Sunday Selections: March 6, 2016

R.I.P. Joey Martin Feek.

The passing of Joey Feek of Joey+Rory casts a truly heartbreaking pall over the news cycle this week. Even prior to her passing, it’s been a real challenge to listen to the duo’s lovely new album, Hymns That Are Important To Us, in the context of Joey’s courageous battle with terminal cancer. The album, much like Rory’s heartfelt and insightful blog posts and the couple’s choice to share their journey with the public at large, is a testament to the power of their faith.

This week’s new releases are led by Loretta Lynn’s first album since the landmark Van Lear Rose, while Margo Price and Chris Stapleton released new music videos. The Band Perry’s bizarre trip toward irrelevance took another big step forward, while three extraordinarily talented women teamed up to form a new supergroup with some spectacular harmony work.


Still A Mountain Girl
New Releases & Reissues, 3/04/2016

Ben Abraham, Sirens. (Secretly Canadian)
Ray LaMontagne, Ouroboros. (RCA)
Greg Laswell, Everyone Thinks I Dodged A Bullet. (Vanguard)
Loretta Lynn, Full Circle. (Legacy Recordings)
Loretta Lynn, Loretta Lynn: Still A Mountain Girl. (DVD – PBS Documentary)
Kelly Richey, Shakedown Soul. (Sweet Lucy)
Granger Smith, Remington. (Wheelhouse / Broken Bow)
Frank Solivan, Family, Friends, & Heroes. (Compass)
Ray Stevens, Face The Music: The Complete Monument Singles 1965 – 1970. (Ace)
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, A Man Alive. (Ribbon Music)
Gene Watson, Barrooms & Bedrooms: The Capitol & MCA Years. (Wrasse)

News & Notes
“… In a time period where people “talk the talk” about treating people well and loving each other, [Joey+Rory] more than walked the walk. They lived the life. And that’s what’s important to me about Joey+Rory.”

— Chuck Dauphin of Billboard posted a lovely personal remembrance of Joey Martin Feek. What comes across not only in Dauphin’s piece but in the extensive writing about and countless artists’ responses to Feek’s passing are Joey’s and Rory’s authenticity and how deeply respected and truly loved they were by those who knew them. (JK)

Earlier in the week, Rory Feek uploaded a slide-show music video celebrating Joey’s life, set to the duo’s song, “In The Time That You Gave Me.” It was hard to watch before, and nearly impossible to get through dry-eyed now. (JK)

After coming out of a 4-year retirement in 2010, Don Williams announced that he will be retiring again to enjoy time at home. (LMW)

In other not-great veteran news, Merle Haggard is back in the hospital. (JK)

The awesome, up-and-coming Margo Price released a video for her terrific single, “Hurtin’ (On The Bottle).” (JK)

As previously predicted, The Band Perry and Big Machine Label Group have confirmed that the band and the label have parted ways. (LMW)

“I was talking to Chris Stapleton last week about how hard it is to find a drummer that doesn’t beat the shit out of everything all night or a bass player that doesn’t wish he was playing guitar… But I grew up with Chad [Gamble] and Jimbo [Hart], and I thought a more classic R&B kind of rhythm section would work really well with a set that goes from country tunes to rock songs — just give it a little more swing.”
— Jason Isbell, in a must-read interview with Rolling Stone, talks about how he assembled the rhythm section of his band. Isbell also touches on his recent successes and his ongoing sobriety. He is, to no one’s surprise, insightful and witty throughout. (JK)

Sarah Jarosz has announced that her next album, Undercurrent, will be released on June 17th. (LMW)

Garth Brooks performed what he considers to be the worst song he has ever written at the Music Health Alliance benefit earlier this week. (LMW)

“I think [Brandy Clark] could be the female Chris Stapleton: An artist that country listeners really get before a lot of programmers get it.”
— Gator Harrison, a senior VP of programming for iHeartMedia, talking about the prospects of Brandy Clark’s new single, “Girl Next Door,” in a lengthy article for Billboard. The tone of the comments from Harrison and other radio insiders seems to be one of reservation– they compliment Clark’s talents and recognize her potential to connect with audiences, but they don’t sound committed to the idea of playing Clark on the radio. Time will tell… (JK)

“I spent a lot of time in my room singing with Patsy. I had to sing a Patsy Cline song – or two – because her voice was like one of my girlfriends. That’s how close I felt to her.”
— The inimitable Cyndi Lauper, talking about her love of Patsy Cline and how Cline’s influence informed her new country album, Detour, set for release on May 6th. (JK)

Nashville Scene rebooted its series “Live In The Morgue,” wherein artists are invited to perform in the paper’s archives, with Cale Tyson, performing the single “Staying Kind” from his upcoming album, Careless Soul. (JK)

Neko Case and k.d. lang, two of the absolute finest voices ever to grace even the fringes of the country genre, have teamed up with singer-songwriter Laura Veirs for case/lang/veirs, an upcoming album and tour that, based upon the first single “Atomic Number,” is going to boast some otherworldly harmonies. (JK)

With their upcoming world tour just a few months away, the Dixie Chicks announced that they will be reissuing their four albums with Natalie Maines on vinyl. Audiophiles rejoice! (JK)

Chris Stapleton released a powerful music video for his song “Fire Away.” Country music videos are rarely noteworthy, but Stapleton really made this one count. (JK)

That will do it for this week. As always, let us know in the comments if there’s something we missed.


  1. Re. Joey Feek: She put up as good a fight as any human being could against a very inhuman disease in breast cancer. She is in a better place now and at peace; and I think we all wish the best for Rory in this time of deep sorrow. The two of them have a good legacy for us to remember them by.

  2. That was sad news to read about Joey this week. She will be missed. RIP.

    I wish the Chicks would release those albums with any lost material that never made the album cuts. What I mean is just songs that they might have recorded but had to be cut from an album because of time or whatever. I remember when Taking the Long Way came out, 2 years later, I found out there were two songs left off the main regular album: Thin Line and Live Wire. When I finally heard Thin Line for the first time, I was wondering why this song was left off the album, because it made for a better bookend than “I Hope”. I wonder if there were other songs like that from any of their albums. Heck, with Home being able to hear new Bluegrass songs from the Dixie Chicks 13 years later would be quite interesting.

  3. RIP Joey – very sad news I agree.

    Disappointing that radio insiders “don’t sound committed to the idea of playing Clark on the radio”. I could understand if the new album doesn’t measure up to “12 Stories” but it hasn’t even been released yet. Will anything she releases please these people?

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