SIVION, BAVU BLAKES, THE ARE | “S.L.Y.” (feat. NickNack)
Hip hop, rap; Illect Recordings – STREAM / BUY single
“Life moves in cycles…are you back pedaling?”
On “S.L.Y.,” Sivion and friends confess, they’re “guilty of a lot of things [they] had to unlearn.” Cancel culture be damned! Self-accountability is a superpower, and Sivion is Black Superman. This syrupy, snappy jam will lay the smackdown on lockdown and challenges you to do yourself a solid: Look in the mirror and repeat, “Somebody loves me.”
LORRAINE JORDAN & CAROLINA ROAD | Bill Monroe’s ol’ Mandolin
Bluegrass; Pinecastle Records — STREAM / BUY album
The award-winning band Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road just released their brand new album, Bill Monroe’s ol’ Mandolin. Released via Pinecastle Records, the collection includes 12 songs, all showcasing the band’s unique traditional-inspired sound.
“We were recording this project and then a pandemic came along. It caused us to not be able to get back in the studio, so some of the recordings were done in a unique way,” says Lorraine Jordan. “I’m so proud of the Carolina Road boys and our special guests for their contributions. We really wanted to finish this project because our single, ‘Bill Monroe’s ol’ Mandolin’ had already climbed the national Bluegrass charts in the Top Five, and landed on several other charts. The request for the entire project has been overwhelming.”
She adds, “After the chart-breaking single on our last project, we knew we had to follow up strong. Once again, David Stewart put the perfect song in our hands and no doubt this single, ‘Bill Monroe’s ol’ Mandolin’ will be a winner. My good friend, and local Raleigh DJ, Larry Nixon suggested our second single be a banjo tune. He sure wrote us a great one, and my banjo player Ben Greene arranged the banjo parts around it perfectly. ‘They Call It Bluegrass’ is a fantastic second single. Jerry Holthouse has managed once again to put together beautiful cd artwork that complements the music. I lost my mother while working on this project, so I decided to include a song she and I wrote together, ‘Living Like I’m Dying’ and dedicated the entire project to Mom. I’m so proud of everyone. What a team we have!”
The lead single, “Bill Monroe’s ol’ Mandolin” has already proven to be a breakout success from the album. Released earlier this year, the David Stewart written track has struck a chord with listeners, racing its way to No. 4 on the Bluegrass Unlimited national airplay survey for the month of August, while also recently debuting on Bluegrass Today’s Monthly Airplay Chart. In addition to these chart successes, the track is breaking records elsewhere after hitting No. 1 for an eighth straight week on David Pugh’s Weekly Top 12 chart airing on The Bluegrass Jamboree. The official video for “Bill Monroe’s Ol’ Mandolin” has spread like wildfire, receiving a combined 500,000 views, which tells the story of the night in 2018 when Bill Monroe’s world-famous instrument was played by Ricky Skaggs at the Country Music Hall of Fame at his own induction ceremony.
With the recent announcement of the album’s second single, “They Call It Bluegrass,” the chart-topping band is keeping the momentum rolling. With the lead single focusing on Monroe’s mandolin, the new song is a Scruggs style, banjo driven tune written by disc jockey Larry Nixon. The lyrics tell the story about the formation of the Bluegrass genre when Monroe and Scruggs met, and all the places where it has spread to from that point. Other standout moments on the record include a combination of new material written by “Female Vocalist of the Year” winner Lorraine Jordan (“Living Like I’m Dying” and “Mama Can You Hear That Train”), alongside some epic covers like a remake of George Jones’ “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” Crystal Gayle’s “Ready For The Times To Get Better,” plus a must-hear version of the Oak Ridge Boys hit “Thank God For Kids” written by Country legend and frequent Carolina Road collaborator Eddy Raven.
Bill Monroe’s ol’ Mandolin serves as the follow-up to the band’s 2018 project True Grass Again, which featured the multi-month No. 1 hit “True Grass” with Danny Paisley and Junior Sisk. Praise for the new record has already started rolling in, with Roots Music Report saying, “The band’s underlying depth is that they have eclectic tastes and the ability to appeal to their large following of fans who like new material presented in an old-styled way,” while Music Row calls the lead single “a big hit” and the Midwest Record says “this organic, back porch set is right on the money delivering a toe tapping good time that gets to you before you know what happened. Solid throughout.”
Fans can join the journey and keep up with all things Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road by visiting the group’s official website www.carolinaroadband.com for the latest news stories, upcoming tour announcements and more.
Bill Monroe’s ol’ Mandolin track listing:
1. Bill Monroe’s ol’ Mandolin (written by David Stewart)
2. They Call It Bluegrass (written by Larry Nixon)
3. Ready For The Times To Get Better (written by Allen Reynolds)
4. Sally Ann (public domain)
5. He Stopped Loving Her Today (written by Bobby Braddock, Curly Putman)
6. Boogie Grass Band (written by Ronnie Reno)
7. Lost River (written by Michael Martin Murphey)
8. Living Like I’m Dying (written by Lorraine Jordan)
9. Cherokee Fiddle (written by Michael Martin Murphey)
10. Mama Can You Hear That Train (written by Lorraine Jordan, Mickey Tripp)
11. Thank God For Kids (written by Eddy Raven)
12. Rolling In My Sweet Baby’s Arms (public domain)
CARLEY ARROWOOD | “Goin’ Home Comin’ On”
Bluegrass; Mountain Home Music Company — STREAM / BUY single
Carley Arrowood is on a journey. Already, it’s taken her onto the stage of the Grand Ole Opry with an acclaimed touring act and into a new role as a singer, songwriter and fiddler recording for the Mountain Home Music Company label. Now, following the release of her self-penned ballad, “Dear Juliana” and a celtic-flavored gospel original, “Ballad of Calvary,” she’s taking a quick side trip for a little reunion and renewal in her third single, “Goin’ Home Comin’ On”—now available for radio play through AirPlay Direct.
Penned by a trio of writers that includes Jenee Fleenor—the reigning Country Music Association Musician of the Year (and the first woman to win the award)—alongside veteran songwriter Charley Stefl (“The Fool,” “All Aboard”) and producer-bassist (and award-winning songwriter) Jon Weisberger, the song is a lively portrait of a young woman homeward bound for a weekend visit. As Carley explains, she connected immediately with its theme when she heard it.
“The feeling of a ‘Goin’ Home Comin’ On’ is one in a million,” she notes. “You start that long drive, with your suitcase in the back seat (and maybe your fiddle too) and you start thinking about everybody you’re gonna see and all the things you’re gonna do. That’s the story this song tells with its rootsy, cheerful, nostalgic vibe. The first time I heard it there were vivid memories that came to mind.”
Arrowood is joined by a stellar band that includes bluegrass power couple Kristin Scott Benson (banjo) and Wayne Benson (mandolin), guitarist and harmony singer Daniel Thrailkill—and, fittingly, her sister Autumn. “When we were little girls,” Carley recalls, “my sister Autumn and I would run to our dad when he got home from work—racing to see who would get the first hug. So when I heard the line about running to daddy, I immediately knew Autumn had to sing harmony with me on it!”
Yet while she’s surrounded by a strong group of players, Arrowood’s confident performance keeps her expressive, empathetic voice and commanding fiddle work at center stage from the song’s explosive start through its energetic closing refrain. And though it’s filled with the virtuosity and down-home sentiments of bluegrass, “Goin’ Home Comin’ On” has a distinct country flavor in its varied rhythms and unfolding arrangement.
In fact, when you get down to it, to say Arrowood is on a journey may actually be a bit of a misdirection—for judging by the mature, fully-realized quality of her music, Carley Arrowood has already arrived at a place that makes her one of the fastest rising and meaningful female roots music artists today.
THE CHITANS | “Running to Jesus”
Southern Gospel; Horizon Records — STREAM / BUY single
Through their family ministry that reaches countries all over the world, The Chitans continue to spread God’s word, with songs that bring hope, peace and strength. They once again share this message in their latest song, “Running to Jesus,” their third release with Horizon Records.
“Despite hard situations in life, we need to know we can lay down all our problems and run to Jesus. He is the only one who can take our burden, guilt and shame, then change our situation and give us peace,” say The Chitans.
Performed with inspired celebration, this song reminds us that each day can begin looking to Jesus for comfort. Kaiziah, Kayandra, Jesse, Jayden and Karlainah each take a turn leading and come together to sing “Running to Jesus.”
Rooted in faith and tradition, The Chitans’ music keeps Southern Gospel at the core, while bringing in influences from the family’s world-wide travels. And no matter what elements shine through, the Biblical teachings of each song stand out the most.
“Our favorite part in ‘Running To Jesus’ is, ‘I’ll love to take you with me, when I’m running to Jesus,’” say The Chitans. “We pray it will bless you as it blesses us.”
SHANNON KNIGHT | Clear
Southern Gospel; Godsey Media – STREAM / BUY album
AARON RENCH | “Start a Fire” (feat. Adriel Cruz)
Hip hop, rap; Bultitude Records – STREAM / BUY single
ASHLEY K. DAVIS | “Meditation on a Subway”
Electronic; Divers Music – STREAM / BUY single