Showing posts from April 25, 2010

Album Review: Susan Cowsill "Lighthouse"

Susan Cowsill has one of the most wonderfully unique female voices in music today. Thankfully, she decided to record a follow-up to her 2005 solo debut ("Just Believe It") with the new album "Lighthouse" on Threadhead Records.
Of course, Susan Cowsill is best known for her work with The Cowsills. But "Lighthouse" shows Susan Cowsill as a multi-dimensional solo artist with diverse musical influences. The album begins with the hummable "Dragon Flys." Cowsill's vocals have never sounded better.

"Avenue Of The Indians" is a reimagining of traditional cowboy country songs that hits on all cylinders. "You And Me Baby" is another track that can be embraced by country audiences. It's a tender love song that exudes emotion. Next, the album's beat picks up with the contemporary "River Of Love."

"Sweet Bitter End" offers a beautiful, bluesy vocal performance with uplifting lyrics. The song highlights t…

Review: Brandon Rhyder "Head Above Water"

Brandon Rhyder has been known for solid Red Dirt standards that stand the test of time. Now, the Austin, Texas country singer is ready to spread his wings and see if Texas country fans are willing to accept a bold concept album. Yes, Rhyder has made a major career departure with "Head Above Water." But the proof is in the pudding, and it still tastes darn good.
The album begins with a bold, radio-ready anthem "Rock Angel." However,  the album comes into its own with the hummable "You Can Count On Me." Rhyder channels his inner Rob Thomas to create a track that audiences from all genres will find irresistible.

"You Burn Me" is a Roy Orbison-style song that offers a pulsating beat and notably intense lyrics. However, the best song on the album is "Like It Was The Last Time." The song builds to a rousing crescendo with a cool Darius Rucker vibe. "Like It Was The Last Time" could be a mainstream country chart hit for Brandon …

Album Review: RayTaylorSounds "Country Birthday Song Album" Featuring Cal Baker & Rachael Williams With Songs By Ray Taylor

As a student of popular music while growing up in the San Francisco area, Ray Taylor attended concerts at the famous Fillmore Auditorium and was trained in classical music. As he progressed through life as a songwriter, Ray Taylor discovered country music. It's a good thing, because "Country Birthday Song Album" is proof that his decision to "turn country" was a smart one.
The album begins on an upbeat note with the terrific "What Can I Do" performed by Rachael Williams. She sings Taylor's authentic country lyrics with conviction. Close your eyes, and you'll think you're at the Grand Ole Opry.

However, the main attraction on the album is the title cut: "Country Birthday Song." Cal Baker has a soothing country voice with a laid-back style that showcases Ray Taylor's music to its fullest. The album offers a female version of the song by Rachael Williams as a bonus cut, and her performance offers the song from a new perspective…

Album Review: The Brison Bursey Band "Expectations And Parking Lots"

A quick glance at the cover art of  "Expectations And Parking Lots" shows a solitary double parking meter in front of a weathered wall that could come from any small town in the USA. Neither the front cover art or back cover give listeners a clue that The Brison Bursey Band are actually a carefree group of country boys with the cohesive sound of a band twice its age. Indeed, the low expectations give way to a delicious surprise (and a big musical payoff) with "Expectations And Parking Lots."
The album begins with the laid-back, Wade Bowen-esque "Solid Ground." It's followed by the stellar "Hearts To Break" which offers penetrating lyrics and a killer melodic hook courtesy of songwriters Bursey and band member Justin Tocket.

Brison Bursey grew up about 80 miles from Wichita in a small town named Quanah. And Bursey's early beginnings in a "yes, ma'am" and "no, sir" town was the perfect All American upbringing fo…