Roots and rock albums on the way: Todd Snider, Lucinda Williams, Drive-By Truckers, more

Some strong roots-rock albums will arrive over the next few months. Todd Snider’s song/spoken word set sounds interesting and odd, the Drive By Truckers will offer greasy R&B and new stuff by Lucinda Williams and Hayes Carll will start Americana fans vibrating.

January 11
Rusty Bladen – One Live Night – The Hoosier roots-rocker channels his inner Tom Petty with his full band, the Designated Drivers, in a live recording captured at a historic theatre in Scottsburg, Indiana.

January 18
Social Distortion – Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes Mike Ness growls some rock for ya.

February 1
Todd Snider – The Storyteller – Live songs and musings from the East Nashville boy genius.

February 15
Drive By Truckers – Go-Go Boots – Featuring songs recorded concurrently with last year’s The Big To-Do. DBT’s Patterson Hood told that Go Go Boots has more of an R&B vibe to it than The Big To-Do. I call it our rhythm and blues murder ballads record. Its about as different as it could be and still be the same band.

Hayes Carll – KMAG YOYO (& other American stories) – The acronym spells out as “Kiss My Ass Guys You’re On Your Own.”

Eddie Spaghetti – Sundowner – Spaghetti, from Seattle country-punkers The Supersuckers, steps out on his own here. The disc includes 11 songs, including “Always on My Mind” and “Jesus Never Lived on Mars”.

Chamberlin Bitter Blood – An ironic title so close to the lover’s holiday.

February 22
The Low Anthem – Smart Flesh – Their breakout record?

Johnny Cash – Bootlegs 2: From Memphis to Hollywood – A double album collecting rare recordings from Johnny Cash’s early career. The first album covers Cash’s career in Memphis from late 1954 to late 1957, beginning with a Memphis radio broadcast hosted by Cash and including a dozen demos (11 previously unreleased) and seven outtakes from Sun Records. The second disc gathers non-album singles, outtakes and B-sides Cash recorded for Columbia from 1958 to 1969, following his move to Los Angeles.

March 1
Lucinda Williams – Blessed – Her show at the Vogue last time through Indy a little more than a year ago was outstanding, and, just so you know I am paying attention to stuff like this, featured the best live sound mix I’ve heard at the old theater in a long time.

March 8
R.E.M. – Collapse Into Now – The song “Discoverer” is now available as a free MP3 via R.E.M.’s 15th studio album was produced by Jacknife Lee and features cameos from Eddie Vedder and Patti Smith.

Eagles’ guitarist Joe Walsh will release his first solo album in 18 years in 2011. In a new interview with, Walsh discussed the yet-to-be named album, his first since 1992’s Songs for a Dying Planet. “I’ve been working on it for a long time during the Eagles downtime,” Joe said. “I’ve got new stuff after about 18 years that I haven’t done an album. I really like it. It’s rock and roll and its new songs. Hopefully it will get out April/May.” Jeff Lynne produces at least half of the songs; Walsh helms the rest.


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