In 2000, O’Brien and Scott got together to record the modern classic Real Time, which showcased their deft, canny songwriting as well as their deeply honed musical vision as steeped in mountain music and bluegrass as in country and rock and roll. On last year’s collection of live performances, We’re Usually a Lot Better Than […]
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 […]
- Janice Brooks: Hopes somebody gets those memos about drinking songs. Meanwhile I'm feeling a lot of slots with Bluegrass.
- Leeann: Great news about Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White's duet album! Absolutely appalling about the Keith Urban concert!! Both the rape and …
- bob: I found the Billboard article about country music radio needing an alcohol intervention interesting. Songwriter Adam Wright is quoted as …
- Matt: Definitely agree with C.M. about Maddie & Tae. Certainly not the tidal wave of change some claimed it is or …
- Dave D.: Good stuff, as always. My copy of Producing Country arrived yesterday, and it looks to be as good as …
- Scooter: I agree Holly Williams can do no wrong in my eyes. Such a good album and great to see live …
- Carrie Mclaughlin: Your my Hero Mr. Jim Lauderdale!!! Come to Alaska Please? hehehehe
- Jeremy Dylan: You should check it out Dave D. It's from the first (and strongest) season.
- Leeann: Wow! I love that Holly William's cover of "No Surrender"! She's gotten to be so good.
- luckyoldsun: I made it through a minute of that "Girl In a Country Song Video." Man, that sucks.