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Category Archive for 'Country'

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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“Termed a ‘Southern gothic musical,’ Ghost Brothers of Darkland County was scripted by novelist Stephen King with the music coming from maverick heartland rocker John Mellencamp, a collaboration a bit left-field for both artists. This set includes Mellencamp’s songs interspersed with key dialogue from King’s libretto….They… may well be among the best Mellencamp has ever [...]

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“[T]here’s a swagger that underpins much of Pioneer, the second album from family country-pop trio the Band Perry…. Kimberly Perry’s fiercely committed vocals give Pioneer a character it otherwise works overtime to avoid and, for as good as the by-the-books ballads and rocking country are, the moments when the façade slips a bit make this [...]

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Lady Antebellum: Golden

“Lady Antebellum rolls out their fourth studio album, ‘Golden.’ After striking a heavier tone on their last album, ‘Own The Night,’ the Capitol Nashville trio includes several more up tempo numbers on the new set…. However, any Lady A disc has to contain at least a couple of heartbreaking ballads, and they don’t disappoint here.” [...]

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“Harry Connick, Jr.’s 2013 studio album Every Man Should Know finds the New Orleans native delving into a handful of original songs that touch upon country, pop, and R&B, with only a few jazz-oriented cuts in the mix…. Ultimately, Every Man Should Know is a record with something for every Connick fan.” –All Music Guide [...]

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“For those who don’t already know, the actors in the series actually perform the songs assigned them. The music is selected, directed, and often produced and performed by T-Bone Burnett and his ace studio band…. Like the second half of the first season in this series, this volume has plenty to offer fans of the [...]

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“Richey’s characters on Thorn in My Heart inspire strong empathetic ties with listeners via simple, beautiful melodies and lyrical accuracy by turns poetic and accessible. It is yet another in a string of excellent releases by her, but it’s also something more. It integrates everywhere Richey’s been yet inhabits a terrain completely of her own [...]

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“Martin and Brickell are no accidental tourists. This is a sweet-sounding album with subtle depths, not really bluegrass, but a precisely gentle folk album that grows more graceful and revealing with each listen.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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