Trio of Americana albums this week from Plant, Earle, Johnson

There’s three impressive album releases of Americana music this week. Jamey Johnson has the most ambitious offering – a double-disc CD garnering triumphant reviews – and it is primed to make him a reluctant country music (and more) superstar. Robert Plant follows his Raising Sand masterpiece with a solo record, aided by Americana guitarist/singer/songwriter Buddy Miller. Justin Townes Earle continues to build a career worthy of the Earle name, and may have the most accessible, joyous record of the three.  It’s a warm, retro sound for his third album of literate country, folk and rock music.

Jamey Johnson – The Guitar Song
Review: “It’s a stunning, varied and far-reaching set of 25 hardcore country songs, sonically and thematically integrated into a musical journey designed to be experienced, optimally, in sequence, from the first, generally darker “Black” disc on through the more upbeat sounds of hard-won redemption in the second “White” disc. It’s a country album, and one as ambitious in its intentions and successful in its execution as country music has seen in decades, able to hold its own with albums conceived as such by Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash.” – Wall Street Journal
Read full review at
Great in-depth piece with Johnson from Peter Copper from

Justin Townes Earle – Harlem River Blues
Review: “The album offers an impressive variety of styles. While the title track sounds like gospel music that’s been kicked in the backside by Elvis, Earle follows it with what might initially seem like the standard “I’ve lost my love and I’m sad” kind of ballad. But it’s really a metaphoric slap in the face — a call to stop wasting time with those who aren’t willing to give us what we want or need.” – NPR
Read full review at NPR
Hear the album via NPR
Lengthy, revealing interview from Michigan’s

Robert Plant – Band Of Joy
Review: “Three years after Raising Sand, his collaboration with country diva Alison Krauss, Robert Plant shuffles a little more in the direction of his beloved gospel-soul-blues with this album, named after his first band. Read what you like into that fact, but the 62-year-old is carving out a future rather than recalling the past with this intense, challenging and frequently brilliant collection. If Krauss’s crystalline voice and T-Bone Burnett’s production were key last time, then guitarist and co-producer Buddy Miller is the main man here. But the band has many strengths, including the remarkable Patty Griffin on vocals.” – Irish Times
Read full review at IT
Former Rolling Stone writer Alan Light’s interview with Plant in NYTimes

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