Charlie Louvin to release two new albums

If you thought that Charlie Louvin's 2007 self-titled disc—which featured guest performances from Louvin-influenced artists like Elvis Costello, Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Will Oldham (Bonnie 'Prince' Billy) and Eef Barzelay (Clem Snide)—was a career-concluding passing of the torch to new names, think again.

On Sept. 16, the Country Music Hall of Famer will release a new album, Steps to Heaven, featuring new versions of traditional gospel songs as well as two tracks from the Louvin Brothers, the legendary country duo Charlie and his brother Ira started back in the 1940s.

But that's not all. Although there were 10 fruitless years leading up to Charlie Louvin, there will be only three months between Steps and Louvin's next disc, Charlie Louvin Sings Murder Ballads & Disaster Songs, due out Dec. 9.

The last time Louvin sang exclusively about such sad topics was on the first Louvin Brothers album, 1956's Tragic Songs of Life. One needn't worry, however, about the singer having enough life experience to back up his dour balladeering: Louvin turned 81 last week, and we're pretty confident he has a worthwhile perspective or 20 hidden in that 'ol guitar case.

Related links:
Feature: Charlie Louvin, The Ghost Highway
Charlie Louvin on MySpace

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