Tracy Byrd's seventh studio album, another soundtrack from the O Brother gang of artists, Dale Watson's "Suicide Album" and 3 of Heart's debut effort lead country album releases this week.
Byrd's Ten Rounds, on RCA, refers to 10 rounds of tequila, not
surprising for a veteran country singer who champions traditional music. The album features his duet with Mark Chesnutt on "A Good Way to Get on My Bad Side" and a new version of Byrd's hit "Keeper
of the Stars."
Down From the Mountain on Lost Highway Records is a live recording of a concert by the participants
on the earlier O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack. Emmylou Harris,
Dan Tyminski, Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch, the Cox Family and others
performed at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium in May 2000 for this recording and a documentary film of the same name. It includes
the late John Hartford's last public performances.
album Every Song I Write Is for You on Audium is just that -- a collection of 14 songs Watson wrote to his late girlfriend.
In the midst of his depression over her death, Watson attempted suicide last winter but recovered and devoted his efforts
to this album. Consumed by depression over the death of his fiancée in a car wreck, on Dec. 28 he took a potentially
lethal quantity of alcohol, Sominex and Benadryl. His road manager discovered the dazed Watson in his Austin hotel room and
took him to the Brackenridge Hospital emergency room. Watson later described the days leading up to his overdose as being
"like a skipping record -- every morning I'd wake up and relive the day [of his fiancée's accident]." He underwent counseling
and has resumed recording and touring.
3 of Hearts is the self-titled RCA debut of a new pop-leaning trio of
teen girl singers, who are receiving a media blitz. They've been pictured on several million Kellogg's cereal boxes, featured
in teen magazines and are now on a tour of Wal-Mart stores.
Re-issues this week include works by Tex Ritter and Kenny Rogers. Ritter's
Sing, Cowboy Sing on the ASV label includes such familiar Ritter material as "Get Along, Little Dogies" and "Bill the
Bar Fly." Laserlight's Kenny Rogers includes such Rogers hits as "Reuben James" and "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to