Showing posts from July, 2010

Rascal Flatts Celebrates 'Nothing Like This' & Signs With Big Machine Records

Disney Music Group finalized arrangements today for the release of the forthcoming Rascal Flatts record Nothing Like This to be on Big Machine Records. The Rascal Flatts catalogue will remain with the Disney Music Group.

As Big Machine Records becomes the new musical home to Rascal Flatts, who are Country Music’s most awarded group of the millennium and an act at the pinnacle of their career, the final touches are being made on the group’s next album Nothing Like This, its seventh studio release.
Nothing Like This will be in stores on November 16 and was produced by Dann Huff and is the follow up to Unstoppable released in 2009.  The lead-off single, “Why Wait,” was written by Neil Thrasher, Tom Shapiro and Jimmy Yeary, and is going out to Country radio immediately.

Big Machine Label Group President/CEO Scott Borchetta says, “Rascal Flatts are the biggest band in Country Music and we’re honored and thrilled to have them join the Big Machine Records family.  While they are celebrating t…

Album Review: Max Stalling "Home To You"

There's a good reason Dallas-based Max Stalling is considered a pioneer of the Texas country movement: Stalling's music is as comfortable and familiar as your favorite easy chair. And the singer-songwriter's new album "Home To You" is the best recording of his career.
Upon first listen, Stalling's folksy and familiar songs appear completely simple and pure. However, further listens uncover hidden depths in the lyrics that showcase a thinking man. Indeed, Max Stalling has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Texas A&M to prove it.

The album, produced by Texas music legend Lloyd Maines, begins with the terrific and laid-back "Long Way To Get." The vocals are country music perfection, and Stalling offers a confident and reassuring vocal performance. "Have I Ever Told You" deserves to be a Number One radio chart single for Max Stalling, and Red Dirt radio should eat this track up like caramel apples at the county fair.

"I Ain'…

Album Review: Wade Bowen "Live At Billy Bob's Texas"

Over the past seven months, more than 100 live country albums have been released. However, "Live At Billy Bob's Texas" by Wade Bowen is the best live album of 2010 by a mile. The three discs (2 CDs and 1 DVD) are country music perfection.
The first CD begins with "You Had Me At My Best," which showcases Bowen's laid-back signature sound. However, the live album really takes off with the new Texas country classic "One Step Closer," and the Red Dirt star oozes country charm on "Get Away."

The best song on CD 1 is probably "Lay It All On You," but the intense performance of "Red Headed Woman" is a close second. "Daddy And The Devil" continues the stellar set and is followed by the terrific "If We Ever Make It Home."

The second CD begins with a rockin' "Nobody's Fool," but it is the passionate intensity of "Walkin' Along The Fenceline" that steals the show. Bowen's …

Album Review: Raul Malo "Sinners & Saints"

Throughout his music career, Raul Malo has carefully honed his creative energies and always managed to impress and surprise listeners. However, Malo's new album "Sinners & Saints" is the crowning achievement of his long career, and the Tex-Mex album offers a deeply satisfying slice of life from this talented veteran musician.
The album begins with Latin-flavored title track "Sinners And Saints." Raul Malo's vocals have never sounded better, and the instrumentation is carefully layered and rich in texture.

The country rock level is significantly raised with the radio-ready cut "Living For Today." This track was made for hard working country boys and girls who will eat this song up like cotton candy at the county fair. "Superstar" is another potential country radio chart hit with a Latin-influenced outlaw country sound.

Malo offers his best vocal performance on "'Til I Gain Control Again," which is reminiscent of the bes…

Album Review: The Giving Tree Band "The Joke, The Threat & The Obvious"

Americana masters The Giving Tree Band are back with "The Joke, The Threat & The Obvious," and the band's sweet, signature sound is present from start to finish on an album that embraces the true essence of American music.
The album begins with the infectious country track "Red Leaves." Anyone who has toes will be tapping along to this cut, which offers pitch-perfect vocals and top-notch instrumentation. Brothers Erik Fink and Todd Fink began The Giving Tree Band six years ago, and the band tours extensively across the USA. "The Joke, The Threat & The Obvious" will be released September 21, 2010.

The softer side of the band is carefully portrayed on the heartfelt "Sometimes Things Must Fall." The songs "Which One" and "Diamond" are also noteworthy. However, "Reflections Of My Soul" is a musical masterwork with terrific lyrics and stellar instrumentation that is followed by the tragic final track "E…

Album Review: Terry Mills "Man Behind The Curtain"

Terry Mills has a sincere and earnest vocal delivery reminiscent of the best music of Lucinda Williams. Her new album "Man Behind The Curtain" takes the veil off a brand new music talent that will leave music fans eagerly anticipating her next release.
Terry Mills has a cool, alt-country vibe on the first track "Island Girl," but the album really picks up steam with the Tracy Chapman meets Jewel track "Psycho Cat." The softer side of Mills is showcased on "Sunshine Boy."

A bluesy, country sound is introduced on the title track "Man Behind The Curtain." Terry Mills seems most comfortable with this style, and she would be wise to consider recording a full album in this vein. "The Cold, The Rain & Saturday" offers a folk vocal  from Terry Mills that continues to show her diversity.

The finest track on the album and best chance for a country chart hit is "Robin Song." The production and vocals are pitch perfect. Li…

Free Download: Asleep At The Wheel (feat. Willie Nelson) "Truck Driver Blues"

Get a free download of "Truck Driver's Blues" from Asleep at the Wheel & Leon Rausch featuring Willie Nelson by clicking here. The song is a true, traditional country music gem that deserves a prominent place on your MP3 playlist.

UPDATE: This special offer is now over, but the song is free to Amazon Prime members. Click below to access the music for free with Amazon Prime or to purchase for 99 cents.

Get Free Download of "Truck Driver's Blues"

Get 1 Year of "American Cowboy" Magazine for $7.50

Get a 1-year subscription to "American Cowboy" for just $7.50 by clicking here through July 31. "American Cowboy" magazine celebrates cowboys and cowgirls along with country living. Several other magazines are being offered for 50 percent off as well through this private link.
The magazine discusses the western way of life, and the mag is also among the most highly rated magazines by customeres of "American Cowboy" captures the imagination and spirit of the American West. Each issue serves up personalities, Western living, ranching, travel, rodeo, history, music, art, and fashion. Get the best of the West with "American Cowboy."

Get "American Cowboy" for $7.50 a year

Review: Terri Hendrix "Cry Till You Laugh"

Most country music aficionados are aware of Terri Hendrix and her superb musicianship. But Hendrix has surpassed even her own high standards with the terrific "Cry Till You Laugh." Terri Hendrix cares about her fans, and she offers 15 tracks with the characteristically top-notch production of Texas music legend Lloyd Maines.
The first song is the sparse and wonderful "Wall Theory," and it's followed by the melodic "Slow Down." This cut deserves to be a radio hit, and it has a cool vibe that should win Terri Hendrix new fans. "I'm going to make time to soak it all in," she sings. And listeners of the album would be wise to do the same.

The jazz and blues-infused "Automatic" showcases the rich vocals of Terri Hendrix. But it is "Hand Me Down Blues" when the album really comes into its own. Hendrix wrote the song, and she sings it with conviction. "Roll On" has much of the same charm, and this cut is a winnin…

Review: Prophet & The Cowboys Of Apocalypse "The Edge"

Take a heaping dose of heavy metal sensibility and mix it with some southwestern country rock and you have Prophet & The Cowboys Of The Apocalypse. Prophet's unique and groundbreaking first solo album is titled "The Edge," and you'll definitely be on the edge of your seat listening to every track.
Prophet is a former heavy metal musician with the band St Madness, which has released seven albums since 1993. But Prophet himself has evolved as a musician over the years. He faced cancer (including chemotherapy treatments) and the long goodbye of his mother who had ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) during the 2000s. This change in life circumstances caused Prophet to look past his love of heavy metal and create a metal-Texas country hybrid that breaks the mold of cookie-cutter country music.

Prophet told Country Chart that he has been a longtime fan of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Paycheck and David Allen Coe. Prophet said. "This album is my …

Review: Lee County Line "Lee County Line" Self-Titled EP

Fans of Texas country music have reason to celebrate, because the four-member Lee County Line is ready to rock the radio with its unique blend of melodic Red Dirt. The band's self-titled EP represents a significant step-forward for a band whose members are not even old enough to drink.
Lead singer Tanner McPhaul shines on the first track "The Way Things Change." This cut, written by drummer Josh Murdoch, has a cool Randy Rogers Band meets Hootie and the Blowfish vibe. The instrumentation is solid, and the production of Will Nicholson is above average.

The second cut "Her Lyin' Eyes" is a rollicking gem that will be popular at Lee County Line (LCL) concerts. However, the EP comes into its own with the intimate cut "Songs About Me." The track starts out with intense lyrics and builds to an rousing (almost gospel-like) crescendo.

"Take My Hand" showcases the band's stellar instrumentation, but the best song on the album is saved for l…

Single Review: George Ducas "Never Goes Away"

Country music veteran George Ducas is back with "Never Goes Away." Fans of live country music shows have long known that George Ducas is a superb, energetic live performer. However, "Never Goes Away" shows the tender side of the Texas City native with a memorable melody and a Red Dirt vibe.
Ducas wrote the song with Texas music legend Randy Rogers and Jon Henderson. Country music fans often lament the popularity of pop country music in recent years. But "Never Goes Away" breaks this trend and is a "real" country song with terrific lyrics and a top-notch vocal performance.

Radio program directors should put this song in heavy rotation, and country music fans should hit the redial button three or four times to repeatedly request "Never Goes Away." Indeed, George Ducas has also continued to prove that his talent "never goes away" either.

Review: Nick Verzosa "The Smoking Gun EP'

Success in the music industry is dependent on talent, hard work and a good amount of luck. But the process is whole lot easier if an artist has the frequently mentioned "it" factor. From the first track to the last, Nick Verzosa proves that he's the real deal. And the five stellar tracks on "The Smoking Gun EP" will leave Texas country music aficionados aching for a complete 11 or 12 song album.
The EP begins with the terrific "Look Back To Texas," which has a cool, laid-back Texas country vibe reminiscent of Wade Bowen and Brandon Rhyder. "Look Back To Texas" is a new Texas country classic that has a memorable Red Dirt melody. The sparse and intense "Somethin' Lucky" is a Chris Knight style "story in song" that works on all levels.

However, the project really comes into its own with the ballad "Let It Go." Nick Verzosa's pure vocal style is on full display in this beautiful love song. "Back Whe…