Bluesky Bullet Points: February 25, 2024

Corb Lund and Emily Ann Roberts lead another strong pack of albums this week.


Corb Lund

El Viejo

The death of a mentor spurs Lund to consider the long arc of his own life and career, which he approaches with his trademark wit and gift for song structure. The lo-fi, one-take aesthetic serves Lund well, and he drops some real surprises (“Insha’Allah”). Essential.


Alan Doyle

Welcome Home

Sturdy, accessible singer-songwriter work; nothing more, nothing less. A mature record in the vein of latter-day Mary Chapin Carpenter or John Hiatt, never getting too mellow or rocking out too hard. Niche reference: Doyle’s singing sounds like Robert Ellis Orrall.


Brady Lux

Ain’t Gone So Far

I’ll always go to bat for someone who brings a contemporary POV to a bygone genre aesthetic. Lux’s songs are often clever and wry, and the arrangements will surely play well to the traditionalist sect. But wow, are these vocals rough and a major liability.


Joshua Ray Walker

Thank You For Listening

The sincerity of his delivery makes up for the occasional flubbed note on what amounts to a love letter to his fanbase. These acoustic renditions of perfectly curated fan favorites all highlight the quality of his material and his inimitable vocal style. Get well soon, JRW.


Emily Ann Roberts

Can’t Hide Country: Cabin Sessions

Stripped-down re-recording of about 1/3 of the songs on her killer 2023 debut, and they’re just as good or better in this version. And the addition of a Trisha Yearwood cover that she actually pulls off reaffirms Roberts as a major talent who should be a huge star.


Tucker Riggleman and the Cheap Dates

Restless Spirit

This one won’t be for everyone, but it’s very much for me. The technical imperfections give this a punk vibe, but with a sonic palette that’s twangier than any actual “cowpunk” outfit from that era. That energy plays off deeply humanist, often funny songs.

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