New Country: Alecia Nugent — ‘The Old Side of Town’

Alecia Nugent — The Old Side of Town
Label: Hillbilly Goddess Music

(Release date: 9/18/20)

If they ever gave out an award for the “Easiest To Listen To” album, Alecia Nugent‘s new release (with three previous albums on Rounder Records, this is her fourth), The Old Side of Town, would be a top contender. The album embraces her country music roots and is a thoroughly pleasing experience from start to finish. So much so that I was hoping the CD package might contain a mini-disc of encores.  

Produced by Keith Stegall, the entire album has a rare, gorgeous sound that will do just fine for those of us yearning for a genuine country music in 2020. Between Alecia Nugent’s sparkling, hearfelt delivery and the stellar musicians that surround and elevate her (Brent Mason – guitar, Tommy Harden – drums, Bobby Terry – acoustic guitar, Gary Prim – keyboards, Jimmie Lee Sloas – bass, Stuart Duncan – fiddle/mandolin, Rob Ikes – dobro, Paul Franklin – steel guitar, Dan Dugmore – steel guitar, Wes Hightower – background vocals), it is one of those albums that — if it were an LP — one instantly knows would get well-worn from repeated loving use.

Alecia Nugent, known for her spectacular bluegrass music, offers an exciting new sound to her fans with this album; a collection of country songs featuring classics and originals (she co-wrote five of the album’s songs). The vocals are as excellent as one would expect, but it is the inner voice that impresses repeatedly. The transition from “The Old Side of Town” (Tom T. Hall) to “I Might Have One Too” (Erin Enderlin, Larry Cordle) to “They Don’t Make ‘Em Like My Daddy Anymore” (Alecia Nugent) is a journey that travels as deeply as it does far, for these (and all of the well-chosen material) is of a same world — a world that welcomes noble everyday stories and profound common feelings that suddenly seem eternal when performed with such authenticity. 

The Other Side of Town spotlights another side of Alecia Nugent and the trip to the other side is as smooth and comfy and, well, just right, as being home. 

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