When Erin Enderlin writes a song, more is born than melody and rhyme. Women and men leap from her music, as fully formed and real as we are, all blood and sweat, living, loving, killing, and dying. Produced by Jamey Johnson and Jim “Moose” Brown and featuring Chris Stapleton, Randy Houser, Ricky Skaggs, Jon Randall, and more, Enderlin’s highly anticipated sophomore album Whiskeytown Crier puts all the sad souls she’s become known for singing and writing about in the same tiny, fictional city.
The result is unprecedented: a concept album devoted to women’s experiences in small town, America. An in-demand songwriter, she penned Alan Jackson’s “Monday MorningChurch,” Lee Ann Womack’s “Last Call,” and others for Luke Bryan, Randy Travis, Terri Clark, Joey + Rory, and many more, while her two critically acclaimed EP releases and 2017’s Whiskeytown Crier have positioned her as one of county music’s brightest torch bearers.
Despite his growing success, Levi Lowrey announces-just 15 seconds into his self-titled, sophomore Southern Ground album-that he’s every bit as confused and unsure of his place in the world as anyone when he sings, “I have tried and I’ve tried, but I ain’t never satisfied this hunger burnin’ in my soul” on album opener, “Picket Fences.”
His heart immediately laid bare, the 13 tracks that follow are equally confessional as Lowrey explores his own mortality through the eyes of his daredevil children in “Trying Not To Die,” and tries to reconcile his faith with his history of destructive behaviors on “I’ve Held the Devil’s Hand.”
If he has any intentions of shedding his image as an honest, life-as-an-open-book songwriter, the new album will do little to accomplish that, but Lowrey’s sincerity and unflinching willingness to tell his life’s story in public are traits he’s unafraid to embrace.
Lowrey is hitting his stride as an artist, having toured extensively with the Zac Brown Band to support Lowrey’s Southern Ground debut album, I Confess I Was A Fool, and as a songwriter with a No. 1 hit and several awards and nominations to his credit.
He was nominated for a CMA Award for Song of the Year, and won a BMI Country Award for Top 50 Songs of the Year, both for “Colder Weather,” the No. 1 hit he co-wrote with frequent collaborator Zac Brown. Lowrey and Brown also co-wrote “The Wind,” from the Zac Brown Band’s No. 1 Billboard album Uncaged, as well as the rollicking “Day For The Dead,” from the newest ZBB album, The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1.
As a performer, he has received numerous accolades, as well, being singled as one of its “13 For 13: Ones To Watch in 2013 -The New Artists,” as well as having his debut album honored as its third-best country album of the year in 2011-both by Roughstock.com.