Showing posts from 2011

Grammy nod for Reckless Kelly "Good Luck & True Love" packaging

Hard work by Red Dirt bands is not often recognized by the Grammy Awards. However, Reckless Kelly's "Good Luck & True Love" received a well-deserved Grammy nomination for its terrific album packaging on the band's hit album.  Art directors Sarah Dodds and Shauna Dodds provided a comprehensively compelling package for "Good Luck & True Love" that was heralded by this magazine in August 2011 as "one of the best" album packages of any audio recording this year. Read full album review by clicking here.

The great CD packaging also properly highlighted the stellar musical collection by Reckless Kelly that includes the mid-tempo, Red Dirt anthem "Give It A Try" and the melodic "Save Me From Myself." This is one album you need to see for yourself. Buy it now by clicking here for the CD or  clicking here for the vinyl edition.

Reckless Kelly's album will compete against "Chickenfoot III" by Chickenfoot, "Riv…

Martina McBride, Reba & Rascal Flatts Team With Colonial Candle For Christmas Gift Set


Our good friends at Big Machine Records have teamed with Colonial Candle to announce a partnership just in time for the upcoming Christmas season. A star-studded lineup of country artists singing their favorite Christmas tunes – combined with the magnificent scent of fresh cut pine and a yuletide fire – provides a perfect gift for the holiday season.  Country superstars Martina McBride, Rascal Flatts and Reba will be featured on the new candle gift set and Christmas album. Besides the holiday CD, the package includes a "Holiday Sparkle" fragranced Colonial Candle (8 ounce)  packaged with an 8-ounce Colonial Candle “Holiday Sparkle”-fragranced candle. The suggested retail price is $25. The package will be exclusive to Colonial Candle and Big Machine Records and featured artists include Justin Moore (“Run Rudolph Run”), Rascal Flatts (“Mary Did You K…

Stoney LaRue and Turnpike Troubadors lead Texas Country Chart Top 40

Stoney LaRue's "Velvet" takes command of the Official Texas Country Chart Top 40 for the second week as The Turnpike Troubadours rise dramatically to take the Number Two spot on the Texas music and Red Dirt chart with "Long Hot Summer Days."

Josh Abbott featuring Pat Green on "My Texas" came in at Number 3, and Kevin Fowler didn't disappoint at Number 4 with "Hell Yeah I Like Beer." Cody Canada and The Departed rounded out the Top 5 with "Ballad Of Rosalie." 

"Another Like You" from Hayes Carll rose 14 places to Number 6, but Deryl Dodd fell 5 places to #7 with "Baby Where's My Bottle." Adam Hood's "Flame And Gasoline" jumped to Number 8 (from previous position of #32), and Reckless Kelly fell 5 places to number 9 with "Good Luck & True Love." The Number 10 place on the Official Texas Country Chart Top 40 went to Brandon Jenkins with "Too Big To Fail."

ALBUM REVIEW: The Good Intentions "Someone Else's Time"

Liverpool, England is known worldwide for its musical heritage, and the folk country band The Good Intentions are near-perfect musical ambassadors with the new album "Someone Else's Time." But from the evidence presented in the 11-song album, it is clear that the project should have been called "Our Time" That's because The Good Intentions star shines bright on their seemingly mistitled album "Someone Else's Time."
A famous quote says that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but the opposite is true for the Liverpool band members who named themselves The Good Intentions who have the sound of modest angels sent from heaven to bestow beautiful music to the world. In most cases, praise like this would be over-the-top and undeserved, but no so here. The Good Intentions begin the album with the quiet but masterful folk track "Gone So Long," which will have Americana radio program managers squealing with delight. The elegant p…

ALBUM REVIEW: Crystal Yates "Love Wins"

Love is not the only thing that "wins" on Crystal Yates new country fusion CD titled "Love Wins." That's because the genre of country music is a "winner" since it can now boast an accomplished, new artist such as Crystal Yates that blends elements of folk, bluegrass, blues, contemporary Christian and country to create a winning formula that is deserving of radio chart success.
The album begins with the bluesy country vibe of "No More Sighin'," which showcases Yates' perky but intellectual vocals. Radio program directors from multiple genres will find something to like in the lead-off cut. However, Crystal Yates shows off  her traditional country music chops in the stellar "Stupid In Love," which more than proves that Yates has the talent to pull off a major country career. The song builds to a memorable chorus that has surprisingly accomplished production values for a new artist.

With an intro worthy of Jason Mraz, Crystal…

ALBUM REVIEW: EG Kight "Lip Service"

Describing her sound as "country-flavored, southern-fried blues," EG Kight offers some "Lip Service" to country music on her new album of the same name. And the blues artist extraordinaire has never sounded better.
Country audiences will swoon to the confident, sultry sound of the first track "Sugar Daddies," which shows that EG Kight is no Bonnie Raitt wannabe. As she has proven over the years, EG Kight is an artist with a unique sound and terrific vocal performance instincts.

The next cut, "I'm In It To Win It," is an upbeat celebration of self-confidence, but it is the slow-burning "That's How A Woman Loves," which is the album's biggest surprise. Kight offers a carefully nuanced performance that works by tugging at the heart. The title track "Lip Service" is a memorable delight that is catchy enough to be sold later as a movie or TV show theme song.

However, the album's best song by a mile is "Savann…

ALBUM REVIEW: Paladino "Paladino" (Self-Titled)

If Reverend Horton Heat had children with Lucinda Williams they might have offspring that could form a band that sounds like Paladino on their quirky and intensely interesting "Paladino" self-titled album.

The project begins with the upbeat "Lonely Mountain" that can best be described as "cowboy punk." With a laid-back but fast-paced vocal style that is unusually compelling, lead singer Jonathan Harkham deserves careful artistic examination as do other founding Paladino members Chris and Adrienne Isom. Harkham is also a talented painter, and his artistic nature is the driving creative force on the album since he wrote most of the songs (and even painted the album cover).

Paladino's cowboy swagger emerges on "Snow Deer," which offers elements of traditional country presented in a style that would befit the Grand Ole Opry stage. However, the punk influences resurface on "Ode To Misery," which also features elements of alt country, Am…

Reader Wins 5 CDs, DVD in Country Chart's Rebecca Linda Smith Sweepstakes

Congratulations to Cassandra Darensbourg, a resident of the wonderful city of San Bernardino, California, for winning Country Chart's Rebecca Linda Smith sweepstakes and taking home a prize of 5 CDs and a DVD from the talented Texas country music artist

Darensbourg, a receptionist in San Bernardino, has won five CDs from award-winning vocalist Rebecca Linda Smith, including the 12-song CD "American Heroes," the 14-song CD "Jesus' Grace," the 12-song CD "Timeless," the 15 song "True Love" and the CD single "Forgotten Heroes." Plus she will receive a DVD containing pieces of the life of inspirational and country artist Rebecca Linda Smith and her husband and songwriter Dr. Robert Frank Smith - both of whom are veterans.

Country Chart would like to congratulate Cassandra Darensbourg on her win, and we hope Cassandra and her family enjoy the music of Rebecca Linda Smith as much as veterans, military personnel across the globe and co…

Win A Stoney LaRue "Velvet" T-Shirt & CD from The Chart

The Chart is offering readers a chance to win a Stoney LaRue "Velvet" T-Shirt and CD in our latest sweepstakes competition in conjunction with WildfireApp - the only Twitter and Facebook approved contest app.

Simply click here or the box below to enter now! Stoney LaRue's new album "Velvet" has been at the top of virtually every album chart this month, and Stoney LaRue's hit single (and title track) "Velvet" has also been atop virtually every song chart.

The winner of the contest will be chosen at random by WildfireApp software. Sweepstakes rules can be found by clicking the box below or the photo of the T-shirt and CD to your left. Good luck winning the Stoney LaRue "Velvet" Sweepstakes! The competition ends at 11.59pm CST on September 25, 2011.

To enter via the Twitter interface click here. Or, click here for the main sweepstakes entry form.

ALBUM REVIEW: Drake Jensen "On My Way To Finding You"

Drake Jensen has a deep country voice that could just as easily come out of El Paso, Texas rather than the island of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, Canada - where he was born and raised. Nevertheless, the country crooner is on his way to finding his own country music dream with his surprisingly accomplished new album "On My Way To Finding You."
The album's first single "Wash Me Away" received a music award, and the track has a hard-driving beat with a memorable melody. The new single "All You Need" will please traditional country fans, and it actually has a retro-cool George Strait meets Mickey Gilley vibe.

The album's first cut, "Where You Goin' With That" actually sets the perfect tone for the Drake Jensen album, and the Canadian who recently moved to Ontario showcases his deep throaty vocals. The album's production quality is also stellar. The next track, "I'm Here To Love You" also could draw comparisons to the mu…

Stoney LaRue and Deryl Dodd Top First Ever Fan-Voted "Texas Country Chart"

Texas Country Music's first ever fan-voted "Texas Country Chart" Top 40 Songs was published today with Red Dirt star Stoney LaRue's hit "Velvet" and Deryl Dodd's "Baby Where's My Bottle taking the first and second spots respectively.

The fan voters found some country love for Eli Young Band's mega-hit "Crazy Girl" at #3 and Reckless Kelly's "Good Luck And True Love" at #4. Rounding out the Top 5 is "Ballad Of Rosalie" from Cody Canada & The Departed.
Placing in the sixth postion of the September 13, 2011 chart was Max Stalling's "6 x 9 Speakers (Revisited)."  Next, "Hell Yeah, I Like Beer" from the rockin' Kevin Fowler and Casey Donahew Band's "Breaks My Heart" dropped in at #7 and 8 respectively while "The River Song" from Mark McKinney arrived at #9 "Too Big To Fail" from Brandon Jenkins is the #10 song.

SINGLE REVIEW: Casey James "Let's Don't Call It A Night"

Fort Worth native and American Idol alum Casey James sizzles with sultry country vocals in his debut single "Let's Don't Call It A Night."
The third-place finisher in Idol's ninth season begins the song complimenting his new lady friend's dress. He sings: "Love the way you look in that dress; You got me thinkin' thoughts in my head."

James' vocals are pure and crisp. While the new country artist was not previously known as a country singer during his brief TV stint, his bluesy southern charm is a welcome addition to country music. Indeed, his Texas swagger and all-American good looks should also help jumpstart his country music career.

The most surprising aspect of the song is not Casey James' stellar vocal performance, which TV viewers would have expected. However, James wrote both the words and music to the song, and the memorable melody is impressive in itself.

"Let's Don't Call It A Night" has already hit the count…

ALBUM REVIEW: Slaid Cleaves "Sorrow And Smoke: Live At The Horseshoe Lounge"

Music reviewers can usually find much to criticize on 2-disc live albums. However, Slaid Cleaves makes the job very hard on his excellent new, 22-track album titled “Sorrow& Smoke" which was recorded live at Austin's famed Horseshoe Lounge. Slaid Cleaves begins the set with the terrific "Hard To Believe," which has a melodic chorus featuring Cleaves' outstanding vocals. Indeed, Slaid Cleaves vocals are so pure and natural that it is somewhat difficult to distinguish the vocals from his studio albums and the live album - except for the generally acoustic nature of the 2-disc set.

The artist's famous ode to the site of the live recording, "Horseshoe Lounge," is up next, and the crowd is eating up the renowned cut like horses eating hay. Indeed, this cut is one of the liveliest on the album.
However, at his core, Slaid Cleaves is a folk troubadour, which is on full display on "Drinkin' Days" and "Black T-Shirt." However, i…

ALBUM REVIEW: Brandon Rhyder "Live At Billy Bob's Texas"

Very few artist's have the stamina and simple country charm of Texas country star and Carthage, Texas native Brandon Rhyder. Now, fans have a special 4-disc "Live At Billy Bob's Texas" set (2 CDs & 2 DVDs) that sizzles with excitement and smolders with Red Dirt intensity.
The 24 songs on the 2 CDs clock in at a beefy time of almost two hours. The festivities begin with the terrific "You Burn Me" which is followed by "It's What I Do" which slowly builds to a rousing crescendo. It also must be noted that Brandon Rhyder's true country talent is startling as he belts out song after song with solid vocal performances. Indeed, Rhyder has the kind of pure country voice that could draw in outsiders to the Texas country fold. That's no easy feat.

Brandon Rhyder wanted to give his fans everything he could on this 4-disc set, and he even includes eight never-recorded songs, which is almost unheard of on a live album. The current single "…

ALBUM REVIEW: Kyle Park "Make Or Break Me"

With top-notch production and just the right amount of Red Dirt swagger, Kyle Park bursts back onto the country music scene following a hit album and two successful EPs - including one that landed him in the top 5 of iTunes country chart. That's no easy feat for most artists, but it's just another day at the studio for Kyle Park, who is daring country music fans to "Make Or Break Me" in his new album of the same name. With 15 songs that clock in at just under an hour, the album begins with the title track "Make Or Break Me," which deserves to be another #1 country chart single for Kyle Park. The radio-ready song finds Park's strong country voice in great form, and the musicianship of the instrumentalists assembled for the album is first class, including well known names in country music, such as Texas legend Lloyd Maines and Park's manager John Michael Whitby on piano. The song "Make Or Break Me" is an upbeat love song that offers inspiring…

Free Download: Bradley Gaskin "Mr. Bartender"

If you love Travis Tritt, then Columbia Nashville wants to introduce you to its newest discovery - Bradley Gaskin. Download the single "Mr. Bartender" right now - free of charge. However, once you listen to the cut, you will immediately realize that you would have paid for it as well.
Click the album cover to the left or the link below to download the song free.

UPDATE: This offer is now over. However, the song is definitely worth the purchase price.

Album Review: Stoney LaRue "Velvet"

On the TV show "Seinfeld," George Costanza mentions his desire to "drape" himself in velvet if it ever becomes socially acceptable. Well, George's mother can safely get out the cutting shears because Stoney LaRue has created a musical masterpiece with "Velvet" that will make you want to wrap a bolt of velvet around you and never let go.
It's been six, long years since Stoney LaRue offered up his last studio album, but the famed Red Dirt star has been a road warrior with more than 250 dates a year after his successful "Live At Billy Bob's Texas" album helped him forge a road-worthy band.

Now, after three years of hard work, the new album "Velvet" begins with "Dresses." No, Stoney LaRue hasn't gone soft or started a garment-making sweat shop. "Dresses is an atmospheric, Texas country cut that includes elements of folk and Americana. The bluesy "Wiregrass" showcases LaRue's stellar vocals,…

Album Review: Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward "Live In The Living Room"

Changing musical directions can sometimes lead to a burst of creative energy. This holds true for Rodney Parker & 50 Peso Reward in their new album - the stripped down "Live In The Living Room." Parker's fame comes largely from his stellar reputation in Texas country/Red Dirt music, but this acoustic set proves that the band could draw just as many fans from Americana and roots music.
Creating an atmospheric live album that does justice to a songwriter's music and a band's long hours of practice is no easy feat, but Rodney Parker makes it look easy on the first cut "Firelight." Likewise, the easy-going "Highway Blues" is perfectly performed. So fire up the subwoofer, close your eyes and pretend that you're in the living room with Parker, 50 Peso Reward and about two dozen friends in Corinth, Texas where the album was recorded.

The project really comes into its own with the track "Guitars," which slowly builds to a memorable…

Album Review: Micky And The Motorcars "Raise My Glass"

The sixth album is the charm for the hardworking Micky And The Motorcars who don't disappoint with the eleven new cuts on the beer and whiskey-drinking celebration titled "Raise My Glass," which takes listeners on a rollicking Texas nightlife adventure that might leave you still feeling the fun in the morning.

The album begins with the title track "Raise My Glass," which is a classic Red Dirt cut that fires on all cylinders. However, the next song is somewhat of a surprise. "A Thousand Tears" starts off with a new sound for Micky & The Motorcars and slowly builds to a rousing crescendo.

The album's first single "Any Longer Any More" has a soaring melody and offers a tight vocal performance. It is followed by the album's biggest surprise - the tender love song "How Far I'll Go." The intense vocals and superb instrumentation allow the listener to clearly consider the thought provoking lyrics.

"Far From You"…

Album Review: Midnight River Choir "Welcome To Delirium"

The album "Freedom Wine" from Midnight River Choir impressed just about everyone who heard it, and now the fun-lovin' country boys are back with "Welcome To Delirium," which is just about as enjoyable as a 12:00 am river rafting trip - and, by the way, exactly where the group formed.
If Gavin DeGraw and Sunny Sweeney had a love child, he might sing a song like the first track "Mile Marker," which is breezy, radio-ready song that is extraordinarily memorable. However, the band's Red Dirt vibe is resurrected with the terrific "Arms Of A Stranger," that once again showcases the band's superb vocal harmony.

However, it is the quiet love song "Run Away From Me" that is the album's biggest surprise, and the tender, restrained vocals are pitch perfect. The Midnight River Choir manages to impress once again with the next cut, the bluesy rock "Take You With Me," which showcases the band's terrific instrumentation.

Album Review: Reckless Kelly "Good Luck & True Love"

Texas country aficionados rejoice, because the world's best Red Dirt band is bringing fans "Good Luck & True Love" with a new album. Reckless Kelly carefully planned every detail on the project, including one of the best CD packages of any country album this year.
Great cover art is important, but it's the music that matters most to Reckless Kelly, and the album begins with the mid-tempo, Red Dirt anthem "Give It A Try." However, the cut "Save Me From Myself" really kickstarts the album, and the song with the melodic chorus is certain to be another #1 hit for Reckless Kelly.

"Guarded Heart" is a classic country love song and features angst-ridden vocals and superb instrumentation. Indeed, it proves to be the perfect intro for the album's biggest surprise, the hard-rockin' "She Likes Money, He Likes Love," which will please concertgoers and radio program managers looking for an upbeat country hit.

The traditional …

Review: David Serby "Poor Man's Poem"

If political folk maverick Woody Guthrie were alive today, he probably would be inclined to go to iTunes and download David Serby's new album "Poor Man's Poem." However, Serby would likely feel so honored that he would give Guthrie a few cases of CDs for free.
David Serby's first song, the title track "Poor Man's Poem," takes its cue from the musical heritage of the past, and Serby's folksy style belies the serious message of his thought provoking lyrics. The next cut, the quiet "A Love Song From Miguel," offers a laid-back tale of love that is smooth like butter.

The song "Lay Down My Colt" blends folk and elements of cowboy country with remarkable success, but it is the story in song "Sugar Creek" that is the album's biggest surprise. The instrumentation is perfect, and David Serby's vocals are delivered in a half-spoken/half-sung manner that works.

Political folk comes easy to David Serby because his 9 t…

Review: The Greencards "The Brick Album"

Musical wunderkinds The Greencards have enchanted musicians like Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan so much that they invited the group to tour with them. Now, in their fourth studio project, "The Brick Album," The Greencards will once again wow the CD buying public with their brand of Americana/bluegrass/alt rock fusion that has led to a diverse and well-deserved following among young hipsters and older fans of traditional country.
Sam Bush is featured on the first song "Make It Out West," and the experimental cut is a satisfying musical experience. However, the album really amps up the country flavor with the quiet "Faded" and the intelligent lyrics of "Naked On The River." These two cuts ramp up the anticipation for the latin-infused country track "Heart Fixer" featuring country star Vince Gill.

However, it is the bluegrass instrumental tune "Adelaide" that emerges as the song with the best instrumentation on the entire album. …

Review: Moonshine Bandits "Whiskey And Women"

If the country music industry decided to hire some of their own to act as bouncers with the goal of keeping out the scourge of "pop" country, the first and only name on the list would probably be the hard-working, talented and extraordinarily intimidating "Moonshine Bandits." The only problem would be keeping the Moonshine Bandits away from the "Whiskey And Women," which is, unsurprisingly, the title of their very accomplished and entertaining new album.
The project begins with the country, hip-hop track "For The Outlawz" (featuring Colt Ford and Big B). The explicit song has a great beat and outstanding lyrics that will continue to roll around the brain long after the track ends. The sing-a-long cut "Whiskey River" is a classic country beer-drinking song with the Moonshine Bandits signature charm.

"Shine With Me" is a fast country track with shout-outs to groups as diverse as bloggers and juggalos - along with just about ev…

Review: Gary Nicholson "Texas Songbook"

Home state hero Gary Nicholson has had a long and varied career that has taken him from deep in the heart of Texas all the way to Hollywood, where his work has been featured in movies as diverse as Crazy Heart and Major League. Now, Nicholson is paying tribute to his home state with "Texas Songbook," featuring Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel - along with many more Texan friends.
The album begins with the recent inductee into the Texas Songwriters Hall Of Fame singing the track "Texas Weather." Nicholson's quietly confident vocal delivery never fails to impress, and "Texas Weather" has a memorable melody.

The bluesy "Same Kind Of Crazy" showcases a more passionate side of Nicholson who is joined by Delbert McClinton on harmonica and Red Dirt vocalist Randy Rogers. The melodic "Fallin' & Flyin'" is just good old fashioned fun. Women occupy Gary Nicholson's mind on "Messin' With My Woman" and the next…

"Ready To Fly" by T.J. Broscoff Reviewed in Texas Country Chart Magazine

The hit Texas country single "Pillow" is taken from T.J. Broscoff's new album "Ready To Fly" which chronicles the artist's new-found freedom from addictions. Read the full review in our sister magazine Texas Country Chart by clicking here or click the album cover below to read the full review.

The 12-track album by T.J. Broscoff follows an early career in rock music. Read the complete review by clicking here or reading Texas Country Chart Magazine.

Review: Gwendolyn "Bright Light"

The nature-loving San Gabriel, California country girl named Gwendolyn is best described by one simple word: refreshing. With the current crop of over-produced country music fare, it is exhilarating and indeed comforting to hear an artist like Gwendolyn, who lets her voice be the star of the show on her stimulating new album "Bright Light."
Much of Gwendolyn's charm is derived from her pure country voice that has an air of innocence. "Bright Light" begins with the appropriately titled "Discover Me." However, it is the stunning vocal performance on the title track "Bright Light" that will begin to truly entice listeners to yearn for more. The catchy-melodic track is perfectly produced by Ethan Allen (Patty Griffin).

The country quotient rises considerably with the interestingly-titled "Tater Tots And Whiskey Shots," a song that would make legends of country proud. The next cut "Shake A Leg" may be the album's best cha…

Review: Shawna Russell "Shawna Russell" (Self-Titled Album)

After her breakthrough album "Goddess," Oklahoma's favorite new country music star Shawna Russell has emerged with a new, self-titled album that is destined to take her to even greater heights.
If you ever wondered what a true country star sounds like, the album's first song will quickly let you know. The confident "Sounds Like A Party" shows that Russell's voice is in perfect form. The next track "Waitin' On Sunrise" has a retro-cool, country melody that is performed with rare musical flair.

The anthem "Phoenix" showcases Russell's soaring vocals and proves that Shawna Russell can compete with the top country music artists in the market today - both male and female. The biggest surprise of the self-titled album is the quiet "Was It Good For You," which could find radio chart success. Shawna asks: "Was it good for you?" Listeners will only be able to answer with a simple "yes."

The rockin' …

Review: Katie Quick "Valley Between Love"

If Taylor Swift had a talented cousin, she could definitely be named Katie Quick. The artist's new album "Valley Between Love" could easily find crossover success, such as the kind enjoyed by the female vocalists of Lady Antebellum and The Band Perry. Indeed, "quick" might soon prove to be the operative word as she could have a meteoric rise on the country charts.
The meaty 14 song, almost 56-minute album begins with the pop country anthem "On My Own" and is followed by the country track "Valley Between Love," which offers elements of traditional country and country gospel.

"Best In Me" is a soaring cut that shows Quick's beautiful vocal gift, and it could be a major hit with some slight production adjustments. The biggest surprise on the album is "Chicago Summer Nights" which is by far the best song of the entire album. The song is sung with a quiet confidence that will tug at the heart. "Make You Mine" ha…

Review: River Rouge "Not All There Anymore"

If you're looking for a good time or even need a little break from the rat race of life, consider purchasing the fantastic new album from River Rouge appropriately titled "Not All There Anymore."
The fun begins with the uplifting blues-infused "Black Licorice," which also includes elements of rock and even gospel. "Murder Of The Crows" is a light Americana treat with efficient instrumentation, but it is "Usurper Hero" which is the album's biggest surprise. The retro-cool vibe is infectious.

The country rock quotient rises considerably with the terrific "Arc Welded Love," and the Foo Fighters-esque "Good At Goodbye" will please melodic rock fans. The album's best moment comes on the inspired sing-a-long "No Good For Nothing," which is an Americana gem.

The final song on the album continues the band's laid-back, fun-loving music. "Yes" is a perfectly performed piece of ear candy that ends th…

Review: Folk Family Revival "Unfolding"

Creating a winning sound is no easy feat, but the four good ole boys of the Folk Family Revival make it look easy on their new album "Unfolding."
The front of the album cover is absolutely beautiful, but the back cover unexpectedly gives absolutely no clue to the age, ethnicity or gender of Folk Family Revival members. In fact, the cover leaves little impression at all except to suggest that some folk music will be on offer.

The album begins with a somewhat mysterious instrumental intro that leads into a great surprise: the uptempo cut titled "Unfolding." In fact, the song is superb and features elements of Red Dirt, traditional country and only hints of folk and Americana. The passionate vocals from Mason Lankford are intense - as is the instrumentation from two of Mason's brothers (Barrett and Lincoln). Adopted brother and friend Caleb Pace (Guitars / Mandolin / Lap Steel) rounds out the foursome.

The bluesy "Fallin'" offers a comfortable melod…

Matt Stell's "Vestibule Blues" Reviewed by Texas Country Chart Magazine

Singer-songwriter Matt Stell who hails from Morrilton, Arkansas has released a sophomore album which has been reviewed by our sister magazine Texas Country Chart. You can read the full article by clicking the album cover below.

"Vestibule Blues" features 11 songs and a run-time of more than 43 minutes. Click on the album cover above to read the complete review or click the album cover above to go directly to

Review: Barefoot Mark "Let The Beast Run"

Country and blues artist "Barefoot" Mark Cullimore is about as Texan as they come, and "Let The Beast Run" proves that this west Texas country boy has an infectious passion for music. Indeed, like the cover suggests, Barefoot Mark's "Let The Beast Run" leaves a surprisingly impressive musical footprint, and, by the way, bluesy Barefoot Mark knows how to "saaang."
The album begins with the ironically titled "Florsheim Shackles." Yes, Barefoot Mark does seem to really have a musical vendetta against shoes. Country audiences will appreciate the gravel in Mark's voice. The second track "Her Shoes" is actually one of the album's finest moments. The instrumentation, vocal performance and lyrics all combine well to create a full-bodied musical experience.

The biggest surprise on the album is the title track which fuses rock, blues and country, but the best song on the album is the R&B-tinged "All Right To Be Me…

Review: Fiery Blue "Our Secret"

There probably isn't another American three-person band that has one member in New York City, one in Austin and the final member in California. However, Fiery Blue makes it work, and their stellar debut proved it. Now, the threesome have produced their best work yet with the new album "Our Secret." Singer-songwriter Simone Stevens (NYC) starts the festivities with the mysterious "Crystal Ball," and the pace actually picks up slightly with the ironically-titled "Slow Down." This folk-country track has radio potential and effectively highlights Gabe Rhodes (Austin, Texas) musicianship and the songwriting talent of Paul Marsteller (San Diego, California)

To understand Fiery Blue, you first have to set aside any musical prejudices because these talented folks carefully fuse elements of rock, pop, country, folk, Americana and blues. Although the combination sounds disjointed, the unorthodox Fiery Blue has found a way to make it work.

"Wheels Up"…

Brad Dunn & Ellis County "Ranch Cat" Reviewed in Texas Country Chart Magazine

Featuring the band's current single "Red, White And Blue," Texas country band Brad Dunn & Ellis County have delivered a 14-song, almost hour-long album that has more than a few surprises. Click here to read the full review published in our sister magazine Texas Country Chart. Or click the album cover below.

The hard working newcomer to the Texas music scene is planning on making a name for themselves on the Red Dirt scene. Read the full review in Texas Country Chart Magazine.

Tom Cheatham "Scars That I'll Keep" Reviewed in Texas Country Chart Magazine

Texas-based singer-songwriter Tom Cheatham delivers an accomplished sophomore album titled "Scars That I'll Keep" which has been reviewed by our sister magazine Texas Country Chart. Click here or the album cover below to read the full review.
Cheatham's touring schedule has been hectic around the state of Texas, and his recent move to Dallas from Austin helped influence his songwriting and performance style. Read the full review by clicking here or visiting Texas Country Chart magazine.

Jeremy Steding "I'll Keep On Livin'" Reviewed in Texas Country Chart Magazine

The Red Dirt artist Jeremy Steding continues his creative prowess with the Walt Wilkins-produced "I Keep On Livin,' But I Don't Learn" which has been reviewed in our sister magazine - Texas Country Chart. To read the full review, click here or the click the album cover below.

"I'll Keep On Livin', But I Don't Learn" includes 11 songs, including the standout title track, the remarkable Americana cut "Arkansas Rain" and the tender "Brandi Sue." Read the full 500-word review by clicking here or visiting

Review: Back Porch Mary "Life Is Now"

The indie troubadours that make up the melodic "power-tonk" group Back Porch Mary have much to be proud of. Without ever gracing the racks of even one record store, the group has managed to sell an impressive combined 50,000 units. Indeed, the fact that these country boys manage to thrive in the Austin, Texas music scene is just another reason that "Life Is Now" for Back Porch Mary.
The back cover of "Life Is Now" proudly notes that Mike, Joe and Ryan (no last names) are the group members, and their sound can best be described as Barenaked Ladies meets Reckless Kelly. If there is any doubt, this is a major compliment indeed.

The album begins with the melodic "No Bad News Today," which has an insanely memorable chorus that is even more impressive because most songs were written by Mike Krug. His lyrics sparkle, and Krug also knows how to write a hook. In fact, the band's self-described "power tonk" does offer some similarities in …

Review: The New Black 7 "The Old Becomes New"

The evolution of the music industry over the last few decades has caused a blurred vision of country music that now seems to include music that used to be classified as 'pop.' However, there is no mistaking the hard-edged sound of The New Black 7 on their superb new 5-song CD titled "The Old Becomes New."
The album begins with an anthemic tribute to small town life in "Small Town Song," and the cut offers a winning country rock track with a memorable chorus. The next cut "Kick The Tires" is a cool retro-tribute that seems reminiscent of a mixture of the melodic vocal blend of Alabama and and the fire and passion of Waylon Jennings.

Love is in the air on the next track "That Ain't Love," which is the album's best cut by a mile. This Red Dirt-inspired song offers laid-back vocals and a confident vocal delivery. The New Black 7 (or NB7 as fans affectionately call them) should consider releasing this track to radio. It could be a ma…