New Music for August 2019

Fresh albums from icons including Tanya Tucker, Bobby Rush, and Vince Gill—plus an Appalachian powerhouse, a potent R&B debut from Atlanta, and more of our top picks
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Tyler Childers | Country Squire 

If Tyler Childers’s 2017 barn-burner, Purgatory, put him on the map as a rising voice of Appalachia, the Kentucky native’s major label debut, Country Squire, firmly establishes him as one of roots music’s most compelling young artists. Childers again worked with Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson as producers, and every song burns with emotion. “All Your’n” infuses sentimental lyrics about a forever love with Childers’s endearing snarl, while the foot-stomping anthem “House Fire” seems primed for one of his rowdy, unforgettable shows.

Essential Tracks: “All Your’n,” “House Fire”

Vince Gill | Okie 

Vince Gill is one of Nashville’s most in-demand musicians—in the writing room, in the studio, and on the stage. But it all started in his hometown of Norman, Oklahoma, a history he pays tribute to with his latest album, Okie. The poignant “Letter to My Mama” wonders if he can ever express his gratitude to the woman who raised him, while “A World Without Haggard” salutes a legend lost (“Made me proud to be an Okie, God knows we paid our dues / He was my greatest inspiration, the reason why I sing the blues”). 

Essential Tracks: “Letter to My Mama,” “A World Without Haggard”

Baby Rose | To Myself

Born in Washington, D.C., raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and now based in Atlanta, Rose Wilson has been writing and performing her own songs since she was fourteen. The twenty-five-year-old’s debut album, To Myself, finds her flexing those skills on the heels of a breakup—to stirring effect. The raw emotion behind her lyrics is perhaps most palpable on the album standout “All to Myself,” a bare-bones R&B ballad that shows off Rose’s vocal range and packs a punch for anyone who’s ever had a broken heart. 

Essential Tracks: “All to Myself,” “Mortal”  

Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors | Dragons

Drew Holcomb’s seventh studio album with his band the Neighbors builds upon what the Tennessee native does best—finding warmth, poetry, and common ground in everyday moments. Featuring contributions from an impressive roster of songwriters (Lori McKenna, Natalie Hemby, and the Lone Bellow all make appearances), Dragons employs hand-claps, sing-along-able choruses, and Holcomb’s heartfelt baritone on songs that would feel as natural around a campfire as they would from an amphitheater stage.

Essential Tracks: “Family,” “Dragons”

Tanya Tucker | While I’m Livin’

The news that country music pioneer Tanya Tucker would be releasing a new album for the first time in seventeen years was exciting enough—that Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings would be producing it almost seemed too good to be true. Carlile and her frequent collaborators Phil and Tim Hanseroth wrote many of the songs on While I’m Livin’, including the harmony-laden standout “Wheels of Laredo,” and Tucker’s husky vocals manage to infuse both power and vulnerability into every note. Meanwhile, younger listeners may find their path to Tanya fandom through the album’s few covers, including a heart-rending take on Miranda Lambert’s “House That Built Me.” 

Essential Tracks: “Wheels of Laredo,” “House That Built Me” 

Esther Rose | You Made It This Far 

Fans of classic country and ‘60s folk will find much to appreciate in the Detroit-born, New Orleans-based singer-songwriter Esther Rose, whose sophomore record, You Made It This Far, offers no-frills instrumentation and irresistible wit. Rose hits her stride on “Lower 9 Valentine,” a twangy declaration of affection that’s both a wink at a lover and an ode to the Crescent City. 

Essential Tracks: “Lower 9 Valentine,” “Don’t Blame It on the Moon”

Bobby Rush | Sitting on Top of the Blues

On the heels of a long-overdue Grammy win for 2016’s Porcupine Meat, at the age of 83, bluesman Bobby Rush is back with an album that reveals the Louisiana native still at the top of his game. “Recipe for Love” offers a bare-bones taste of what Rush can accomplish with just a guitar and his signature vocals, while catchy harmonica riffs dial up such songs as “Sweet Lizzy,” “Bobby Rush Shuffle,” and “Shake ‘Til You Get Enough.” 

Essential Tracks: “Sweet Lizzy,” “Recipe for Love” 

Lillie Mae | Other Girls 

Lillie Mae has been honing her strengths as a performer and instrumentalist since she was a child, playing on stages at bluegrass festivals and churches with her family’s band. Other Girls, her sophomore release for Jack White’s Third Man Records, turns bluegrass and country tropes upside down—to dazzling effect. “How” infuses a wistful melody with rock ’n’ roll grit, and the album closer, “Love Dilly Love,” is a swirling, six-minute carnival ride of dream-like echoes and harrowing fiddle.

Essential Tracks: “Whole Blue Heart,” “How”

Get a taste of these August releases—along with more new music, including the latest songs from Kelsey Waldon, Ranky Tanky, the Avett Brothers, and more—by following our New Music playlist on Spotify.