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Category Archive for 'Alt-Country'

“Entering a long line of artists who’ve drawn inspiration from the Everly Brothers, Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones serve up a unique tribute with Foreverly….They’re a good match. Jones’ suppleness sands down Armstrong’s ragged voice, he gives her grit while she lends him grace, and these qualities are evident throughout this lovely little gem [...]

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“The Devil Makes Three are a very special trio, mixing old country blues, gospel, banjo reels, ragtime, and back-country stomp into a potent brand of folk-punk that has made their live shows near legendary….[T]he band sounds like a feisty mix of the Lovin’ Spoonful and Country Joe & the Fish on a careening moonshine-and-coffee jag. [...]

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“This set, the Lone Bellow’s debut album, is a gem. Full of haunting, passionate songs that breathe with country soul and a kind of autumnal grace….This is a solid debut, made by a band that arrives fully formed and has a great future.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“The whole album accumulates in a powerful, meditative way, and its themes are less about drinking and trying to forget the past than they are about making peace with the past and trying to remember it and use it as a spark and a springboard to the future. Honky Tonk is country facing forward informed [...]

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“Ultimately, you can listen to Temple Beautiful for the superficial catchiness of its tunes, Prophet’s slashed guitar chords and his searching, keening vocals and have a good time. And if you want to, you can listen more closely to what he’s getting at on this album, and experience the album as one man’s alternative history [...]

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“[A]miable, quaint, mischievous, sad, and disarmingly sincere. …[A] relatively simple, country-folk record, albeit one with a college degree, and when it connects it hits that sweet spot between joy and despair that has served as the target for many a dusty brimmed singer/songwriter over the years. The Avett Brothers aren’t rewriting the book, they’re just [...]

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“Young Oklahoma singer/songwriter John Fullbright’s debut is everything you’d want an Americana troubadour’s first outing to be — striking, fresh, and full of promise… Fullbright consistently displays a level of lyrical finesse that would be impressive in an artist with twice as many years behind him, which only bodes well for his future work.” –All [...]

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“This is the first Rhett Miller solo album where he’s willing to let his country influences hold sway; this is a very different sort of roots-oriented music than the Old 97′s, built on acoustic instruments and subdued tempos that suggest folk-rock more than the get-up-and-go mood of his band.”–All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Ashes & Fire is as close as it gets to the brilliance of his first post-Whiskeytown offering, Heartbreaker. It’s a subdued affair, rarely breaking much more than an acoustic guitar– and light-piano sweat, except on the honky-tonk jangle of the title track.” –The Boston Phoenix Check Our Catalog

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“Whether he’s spinning tales of arson and murder over the angular, synth-kissed indie rock of Lifter Puller, or recounting the excesses and fatal flaws of his fictional Twin Cities denizen with the Hold Steady’s swagger-filled bar rock behind him, Craig Finn has always had a way of blending in with whatever music he’s accompanied by [...]

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“Eleven Eleven…reaffirms [Alvin's] status as one of the best and most distinctive American songwriters alive. There are few artists who can match Alvin’s gift for creating vivid characters and bringing their lives to life through music, and Eleven Eleven finds him near the top of his game as a tunesmith, while also showing off his [...]

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“Like prime Parton, the 12 songs here remain unfailingly upbeat while Lindi warbles about often woefully downbeat subjects, usually involving her love-life…keepers of country’s tragi-comic flame will clasp Lindi firmly to their bosoms.” –BBC Music Check Our Catalog

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“American Goldwing is an all-around great listen — one perfectly suited for late fall nights on the porch or holiday road trips — and it may even be the band’s best record to date.” –American Songwriter Check Our Catalog

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“The big, beautiful voice of k.d. lang swoops, purrs and soars through the 10 songs on “Sing It Loud” like an overgrown Labrador that has slipped its leash to run loose through the park on a gorgeous spring weekend.” –Los Angeles Times Check Our Catalog

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“The thirst for deep-rut Southern grooves is particularly insatiable this time out. Go-Go Boots is a “vibe” record for sure — you could call it Muscle Shoals derived, or the final realization of the country-soul sound the band have been flirting with for years, but to me it simply sounds lived in. From the snaking [...]

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“According to Steve Earle’s liner notes for I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive, these 11 songs are all ‘about mortality in one way or another.’ Certainly the title — after a song by Hank Williams (also the title of Earle’s new novel) — reflects this, but these songs bear that out in spades.”–All [...]

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Emmylou Harris: Hard Bargain

“There’s a modesty in this set of songs that jibes with their quiet eloquence, and just as Harris’ vocals are always full of striking beauty without diva moves, this cycle of songs isn’t flashy so much as it’s honest and moving, capturing the rhythms of life with an uncanny accuracy.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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“Williams lets the songs burn slowly and sensually until there’s nothing left but smoke and ash.” –Chicago Tribune Check Our Catalog

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“Their sound wasn’t far removed from the American heartland to begin with, but these days it’s getting close to Tom Waits territory, what with the barely-in-tune pianos, the mandolins, the slide guitars, the humid-summer-evening tempos, and Karin Bergquist’s increasingly smeary approach to sung pitch. There’s also more than a touch of Lucinda Williams in her [...]

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“High-lonesome folk, bare-boned Americana, and old-timey harmony numbers are the name of the game, and although the band’s use of vintage instruments makes for some fun Wikipedia sleuthing (what are “crotales,” anyway?), the spotlight remains on the songs themselves.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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