BlueSky Bullet Points: January 21, 2024

The year starts off strong with several four star efforts.


Brittney Spencer

My Stupid Life

A long-time-coming debut that fully meets expectations: We’ve known for a while that Spencer deserves superstardom, and this album makes that case again, many times over. A vocal powerhouse with a knack for clever wordplays that highlight a wholly modern POV.


Colby T. Helms

Tales of Misfortune

If the success of Billy Strings hath wrought opportunities for kids like Helms, I’m sure here for it. An auspicious debut for a young’un who sings a whole lot like Childers and who goes hard at an old-timey vibe without making it sound affected.


Houston Bernard

Ditch This Town

Armed with a versatile, deep baritone and a terrific ear for melody and song structure, he has the goods for far more than a small cult following. The lyrics occasionally lapse into cliche, but this is a solid, 90s-mainstream-sounding record.


Wilson Fairchild

Statler Made

A competently executed album of trad-country covers; nothing less, nothing more. But they’re both good enough vocalists– and they draw from their famous dads’ harmony work in some great ways– that they certainly could do more.


Hannah Ellis

That Girl

Feminist in the sense that it proves how a woman can make an album indistinguishable from what Music Row’s men are doing right now, but this fails to answer why that’s something anyone would aspire to do. Catchy enough, but wastes a decent voice on vapid radio fodder.


Hannah Kaminer

Heavy On the Vine

Not going to feign familiarity but will be rectifying that, stat, based on this, her third album. A thoroughly modern POV draped in a winning blend of bluegrass, trad-country, and folk conventions, and elevated by a sneaky powerful voice.


Willie Nelson

Long Story Short: Willie Nelson 90 (Live at Hollywood Bowl)

Much like its title, this album needed the hand of a good editor, but there’s a real treasure trove of highlights (Billy Strings, The Chicks, Chris Stapleton, Beck, Norah Jones) to celebrate Willie’s exceptional life and catalogue.

1 Comment

  1. …she had me from “skinny & sober”. what a fine effort this debut album of brittney spencer is. “desperate” has just made it on my growing list of earworms 2024 – and it is only january.

    off topic, the others come from catie offerman – “sound of missing you” and of course from my not so guilty pleasure, ms. moroney: “no caller id”. and ashley cooke is there too, the counter says: “your place”. while at it, what a good sounding song is “chasing spirits” by jess williamson just beating jamie wyatt’s “moonlighter” by a couple of spins. still trying though to figure out how much chayce beckham’s arm(s) had to be twisted to record “this ol’ rodeo”. then again, perfect radio stuff that grows on you with every listen. of similar quality is zach top’s “bad luck” – although, i’m not sure, whether he is just taking the mickey out of us 90s suckers. ken mellons he ain’t. still, good harmless fun.

    looking forward to finding some time to listen into the next “comic book cover art album” provided by mr. helms. bob ross would have been real proud of him, i imagine.

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