Stapleton’s Room is The Envy Of All On Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Country/Bluegrass/Americana/Folk Albums List

Courtesy: Mercury Nashville

Country music, Americana, Bluegrass and Folk are some of the most closely related sounds out there today.  They are so closely related that it is easier to find acts from the noted genres on one radio station oftentimes than bands in the worlds of rock and metal.  It seems that there are much more finely defined lines in those two worlds even with their similarities.  Considering that the noted genres tend to be so close to one another, it is easier to group them all together in one list for the purpose of the year’s best new albums.  That having been noted, this critic’s list of the year’s top new albums from those realms is spread widely across each one.  Topping this year’s list of the best new country/bluegrass/Americana/Folk albums is Chris Stapleton’s latest offering, From A RoomVolume 2.  From start to finish, this record takes listeners back to the good old days of country while also touching on southern rock and even some blues.  That’s just the musical aspect of his latest album.  The lyrical content works expertly with each arrangement.  If you are a country, blues and southern rock fan but haven’t yet picked up this record, get it.  Period.  Also on this year’s list are new releases from North Carolina-based outfit Mipso, David Messier, Zakk Brown Band and others.  It runs the gamut.

As with every other list, this list features the year’s Top 10 new albums plus five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 albums.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is the Phil’s Picks 2017 Top 10 New Country/Bluegrass/Americana/Folk Albums.


  1. Chris Stapleton — From A RoomVol.  2
  2. Andrew Carter — Andrew Carter
  3. Josh Turrner — Deep South
  4. Brad Paisley — Love and War
  5. David Messier — Waiting For Eldridge
  6. Hank, Pattie & The Current — Hold Your Head Up High
  7. The Infamous Stringdusters — Laws of Gravity
  8. Mipso — Coming Down The Mountain
  9. Mike Mangione & The Kin — But I’ve Seen The Stars
  10. Outlaws & Moonshine — The Devil In The Moonshine
  11. Buzz Cason — Passion
  12. Luke Combs — This One’s For You
  13. Darius Rucker — When Was The Last Time
  14. Zac Brown Band — Welcome Home
  15. Toby Keith — The Bus Songs

While the list above is this critic’s own list of the year’s top new records from the country/bluegrass/Americana/Folk realm.  There were certainly more albums than what’s listed here that deserve at least one listen including Lady Antebellum’s latest album Heartbreak, Luke Bryan’s What Makes You Country, Rascal Flatts’ This Is Us and so many others.  Keeping that in mind, there is plenty out there for fans of every noted genre within that universe.

Next up from Phil’s Picks are lots more lists to try to get to before the year lets out.  Lots to do and not enough time, so we’re going to step things up from here.  There are new Children’s albums, rock records, hard rock/metal, live recordings, and the DVD realm.  So there will likely be multiple lists from this point forward.  Stay tuned!

Southern Rock/Country Artist Andrew Carter Impresses On His Self-Titled Debut LP

Courtesy: Dog Song Records

Singer/songwriter Andrew Carter is on the verge of becoming one of the next big names in the country/southern rock arena.  That is thanks to Carter’s latest studio recording, his new self-titled, eight-song EP.  Released via Dog Songs Records, this record gives southern rock and country fans plenty to appreciate both musically and lyrically—two of its most important elements.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is key in its own way to this record’s whole.  Collectively, they make Andrew Carter the first step in a potentially big career for Carter.

Andrew Carter’s self-titled debut recording is a solid start for this up-and-coming, Tennesee-based southern rock/country artist.  That is proven in part through the musical arrangements that serve as the record’s foundation.  From start to finish, the musical arrangements presented in this record conjure thoughts of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Black Crowes and even Hank Williams Sr. among so many other top name acts from the southern rock and country realms.  The album’s opener, ‘Tear This Motha’ Down’ even conjures thoughts of Shooter Jennings with its arrangement.  As if that is not interesting enough, the record’s second offering, ‘The Weekend’ conjures thoughts of Bob Dylan while the rest of the song lends itself musically to thoughts of more modern southern rock and country works.  The reference to Lynyrd Skynyrd applies to the album’s fourth song, ‘Six Thousand Miles.’  Instantly lends itself to comparisons to the aforementioned band’s megahit ‘Tuesday’s Gone.’  Considering this and the equally easy comparisons that can be made through the record’s other compositions, it can be said easily that the album’s musical arrangements do plenty to make this record enjoyable for any southern rock and country fan.  It is only one part of what makes Andrew Carter an enjoyable listen for those noted audiences.  The record’s lyrical themes are just as important to its presentation as its musical arrangements.

The lyrical themes presented throughout Andrew Carter’s debut recording are collectively an important part of the album’s whole because while maybe not as diverse as the musical influences, they are still interesting in their own right. Carter sings in the EP’s opener about a woman who clearly made quite a difference in his life (or that of the song’s subject).  ‘The Weekend’ is also about a woman, yet, it’s also about the joys of two people spending the weekend together; no stresses of work, just the two people.  It’s a fun, light song that is sure to put a smile on any listener’s face.  There is even a tribute to all things southern in the simply titled ‘My Favorite Thing (about the South)’ that is also a tribute (no surprise) to a woman.   ‘Ghost Of Me’ offers up a fun, light-hearted introspective on Carter’s life that will entertain listeners just as much lyrically as it will musically.  It’s just one more way in which the lyrical content presented in Andrew Carter proves to be so important It shows alongside the album’s other lyrical themes, Carter’s ability to be lyrically diverse without being overly so.  That being the case, it becomes clear why the lyrical themes presented in Carter’s debut album is so important to the album’s whole.  Even with its importance, it still is not the last of the album’s most important elements.  The album’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

Andrew Carter’s sequencing is important to discuss here because it determines the album’s ability to keep listeners engaged and entertained just as much as the album’s musical and lyrical content.  Obviously plenty of time and thought was put into making sure this record would keep listeners engaged and entertained, too.  From start to finish, the album’s energy never lets up too much.  Even in the case of the Tom Petty-esque ‘Same Old Song’ (which is one of the album’s slower songs and sounds eerily like Petty’s ‘Last Dance With Mary Jane’ musically speaking), the energy still maintains itself in its own way.  Simply put, the album’s energy never lets up or gets too much at one point or another at any one point throughout its run.  Keeping this in mind, the album’s sequencing definitely ensures just as much its musical and lyrical content, listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  When all three elements are joined together, they make the album in whole a solid start for Andrew Carter, giving hope for a long career to come.

Andrew Carter’s self-titled debut album is a solid start for the southern rock/country musician. It is a record that gives hope for the future of his career thanks not only to its musical arrangements but also its lyrical content and its sequencing.  Each element plays its own critical part to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Andrew Carter a record that is sure to make his name very well-known very soon.  It is available now.  More information on Carter’s debut album is available online now along with all of his latest news and more at:









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