New Releases, Oct. 14: Kenny Chesney, Lucinda Williams, Ray LaMontagne
The country superstar is set to issue a follow-up to last year's platinum-plus-selling "Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates." The first single from "Lucky Old Sun" is "Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven," which was released in August and became Chesney's 38th Top 40 country hit.
Also of note, "Lucky Old Sun" includes the track "I'm Alive," which is collaboration with rock-star Dave Matthews.
Thanks to such smash hits as "How Forever Feels" and "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy," Chesney has become one of the most highly decorated performers in country music history. He has been named "Entertainer of the Year" by both the ACM and CMA on multiple occasions.
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Having released the Grammy-nominated "West" just last year, the acclaimed alt-country singer/songwriter quickly returns with a follow-up, "Little Honey."
The 13-track set features numerous guest stars, including Elvis Costello, Matthew Sweet, Susanna Hoffs, Jim Lauderdale and Charlie Louvin. "Little Honey" also includes Williams' version of AC/DC's "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)," which she has already added to her concert repertoire.
Williams is currently supporting "Little Honey" on the road. The tour is scheduled to last through mid-November, ending with a two-night stand, Nov. 16-17, at San Francisco's legendary Fillmore.
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"Gossip in the Grain"
The pop vocalist gets back to business with his third studio release, "Gossip in the Grain." LaMontagne recorded "Gossip in the Grain" in England with producer Ethan Johns.
After recording his previous two albums--2004's "Trouble" and 2006's "Till the Sun Turns Black"--as mostly solo endeavors (with Johns serving as a contributing instrumentalist), Lamontagne enlisted the help of a couple of his touring-band members while recording the new record: bassist Jennifer Condos and guitarist Eric Heywood.
LaMontagne is showcasing "Gossip in the Grains" during his current North American tour, which is scheduled to stretch through a Nov. 9 show in Seattle.
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Already mega-stars in their native UK, Keane hopes to create a similar sensation in the US with the release of its third studio album, "Perfect Symmetry." The record follows 2004's "Hopes and Fears" and 2006's "Under the Iron Sea," both of which hit the No. 1 spot on the charts in the UK.
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The King of Rock and Roll has some posthumous company on this holiday offering. The album features some of today's most-popular female stars, including Gretchen Wilson, Carrie Underwood and Martina McBride, adding their voices to Presley's treasured Christmas classics. Some might dub the package as morbid, but it's easy to see "Christmas Duets" becoming a popular gift idea come the holiday season.
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More new releases:
Kristin Chenoweth, "A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas" (Sony)
Copeland, "You Are My Sunshine" (Tooth and Nail)
Billy Currington, "Little Bit of Everything" (Jazz Alliance)
Al Jarreau, "Christmas" (Rhino)
Gojira, "The Way of All Flesh" (Prosthetic)
Yo-Yo Ma, "Songs of Joy & Peace Deluxe Version" (Sony)
Yngwie Malmsteen, "Perpetual Flame" (Rising Force)
Mary Mary, "The Sound" (Sony)
Dave Mason, "26 Letters 12 Notes" (MRI)
Ingrid Michaelson, "Be OK" (Cabin 24)
New Kids on the Block, "Merry, Merry Christmas" (Sony)
Todd Snider, "Peace Queer" (MRI)
J.D. Souther, "If the World Was You" (MRI)
Various Artists, "Born to the Breed: A Tribute to Judy Collins" (Wildflower)