Throughout her career a nearly decade-long run filled with three album releases, a career-shifting appearance and soundtrack for HBO s True Detective, hundreds of shows on both sides of the Atlantic, and a sound encompassing everything from Americana to stark indie rock Lera Lynn has balanced her fierce independence with a string of collaborations. On her fourth album, Plays Well With Others, she teams up with eight different duet partners and seven co-writers, resulting in her most diverse, collaborative work to date. Plays Well With Others is a unique duets album one in which nearly every song is completely co-written and co-sung. Peter Bradley Adams, John Paul White, Dylan LeBlanc, Andrew Combs, Rodney Crowell, Shovels & Rope, JD McPherson, and Nicole Atkins all make appearances, working alongside Lynn not only to perform these songs, but to create them, too. With Plays Well With Others, Lera Lynn cements her own identity as both creator and collaborator. On an album filled with Grammy winners, country icons, folksingers, and Americana heroes, it's still her star that shimmers the brightest, shining light on the newest phase of an eclectic, ever-expanding career.
Our favorite songs are like one-night stands: passionate or sad, capable of recalling moments with Proustian power. Our favorite artists are lifelong companions: fixtures we turn to for comfort and highs. Over the last two decades, Jason Boland and the Stragglers have delivered and become both. With their new record, Hard Times Are Relative, Boland and the Stragglers stack the smart, road-ready outlaw country longtime fans have come to expect alongside creative risks that flirt with punk and psychedelic sounds. The 10-song collection is a rare blend of instantly gratifying and rewarding of closer listens -- a definitively Stragglers accomplishment. ''It's an upbeat album -- a lot of fast songs, but it doesn't try to be fast,'' Boland says with characteristic insight. ''It just sits in the pocket.''
Cauthen has been the strongest, loudest singer in the room for as long as he can remember. He grew up in Tyler, Texas, where his grandfather––a songwriter and gospel song leader originally from Lubbock who worked with artists including Buddy Holly, Sonny Curtis, and other Crickets–– taught Cauthen and his two sisters to sing harmony. Since Cauthen released his debut LP My Gospel, he’s criss-crossed the country supporting artists like Elle King, Cody Jinks, Margo Price, and Ryan Bingham. In 2018, he’ll play Pickathon, Stagecoach, gig with Shaky Graves, and take his band of aces around world.