In a slow week for new country releases, new albums are out from Steve Azar and from Isaac "Dickie" Freeman of the Fairfield Four.
Azar's album is Waitin' on Joe (Mercury Nashville). It includes his current single, "I Don't Have to Be
Me ('Til) Monday," which sits at No. 11 on the current Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. Azar, a native
of Greenville, Miss., grew up listening to blues and was later influenced by fellow Mississippian Conway
Twitty. Azar wrote or co-wrote all 11 songs on the album.
Freeman takes a break from being bass singer in Nashville's
Fairfield Four, a capella gospel group, to record a solo album of spirituals. Beautiful Stars (Lost Highway) includes
such songs as the title track and "When We Bow in the Evening at the Altar." The song "You Must Come in at the Bottom" was
written for Freeman by Garrison Keillor, host of A Prairie Home Companion. Freeman is accompanied on the album by Nashville's
The long-running Fairfield Four performed "Po' Lazarus" on the Down From the Mountain CD,
sang "Lonesome Valley" on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, appeared in the Down From the Mountain
concert documentary film and have been on the current Down From The Mountain tour.