If you close your eyes when you put the needle down on Sarah Jarosz’s third album, you’ll swear you’re listening to Joni Mitchell–especially her Hejira album, one moment–Diana Krall’s smoky and seductive voice at another moment, or Maria Muldaur’s sultry, languorous vocals in the next moment. Yet, it’s Mitchell that Jarosz most resembles in her […]
After a string of #1 songs, Chris Young released “Neon,” one of the best songs of his career. A gorgeous, traditional country tune drenched in steel guitar, it was one of 2011′s best singles. “Neon” didn’t even crack the Top 20 on the Billboard charts. In fact, it’s been two years since Young had a […]
While pickin’ against the clock is the chosen way of many a bluegrass band, country great Alan Jackson has shown a knack for taking his sweet time. Rather than racing towards finish lines or pushing the boundaries of the genre, the self-professed “singer of simple songs” seems to relish every note, every solo break and […]
Brian Wright carries the weight of the many chains that have bound him in the past and out of which he breaks on this new album, shaking those iron fetters like Marley’s ghost come to call us to the blues of future past with a vision of the specters that haunt our lives: death, misdirected […]
Earl Poole Ball has spent most of his career backing some of country’s biggest names. With the release of Pianography, he’s taking his own turn in the spotlight. The honky-tonk piano pounder (who was a member of Johnny Cash’s band for 20-plus years and has done session work for Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, and The Flying […]
Claire Lynch’s Dear Sister, produced by Garry West, is a mint in the mouth of any listener. Her ninth solo album (and first with roots label, Compass Records) is refreshingly thoughtful in content, just bold enough stylistically, and plain fun to listen to. Lynch’s voice takes the lead in this bluegrass-and-then some record that also […]
Recording a tribute album presents several challenges to musicians. Do you slavishly re-interpret every track note-for-note so that the song sounds just like the original? If not, of course, some listeners will complain that these new versions of the music simply don’t live up to the original versions. Or, do you embrace the spirit of […]
Brandy Clark’s new album arrived at my house in a plain brown wrapper, the kind of packaging stereotypically given to materials of a far seedier nature. However, based upon the contents found within that nondescript CD sleeve, the wrapping was entirely appropriate. Because 12 Stories is songwriting porn. The record’s first single, “Stripes,” which was co-written […]
Anyone wanting to discern Hot Club of Cowtown’s musical influences can do so before listening to a single note the trio plays: their band name is a mashup of gypsy jazz kings Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli’s Quintette du Hot Club de France and Western Swing legend Bob Wills’ “Big Ball’s in Cowtown.” On their […]
Sarah Peacock has a voice that’s a force of nature. At times soft and nuanced and occasionally rafter-rattling powerful, Peacock sounds equally home at country or in pop. That kind of versatility brings to mind Kelly Clarkson or Jessee Havey of The Duhks by way of comparison. Peacock’s second studio album, Albuquerque Sky, gives the […]
- Donald: "Ryan Adams announced .... the August 19 release of “1984,'" Which, I'm told, is the fifteen years later update of his …
- Lynchie from Aberdeen: Delighted to hear that Hot Rize have a new album coming out – and thanks for the link to that …
- luckyoldsun: Nobody can do Karaoke George Jones like Kershaw!
- Bruce: LW, Don't apologize for your Bryant comment. You were more gracious than I would have been.
- Bruce: My vote is for Marty Stuart for his exhaustive body of work that is directional yet diversified.
- Leeann: Dang! Let me write my above sentence again!: Kelley MicKwee’s album is sounding good so far too. I really like “Beautiful …
- paul w dennis: The Kershaw album is really noteworthy for its song selections. Other than "I'll Share My World With You", it omits …
- Leeann: The Sammy Kershaw tribute to George Jones is pretty good on first listen. Of course, Sammy's no George, but their …
- Jeremy Dylan: I did a podcast on Joni Mitchell's BLUE album recently and was wondering if there was a good bio of …
- Leeann Ward: Well, that was a mighty unnecessarily flippant comment I just made there and the better angels of my nature make …