Country

Johnny Cash’s American VI: Ain’t No Grave was a rustic, spiritual, unbent farewell

Johnny Cash’s American VI: Ain’t No Grave was a rustic, spiritual, unbent farewell

Issued five years ago today, ‘American VI: Ain’t No Grave’ finds Johnny Cash in the midst of a bracing acceptance of his looming fate.

Dwight Yoakam, “Second Hand Heart” (2015): One Track Mind

Dwight Yoakam, “Second Hand Heart” (2015): One Track Mind

On one level, it sounds like the Byrds. On another, Buck Owens. On another still, Gene Vincent. Keep going. At bottom, it’s uniquely Dwight Yoakam.

Ray Wylie Hubbard, “Chick Singer, Badass Rockin'” (2015): One Track Mind

Ray Wylie Hubbard, “Chick Singer, Badass Rockin'” (2015): One Track Mind

Ray Wylie Hubbard has been sticking a steel-toed boot up country’s rear for generations, and this new song is — thankfully — no different.

Jackson Taylor and the Sinners – Cantina del Diablo (2015)

Jackson Taylor and the Sinners – Cantina del Diablo (2015)

Jackson Taylor’s ‘Cantina del Diablo’ reminds us that underneath the fun-loving, boozy persona we often see, there’s a damned good songwriter.

Bob Wayne, “All About that Bass” (2015): One Track Mind

Bob Wayne, “All About that Bass” (2015): One Track Mind

This entirely unexpected Meghan Trainor cover doesn’t display the maturity of Bob Wayne’s last album. But it’s a fun and funny few minutes.

Robert Earl Keen, “Footprints in the Snow” from Happy Prisoner (2015): One Track Mind

Robert Earl Keen, “Footprints in the Snow” from Happy Prisoner (2015): One Track Mind

Robert Earl Keen’s take on Bill Monroe’s “Footprintw in the Snow” is this the best kind of cover song — timeless but personal.

Mark Knopfler, “Beryl” from Tracker (2015): One Track Mind

Mark Knopfler, “Beryl” from Tracker (2015): One Track Mind

“Beryl” reminds us of why Mark Knopfler became famous in the first place — even as it seems to retrace the steps that led him away from that fame.

Gregg Allman prepares his next, typically uncategorizable move: ‘Everybody seems to want some kind of label’

Gregg Allman prepares his next, typically uncategorizable move: ‘Everybody seems to want some kind of label’

Gregg Allman has turned his attention to a new solo album. Just don’t ask him to define it — or even nail down an exact release date.

Jamey Johnson, “Alabama Pines” (2015): One Track Mind

Jamey Johnson, “Alabama Pines” (2015): One Track Mind

Jamey Johnson has released his first new non-holiday song since ending a prolonged dispute with Mercury and launching his own label.

Levon Helm, “Even a Fool Would Let Go” from Levon Helm (1982): Across the Great Divide

Levon Helm, “Even a Fool Would Let Go” from Levon Helm (1982): Across the Great Divide

A journeyman country tune makes the case all over again for Levon Helm’s tender, heart-openingly emotional side.