Lots Of Options Offered By 2015’s Top New Country, Folk, Bluegrass, And Americana Albums

Country music and its related genres (I.E. americana, bluegrass, and folk) are big business in the music world. Just look at all of the karaoke competitions on television today and the number of country singers that go on those shows, trying to make a name for themselves. Look at the reach that it has on radio in general. Artists such as Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood have bridged the gap between pop and country alongside the likes of Rascal Flatts, Eric Church, and so many others. In the same breath, true-blooded country music remains just as much of a driving force today within the realm of country music as its more cross-genre counterparts that have become so popular over the last ten years or more. The dichotomy of the two worls is really intriguing to examine as well as the fan base of both sides of the country music world. Keeping that in mind, country and its offshoots can be said to have just as much importance to the music industry today as any other genre. So having covered the realm of children’s music, independent music, and world music, it seems only fair to offer up a listing of the year’s top new records in the worlds of country, folk, bluegrass, and Americana within their own collective year-ender. This was one of the more difficult lists to assemble because of the sheer variety of sounds and titles available to listeners this year. North Carolina-based Delta Rae makes the list once again with its new album After It All. Americana artists Buzz Cason is on this list, too with his new album Record Machine as are Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard with their new record Django and Jimmie. Of course Geoge Strait, “The King of Country,” couldn’t be ignored in this list. His new album Cold Beer Conversation is on the Phil’s Picks list of 2015’s top new Country, folks, bluegrass, and Americana records, too. They’re just a handful of the acts to make the list this year. There are plenty of others veteran and otherwise alike on this year’s list. Without any further ado, I offer to you, dear readers, the best new country, folk, bluegrass, and americana albums of 2015. As always the top 10 albums are…well…the top 10. the bottom five each get honorable mention. That is not a stab against them by any means. It was just that tough to compile the list and do it fairly because there were so many great new records in this realm just as with the other lists. Enough rambling. Here are the Best New Country, Folk, Bluegrass, and Americana albums of 2015 from Phil’s Picks.


1. Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard — Django and Jimmie

2. George Strait — Cold Beer Conversation

3. Blackberry Smoke — Holding All The Roses

4. Delta Rae — After It All

5. Sugarcane Jane — Dirt Road’s End

6. Alan Jackson — Angels and Alcohol

7. Alabama — Southern Drawl

8. Tim McGraw — Damn Country Music

9. Buzz Cason — Record Machine

10. Darius Rucker — Southern Style

11. Gloriana — Three

12. Luke Bryan — Kill The Lights

13. Chris Stapleton — Traveller

14. Dwight Yokam — Second Hand Heart

15. Zac Brown Band — Jekyll and Hyde

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Gloriana, Casey James coming to Mount Olive College this Fall

MOUNT OLIVE, N.C.–Award winning country group Gloriana and American Idol finalist Casey James will perform at Mount Olive College this Fall.  The performance is part of the college’s annual Fall Fest Concert.  It is open to the public.  The acts will perform at Mount Olive College’s Kornegay Arena on Friday, October 12th at 7pm.

Casey James made it to the top three on American Idol’s ninth season before going on to stardom.  He has opened for Sugarland on the band’s Incredible Machine tour, and has also performed on the American Idols Live 2010 tour.  His self-titled debut record was released earlier this year and hit number two on the Billboard Country Album chart.  The second single from the album, ‘Crying on a Suitcase’ is playing at radio stations nationwide.

Gloriana is making its own waves across country radio.  Its debut 2009 single, ‘Wild at Heart’, made its way into the Top 15 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.  Its new single, ‘(Kissed You) Good Night’ currently sits at number seven on the Billboard Country Singles chart.  The band also has the honor of receiving the ’09 “Breakthrough Artist of The Year” and 2010 ACM Awards “Top new Vocal Group” award.  The band is set to release its sophomore album, ‘A Thousand Miles Left Behind’ on July 31st. 

Tickets to the concert will go on sale August 1st.  General admission price is $20.  Tickets can be purchased in advance online at http://www.moc.edu/fallfest.  To get more information on the concert, contact Justin Roe in the Student Development department at 919-658-7897 or via e-mail at jroe@moc.edu.