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Maren Morris debuts “Hero”

Maren Morris has enjoyed big hit with big-voiced “My Church” and now the Texas native releases “Hero,” her major label debut on Sony Nashville. Morris, who previously released three CDs and an EP, put 11 songs on the regular version. A Target deluxe CD includes three extra songs. Four of the songs were on an EP put out November 2015. “80’s Mercedes” will be the second single from the album. Morris had a hand in writing every song, which incudes material with soulful and reggae beats.
Cassadee Pope has enjoyed a hit single by singing with Chris Young on “Think of You.” Now, Pope is out with a four-song EP, “Summer.” Pope helped pen three of the songs, including the current single, “Summer.”

Dan + Shay (Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney) release their second pop country disc today, “Obsessed.” “From the Ground Up” is the lead single and was written by the duo with Chris DeStefano. Smyers produced 7 of the 10 songs with Scott Hendricks. Dan + Shay enjoyed success on their debut, “Where It All Began,” with “19 You + Me” and “Nothin’ Like You.” The lead-off song on “Obsessed,” “All Nighter,” previously was released by Lady Antebellum on a deluxe version of “747.”

Craig Morgan returns with “A Whole Lot More to Me,” his first disc of new material in more than four years. Morgan co-produced the dozen-song set with Byron Gallimore (Tim McGraw, Faith Hill). Morgan’s last CD was “This Ole Boy” in 2011.

The Lonely Heartstring Band makes its debut with “Deep Waters” on Rounder. The Boston-based modern bluegrass quintet is comprised of Charles Clements (bass and vocals), George Clements (guitar and lead vocals), Gabe Hirshfeld (banjo), Patrick M’Gonigle (fiddle, vocals) and Matt Witler (mandolin). The band and David Travers-Smith, co-produced with Gary Paczosa (Alison Krauss, Sarah Jarosz) on a cover of Paul Simon’s “Graceland” and “The Road’s Salvation.”

Sister Sadie, a bluegrass female quintet, is out with its debut on Pinecastle. Dale Ann Bradley, Tina Adair, Gena Britt, Beth Lawrence and Deanie Richardson comprise the band. Bradley is a five-time IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year.

Bluegrass band The Farm Hands keep true to their roots on “Dig in the Dirt,” out on Pinecastle. The quartet includes Tim Graves and Daryl Mosley.

Bryan Sutton, who has extensive work as a session player and also a member of Hot Rize, is out with his sixth solo disc, “The More I Learn,” on Sugar Hill. The disc was produced and recorded at Zac Brown’s Southern Ground studio in Nashville, by Brandon Bell (Dierks Bentley, Sarah Jarosz). Noam Pikelny and Chris Eldridge play on the release.

The Small Glories, a Canadian duo comprised of Cara Luft and JD Edwards, mines folk and roots sounds on their debut. These are not newcomers, however, as Luft was a founding member of The Wailin’ Jennys, and Edwards has been leading a band for 10 years

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