DISClaimer: Sarah Potenza, The Marcus King Band Top New Americana Releases

It’s Americana week here in Guitar Town, and there’s non-stop music in nightspots all over the city.

There’s non-stop music on disc, too. Of the hundreds of hopefuls lined up for a listen, I chose these 10 for your edification.

The Disc of the Day belongs to that force-of-nature, body-positive and completely fabulous Sarah Potenza. She is one incredible piece of work.

For our DISCovery Award, I turn to a youngster I only learned about this week. And, boy, am I glad I did. The Marcus King Band makes me hopeful about the future of rock & roll.

MANDOLIN ORANGE/Belly of the Beast
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Yep Roc
– This compelling North Carolina folk duo (Andrew Marlin & Emily Frantz) captivates audiences at sold-out venues like the Ryman. This new single casts its spell with weaving, wandering banjo droplets and dreamy vocals. Haunting.

DELBERT McCLINTON/Let’s Get Down Like We Used To
Writers: none listed; Producers: McClinton/Bob Britt/Kevin McKendree; Publishers: none listed; Hot Shot/Thirty Tigers
– Loose limbed and funky, this is a gently rocking, swaying, romantic come-on for couples of a certain age. Senior citizenry sounds sexy here. Delbert showcases on Saturday at 11:30 pm at 3rd & Lindsley.

Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Thirty Tigers
– Sassy and ferociously rocking. She lays down the law on this searing, roaring outing, promising doom and despair to her paramour. Aubrie’s fusion of country singing with alternative-rock bashing is completely unique. Also check out her new duet with Steve Earle on “My Love Will Not Change.” Her crystalline country soprano and his backwoods growl are terrific contrasting textures. Coupled with a dark, pounding track they are gripping, essential and utterly magnetic. Both tunes are previews of an album that drops early next year. Catch Aubrie at 8:00 pm Saturday in Mercy Lounge.

CORB LUND & HAYES CARLL/The Cover of Rolling Stone
Writers: none listed; Producer: Corb Lund/John Evans; Publisher: none listed; New West
-This always-welcome Canadian troubadour drops his new, 8-song CD tomorrow. Titled Cover Your Tracks, it is a set of reinvented oldies by everyone from Marty Robbins to AC/DC. Also represented are classics popularized by Billy Joel, Willie Nelson & Ray Charles, Nancy Sinatra, Bob Dylan and The Eagles. And then there’s this, a delightfully rumpled, rollicking duet with Hayes Carll on the 1973 Dr. Hook hit. The original version actually did get Dr. Hook on the cover of Rolling Stone. Can lightning strike twice in the same place? Lund is on Saturday’s bill of the all-day “Under the Sun” show at the Rooftop Lounge of the Westin Hotel.

Writer: John Hiatt; Producer: Kevin McKendree; Publisher: So Not That, BMI; New West
– Hiatt is in the spotlight this week as the 2019 winner of BMI’s Troubadour Award. His current album is titled The Eclipse Sessions and includes this strummy, rootsy, midtempo shuffle. His national-treasure strangled rasp promises to never oppress a lover, even though he might not be all that reliable. Rolling, strolling brilliance.

Writers: Potenza/Ian Crossman/Justin Wiseman; Producer: Jordan Brooke Hamlin; Publishers: none listed; Snax
– This former contestant on The Voice is a take-no-prisoners artist. Cross this bodacious, soulful, brassy, in-your-face dame at your own peril. Drawn from her Road to Rome CD, this stormy, fierce, edgy, roaring number is a powerful self-love anthem. The whole album is anchored by this East Nashvillian’s colossal, bluesy voice and her lyrics of determination, self-worth and empowerment. A feminist battle cry. Her live performances are super theatrical, and she’s showcasing at 10:30 pm Friday at Analog in the Hutton Hotel.

Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Easy Eye Sound
– He’s a young pup of 23, but King is a full-grown guitar slinger. Blessed with a rock-star’s soulful shout as well as instrumental chops to spare, he gets down to basics on this deliciously moaning ode. He has, indeed, said farewell to South Carolina and now calls Music City home. You’ll be tempted to call his sound throwback Southern rock, but he’s a lot cooler than that. The Marcus King Band showcases at 8:15 pm tonight at Musicians Corner in Centennial Park. Expect to have your socks rocked.

Writers: none listed; Producer: Sturgill Simpson/John Hill; Publishers: none listed; Elektra
– This dude simply refuses to fit in any musical category. Instead of a neo-classicist country guy, he’s now a ZZ Top techno stomper, at least judging by this throbbing track. Exciting, electronic and innovative.

Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; New West
-Despite the band name, these guys are Nashvillians. Their new album doesn’t appear until next month, but this advance single/video of the title track is out now. As the lyrics indicate, the vibe is Delta-dirt hippies tripping on LSD to a languid, bluesy accompaniment. Mellow and groovy. The group will be at the “Music City Roots” broadcast from Yee Haw Brewing Company tonight at 7:00 pm.

Writers: none listed; Producer: Gary Nicholson; Publisher: none listed; Blue Corn
-This esteemed, hit-machine, Music Row tunesmith has crafted a semi-political collection titled The Great Divide. Its songs contemplate our nation’s troubled state and search for understanding and cooperation. On this bluesy, ragtimey hand clapper Gary offers a tuneful prescription to your “blues watching the evening news.” He’s helped along in no small measure by our city’s favorite soul siblings and some get-happy piano tickling by Catherine Marks. Catch Gary on Friday at 8 pm at 3rd & Lindsley and the McCrarys on Friday at 9:30 pm at Analog in the Hutton Hotel.


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Robert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.

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