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Category Archive for 'Country'

“A quarterback-turned-country songwriter-turned-country star, Sam Hunt never makes apologies for his inherent bro-ness on his 2014 debut Montevallo….Hunt’s ability to fuse his classical construction with modern flair and pass it off as no big thing is what makes his debut something more than just another album from the bro next door.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog [...]

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Taylor Swift: 1989

“When Taylor Swift decides to do something, the girl really knows how to overdo it. So on her fifth album, when she indulges her crush on Eighties synth-pop, she goes full blast….Deeply weird, feverishly emotional, wildly enthusiastic, 1989 sounds exactly like Taylor Swift, even when it sounds like nothing she’s ever tried before.” –Rolling Stone Check Our Catalog

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“Beal continues the eclectic and wild streak he began on his debut, but takes it into more refined, if not completely more accessible zones with Nobody Knows. It’s hard to tell if the album feels angrier and grittier than its predecessor, or if peeling off the layers of lo-fidelity actually reveal an artist more raw and without rules than [...]

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“The third and last of the Pistol Annies to deliver her own solo record, Angaleena Presley operates on a more intimate scale than either Miranda Lambert or Ashley Monroe. Lambert trades on her bravado, Monroe on her savviness, but Presley relies on subtlety on American Middle Class, her long-awaited 2014 solo debut….This is a rich, deceptively relaxed portrait of working-class life in America in 2014 and it will linger [...]

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“Old Crow Medicine Show is one of the preeminent forces in the roots and Americana music world, and it’s easy to see why….Remedy is not just full of happy songs, but of protest songs belted at top speed and on full blast. Old Crow is having fun and playing songs without a thought toward self-importance, [...]

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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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