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New Music Tuesday: Shelby Lynne, Olivia Newton-John, Katherine McPhee, Indigo Girls, Darius Rucker

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Writing this column each week is a lot more fun when I’m feeling the evangelistic fervor rising up inside me and I can talk about the passion.  Some weeks are easier than others.  I want to get excited about some releases on the slate but it’s a bit more of a struggle this week. 

Shelby Lynne
Merry Christmas

I have no problem getting enthusiastic about music from Shelby Lynne- she’s one of my favorite singer/songwriters.  I Am Shelby Lynne is essential listening and recent records like Suit Yourself and Tears, Lies, & Alibis have shown tremendous growth and development for her as an interpreter (as did her Dusty Springfield tribute Just A Little Lovin’) and writer.  Blogcritics writer Clayton Perry interviewed Lynne about Tears, Lies, & Alibis, which was released earlier this year as well as I Am Shelby Lynne.

So why am I not jumping up and down?  I’m just not a huge fan of most of the Christmas and holiday-themed releases that come out each year.  I think she’s great but I’m not sure what to make of her doing “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.”  Maybe it’s great, but do I need to hear it?  I’m on the fence.  She tackles some other secular and sacred Christmas songs and even throws in a couple of her own compositions. 

Shelby Lynne isn’t the only one with a Christmas release for this week.  Indigo Girls also have one as does former American Idol contestant Katherine McPhee, Olivia Newton-John, and who knows how many others.   If you love these songs, you’ll have plenty of artists offering to sing and play them for you. 

Moving off Christmas for the moment, we’ve also got new releases from indie wunderkind Sufjan Stevens and a new disc from Hootie & The Blowfish’s Darius Rucker, who has found a second act in the country/Americana genre.  There’s also more music from the incarcerated rapper Lil’ Wayne and a new set from Belle & Sebastian.  There are a ton of releases this week and I’m sure many of them would make dazzling additions to your CD tower (remember those?) and iPod.  Here’s the list, yours if you want them:

9th Prince – One Man Army
Aaron Watson – The Road & The Rodeo
Adkins, Trace – Definitive Greatest Hits
All That Remains – For We Are Many
Amazing Blondel – England/Blondel
Angelo Badalamenti – Angelo Badalamenti: Music For Film And Television
Angra – Aqua
Antony And The Johnsons – Swanlights
Athorn – Phobia
Atmosphere – To All My Friends, Blood Makes
Badly Drawn Boy – It’s What I’m Thinking: Photographing Snowflakes
Belle And Sebastian – Write About Love
Belleruche – 270 Stories
Bessie Smith – Blues Biography
Big Time Rush – BTR
Black Heart Procession, The – Blood Bunny / Black Rabbit
Blue Floyd – Live In Pensylvania
Blue Moon Rising – Strange New World
Bonified Presents – Thug City
Brian Setzer Orchestra – Christmas Comes Alive!
Brozman, Bob, John Mcsherry An – Six Days In Down
Brubeck, Dave – Time Was
Bruford Levin Upper Extremities – Blue Nights
Brute Force – I, Brute Force, Confections Of
California Guitar Trio – Andromeda
Carrion, Luisito – Clasicos En Vivo
Cash, Johnny – Playlist: The Very Best Gospel Of Johnny Cash
Celtic Thunder – Christmas
Cloud Nothings – Turning On
Coma – Excess
Crown, The – Doomsday King
Cunninlynguists – Present Kno: Death Is Silent
Dakrya – Crime Scene
Dale, Dave & Nadaji – Mantra Rocks
Dance Mix Usa – New Dance Mix Usa
Dave Koz – Hello Tomorrow
December People, The – Rattle And Humbug
Devine, Kevin – Make The Clocks Move
Die Antwoord – $O$
Dimmu Borgir – Abrahadabra
Drop The Lime – Fabriclive 53: Drop The Lime
Drudkh – Handful Of Stars
Duran Duran – Big Thing (Limited Ed.)
Duran Duran – Notorious (Limited Edition)
Dylan, Bob – Playlist: The Very Best Of Bob Dylan: 1980′s
Edge Of Sanity – Crimson Ii
Edge Of Sanity – Nothing But Death Remains
Edge Of Sanity – Purgatory Afterglow
Edge Of Sanity – Spectral Sorrow, The
Edge Of Sanity – Unorthodox
Edge Of Sanity – Until Eternity Ends
Envy – Recitation
Evil Survives – Powerkiller
Evile – Infected Nations (Redux Ed)
Far East Movement – Free Wired
Fernandez, Alejandro – Mexicanisimo-Sus Mas Grandes Exitos Rancheros/Alejandro Fernandez
Foreign Exchange, The – Authenticity
Fraser, Brooke – Flags
Gangrene (The Alchemist & Oh No) – Gutter Water
Garrett Wall Band – Sky Pointing
Glc – Love, Life & Loyalty
Glc – Love, Life & Loyalty (Edited)
Grave Digger – The Clans Will Rise Again
Green Children, The – Encounter
Grupo Gale – Autentico
Haeresiarchs Of Dis – Denuntiatus Cinis
Harry, Deborah – Rockbird/Debravation
Hauschka – Foreign Landscapes
Hawkwind – Dawn Of Hawkwind
Hedley – The Show Must Go
Hell Militia – Last Station On The Road To
Hicks, Dan & The Hot Licks – Crazy For Christmas
Hill Country Revue – Zebra Ranch
Hynes, Ron – Stealing Genius
Idlewild – Post Electric Blues
Iglesias, Julio – Playlist: The Very Best Of Julio Iglesias
Indigo Girls – Holly Happy Days
Intronaut – Valley Of Smoke
Iron Fire – Metalmorphosized
Isley Brothers, The – Playlist: The Very Best Of The Isley Brothers
James Brown – The Complete James Brown Xmas / [2 Cd]
Jones, Stuart – Massage 2
Jones, Stuart And Sarah – Lullabies For Children
Joplin, Janis – Playlist: The Very Best Of Janis Joplin
Joshua Radin – The Rock & The Tide
Kaskade – Dance. Love
Katharine McPhee – Christmas Is A Time…(To Say I Love You)
Kearney, Mat – Playlist: The Very Best Of Mat Kearney
Khing Zin Shwe And Shwe Shwe K – Voice Over The Bridge
Kiani – Kiani
Lenoir, J.B. – The Mojo
Les Fleurs De Lys – Reflections
Les Miserable – The 2010 Cast Album
Les Than Jake – Tv/Ep
Lewis, Ramsey – The Movie Album/Dancing In The Street
Lil Wayne – I Am Not A Human Being
Los Cenzontles – Raza De Oro
Lovers  - Dark Light
Madball – Empire
Manilow, Barry – Playlist: The Very Best Of Barry Manilow
Maranatha Singers – In The Spirit Of Christmas
Maria Muldaur – Barnyard Dance:Jug Band Music For Kids
Markos Vamvakaris – Rembetika 5-Master Of Rembetika 1932-1937
Michael Formanek – The Rub And Spare Change
Michelle Campagne & Family – The Little Blue Doggy
Molly Hatchet – Playlist: The Very Best Of Molly Hatchet
Monareta – Fried Speakers
Moondoggies, The – Tidelands
Morgan, Whitey And The 78s – Whitey Morgan And The 78s
Motionless In White – Creatures
Mullins, Shawn – Light You Up
Myles, Heather – Live In London & Texas
Nelly Tribute – Smooth Jazz Tribute To Nelly
Nes, Silje – Opticks
Newsboys – Christmas! A Newsboys Holiday
Newton-John, Olivia – Christmas Collection
Nik Bartsch’s Ronin – Llyria
Now Christmas 4 – Now Christmas 4
Now Club Hits 2 – Now Club Hits 2
October Falls – Collapse Of Faith, A
Old 97′s – The Grand Theatre Volume One
Orb Featuring David Gilmour, The – Metallic Spheres
Paisley, Doug – Constant Companion
Parton, Dolly – Playlist: The Very Best Of Dolly Parton Gospel
Pepper – Stiches
Pigeon John – Dragon Slayer
Presley, Elvis – Playlist: The Very Best Of Elvis Presley Gospel
Quicksilver Messenger Service – Happy Trails
Rita Indiana Y Los Misterios – El Juidero
Rodgers, Jimmie – Train Whistle Blues
Ronstadt, Linda – Linda Ronstadt / Heart Like A Wheel (2-For-1)
Rosehill – White Lines And Stars
Rucker, Darius – Charleston, Sc 1966
Ruiz, Maelo – Regalame Una Noche
Shelby Lynne – Merry Christmas
Simpson, Jessica – Playlist: The Very Best Of Jessica Simpson
Sister Hazel – Heartland Highway
Sky Larkin – Kaleide
Soft Machine – Rubber Riff
Soundtrack – Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (Jan A.P. Kaczmarek)
Soundtrack – Let Me In (Michael Giacchino)
Soundtrack – The Tudors: Season 4 (Trevor Morris)
Soundtrack/Tv – Vampire Diaries, The
Spirit – Sea Dream
Spiritual Beggars – Return To Zero
Stevens, Sufjan – The Age Of Adz
Stoltz, Kelley – To Dreamers
Sun Records’ Greatest Hits – Sun Records’ Greatest Hits
Suuns – Zeroes Qc
Symphorce – Unrestricted
Taff,Russ – Another Sentimental Christmas
The Band Perry – The Band Perry
The Canadian Tenors – The Perfect Gift
The Secret Sisters – The Secret Sisters
Tiersen, Yann – Dust Lane
Trademark Da Skydiver – Super Villain: Issue #2
Trapt – No Apologies
Unsun – Clinic For Dolls
Vado – Slime Flu
Valencia – Dancing With A Ghost
Various – Big Box Of Blues
Various – Boss Tuneage…Vol. 3
Various – Cti Records: The Cool Revolution
Various Artists – Chart-Toppers Of The 30s
Various Artists – The Cosimo Matassa Story
Various Artists – A Farewell To Ireland
Various Artists – Happy Holiday
Various Artists – Sacred Songs Of Mary
Various Artists – The Rough Guide To Flamenco Da
Vaughan, Stevie Ray – Playlist: The Very Best Of Stevie Ray Vaughan
Vega, Suzanne – Close-Up Vol 2, People And Places
Waters, Muddy – They Called Me Muddy Waters/Live At Mister Kelly’s
Webb, Jimmy – 10 Easy Pieces Plus 4
West, Kanye Tribute – Smooth Jazz Tribute To Kanye West
Wheeler, Kenny W/ John Dankworth Order – Windmill Tilter The Story Of Don Quixote
Williams, Dar – Many Great Companions
Williams, Paul – Just An Old Fashioned Love Song / Here Comes Inspiration (2-For-1)
Williams, Robbie – In & Out Of Consciousness
Williams, Robbie – In & Out Of Consciousness
Wills, Bob & The Texas Playboys – The King Of Western Swing
Wilson Phillips – Christmas In Harmony
Winter, Kendl – Apple Core
Winterfylleth – Mercian Sphere, The
Woe – Quietly, Undramatically
Wolf People – Steeple
You, Me & Everyone We Know – Some Things Don’t Wash Out
Yung Redd – Eviction Notice 4.0
Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction – We Are Volsung
Zola Jesus – Valusia

About Josh Hathaway