New Music: Alan Jackson Goes Bluegrass

Neal McCoy, Deer Tick, Sammy Hagar Also Release New Albums

A career first for Alan Jackson and a heartfelt tribute to Charley Pride, courtesy of Neal McCoy, lead the list of new albums arriving Tuesday (Sept. 24).

For Jackson, recording a full-on bluegrass album has been an elusive dream for quite some time.

“I’ve been trying to do [a bluegrass album] for 15 years,” the country music legend admitted to Rolling Stone magazine.

The stars have finally aligned for the appropriately-titled The Bluegrass Album, and Jackson was able to secure a stellar lineup of musicians to play on 14 songs, eight of which were penned by the star himself.

“I just wanted to make it for me, to show my appreciation for bluegrass,” he said. “It’s one of the last real American music [genres] where it’s real songwriting, singers and harmonies, and real players.”

McCoy also delivers a tribute album with personal meaning. Country music trailblazer Charley Pride has mentored and helped guide McCoy since the Hall of Famer discovered him in 1981, and now McCoy has recorded PRIDE: A Tribute to Charley Pride in his honor.

Joining McCoy to sing Pride classics like “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’” and “I’m Just Me” are Darius Rucker, Trace Adkins and the MavericksRaul Malo.

“I wanted to open people’s eyes about [Pride] and what he has accomplished,” said McCoy. “And I thought the best way to do that was to just put his music out there, to let people hear what great country music sounds like.”

Other new releases this week include Negativity from the progressive roots-rock band Deer Tick, an album written under the weight of a disastrous year for band leader John McCauley who saw his father go to prison and his own wedding engagement dissolve.

Meanwhile, singer-songwriter Stewart Eastham delivers The Man I Once Was, classic rocker Sammy Hagar offers Sammy Hagar & Friends featuring Toby Keith and poet-songwriter Meg Hutchinson releases Beyond That.

Bluegrass-influenced Sarah Jarosz unveils Build Me Up From Bones, California rockers Jonny Kaplan & the Lazy Stars unveil Sparkle and Shine and Austin, Texas-based husband and wife Noel McKay and Brennen Leigh duet on Before the World Was Made.

Finally, gravel-voiced singer-songwriter Sioux City Kid offers Minutes, Miles, Troubles & Trials, country punks J.D. Wilkes and the Dirt Daubers release Wild Moon and Live at Caffé Lena: Music From America’s Legendary Coffeehouse salutes almost four decades of cozy folk in upstate New York.

Chris lives in Nashville and has written for CMT.com and CMT Edge since 2007. The devil made him do it the first time, the second time he done it on his own.