Showing posts from August 23, 2009

Review: Seth James "That Kind Of Man"

Let's be honest, Seth James seems like a tough guy. On his new album cover, Seth James has the expression of a man looking for the guy who stole his wife. In reality, Seth James is looking for you - yes you. He's daring you to pick up his CD, and give it a spin. If you do, you'll be instantly hooked on "That Kind Of Man."

The Texas musical pedigree of Seth James is as solid as they come. His grandfather was a honky-tonk pianist from the 1940s to the 1950s and his dad an accomplished drummer who gave his son his first guitar (a Gibson Southern Jumbo). Seth James' musical skills are put to good use on the rockin' first track "Thing For You," which has a great Phil Vassar meets Stoney LaRue vibe. The current radio single "Leaves Of September" introduces Seth James' strong, rich country voice. Two songs he co-wrote showcase his soulful pipes even more. The bluesy "Cigarettes, Anger And Wine" is terrific, and the love song "…

Review: Watermelon Slim "Escape From The Chicken Coop"

If you like your music hard and fast with a slightly cheeky sense of humor, then Watermelon Slim's new album "Escape From The Chicken Coop" should be at the top of your music wish-list.

With songs like "Skinny Women And Fat Cigars" and "It's Never Too Hard To Be Humble," this Norman, Oklahoma native and Vietnam War veteran has crafted a unique, signature album that will be enjoyed and appreciated for years to come. Primarily known as a legend of Blues music, Watermelon Slim has conclusively provided his country music "bona fides" with the terrific track "Hank Williams You Wrote My Life." Watermelon Slim's brilliant vocal performance will make true believers out of even the most skeptical country music aficionados.

Truck drivers will especially appreciate fine music like "18, 18 Wheeler" and "Truck Driving Songs." The cut "Wreck On The Highway" is a winning combination of southern gospel and blu…

Review: The Jeremy Miller Band "Way Too Fast"

The talented Austin, Texas musicians who make up The Jeremy Miller Band chose the perfect title for their new album "Way Too Fast." That's because the album's ten songs prove these country boys are going places - fast.

The album begins with the title track "Way Too Fast," a rockin' Red Dirt anthem with major country radio chart potential. The song, which is reminiscent of the best tracks of Cross Canadian Ragweed and Reckless Kelly, sets a positive tone for the album, and it's followed by the even better "Take A Look." This breezy, reflective song offers great lyrics, a memorable melody and a positive life lesson. The next cut "Sorry" also strikes the right balance of emotion and passionate intensity to make it a winner.

The Jeremy Miller Band have covered all its bases on "Way Too Fast." There's something for everyone. For instance, "17 Wheels" is a heartfelt cut that has a Randy Rogers vibe. "Reckle…

Review: Casey Donahew Band "Moving On"

The Casey Donahew Band is a perfect example that hard work pays off. With "Moving On," Casey Donahew has embarked on a new chapter of his slow climb up the ladder of country music success. The band quietly became a force on the Red Dirt scene by relentlessly touring small bars and honky tonks across Texas beginning when Casey Donahew was a student at Texas A&M. Now, with tens of thousand of fans, this Burleson, Texas country boy isn't looking back.

The Casey Donahew Band is a family affair. Casey Donahew's wife, Melinda, manages the band and reaches out to fans with a personal touch. But at the end of the day, it's the music that matters. "Moving On" is the band's fourth album, and the previous efforts included the self-titled "Casey Donahew Band," "Lost Days" featuring the cut "Stockyards" and the hard-pumping "Live, Raw, Real In The Ville" with the hit "Crazy" (co-written by Casey Donahew and M…

Review: Sons Of Bill “One Town Away”

Bill Wilson is either a very lucky man or the world's greatest dad. As a tribute to their father, sons Sam, James and Abe formed the band "Sons Of Bill." The three Wilson brothers joined with bandmates Brian Caputo and Seth Green to create "One Town Away," which is one of the best Americana albums of the year.

Besides bucket loads of talent, the band members obviously have no shortage of persistence. After sending demo recordings to producer Jim Scott (Whiskeytown, Tom Petty, Wilco), the famed engineer for Rick Rubin called the Charlottesville, Virginia band to offer his time. The result is a tightly produced, Americana gem.

"One Town Away" begins with "Joey's Arm," which is a hard-luck song in the vein of Chris Knight. The pace picks up with the breezy "Broken Bottles" The lyrics are heartfelt, and the lead vocals have a charming authenticity. But the standout track on the first half of the album is "The Rain," a har…

Review: Yim Yames (Jim James from My Morning Jacket) "Tribute To" EP

Jim James of My Morning Jacket offers a raw and sincere tribute to George Harrison with the stellar new EP "Tribute To." Recording under the name, Yim Yames, he covers two tunes from the Beatles and four tracks from Harrison's "All Things Pass" in a masterful performance that will be remembered for years to come.

The EP starts strong with the beautiful, understated "Long Long Long." The voice of Yim Yames has an ethereal quality that brings the lyrics into crisp focus. The multi-layered vocals on "Long Long Long" are highly effective, and sometimes Yim Yames sings in a whisper. It is almost like Yim Yames is telling you - and only you - a guarded secret in the most melodic way possible.

The pace picks up slightly with "Behind That Locked Door" The quiet intensity in the voice of Yim Yames indicates that the artist feels a special kinship and affection for George Harrison. "Love To You" has a great country vibe and featur…

Review: Musikanto "Ghost Pain"

Musikanto's debut album 'Ghost Pain" is an alt-country and Americana music lover's dream with lush melodies, thought provoking lyrics and breezy, uplifting vocals.

Musikanto set out on a solo career after growing up on and Chicago's northside and most recently performed with the Windy City's Sleeper Car. But with "Ghost Pain" it is clearly obvious that Musikanto was born to be a solo act. Musikanto's father enjoyed hard-to-find roots rock and folk music, and this influence shows. But Musikanto's musical style is an interesting amalgamation of the music his father loved combined with elements of soulful British rock, 90s pop/rock and Ryan Adams-style alt-country. This is a powerful and winning combination.

The album begins with the melodic "Misty Morning." For someone who has never heard Musikanto, the first song will be a revelation. The artist's name "Musikanto" might indicate the music is soul or R&B. Likewise, th…

Review: Kat Moore Band “Big Texas Sky”

It's clear that The Kat Moore Band treasures the lasting legacy of country music legends, and the band's debut, "Big Texas Sky," embraces classic country and adds a unique, rockin', bluesy vibe that captivates listeners from beginning to end.
Lewisville, Texas native Kat Moore was raised by musician parents and has been a fixture on stages across Texas (especially in Dallas-Fort Worth) since the age of 11. The years of experience show in Moore's confident vocal performance on "Big Texas Sky." Kat Moore is a singer whose voice demands attention, and her band's album is especially relevant because it will broaden the minds of listeners who have a more narrow view of the definition of country music. The message of the album is clear: The Kat Moore Band loves to have fun playing country music with a little added rock and blues, and the band wants you to have a good time, too.

The album starts off strong with the catchy honky tonk track "Roll Wit…

Review: Matt Stell & The Crashers "The Sound And The Story"

Matt Stell & The Crashers' new release "The Sound And The Story" was released regionally a few months ago in Southern and Central Missouri, Central Arkansas and Western Kansas where the band has received widespread radio airplay and toured extensively. Now, Matt Stell & The Crashers are ready to expand their territory to the rest of the USA with their own fiery brand of Red Dirt music.
Matt Stell is either really lucky, a good salesman or one heck of a charming guy. You see, Stell only began playing music while he was a sophomore in college. Within a few months, he became buddies with the owner of a famous local honky tonk in his Missouri college town who then introduced him to his future bandmates.

Now, when they're not headlining their own sold out shows, Matt Stell & The Crashers open for major label acts like Jason Boland, Cross Canadian Ragweed and The Eli Young Band. But it wasn't just luck that made Matt Stell a success. He wrote every song on &…