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Showing posts from March, 2012

ALBUM REVIEW: Chelle Rose "Ghost Of Browder Holler"

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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"

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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"

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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"

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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"

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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)

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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"

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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"

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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…