 10 country hits, Jennings is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Other new albums this week include songwriter John Hiatt’s Mystic Pinball, songwriter Jim Lauderdale’s bluegrass album Carolina Moonrise and British band Mumford & SonsBabel. Folk and Americana releases include the Hillbenders’ Can You Hear Me?, Lucy Kaplansky’s Reunion and Rosco Bandana’s Time to Begin.