the tea on twang: The Shootouts announce a new album!

New to The Shootouts? Here’s the tea: 

My introduction to The Shootouts was at AmericanaFest in 2018; their performance was pure joy, making me an instant fan.  And in a time when country music seems to be having a genre-identity issue, this Akron, Ohio band stood out with a refreshing classic presentation of fun-loving, honky-tonk. Yet they remain uncliched, even in western wear.

 Their debut from 2019, Quick Draw, proves they’re no one-trick-pony. The album shows their range from the fast-talking, high-energy If I Could  to the soft-spoken delicate story-telling of California to Ohio. Their lead vocalist, Ryan Humbert, writes from a well tapped vulnerable source of personal experience. And I look forward most to hearing Another Mother on the upcoming album which Humbert penned in tribute to his own mother, who unexpectedly passed away in 2018. Though most of the 12 tracks on Bullseye will deliver upbeat fun, because as Humbert expressed to me, “We all need fun and upbeat now.”

The album includes two fan favorites from live performances, Rattlesnake Whiskey and Saturday Night Town, that will finally find their recorded home on Bullseye.  

Producer of Bullseye, Chuck Mead (BR549) describes the album as “…a collection of top-notch, modern honky-tonk music that is rooted not only in great tradition, but in the here and now. Great songs. Great picking. Great singing. Bullseye gives it all to you. What more can you ask for?”

Can’t ask for much more than that. This album will surely hit a dead-center Bullseye

While you wait for April 30, pre-order of Bullseye (including colored vinyl) is available at And might I recommend their version of Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance with Somebody -XO Amber


the tea on twang *festivus edition*

The world of Americana and Roots music is vast and encompasses folk to blues, bluegrass to rock. What does Americana even mean? Is it country music? (a question I get a lot) Well sure, kind of, but not really if you listen to “country radio” (which is a very different sound nowadays)…but these are details we can explore at another time on The Tea on Twang. And eventually, we’ll dive into it all. But for now, let’s get to music: 

The Shootouts – Look Out the Window (The Winter Song) 

A cover of a classic from Gene Autry & Rosemary Clooney you may have never heard in your caroling. The Shootouts’ cover is inspired by the version from Tex Williams. In 2021, I’ll be giving you all the tea on this Akron, Ohio band as they are preparing to release their sophomore album Bullseye. 

Maria Muldaur – No Money, No Honey

My favorite track on Stony Plain’s Christmas Blues compilation album. Stony Plain Records is a Canadian based label specializing in all genres of Roots music. For a blues lover, this will quickly become your favorite collection of holiday tunes. 

Eric Hutchinson – Christmas on Vacation 

An original! Is Eric twang? Pfft who cares – all singer/songwriters will find love here. 

It has a breezy reggae vibe and makes me wish I was having Christmas on the beach. 

Los Lobos – Feliz Navidad 

The only song in Spanish I can sing along with… It’s a classic and this version from the East L.A. band is the one you should have in your mix. They have a whole album of holiday music (with an original as well): LLEGÓ NAVIDAD 

Dallas Moore – Honky Tonk Holidaze 

The twang is strong with this one and it delivers as promised with a very honky tonk tune for your holidaze. This should be played loud and preferably in a bar (whenever we are allowed back into bars). 

Calexico- Green Grows The Holly

An acoustic update to the old English carol, Calexico successfully delivers on their Tex-Mex vibe. You can find this on another record label holiday music compilation: Holidays Rule released from Hear Music/Concord Music Group back in 2012. Some other artists featured: The Civil Wars (please, please get back together), The Shins, Irma Thomas with The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Punch Brothers and lots more. 

Charley Pride – Christmas in My Hometown (full album)

An icon in country music who just passed away. If you want one holiday album to just ‘set and forget’ it’s his 1970, Christmas in My Hometown.