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Category Archive for 'Country'

Sheryl Crow: Feels Like Home

“[I]t is no great leap for Sheryl Crow to plunge into contemporary country on Feels Like Home. Tuesday Night Music Club, her 1993 debut, could’ve been called country-rock if it had been released in another era, and she’s never shied away from roots music, either giving it a crisp, classy spin or taking a full [...]

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“It’s some of her most instantly gratifying work… perfectly encapsulating all of her personas, from the erudite, whiskey-shooting provocateur to the sweet and soulful, small town crooner who sounds like she was plucked from the pages of a novel set in the antebellum north. Case has proven time and again that she has the songwriting [...]

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“In concert, Church is brawnier than he is in the studio….It may not convey some of the subtleties and shading of Church’s music, but this is an easy way to mainline the neo-outlaw singer at his hardest.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Highway Ghosts: Beyond All Help

“A masterful blend of roots-rocking guitars, ragged-but-right vocals set to rustic melodies, and other good stuff that never goes out of style when it’s done right. Echoing the late-night/early morning feel of alt-country progenitors such as the BoDeans and the Jayhawks….” –The Boston Globe Check Our Catalog

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Keith Urban: Fuse

“Fuse, Keith Urban’s first album in three years, delivers a slicker, more sophisticated version of his solitary demo recording process as a radical sounding change in direction. Throughout, he melds drum machines, synths and samplers with his guitars, banjos, mandolins and voice….Urban manages to fashion it all into a (mostly) working whole and maintain his [...]

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“Civil War: Songs of the North collects 15 Union-centric instrumental ballads like ‘Weeping Sad and Lonely/When This Cruel War Is Over,’ ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home,’ and ‘The Battle Cry of Freedom,’ all of which are impeccably performed by Nashville-based multi-instrumentalist Craig Duncan and a small army of talented session musicians.” –All Music Guide Check [...]

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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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Holly Williams: The Highway

“The Highway is singer/songwriter Holly Williams’ first recording in over four years. It is also her first self-released offering on her and husband/guitarist Chris Coleman’s label, Georgiana Records. Working with Grammy-winning producer Charlie Peacock (Civil Wars), Williams wrote or co-wrote everything here.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“[I]t shines, capturing Rimes at her best as a pure country singer, a neo-rockabilly filly, a savvy crossover pop artist, and an understated troubadour who knows how to camouflage her emotions underneath it all….[A]ll the music on Spitfire resonates, every song suggesting an avenue Rimes could pursue the next time out.” –All Music Guide Check [...]

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“Annie Up doesn’t have the rhythm of a relationship, it has the relationship of life, the mess of family, new loves, and exes that hang around. In this context, the camaraderie of the Pistol Annies cuts deep — they’re a gang, encouraging the other two not to talk about Tina, praising sobriety, realizing life goes [...]

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“Here, Court Yard Hounds embrace freedom to be something different than the Dixie Chicks, which also means they’re not quite identifying as contemporary country, either….Amelita is, at its heart, an adult pop album and it’s a gorgeous one at that: it glides by easily but it digs deep.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Guy Clark’s first album in four years is a wonderfully rough, tough, tender, wise, and gracefully resigned testament to a life lived, a craft followed, and regrets considered, weighed, and given due….My Favorite Picture of You is simply a wonderful, balanced gem of an album from a masterful songwriter.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“By no means is he returning to familiar territory here; he’s stepping far outside his ‘Southern Comfort Zone,’ as Paisley puts it on the record’s first single….[W]hen Paisley does pull it all together… the results are so good they wind up proving his point that more country singers should step outside their wheelhouse.” –All Music [...]

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Vince Gill & Paul Franklin

“Bakersfield is a collection of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard tunes from the 1960s, cut by an all-star session band. It not only pays tribute to these giants and the era, but also the sound, and the men who created it….The bottom line is Bakersfield smokes from top to bottom; a fitting tribute, it is [...]

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“[T]he first Precious Memories sounded old and dusty, as authentic as a small-town church, but this second volume is stark and bright, sounding as contemporary as the day it was recorded….[T]his is a reverent, resonant spiritual album distinguished by its sweet sincerity.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Sturgill Simpson: High Top Mountain

“From its first notes, chock-full of piercing steel guitar and a pronounced Waylon Jennings boom-chick beat, there’s no doubt Sturgill Simpson’s debut follows his intention to make ‘the purest, most uncompromising, hard country album anyone has made in 30 years.’….If you’re partial to old-school country, Sturgill Simpson is a newcomer worth keeping an eye on.” [...]

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“Chesney never sounds like he’s trying too hard but, the thing of it is, he wrote all but three of the songs here, so this represents a considerable uptick in effort from its predecessor. That effort pays off: this feels fuller, richer than any Chesney album in recent memory, but it’s also unhurried and light, [...]

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Hunter Hayes: Encore

“What’s most striking overall is the instrumentation along with the overall feel of the album. Drums are prominent, giving the songs a fuller sound, and Hunter’s virtuosity on both acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin and other instruments is tastefully dispersed throughout.” –Country Weekly Check Our Catalog

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“[I]t reflects his newfound popularity via its reliance on rocking rhythms, woolly mammoth hooks, red state swagger, and pristine power ballads… [F]ew other country albums of 2012-2013 are as unabashedly of the moment as this… [T]he very sense that more is more is essential to the appeal of Based on a True Story…: every song [...]

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Della Mae: This World Oft Can Be

“This is traditional American music, not just a bluegrass session. It’s a combination of tradition and eclecticism, which has become the signature sound for the all-female band who refuse to be pigeonholed.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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