Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles and newcomer Jon Pardi lead the group of new albums arriving Tuesday (Jan. 14), followed closely by a convoy of veteran fan favorites.
For Nettles, That Girl marks an important milestone in the her career. This is her first-ever solo album, and she's been planning it for years.
"I started writing this album three years ago," she says. "I put no conscious guides or governors on the creation of this album other than to write songs that I want to sing. ... The result is an album that plays to my roots -- country, '70s radio, gospel and singer-songwriter."
Producer Rick Rubin (Johnny Cash, Dixie Chicks) steered the project which includes Nettles' current single, "That Girl."
On Write You a Song, newcomer Jon Pardi aims to introduce himself to country fans and reveal his true allegiance.
"All I ever wanted to do coming to Nashville was to write rowdy, in-your-face, straight country music," he says. "And that's what this album is."
The California native's current single is the flirtatious "Up All Night."
Veteran artists releasing new albums include Mary Chapin Carpenter with her first album recorded with a full orchestra (Songs From the Movie), Rosanne Cash with a dive into all things Southern (The River & the Thread) and Bruce Springsteen with an album of new material featuring Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello (High Hopes).
Independent roots albums include The Waiting Sky by Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Roger Street Friedman and Roam by Adrian Krygowski, inspired by a life-changing union strike he was involved in.
Reissued albums will provide a look back at early alt-country band Lone Justice (This Is Lone Justice: The Vaught Tapes, 1983) and Lucinda Williams' self-titled effort, often referred to as the Rough Trade album.