As if answering a distress call sent out over the airwaves or via a spotlight beamed over Music City, the Highwomen have assembled in the form of the Grammy-winning Brandi Carlile, fiddlemaster Amanda Shires, songwriting markswoman Natalie Hemby, and superstar Maren Morris. “Redesigning Women” is their first taste.
“It All Comes Out in the Wash” is lighthearted and playful, and country and folksy in its mannerisms, if not entirely in its music. Literally built out from a colloquialism by the Love Junkies (Lori McKenna, Liz Rose, and Hillary Lindsey) with an assist from Lambert herself, it calls back to the more classic style of Miranda, with sass and attitude.
How hard could songwriting really be? You learned a few chords on the guitar in college, and if you had some more free time you could probably gnaw on rhyming a few lines of verse … or so you tell yourself. Then you hear an album like ‘Beautiful Lie’ from the First Couple of Texas Country, and it’s so enriching, you’re immediately demoralized.
Emerging from the ashes of one of country music’s most legendary underground outfits in the .357 String Band, and sprouting up from beneath the obscurity blanketing the truly independent musician, Joseph Huber has become to many like a Townes Van Zandt of our time, terribly under-the-radar, refreshingly untainted by the trend chasing….
Willie Nelson’s 1975 conceptualized album Red Headed Stranger is considered by many to be the greatest country music album of all time. The film Red Headed Stranger based off the album and released 11 years after holds a bit of a different legacy. Starring Willie Nelson, Morgan Fairchild, and Katharine Ross…
Natural Disasters is quite a bit more on the up-tempo and agreeable side from its predecessors in the Matt Woods catalog, but in a good way. Leaning more in the rock direction will cause some to miss the steel guitar and such that has textured his music in the past, but the energy and attitude embedded in the 10 tracks give it power.
Like the landscapes and experiences one may encounter on a lengthy journey, ‘Hail Mary’ guides the audience through a wide range of moods and moments, from fears to euphoria, with Shane Smith composing involved stories and lessons in songs that are made to feel even more monumental by the earnestness of the music.
Jon Pardi continues to prove himself as one of the most staunch traditionalists in the country mainstream, and though you can be assured that his upcoming record ‘Heartache Medication’ will have a handful of songs that will pander to radio play, his latest release from the album “Ain’t Always The Cowboy” will not be one of them.
Everyone has a strong opinion about Koe, at least those that have heard about him, which few outside of Texas and Oklahoma have. He’s definitely not a country act. But as a principle headliner in the Texas music scene who sells out huge venues and is handling up on radio like a uninhibited coed, he can’t be avoided.
The first question many will have is just how honest and thorough a book like this can be with Randy Travis still rendered unable to speak due to his 2013 health problems, including a massive stroke. If you want the definitive and unabridged perspective into the life of Randy Travis—from the victories to the falls from grace—it’s all here.
“All Your’n” has been a fan favorite live for the last many months. Similar to one of Tyler’s signature songs from his first record, “Feathered Indians,” it’s a sincere love song delivered with soul and conviction to his wife and fellow performer Senora May. It’s the arrangement of the studio version that makes it come across as less than ideal.
‘Red Bandana’ is anything but typical, for Aaron Watson or anyone else. When Watson says this is his most involved and personal work that he rates at the top of the heap, believe him. When others say they’re shocked or ecstatic about how good this record is, take their word for it. With Red Bandana, Aaron Watson defies his own odds.
An album is something you listen to. A song is something that can change a life. The places a song can take you, the realizations and perspectives it can impart, the way it can touch something inside of you to make you feel something you never have before, or haven’t felt for a long time is the reason we cherish music so much.
It’s the common bane of most second and third generation music performers that they are expected to carry on the legacy of their parents in form and fashion, and perform up to a standard dictated by their pedigree that is often difficult to impossible to attain. But with the natural gifts for music making that […]
The intimacy of Bruce Springsteen’s earlier “West” records is replaced by a truly cinematic scope, because things are still possible here. Pedal steel and throaty, tremolo guitars paint pastoral soundscapes interwoven with sweeping strings and orchestral horns; more Countrypolitan than country. Glen Campbell, not Gram Parsons.
For those Sturgill Simpson fans who’ve been hoping and praying for more of that hard country sound like you heard on his debut record ‘High Top Mountain’ or in large portions of his magum opus ‘Metamodern Sounds in Country Music,’ you get what you wish for and then some on the just released song called “The Dead Don’t Die.”
If you like your bluegrass served with a little punch, attitude, grit and gravy, with that busking spirit that was so present and palpable in the early incarnations of Old Crow Medicine Show, then the Damn Tall Buildings will slide in nice as a welcome edition to your listening rotation.
The great American country music goober is back ladies and gentlemen, riding a wave of nepotistic opportunity and slavish trend chasing to launch his own insipid bid in a crowded field of hopefuls to be considered the most non-country “country” star stultifying the American country music airwaves with knockoff R&B rubbish.
As we get to the halfway pole in the musical year, it’s time to look back and asses the best albums that have been released in 2019 so far. At the moment, 2019 feels very top loaded with stellar releases. It has also been a very busy year for releases in regards to volume, though much more hit and miss when it comes to quality.
Even with how severe and widespread the hypocrisy is that permeates virtually everything involved in politics these days, the short guy from Big & Rich has somehow inexplicably figured out how to outdo virtually everyone else in the annals of political hypocritical history.
On ‘Between The Country,’ people die, and the light of the world is clouded out by the gloom of hard times, broken hearts, and unsettled minds. But there’s also a strange comfort to Ian Noe’s music, with the stories of tough times and tragic characters resetting one’s perspective on many of the silly concerns of much of modern life.
If you’re a closet fan of the kitschy country songs of Kacey Musgraves, or the unabashed attitude of Maddie & Tae, but just wish it could all be a little more country and organic, the Steel Blossoms have bloomed just for you. Their self-titled album released on Billy Jam Records gives you a lot to unpack in 10 songs.
One sector of country music’s history woefully under-represented by younger artists looking to preserve a specific discipline is the late 60’s, early 70’s style of folk country. Dee White is just now reaching his 20’s, but an old soul comes welling up through the 10 songs of his debut album, ‘Southern Gentleman.’