Country and Americana music is well-represented in the glut of Record Store Day releases arriving April 13th. These are the 10 we’re most excited about, from rare live sets to essential best-ofs.
Lone Justice, Live at the Palomino 1983
The vaunted Los Angeles cowpunk band rips through 12 originals and covers in this wild-eyed live set, captured at Los Angeles’ famed Palomino and featuring the early lineup of Maria McKee, Ryan Hedgecock, Marvin Etzioni and Don Willens. Included are versions of “You Are the Light” and the snarling “Working Late,” both of which found their way onto the group’s debut album two years later in 1985, as well as raw-but-reverent covers of “Workin’ Man Blues” and “This World Is Not My Home.” J.F.
The Mavericks/Sweet Lizzy Project, “The Flower’s in the Seed”
The Mavericks celebrate their 30th anniversary this year, but on this 7-inch they put the focus on the Sweet Lizzy Project, a Cuban rock band signed to their MonoMundo Recording label. Two versions of the ballad “The Flower’s in the Seed” appear here: a solo take by the Sweet Lizzy Project, and one with singer Lisset Díaz trading lines with the Mavs’ Raul Malo. J.H.
Townes Van Zandt, The Best of Townes Van Zandt
One of Americana’s most celebrated — and tragic — figures is memorialized on this double-LP best-of, an ideal starter set for Townes neophytes. “Pancho and Lefty,” “If I Needed You” and “Flyin’ Shoes” are all included. (Then grab Steve Earle’s RSD tribute to Guy Clark, a contemporary of Van Zandt’s.) J.H.
Kip Moore, Room to Spare
There’s somethin’ ’bout a vinyl album. For his first Record Store Day release, Kip Moore will bundle several of his recordings on wax, filling up the A-side with the seven acoustic versions of his songs from the 2018 Room to Spare EP. On the flip are some of Moore’s essential recordings from the last few years, including “Plead the Fifth,” “Last Shot” and his latest single, “The Bull.” J.F.
LeAnn Rimes, Live From Gruene Hall
Recorded at the venerable (and must-visit) Texas dance hall, this concert by the big-voiced singer is remarkable in its diversity. Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Pride and Joy” and Willie Nelson’s “Always on My Mind” bookend a track list that includes David Allan Coe’s “You Never Even Called Me By My Name” and Oasis’s “Wonderwall.” It’s as unpredictable as Rimes herself. J.H.
Emmylou Harris: Studio Albums Collection
Five of Harris’s albums get the vinyl treatment in this must-have set: Evangeline, Cimarron, Last Day, White Shoes and the gorgeous Roses in the Snow, which features Harris’s stunning take on Paul Simon’s “The Boxer.” A 45 single of Harris crooning with Roy Orbison on “That Lovin’ Feeling Again” accompanies the package. J.H.
Tony Joe White, Live in Austin
The loss of White last year came as a shock to fans of the swamp-rock king. This 1980 concert, however, captures him in his prime, laying down greasy licks and singing tall tales like “Polk Salad Annie” in his raspy growl. Released on white vinyl, Side 4 features an etched tribute to the late singer-guitarist. J.H.
Marty Stuart, Icon
Now this is a score: country music’s chief historian revisits his own history on this compilation from 2012, released for the first time on vinyl and with Stuart’s autograph to boot. Come for the hits like “Hillbilly Rock” and “Tempted,” written with White Mansions genius Paul Kennerley; stay for Marty’s tribute to Elvis, “Don’t Be Cruel (To a Heart That’s True).” J.H.
John Hiatt & Lilly Hiatt, “All Kinds of People/You Must Go”
Father and daughter unite for this exclusive 7-inch from New West Records, in which each covers a song by the other. For John, it’s his daughter’s “All Kinds of People,” off the superb Trinity Lane; for Lilly, it’s the bittersweet goodbye “You Must Go,” from 1995’s Walk On. J.H.
Kelsea Ballerini, Spotify Singles
Kelsea Ballerini’s original recording of the single “Miss Me More” is a ready-made banger, destined for late-night drives and dance floors. In a Spotify session that’s being released as a 7-inch on Record Store Day, Ballerini’s kiss-off anthem is transformed into a full-band workout in the key of Shania. It’s backed with a cover of Shawn Mendes’ funk-pop gem “Lost in Japan” that’s as sweet as a gentle spring breeze. J.F.