Review: T& C Miller (T-Roy Miller and Candace Kunz-Miller) "By Request"

T-Roy Miller and Candace Kunz-Miller make a memorable and important contribution to Texas country music with their stellar album "By Request." This instant cowboy classic features 12 original campfire songs expertly performed by T & C Miller. And this is one campfire jam that would make any country music lover drive the length of Texas to attend.T-Roy Miller is a country boy who was already successful when he met fellow country recording artist, Candace Kunz. Their love of music expanded to a love of each other, and the couple's marriage formed the country duo appropriately named T & C Miller. T-Roy and Candace are both top-notch country artists in their own right, and their professionalism and raw country talent are on full display.

One of the best songs on the album is the track "Thanks For Putting Up With Me." This song features an understated and sincere performance by T-Roy who is singing a reflective song of thanks to his wife, Candace. She answers with a remarkably nuanced vocal performance of her own. This is an excellent cut that could be a hit on Texas country radio for T & C Miller.

Both T-Roy Miller and Candace Kunz-Miller are accomplished guitarists. Their fine guitar skills are on display throughout the entirety of the album, and the instrumental cut "Saddle Up" is a major success. The uniquely titled "Coffee Kisses" also features sincere vocals from T-Roy Miller and a great guitar performance. But the best song on the album is "Drive-By Wave" which features a textured narrative, beautiful guitar interludes and a heartfelt vocal from Candace Kunz-Miller.

The final three songs on the album don't disappoint. "Albert" has a classic country melody along with an excellent pure country story. Candace Kunz-Miller shines on the cut "Desert Floor" with perfect, soft background vocals from T-Roy Miller. The album ends with the upbeat "Rodeo Song" which showcases the excellent musicality of T-Roy.

Much of the success of "By Request" is due to the classic country voice of T-Roy, whose sound is a blend of the best in Texas country music. The finest elements of Bruce Robison, Chris Knight, and Max Stalling seem to have merged to form T-Roy's own unique sound. Likewise, Candace Kunz-Miller never overreaches, and her vocal talent has a quiet confidence that exudes sincerity and emotion.

This is one marriage made in country music heaven, because T & C Miller's album "By Request" and their previous project "Drinkin' Songs" showcase the very best of this genre. T-Roy and Candace deserve praise for producing original campfire music at a level that is almost unmatched these days. And, as a duo, T-Roy Miller and Candace Kunz-Miller are unbeatable. After hearing this album, there's no doubt that country folks will be running - not walking - to the next T & C Miller campfire jam to make their own request.

Review: Shawna Russell "Goddess"

Beauty, brains and talent collide on the breakthrough debut album "Goddess" from Shawna Russell. This Oklahoma native has been singing since age 7, and her professionalism and raw vocal skills are evident on every track of this sensational project.
Good debut albums from female country artists are remarkably rare these days, and Shawna Russell has pulled out all the stops to craft an album that pulsates with passion and raw emotion. The track "The Only One" gives romantic hope to people who have been rejected by a lover, and the sincere and powerful vocal performance by Russell makes this song a winner.

One of the best cuts on the album is "Shed A Tear." This military-inspired anthem, co-written by Shawna Russell, presents a compelling story about a female soldier going off to war. It is a highly successful track that should be of great comfort to soldiers and their families.

The current single, "Should've Been Born With Wheels" is an amazing display of talent by Shawna Russell. This track is reminiscent of Bonnie Raitt mixed with a little Lee Ann Womack. This song will win Russell new fans, and the single is already a hit on country radio.

But the best song on the album is the upbeat country cut "Everybody's Got A Story." This song offers a positive message and has huge radio potential. The lyrics ignite with powerful intensity, and the song has a catchy hook. It is followed by the gentle ballad "Just Let Go" and the barnburner "Get Out Of My Way." However, the biggest surprise of the album is "Little Dixie" which is a classic country feast with a rockin' bluesy beat. "Little Dixie" puts the country music world on notice: Shawna Russell is a force to be reckoned with in country music.

Shawna Russell's "Goddess" is a carefully crafted work of art. The attention to detail is evident on every meticulously produced song, and even the cover art and liner notes are stellar. The tremendous amount of hard work on display in this project proves that Shawna Russell isn't just hoping for a successful album - she wants a long music career. Thankfully, she'll get her wish. With an album this good, it's certain we'll have our goddess for many years (and many albums) to come.

Review: Pat Green "What I'm For"

Pat Green is a revered country music artist who helped launch a huge wave of excitement in the Texas music scene. While Pat Green has moved on to claim a huge fan base in the country world, "What I'm For" proves that Pat Green has not forgotten his Texas roots. "What I'm For" is a major achievement for Green, and is the best album of his long career. That's saying something, because Pat Green has a music catalog that any country musician would envy.
"What I'm For" debuted at number 2 on the Billboard Country Chart, and the first single from the album, "Let Me," is already a big hit on country radio. "Let Me" is a reflective and heartfelt track with a great melody and tender lyrics that deserves the success on radio that it has achieved.

The album "What I'm For" starts off strong with the cut "Footsteps Of Our Fathers," which is an anthem that urges listeners to embrace their family heritage. The song offers potent lyrics that challenge listeners to move forward and learn from the family members that preceded them. It must be said that Pat Green is in perfect vocal form, and the sterling production skills of Dann Huff are clearly evident on the entire project.

The title track "What I'm For" is a pure country cut that shows Pat Green in a more reflective mood. The lyrics of "What I'm For" will instantly connect with country listeners who are firm in their beliefs. He sings: "You don't have to guess what I'm against, you know what I'm for."

The song "Feeling Pretty Good Tonight" is a traditional country song that will play well with the bar crowd, while the musicality shown on the fourth track "Lucky" is impressive. "Lucky" is destined to be a major hit on country radio, and it should be released as a single. Every element of this song works.

"In This World" is a reflective blend of folk and country that is the biggest surprise of the album. Green's light vocals and understated performance are masterful. "Country Star" is the antithesis of "In This World," because it's the most mainstream track on the album. "Country Star" references the major country artists of the day, such as Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw. It's a fun song with a memorable melody that will be great for fans at live shows.

Pat Green the storyteller takes center stage with the track "In It For The Money." Next, Pat Green added his classic tune "Carry On" to the album. This song is well-known to Pat Green fans and is a highly polished and successful version of the classic track that should please his longtime fans.

The Texas native saves the best song for last with the track "In The Middle Of The Night." Pat Green sings with an earnest intensity that is reminiscent of his early Texas country projects. This is a passionate performance that slowly builds to a crescendo. "In The Middle Of The Night" shows a more reflective side of Green that is refreshing.

Pat Green's "What I'm For" is a tight, 10-song set that is polished but deeply personal. Even though Pat Green has moved on from his days of begging bars for an gig to selling out huge concert halls, his artistry and passion are even more visible today with his new album "What I'm For." Of course, in the end, it's all about the music. And this album by Pat Green is darn good.

Review: Bo Cox "Rich Man's Gold"

The debut album "Rich Man's Gold" by Texas native Bo Cox is a confident blend of Texas country, blues and Americana. Surprisingly, this bold album introduces a young singer and guitarist who has the skills of a veteran country act in his prime. In short, Bo Cox's "Rich Man's Gold" is a winner.
Bo Cox's musical skills come naturally, because this country boy grew up in a family-owned, homegrown Opry House. While family connections can open a few doors in the music industry, it's a musician's talent and work ethic that produces a sustainable country career. So Bo Cox constantly honed his guitar and vocal skills as a young man. He sang and brought his guitar everywhere he found a microphone and even places without one, like living rooms and holiday social gatherings. The tenacity of Bo Cox paid off in a big way, and his hard work shows in each of the 11, self-penned tracks on "Rich Man's Gold."

Produced by the legendary Mike McClure, the album "Rich Man's Gold" begins with a rousing intro and is followed by the Texas country track "Between The Lines" with a killer hook and memorable lyrics. "Between The Lines" showcases Bo Cox's years of vocal training along with great backing from the band.

The third cut, "Carousel," is one of the best songs on the album. This track is reminiscent of the very best Texas country artists like Randy Rogers Band and Wade Bowen. Another fine song is the ballad "Send Me An Angel" which shows every aspect of the talent of Bo Cox. It is a subtle, textured performance with refreshingly straightforward lyrics. "Talkin' With The Devil" and "Gone" show the bluesy side of Bo Cox channeling his inner Darrell Scott and Delbert McClinton with great success.

Bo Cox saves his best songs for last. "Burning You" is the new single, and it's destined to be a major hit. "Burning You" is a haunting musical journey with piercing lyrics, while the title track "Rich Man's Gold" is a hard rocking cut that is classic country through and through. However, the best song on the album is the final song "Everyday" which offers pure country lyrics with sparse instrumental backing that gives the feel of an intimate live show. This is followed by the passionate, acoustic, hidden track "Make Me New" written by John Cox.

When you combine Bo Cox's excellent musical pedigree, country songwriting talent, great chops, guitar skill and a proven work ethic, you have a country artist that is going to be around awhile. Indeed, the musical skill on display with "Rich Man's Gold" is all the more remarkable since Bo Cox is brand new to the recorded country music scene. Yes, "Rich Man's Gold" is an appropriate title for Bo Cox's debut album, because this country golden boy's music career will likely make him a very rich man.

44th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards Nominees (Full list of ACM 2009)

The Academy of Country Music announced nominees for the 44th annual ceremony. Julianne Hough, Kellie Pickler, LeAnn Rimes and Jessica Simpson announced the nominations, and Brad Paisley leads the pack with six nominations.

Entertainer of the Year
  • Kenny Chesney
  • Brad Paisley
  • George Strait
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Keith Urban
Top Male Vocalist
  • Kenny Chesney
  • Toby Keith
  • Brad Paisley
  • George Strait
  • Keith Urban
Top Female Vocalist
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Heidi Newfield
  • Taylor Swift
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Lee Ann Womack
Top Vocal Group
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Little Big Town
  • Rascal Flatts
  • Randy Rogers Band
  • The Lost Trailers
Top Vocal Duo
  • Big & Rich
  • Brooks & Dunn
  • Joey & Rory
  • Montgomery Gentry
  • Sugarland
Top New Male Vocalist
  • Jamey Johnson
  • James Otto
  • Jake Owen
Top New Female Vocalist
  • Sarah Buxton
  • Julianne Hough
  • Ashton Shepherd
Top New Vocal Duo or Group
  • Eli Young Band
  • The Lost Trailers
  • Zac Brown Band
Single Record of the Year (Award to Artist, Producer & Record Company)
  • Gunpowder & Lead
  • Miranda Lambert, Produced by Frank Liddell and Mike Wrucke Columbia
  • In Color
    Jamey Johnson, Produced by The Ken Hardley Playboys
  • Johnny & June
    Heidi Newfield, Produced by Tony Brown
  • Waitin' On A Woman
    Brad Paisley, Produced by Frank Rogers
    Arista Nashville
  • You're Gonna Miss This
    Trace Adkins, Produced by Frank Rogers
    Capitol Nashville
Song of the Year (Award to Composer, Publisher & Artist)
  • I Saw God Today
    George Strait
    Composers:  Rodney Clawson, Monty Criswell, Wade Kirby
    Publishers:   Big Red Toe Music (BMI), Blind Mule Music (BMI), Extremely Loud Music (BMI), Steel Wheels Music (BMI)
  • In Color
    Jamey Johnson
    Composers:  Jamey Johnson, Lee Thomas Miller, James Otto
    Publishers: Big Gassed Hitties (BMI), Eldorotto Music Publishing (BMI), EMI Blackwood Music, Inc., Lucky Thumb Music (BMI), New Song of Sea Gayle (BMI), Noah's Little Boat Music (BMI)
  • Johnny & June
    Heidi Newfield
    Composers:  Deanna Bryant, Heidi Newfield, Stephony Smith
    Publishers:  Amylase Music (ASCAP), Big Hit Makers Music (BMI), Rainy Graham Publishing LLC (BMI), Souljet Music Tell Texas Tune III (ASCAP)
  • Waitin' On A Woman
    Brad Paisley
    Composers:  Don Sampson, Wynn Varble
    Publishers:  EMI April Music, Inc. (ASCAP), Sea Gayle Music LLC (ASCAP), Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI)
  • You're Gonna Miss This
    Trace Adkins
    Composers:  Ashley Gorley and Lee Thomas Miller
    Publishers:  EMI Blackwood Music, Inc. (BMI), Music of Windswept (ASCAP),  Noah's Little Boat Music (BMI), Song of Combustion (ASCAP), Songs of Sea Gayle (BMI)
Video of the Year (Award to Producer, Director & Artist)
  • Johnny & June - Heidi Newfield
  • Producer:  Karen Martin Director:  Eric Welch
  • Just A Dream - Carrie Underwood
    Producer:  Randy Brewer
    Director:  Roman White
  • Love Story - Taylor Swift
    Producer:  Trent Hardville
    Director:  Trey Fanjoy
  • Troubadour - George Strait
    Producer:  Dominic Cancilla
    Director:  Trey Fanjoy
  • Waitin' On A Woman - Brad Paisley
    Producer:  Mark Kalbfeld, Jim Shea
    Director:  Jim Shea, Peter Tilden
Vocal Event of the Year (Award to Artist, Producer & Record Company)
  • Another Try - Josh Turner Featuring Trisha Yearwood
    Produced by: Frank Rogers
    MCA Nashville
  • Cowgirls Don't Cry - Brooks & Dunn Featuring Reba McEntire
    Produced by: Kix Brooks, Tony Brown, Ronnie Dunn
    Arista Nashville
  • Down The Road - Kenny Chesney With Mac McAnally
    Produced by:  Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney
    Blue Chair/BNA
  • Life In A Northern Town - Sugarland Featuring Little Big Town & Jake Owen
    Produced by: Not listed
  • Start A Band - Brad Paisley Duet With Keith Urban
    Produced by: Frank Rogers
    Arista Nashville
  • Blair Garner - After MidNite with Blair Garner
  • Crook & Chase - Crook and Chase Countdown
  • Danny Wright - Danny Wright All Night
  • Lon Helton - Country Countdown USA
  • KEEY‐FM (Minneapolis, MN) - Donna Valentine, Muss and Fish
  • KSCS‐FM (Arlington, TX) - Dorsey Gang
  • KSON‐FM (San Diego, CA) - Cliff & Company: Cliff, Morgan, Tanner and Tori                                              
  • KYGO‐FM (Denver, CO) - Kelly Ford & Mudflap McGrew with Ed Greene
  • WIL ‐FM (St. Louis, MO) - The Cornbread Show featuring Cornbread, Pat James, Producer Annie, Captain Mac Douglas & Father Harry Shroeder
  • WFMS‐FM (Indianapolis, IN) - JD Cannon
  • WFMS‐FM (Indianapolis, IN) - Jim Denny, Deborah Honeycutt & Kevin Freeman
  • WMIL‐FM (Milwaukee, WI) - Karen, Scott & Radar ‐ The Moo Crew
  • WTQR‐FM (Greensboro, NC) - Jeff Roper & Angie Ward
  • WUBE‐FM (Cincinnati, OH) - Chris Carr & Amanda Orlando
  • WBBS‐FM (Syracuse, NY) - Tom and Becky ‐ B104.7 Morning Show
  • WBCT‐FM (Grand Rapids, MI) - The Electric Barnyard with Broadway (and Crawl)
  • KFDI‐FM (Wichita, KS) - Brian Pierce & Kellie Michaels
  • WIVK‐FM (Knoxville, TN) - Gunner
  • WIVK‐FM (Knoxville, TN) - Andy Ritchie, Alison West, Jimmy Holt
  • KUAD‐FM (Ft. Collins, CO) - Brian Gary and Todd Harding (The Good Morning Guys)
  • WCTY‐FM (Norwich, CT) - Jimmy Lane and Shelly Martinez
  • WFYR‐FM (Peoria, IL) - Rick Stephenson & Lisa Franks
  • WOKQ‐FM (Dover, NH) - Mark & Danielle 
  • WYCT‐FM (Pensacola, FL) - Brent Lane and Dana Cervantes
  • KMPS‐FM (Seattle, WA) - Today's Country
  • KYGO‐FM (Denver, CO) - Denver's #1 For New Country
  • WKLB‐FM (Boston, MA) - Country 102.5
  • WQYK‐FM (Tampa, FL) - Tampa Bay's Country Station
  • WSOC‐FM (Charlotte, NC) - Charlotte's # 1 Country
  • WFMS‐FM (Indianapolis, IN) - The Country Station
  • WMIL‐FM (Milwaukee, WI) - Continuous Country Favorites of Yesterday and Today
  • WQDR‐FM (Raleigh, NC) - Today's Best Country
  • WSIX‐FM (Nashville, TN) - The Big 98 WSIX
  • WUBE‐FM (Cincinnati, OH) - Cincinnati's Country!
  • KFDI‐FM (Wichita, KS) - Today's KFDI
  • KUZZ AM/FM (Bakersfield, CA) - Bakersfield's Best Country
  • WGNA‐FM (Albany, NY) - Country 107.7
  • WIVK‐FM (Knoxville, TN) - Today's Best Music and the All‐Time Country Legends
  • WYRK‐FM (Buffalo, NY) - Today's Country & Your All Time Favorites
  • WFYR‐FM (Peoria, IL) - River Country
  • WKXC‐FM (Augusta, GA) - Number One for New Country and More Variety
  • WXCL‐FM (Peoria, IL) - Number One For New Country
  • WXXQ‐FM (Rockford, IL) - Rockford's Country
  • WYCT‐FM (Pensacola, FL) - Cat Country
  • Buddy Cannon
  • Dann Huff
  • Frank Rogers
  • Nathan Chapman
  • Tony Brown
  • Chuck Ainlay
  • Greg Droman
  • John Kelton
  • Mills Logan
  • Steve Marcantonio
  • Dave Hungate
  • Glenn Worf
  • Jimmie Lee Sloas
  • Larry Paxton
  • Mike Brignardello
  • Chad Cromwell
  • Eddie Bayers
  • Greg Morrow
  • Lonnie Wilson
  • Paul Leim
  • Aubrey Haynie
  • Joe Spivey
  • Jonathan Yudkin
  • Larry Franklin
  • Rob Hajacos
  • Brett Mason
  • Bryan Sutton
  • J.T. Corenflos
  • Kenny Greenberg
  • Tom Bukovac
  • Gordon Mote
  • John Hobbs
  • John Jarvis
  • Steve Nathan
  • Tony Harrell
  • Eric Darken
  • Ilya Toshinsky
  • Jelly Roll Johnson
  • Randy Kohrs
  • Rob Ickes
  • Bruce Bouton
  • Dan Dugmore
  • Mike Johnson
  • Russ Pahl
  • Steve Hinson
  • DTE Energy Music Theatre - Clarkston, MI
  • Meadowbrook US Cellular Pavilion - Gilford, NH
  • The Ryman Auditorium - Nashville, TN
  • Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek - Raleigh, NC
  • Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheatre - Virginia Beach, VA
  • Buck Owens' Crystal Palace - Bakersfield, CA
  • Coyote Joe's - Charlotte, NC
  • Joe's Bar - Chicago, IL
  • The Grizzly Rose - Denver, CO
  • Wild Bill's - Duluth, GA
  • Casino Rama - Orillia, Ontario
  • Chumash Casino - Santa Ynez, CA
  • Mystic Lake - Minneapolis, MN
  • The Peppermill Resorts at Wendover - West Wendover, NV
  • Turning Stone Casino - Verona, NY
  • David Snowden - Triangle Talent
  • Fran Romeo - Romeo Entertainment
  • Gary Osier - Gary Osier Presents
  • Suzanne Wilson - Wilson Events
  • Todd Boltin - Variety Attractions
  • Ben Farrell - Varnell Enterprises
  • Darin Lashinsky - Outback Concerts
  • Gary Weinberger - Red Mountain Entertainment
  • Louis Messina - The Messina Group
  • Steve Moore - AEGLive:

Review: Drew Landry Band "BandryLand: Sharecropper's Whine"

Drew Landry's "BandryLand: Sharecropper's Whine" is a Cajun-influenced Americana masterwork that vividly illustrates the unadulterated passion of an authentic Southwest Louisiana country boy and storyteller who won't let rough times or hardships (like Hurricane Katrina) get in the way of his music. It's a good thing, because Drew Landry's "BandryLand: Sharecropper's Whine" is a personal and sometimes heart-wrenching mix of interesting, original tracks about politics, hard life choices and tough economic times.
The favorite memory of Drew Landry's musical career is when he played the Angola Prison Rodeo with the prison band. After the performance, Landry promised his new friends that he would get them out of jail someday. To the surprise of the prisoners in the band, Drew Landry made good on the promise, and the Angola warden allowed the band to play with Landry at a fundraiser held in his hometown of Scott, Louisiana.

"BandryLand: Sharecropper's Whine" is Drew Landry's third studio album. This project also serves as the soundtrack for a documentary film about Landry's life titled "Last Man Standin: The Drew Landry Story" from filmmaker Josh Hyde. Landry's song "Last Man Standin" on the album is a deeply personal, autobiographical cut that fuses Landry's Cajun heritage with certain elements that are reminiscent of both Tracy Chapman's hit single "Fast Car" and tracks from Chris Knight's album, "The Trailer Tapes."

Drew Landry is at his best with sparse instrumental backing combined with his brilliantly authentic voice and razor sharp lyrics. The track "Strength Of A Song" is one of the finest songs on the album and offers a compelling message about the power of music. Also, more upbeat songs, like the track "Sharecropper's Wine" and "Gone Home," are amazing examples of his musical artistry that blend elements of Texas country with his Louisiana heritage.

However, the best song on the album is "Juvenile Delinquent," an almost Dylanesque performance with stripped down instrumentation and an earnest vocal by Landry. The elements of "Juvenile Delinquent" all work together to create an Americana work of art. This cut is a carefully paced story that builds into a crescendo. Indeed, "Juvenile Delinquent" features Landry in top form and vividly illustrates why any music lover needs to know about Drew Landry.

The album "BandryLand: Sharecropper's Whine" is a landmark Cajun-inspired recording with gritty vocals, accomplished guitar work and subtle, but piercing, lyrics. But the power of this album is largely derived from Drew Landry's obvious purity of heart and eager intensity which permeates every note. No, Drew Landry's "BandryLand: Sharecropper's Whine" is not a good album. It's great.

Review: The Cody Gill Band "King Of Your Hometown"

The four members of The Cody Gill Band hit the bullseye with "King Of Your Hometown," the upbeat and confident sophomore release from one of the most talked about new bands on the red dirt music scene. And these small town, country boys from Stephenville, Texas deliver eleven terrific songs that are genuine, real-life narratives put to music.
In 2007, The Cody Gill Band had a pretty good year. The band released its debut, full-length album, "Boxcars." Similarly, the single "Can't Let Her Go" was a fixture on the Texas charts and announced the band as a major force in Texas music. Formed in 2004, The Cody Gill Band started out playing at their local bar in Stephenville. Since then, they've criss-crossed America, and all of the band's hard work is more than evident on their stellar new album, "King Of Your Hometown."

Nine of the eleven songs on "King Of Your Hometown" were written by band members. The Cody Gill Band's nine original songs provide fresh, straightforward lyrics about love, youthful indiscretions, small-town life and country living. The band's music blurs the line between Texas country and southern rock. This provides a winning signature sound for The Cody Gill Band that makes them unique in red dirt music.

The first radio single from the album is the title track, "King Of Your Hometown." This song is destined to be a major country hit with its memorable melody, great instrumentation and subtle, sincere vocal performance by Gill. The lyrics of  "King Of Your Hometown" are both nostalgic and socially relevant for today's tough economic times. Gill sings: "Everywhere you turn, another slamming door; when your dreams don't shine like they used to."

It seems appropriate that The Cody Gill Band's most passionate and rockin' tracks, including "Crazy" and "Movin' On," revolve around women. However, the finest songs on the album are actually cuts like the penetrating "Consider" and the melancholy ballad "Threw Me Away" that paint a full emotional picture for the listener. But the best song on the album is the track "Crumble," which showcases Gill's brilliant vocals and the band's soaring instrumental intensity. This song works on all levels. Indeed, "Crumble" shows the more vulnerable side of the band and is the album's biggest surprise.
"King Of Your Hometown" is an energetic and remarkably accomplished album that will catapult The Cody Gill Band into the big leagues of country music. The boys of The Cody Gill Band are already top of the pack in parts of Texas, and this album proves the band is serious about expanding their territory and becoming kings of every other hometown, too.

Review: Seth Walker "Leap Of Faith"

Seth Walker has had a red-hot blues career for a little while now, but the new album "Leap Of Faith" changes everything. This album is burning up with potential hits and should send the talented musician's career into the stratosphere.
Seth Walker was born to classically trained musicians who lived on a commune in North Carolina. Walker first took up the cello but he soon discovered his love of the guitar. And Walker hasn't looked back since. Likewise, his stellar new album "Leap Of Faith" is a fitting tribute to his musical heroes like T-Bone Walker, B.B. King and Snooks Eaglin.

On "Leap Of Faith," Seth Walker has never sounded so good. The artist's amazing passion and musicality are presented in a new and fresh way. Producer Gary Nicholson brings out the very best in Seth Walker, including the title track, "Leap Of Faith." According to Walker, this album was recorded at a difficult time. He said: "The idea of a leap of faith actually does reflect where I was personally."

The album begins with the scorching opening cut "Can't Come Home With You." Walker also shines with a terrific rendition of Percy Mayfield's "Memory Pain." On the album, Seth Walker's vocal mastery is breathtakingly brilliant with its subtle hints of complexity mixed with an earnest self-assuredness.

This is the first time Seth Walker has allowed someone besides himself to produce his music, and this decision allowed Walker to completely focus on his fine guitar and vocal performances. Because of this, Seth Walker's musical boundries were pushed to the limits and resulted in stunning cuts like "I Got A Song" where Seth Walker shows us his softer side. This beautiful ballad is unlike any music he has ever produced, and it is amazinly successful. The best song on the album is Seth Walker's interpretation of Nick Lowe's "Lately I've Let Things Slide," which offers a carefully nuanced vocal performance by Walker.

Plain and simple, Seth Walker is a star, and the album "Leap Of Faith" proves it. This is the album the blues and Texas music world have been waiting for, so sit back and carefully take it in. Albums this good only come around every few years.

Review: John Evans "Lucky 13"

John Evans rocks. And his album "Lucky 13" proves it. This album is chock full of subtle and not-so-subtle hints of the music that shaped the life of John Evans. In one song, the influence of Carl Perkins, Elvis and Hank Williams permeates the music. While at other times, John Evans channels Robert Earl Keen mixed with a little Dwight Yoakum, and this rockin' country album expertly pulls off a diverse collection of influences. This makes "Lucky 13" a delightful surprise.
John Evans moved to Houston, Texas as a child and was blessed with the city's rich musical heritage. He later moved to Pasadena, Texas where he was a star quarterback. Later, he became a professional football player and shifted his focus to music when his football career ended. Certainly, John Evans brings the passion of a champion football player to the stage and his musical intensity is a force of nature that is virtually unmatched by any Texas musician working today.

The musicianship and vocal skill displayed on John Evans' "Lucky 13" is breathtaking. This man has a mastery of music. One of the best tracks on the album is "Bad Thoughts In A Good Way," which brilliantly showcases John Evans' pitch-perfect vocal interpretation. Other standouts on the album include "Ride Away," "Butterfly Girl" and "Crayola Blue."

The cut "Forget To Remember You're Gone" shows John Evans and his band in a more reflective mood. The soft, almost-haunting vocals and backing music make this song a winner. The lyrics on this track carefully paint a picture of heartache and melancholy love. John Evans writes most of his own songs, and that is a good thing. He is an extremely gifted songwriter. John Evans and Cory Morrow wrote the brilliant new cowboy classic "Ride Away." This is the best song on the album.

"Lucky 13" is a confident and trail-blazingly original piece of work, and this album firmly establishes John Evans rightful place as one of today's best country music artists.

Review: Robin Dean Salmon "Come On Home"

Robin Dean Salmon's forceful new rocking country project titled "Come On Home" provides a window into the soul of a musical journeyman who was born in Durban, South Africa and somehow found his way to his rightful home in the country capital of the world, Nashville, Tennessee. "Come On Home" shows that Robin Dean Salmon has found a signature sound that works.
Robin Dean Salmon has had the kind of life that begs for an autobiography. He survived turmoil in South Africa, trained in karate with Japanese dock workers, helped in his family's safari expedition company and settled in San Antonio on a large horn cattle ranch. The surprise is that these experiences are just the beginning of the complex life of Robin Dean Salmon. But music was always a constant thread in his life, and Robin Dean Salmon's years of practice have paid off with "Come On Home."

The album starts off with the outstanding "Ready Now," which has a sound that is part Billy Joe Shaver and part Reckless Kelly. It is a good mix that succeeds. Another outstanding cut is titled "Arizona Rain." This song is an upbeat declaration of the feelings and experiences of his life and includes many pop culture references. This song could be a country radio hit.

But it is the ethereal "You're The One" where Robin Dean Salmon's star shines the brightest. His passionate delivery and careful instrumentation combined with heartfelt and sincere lyrics make this the best song of the album's 15 cuts. However, "America" and "Tuesday Afternoon" also provide fitting showcases of Robin Dean Salmon's talent.

"Come On Home" is a wonderful country project and an interesting and very satisfying look at the life of Robin Dean Salmon. This is a career-defining album that is pure country music with subtle hints of his well-traveled and interesting life.

Review: Hot Club Of Cowtown "The Best of Hot Club Of Cowtown"

Listening to the 20-track anthology titled "The Best of Hot Club Of Cowtown" is like attending a western swing and jazz master class. This album more than proves why Hot Club Of Cowtown is a critical darling and a fan favorite. Yes, these talented musicians know how sing, play and entertain better than just about any artist working today.
Hot Club Of Cowtown began as a duo when Elena James and Whit Smith discovered they had a mutual love of artists like Bob Wills, Joe Venuti, Stuff Smith, Eddie Lang, George Barnes and Django Reinhardt among others. So they moved from San Diego, California to Austin, Texas and added a base player to complete the group.

One of the best tracks on the anthology is titled "I Can't Believe You're In Love With Me." The vocals have a casual elegance reminiscent of the popular music of the 1940s. The instrumentation perfectly compliments the carefully nuanced vocals. The upbeat "Forget-Me Nots" is another standout cut. The passionate enthusiasm and fast tempo make this an delightful musical treat.

The album's three live tracks are all perfectly performed. The album begins with a live version of the traditional song, "Ida Red." It mightily succeeds. Another live track "Deed I Do" is expertly crafted by the band and is a very satisfying display of raw musical talent. The terrific live "Orange Blossom Special" provides a fitting end for the explosion of musical talent displayed on this winning anthology.

Hot Club Of Cowtown's 20-song anthology, "The Best Of Hot Club Of Cowtown" is a marvelous reminder of our precious musical heritage provided by these new prophets of western swing and jazz.

Review: Roger Creager: "Here It Is"

Over the last 10 years, Roger Creager has established himself as one of the top acts in Texas country music by consistently providing talked-about live shows, popular radio chart hits and some great albums. With "Here It Is," Roger Creager has reached a career milestone with an album that is his best yet.
Roger Creager is known for his full, rich country voice that will warm the coldest of hearts. Creager's vocal talent is brilliantly displayed on the melancholy ballad "I Loved You When." This is followed by the excellent "Tangle Me In You" with a memorable and melodic chorus along with superb instrumentation.

Crowds love Roger Creager's live shows because they're a lot of fun. The #1 Texas radio hit "I'm From The Beer Joint" showcases Roger Creager's playful side most convincingly. This huge hit has helped draw new fans to Creager who later discover a more thoughtful side of his personality with songs like "A Good Day For Sunsets" and "She Chose You."

But the best song on the album is "Cowboys And Sailors." Roger Creager has a knack for storytelling, and he paints a vivid picture of the hard life faced by men whose jobs take them away from their women for long periods of time. Roger Creager plays 160 shows a year and is often away from his loved ones. Needless to say, he performs "Cowboys and Sailors" with a remarkably palpable sincerity.

"Here It Is" proves once again that Roger Creager is the real deal. He is an everyman troubadour who understands the struggles and challenges of everyday folks. "Here It Is" is a major triumph for Roger Creager. In other words, it's darn good.

Review: Carolyn Wonderland "Miss Understood"

Take a little Bonnie Raitt, throw in a heaping handful of Janis Joplin along with a dash of Wynonna Judd and you've got Carolyn Wonderland, the amazingly talented Austin, Texas-based singer who has created a country, rock, soul and blues masterpiece with "Miss Understood."
Carolyn Wonderland is a musical genius. The powerful intensity of her vocal performance is without equal in the music business today, and her confident proficiency on the guitar is a revelation of musical bliss. To top it all off, Carolyn Wonderland has another unique talent - she can whistle with perfect pitch. Yes, Carolyn Wonderland aims to use every ounce of the musical talent God bestowed on her.

The best song on "Miss Understood" is the passionate country ballad "Bad Girl Blues." It is here that Wonderland allows listeners to glimpse the deep feelings from her soul. Her vocal performance is flawless, and this song deserves to be a major country music chart hit. Moreover, the album's producer, Asleep At The Wheel's Ray Benson, ensures that the production quality on Carolyn Wonderland's "Miss Undersood" is flawless.

Other standouts on the album include the radio single "Misunderstood" and the love song "I Don't Want To Fall For You." What is most amazing about the album "Miss Understood" is that Carolyn Wonderland's talent remains at the same level no matter in which genre she performs. This is one of the most unique albums of the last 12 months, and it is one of the best, too.

With "Miss Understood," Carolyn Wonderland has put the music industry on notice. After years of touring and honing her musical skills, this album loudly announces the birth of a new musical superstar - the unforgettable Carolyn Wonderland.

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