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Category Archive for 'Country'

Jack Clement: For Once and For All

“Legendary characters don’t get much bigger than ‘Cowboy’ Jack Clement. A maverick old-schooler, he worked at Sun Records in the ’50s, recording Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison. He later produced everyone from Waylon Jennings to U2 and wrote hits for Charley Pride and Bobby Bare. This new album was the last thing he did before [...]

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Billy Swan: Country Funk II: 1967-1974

“Country funk isn’t a real genre, except retrospectively, being one of those kinds of sounds you can’t really explain but you sure know it when you hear it….Yeah, it’s country, but it’s extra greasy, with pronounced backbeats, and it’s, well, funky somehow. You know it when you hear it….Music is all about cross-pollination. Country and [...]

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“Tim McGraw is an eccentric centrist who can dodge the headlock of country-radio culture….Per usual, the character studies shine brightest. Proof: ‘Sick of Me,’ a self-loathing take-me-back plea – a reminder that, like Bill Clinton, another great Southern centrist, McGraw is best when he’s feeling your pain.” –Rolling Stone Check Our Catalog Listen Now

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Lady Antebellum: 747

“Give Lady Antebellum credit: There’s a consistency to its songs that makes the group as much a manufacturing concern as it is a country act.” –Boston Globe Check Our Catalog

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Kenny Chesney: The Big Revival

“[C]ountry’s number-one beach bum continuously brings a sense of musical energy and emotional urgency his previous easygoing albums have sometimes lacked.” –Rolling Stone Check Our Catalog

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“Moonshine in the Trunk is all gleaming steel, hard edges, sleek rhythms, and power ballads, state-of-the-art modern country that doesn’t dare make a big deal of any of Paisley’s eccentricities outside of his squealing guitar.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Platinum is notable because Lambert tries to be everything to everyone here and damn near succeeds….[A]t its heart, this is a classic double-album where the misses enhance the home runs and, eventually, are endearing on their own terms.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Willie Nelson: Band of Brothers

“Willie Nelson has been a prolific singer and recording artist since the 1970s, but the songwriter who penned hits for Ray Price, Patsy Cline, Billy Walker, and Johnny Cash, among others, hasn’t issued an album of predominantly original material since 1996. Band of Brothers ends the drought.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“[I]t is neither a bluegrass nor pop record but rather splits the difference, touching upon each sound, along with threading in other signatures….[T]he remarkable thing is how satisfying an album this is: it sounds good and the songs are sturdy, proof that Parton is far from resting on her laurels.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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Del Barber: Prairieography

“Del Barber’s new album is replete with references to the terrain of Canada’s middle expanse, where he was born and with which he clearly feels an indelible connection. Prarieography is a series of stories that typically concern the restless, the ramblers, the discontented, the down-and-out.” –The Boston Globe Check Our Catalog

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“Intuitive cooperation is what makes Nickel Creek so special. It’s in the way Thile’s mandolin runs launch or follow Watkins’ fiddle parts in instrumentals like ‘Elsie,’ and in the band’s harmonies, which breathe in sync the way family harmonies so often do. It’s remarkable, showing how three distinct voices can come together in the service [...]

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“Everlasting is the second collection of covers Martina McBride has recorded, following 2005′s Timeless by nearly ten years. A decade isn’t the only thing separating the two records. Timeless was a collection of country covers but Everlasting has soul in its heart….There’s warmth in [Don] Was’ production and honey in McBride’s voice.” –All Music Guide [...]

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“A great legacy can be a blessing and a curse, and when your mother is June Carter and your stepdad is Johnny Cash, you’re going to have a lot to live up to in the minds of most folks….On Carter Girl, Carlene Carter has confronted the mighty legacy of the Carter Family’s songbook and allowed [...]

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“Evans elegantly matches the oversized arrangements, matching each crescendo and hushed moment, while the songs are cannily constructed pieces of pop, sounding stronger with each play….Slow Me Down is something that is rare in 2014: an unapologetic, big-scale adult pop album, constructed with grace and care.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Nail’s gifts suggest he’s a blue-collar patriot, a working man happy to churn out anthems for the unsung, but he’s a bit more subtle than that, identifying exceptional songwriters and never succumbing to the good-time bro-country that is a golden ticket to the top of the charts….[I]t’s a grower, sounding better with repeated exposure, repeated [...]

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“[W]hen you’re talking about one of the very best bluegrass groups working in the 21st Century, just playing a set of good songs can add up to something pretty special….The Streets of Baltimore certainly confirms that this group is as good as contemporary bluegrass gets, and this music delivers a healthy dose of soul, passion, [...]

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Kingsley Flood: Battles

“This is a band that plays with a manic energy and is far more apt to snarl than to coo…..Yet even within the torrent of energy Kingsley Flood puts out live, the band distinguishes itself with richly textured songs….It [is] easy to understand why Kingsley Flood’s profile is rising above its Boston base.” –Boston.com Check [...]

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Dierks Bentley: Riser

“For a decade, every single Dierks Bentley release placed at least in Billboard’s Country Top 20, usually making it to the Top Ten….[I]t’s a sturdy, often absorbing record from a singer who is determined to be in it for the long haul.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Tyler Farr may indeed be Redneck Crazy on his 2013 debut for Columbia Nashville, but his definition of redneck doesn’t quite belong to the backwoods. Farr may not be a grinning, unrepentant bro the way that Luke Bryan and his ilk are, but he’s not far removed, not with his arsenal of songs about beer, [...]

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“Just in case the title of The Outsiders doesn’t give away the game, Eric Church takes pains to strike a defiant stance throughout his fourth album, underscoring his status as a genuine Nashville Rebel….Church has made the conscious decision to try a little bit of everything in his quest to be a savior to both [...]

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