Posts

Showing posts from 2012

Win 14 Prizes in the Rebecca Linda Smith Christmas Sweepstakes Giveaway

Image
For seven days, Country Chart Magazine and Renewed Records are offering you the chance to win 14 prizes in the Rebecca Linda Smith Christmas sweepstakes giveaway. As an award-winning vocalist, Rebecca Linda Smith's music has touched people around the world. Her unique inspirational country music will warm your heart.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER NOW. The lucky winner will receive a prize package of 14 CDs and DVDs worth $250 from Rebecca Linda Smith. Find out more about the artist by visiting her website here.

Win 14 prizes from award-winning vocalist Rebecca Linda Smith, including the 15-track new album “Hope,” 12-song CD “American Heroes,” the 14-track CD “Jesus’ Grace,” the 12-song CD “Timeless,” the 15-cut “True Love” and the 10-track CD “All For You.” Also win the CD singles “Forgotten Heroes” and “Lady Warrior.” Plus receive 3 DVDs containing pieces of the life of inspirational and country artist Rebecca Linda Smith and her husband and songwriter Dr. Robert Frank Smith titled “M…

ALBUM REVIEW: Rebecca Linda Smith Renewed: American Heroes

Image
The men and women who fight for our freedoms and the American way of life are often officially recognized by the government and civic groups. However, the album "American Heroes" from acclaimed inspirational country artist Rebecca Linda Smith accomplishes a dramatic feat - it personalizes the struggles and triumphs of our servicemen and women. Like a good movie or an interesting biography, the 12-song album manages to take the listener on a journey - one that you won't soon forget.
As a veteran of the armed forces herself (US Army First Lieutenant), Rebecca Linda Smith begins the album with the title track "American Heroes." It is an inspirational county music gem, and the infectious melody will instinctively cause your toe to tap - maybe without you even noticing it. However, the real meat of the album starts with the touching story in song "Proud To Serve." Indeed, Smith's star shines brightest on her signature stories in songs. "Proud To…

ALBUM REVIEW: Homespun Remedies "Great Depression"

Image
Debuting at Dallas' famed Poor David's Pub in 2007 to a near-sellout audience, DFW-based Homespun Remedies soon released its self-titled debut and followed with the band's newest album "Great Depression" - which was released in June 2011. Through some quirk of the US mail, the review copy of "Great Depression" sent to Country Chart Magazine only just arrived a few days ago. Indeed, this is one Post Office miracle that is deserving of sainthood - yes the music is that darn good.
The album begins with the quiet introduction "Leave This Town" and is followed by "What's Goin' Round," which is mellow Texas country gold. The careful vocal performance and harmonies sound new but definitely pay homage to the past.

"Empty Pockets" has a retro-cool vibe while the next cut "Make Believe" is the album's biggest surprise. It is a folksy story in song that carefully blends Americana with classic country, and the re…

ALBUM REVIEW: Doreen Taylor "Magic"

Image
Casting a spell on the country music world all the way from upstate New York is the captivating voice of Doreen Taylor, and the songstress' new album "Magic" might just be the perfect potion for country chart success.

The 11-song album begins with "Last Call (for Alcohol)," which has a retro cool Olivia  Newton-John vibe that works. The melody is super-catchy, and Taylor's powerful vocals sparkle. It must be mentioned that Doreen Taylor is 1) not a musical novice 2) not the typical new country artist. That is because she hails from the Great White Way - yes, Broadway. Indeed, Taylor has been performing on and off Broadway for years - most notably opposite Davis Gaines in Phantom Of The Opera (playing the female lead role of Christine).

With a Master's Degree in opera, Taylor has surprisingly strong country music chops. "Another Rainy Night In Memphis" is a nuanced and powerful vocal performance that evokes memories of a mixture of Bonnie Tyle…

ALBUM REVIEW: The Piedmont Boys "All On Red"

Image
South Carolina's hilly Piedmont region is full of salt-of-the-earth people - you know the humble and unprententious citizens that make America great. So it's no wonder that a few hard working rabble rousers decide to shake things up in Greenville, SC. Enter The Piedmont Boys and the band's new release "All On Red."
To get a sense of the unpredictable nature of the band, you have to know where the title "All On Red" came from. Founding band member Greg Payne, a Kernersville, North Carolina native, told Country Chart Magazine that the name originated following a show in Grande Ronde, Oregon: "After our show, they paid us $1600 for two nights of playing," Payne said. "I took all the money...and put it on red at the roulette table. We were so broke anyway, I figure I'd take a chance...I WON."


The Piedmont Boys aren't just winners at the casino. The album "All On Red" delivers ten diverse and interesting songs beginning…

ALBUM REVIEW: Rebecca Linda Smith "Hope"

Image
There are some music artists that have a special something that stands out - some people call it "star quality" or the "it factor." Whatever words you use, Rebecca Linda Smith has "it" in spades, and her new album "Hope" is a thoughtful and passionate album that will be a winning addition to any music collection.
The success of the first song and title track "Hope" is simple: Rebecca Linda Smith offers an earnest self-penned song that is obviously heartfelt, and the sincere vocal performance could soften the hardest of hearts. Smith sings: "Never, never should they give up their hope for some child out there needs help to cope." The cut is also praise-worthy because it provides a seamless mixture of traditional country, Tejano and country gospel. This is no easy feat. While the title track is a meaty 5 minutes in length, the album "Hope" does not skimp on content either - with 15 tracks totaling over 57 minutes of …

Get Top 25 Country Albums Just $2.99 This Week Only

Image
A friend from Amazon.com called The Chart office to tell us about the new country hits promotion: Get 25 top country chart albums for just $2.99! The list of albums is quite remarkable for the price. Click here to find out more. Thanks to Johnathan at Amazon for letting us know about this great promotion - just in time for our vacation listening pleasure.

Albums included in the offer are:
1) Hard 2 Love by Lee Brice
2) Revolution by Miranda Lambert
3) My Kinda Party by Jason Aldean 
4) Life At Best by Eli Young Band
5) Own The Night by Lady Antebellum 
6) Chief by Eric Church 
7) Punching Bag by Josh Turner 
8) Hunter Hayes (self-titled) by Hunter Hayes 
9) The Band Perry (self-titled) by The Band Perry 
10) NOW That's What I Call Country, Volume 5
11) Up All Night by Kip Moore
12) Home by Dierks Bentley 
13) Thirty Miles West by Alan Jackson 
14) Jana Kramer (self-titled) by Jana Kramer 
15) Tailgates & Tanlines by Luke Bryan 
16) Changed by Rascal Flatts
17) Half…

ALBUM REVIEW: Paul Thorn "What The Hell Is Goin' On?"

Image
Wisconsin born and Mississippi-raised Paul Thorn has a decidedly unique voice that offers the perfect blend of earthy blues and gravelly southern rock. The artist is currently riding a wave of success following his highest Billboard charting album - 2010's "Pimps And Preachers." However, his new album will be no less controversial as the cover to "What The Hell Is Goin' On?" is easily one of the most interesting and provocative album covers of 2012. Nevertheless, it's the music that matters most, and this album is an barnstorming, hell-raising, unqualified success.
The fun begins with the soulful and upbeat "Don't Let Me Down Again," which is performed with a comfortable ease that any musician would envy, but the album really sparks with the insanely memorable "Snake Farm." Radio program managers should take notice of this killer cut.

Thorn's unusual swagger is showcased on "Shelter Me," and some of his confidence …

ALBUM REVIEW: Corey Wagar "On The Edge"

Image
Country attitude and high-energy southern rock populate the 15 original tracks on Corey Wagar's appropriately-titled new album "On The Edge." Even though Wagar is a native of New Jersey, the singer's sound and lyrics seem to have come straight from the boondocks of Texas or Tennessee.
The album begins with "Hurricane," which was the album's lead single. Corey Wagar convincingly sells the song with confidence and enthusiastic fervor, and the album's second single "I Hate My Boyfriend" has much of the same charm - along with terrific lyrics.

Wagar's winning personality shines on the irresistible "Me And My Girls," which should also be considered as a radio single. The New Jersey native's sensitive side is on display with the country pop track "Miss You For Now." However, it is the story in song "16th Candle" that emerges as one of the album's best cuts. Wagar has a knack for telling a story, and her…

ALBUM REVIEW: Chelle Rose "Ghost Of Browder Holler"

Image
With a hard-edged Americana sound and tight production (courtesy of Ray Wylie Hubbard), Chelle Rose bursts back onto the country and Americana music scene with a 12-song selection of fresh tracks that will quench the thirst of music lovers tired of pre-fab country pop on her new album titled "Ghost Of Browder Holler."
The album begins with the terrific "Browder Holler Boy," which has cool Lucinda Williams meets Chris Knight vibe that fires on all cylinders. Chelle Rose's seasoned vocal performance is pitch-perfect, and the slide-guitar instrumentation also deserves special mention.

The sparse and bluesy "Caney Fork Tennessee" continues the album's dark theme with winning results, and the memorable melody works. However, Chelle Rose is ready for a party, and it begins on the rockin' third cut "I Need You." Rose and her band have produced a track that will make even the least musical person on the planet start to tap his toes and groo…

ALBUM REVIEW: Family Reunion "Family Album"

Image
If you have brothers or sisters that live far away, you probably talk at least a few times a year - maybe every couple of months or more. However, cousins who live in different parts of the country rarely speak - except for the yearly Christmas card. That's what makes the success of Family Reunion's new album "Family Album" all the more special. Six cousins - yes, the number six - have created a band that records its one-of-a-kind brand of country songs using alter egos to protect their serious day jobs (such as accounting). Indeed, the Family Reunion band is somewhat like the British group Gorillaz - except with a few more jokes and some country attitude.
The album begins with the working-class anthem "Blue Collar King," which laments the anonymity of blue collar workers to white collar bosses. Likewise, the track confronts the sense of gloom facing many Americans since the US economy became turbulent at the end of the Bush term and throughout the Obama a…

ALBUM REVIEW: Aaron Owens "Troublemaker"

Image
Aaron Owens has a deep, rich voice that immediately commands attention, and his raw talent has earned him awards and critical praise, such as being named 2011's Arkansas Country Artist Of The Year. While awards are great, it's the music that matters, and Aaron Owens newest CD "Troublemaker" proves that this LA country boy is ready for the big stage. By the way, in Owens' world, LA stands for "Lower Arkansas."
The album begins with the melodic country tune "Before Forever" that has a cool Josh Turner meets Trace Adkins vibe. However, "Good Place To Start" is actually a better showcase for Aaron Owens' unique vocal talent, and radio program managers should take notice. Interestingly, the influence of Waylon Jennings is present throughout the track, and Aaron Owens makes a star turn on this stunning cut.

The title track "Troublemaker" is a dark and earthy song that succeeds, and "Let It Play" has much of the sam…

ALBUM REVIEW: Sons Of Bill "Sirens"

Image
Sons Of Bill, whose members hail from the great state of Virginia, are back in top form after a long, long wait with the new album "Sirens." After the American gem "Far Cry From Freedom" and the even better "One Town Away" brought the band critical and commercial acclaim (read review by clicking here), "Sirens" proves to be a worthy follow up and definitely worth the wait.
The album begins with the lead single "Santa Ana Winds." Immediately, it is clear that producer and Cracker frontman David Lowery worked with the band to carefully craft its new, more contemporary sound that takes the group's successful Americana sensibilities and mixes it with alt rock fervor. Surprisingly, it works. The lyrics are interesting, and the instrumentation and melodic chorus are compelling. "Santa Ana Winds" deserves to be a great big, multi-genre hit, and the supporting video (watch below) should help on this front.

The thoughtful "F…

ALBUM REVIEW: Moot Davis "Man About Town"

Image
If you love old fashioned country music with a new twist, Moot Davis' new album "Man About Town" may just be your next favorite album. That's because this earnest and hard-working singer has crafted 13 songs that will excite even the most subdued music fan.
The upbeat "Rags To Rhinestones" begins the album with a bang. The song discusses aspects of love mixed with authentic talk of financial troubles that will ring true to any person who has lived through the tumultuous financial times of the 2010s. Indeed, Moot Davis croons about reversal of fortune: "When I was on top, everyone called me friend...I was the toast of the town. Now they kick me out of bars on Broadway"

The uniquely wonderful "Day The World Shook My Hand" offers a cool retro vibe that works, and the track's instrumentation is stellar. The next cut "Rocket" has much of the same charm, but it is the Roy Orbison-esque "Fade To Gold" that emerges as th…

ALBUM REVIEW: The Oak Ridge Boys "It's Only Natural" (Cracker Barrel exclusive)

Image
The Oak Ridge Boys teamed up with the fine folks at Cracker Barrel to produce an exclusive album with 5 brand new songs and a load of other favorites. While the 12-track album dropped a few months ago, there is no greater Mother's Day or Father's Day gift than "It's Only Natural" from the Oak Ridge Boys.
The album begins with "What'cha Gonna Do," which has an upbeat, melodic sound that deserves to be a major country chart hit for the Oak Ridge Boys. "Before I Die" is another new song that has radio potential. The sincerity of the vocal performance is mesmerizing. "The Shade" has much of the same charm.

However, the best new song on the album is "Wish You Could Have Been There." The song has cultural relevance and an uplifting chorus that is both memorable and heartwarming. The bluegrass infused "Sacrifice … For Me" brings the Oak Ridge Boys back to their country roots, and the story in song has a political me…

SINGLE REVIEW: The McClymonts "I Could Be A Cowboy"

Image
Female country trio The McClymonts have gotten tons of press ink in the American country music press following the group's meteroric rise in popularity in their native Australia. "I Could Be A Cowboy" proves why these country girls have achieved superstardom Down Under and deserve to be big stars in the USA too. 
"I Could Be A Cowboy" is an unlikely title for a winning country ballad, and The McClymonts probably needed to show the American market the group's softer side. Sam McClyomont said: "You can choose to be independent and strong but sometimes you just need love and to be in someone else's arms.”

The piercing vocal performance combined with the terrific lyrics make "I Could Be A Cowboy" a must download for country music fans everywhere. At the same time, the track highlights the trio's tight harmonies and flawless production.

The McClymonts released their album "Wrapped Up Good" last year in America, and the album wa…

SINGLE REVIEW: Casey Donahew Band "Let's Not Say Goodbye Again"

Image
When Casey Donahew announced his band's new single, "Let's Not Say Goodbye Again," to a screaming crowd at the oldest live music venue in Arkansas, a hush went through the crowd as the mixture of hard working blue collar men and women stopped clicking bottles and partying with upper middle class University of Arkansas undergraduates long enough to give a good listen to the new track. The assembled concertgoers seemed to know the words to almost every other song, but not this one. However, it was clear that the crowd took to the song faster than catfish attacking fresh bait as the chorus of "Let's Not Say Goodbye Again" kicked into overdrive. Yep, they were hooked.
The new single "Let's Not Say Goodbye Again" hit radio a few days later, and you can bet that hundreds of people who have caught the Casey Donahew Band's sold-out shows contacted their local radio stations to hear the new song.  The track begins with a Texas country vibe, bu…