Labels are offering up some highly anticipated musical offerings this month, with many more to come in April, May and June. Here’s a glance at a few new releases for March from several genres.
The Shins – “Heartworms” (Aural Apothecary/Columbia; March 10)
For their fifth album (and first in five years), The Shins’ James Mercer started tracking material in 2015 that he feels is closer to the sound of the band’s early records, telling Portland, Oregon’s KBOO-FM, “I think we’ve got something that Shins fans will really love, and I think there are some things on there that are different enough.”
Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives – “Way Out West” (Superlatone; March 10)
Stuart’s 18th studio release is a traditional concept album of sorts, designed as a tribute to the classic American West. Produced at Capitol Studios in Hollywood by Mike Campbell, guitarist for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, “Way Out West” begins with the eerie “Desert Prayer” and continues with the Native-American paean “Mojave,” complete with mood-conjuring surf-guitar. This beautifully constructed and well-recorded album is a remarkable celebration of vintage Americana.
Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Live From The Fox Oakland” (Fantasy; March 17)
After three studio albums, the 11-piece group offers up their first live set in five years. With a mix of soulful originals and unexpected covers (Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Bobby “Blue” Bland), the album (recorded September 9) will offer fans that saw them last summer at Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion a rollicking memento of the tour.
James Blunt – “The Afterlove” (Atlantic; March 24)
The “You’re Beautiful” singer proves he has a sense of humor in his album-release video for “The Afterlove.” Pictured in his bathtub, surrounded by bubbles, he promises fans “something big” before slowly allowing the album cover image into view. The 10-track album (including two songs co-written with Ed Sheeran) features songs of love lost, found, and celebrated.
Trace Adkins – “Something’s Going On” (Wheelhouse; March 31)
For his 12th studio album, Adkins offers up twelve new tracks, including lead single “Watered Down,” a song about tempering vices. “A man comes to a point in his life where he begins to reflect on his past and what he’s learned and that’s what fueled this song,” he said in a statement announcing the record.
Dave Davies and Russ Davies – “Open Road” (Red River Entertainment; March 31)
The younger Davies brother in The Kinks will release his eighth solo album this month, a project that he hinted about when I interviewed him in the fall of 2015. “I’ve done quite a bit of recording with my son, Russ,” Davies said. “He’s a DJ and an electronic musician and I’d like to do more work with him, maybe even as a next project.” Meanwhile, brother Ray will issue his first solo record in a decade (“Americana”) on April 21.
Bob Dylan – “Triplicate” (Columbia; March 31)
Following two albums of American classic covers (2015’s Sinatra-themed “Shadows in the Night” and last year’s “Fallen Angels”) Dylan will issue his first triple-disc set, featuring 30 covers of classic American songs, thematically arranged on each disc. Regarding “Triplicate,” Dylan wrote in a statement, “I've hit upon new ways to uncover and interpret these songs that are right in line with the best recordings of my own songs, and my band and I really seemed to hit our stride on every level with ‘Triplicate.’”