Author Archives: ChuckDauphin

Jo Dee Messina – Me

Jo Dee Messina has recently made a huge career leap of faith. After close to two decades with Curb Records, she and the label parted ways recently. Going on her own from a label standpoint is a little bit scary of a proposition, but Messina has always rose to career challenges, and done so in style. Me is no different. Working with her fans through Kickstarter is also a career first for the bubbly performer, as she experienced…
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Mary Sarah & Friends – Bridges

It should go without saying that Dolly Parton doesn’t collaborate with just anybody. The same could be said of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard or Vince Gill. So, going by that set of rules, Texas newcomer Mary Sarah must very well be the real deal, right? That answer is positively and unequivocally – yes. On this, the singer’s very first project, Mary…
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The Grascals – When I Get My Pay

There’s a little bit different of a sound on the latest disc from Bluegrass supergroup The Grascals. That can be heard on the opening title cut. It’s a little more gritty than what you might have expected from the band in the past. Jamie Johnson offers one of his most spirited vocal performances on the cut. However, that being said, they haven’t forgotten their laid-back style. “Two Boys On A Dirt Road” will be a little bit more in line with what you might expect from the …
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Cactus Honey – Groovy Life

Taking nothing away from the sounds that fans are hearing every day on the radio in 2014, but there is somewhat of a disconnect with the 35 and over demographic. We’ve lived life, been knocked around a few times – whether it be of our own doing or not. Enter the duo of Kim McLean and Eve Selis. There’s not many references to falling in love for the first time. They’ve done that – and survived the after effects of what came after. This duo sings about real life – and the art of surviving it…
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Rod Picott – Hang Your Hopes On A Crooked Nail

Be forewarned – The music of Rod Picott is not for the faint of heart or mind. That is simply a way of saying that if you put in this CD and are just going to attempt to listen on a casual level, not investing into the lyrics – you probably aren’t going to “get” this disc. He’s a little too deep and thoughtful for that. But, if you choose to take time…
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Erica Hoyt – Love Me For Me

Just like the Lone Star state where she’s from, newcomer Erica Hoyt has a wide open sound and vocal range, to boot. Take one listen to “Lovin’ A Wild Thing,” and you will see what I mean. She has a vocal style that is very much refined and polished. In fact, the song is the definition of the term “Radio Friendly,” with a ton of vocal…
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New Single From Johnny Orr Band Shines Light On Autism

At its’ central core, music is about touching people’s hearts with lyrics the listener can relate to. “We’ll Get By (The Autism Song),” the latest release from the Johnny Orr Band,is definitely one such song. “A friend of mine asked me to write the song in 2012,” Orr told MNN. “Candi Spitz and I became friends on Facebook, and she has twin sons – Brendan and Jaden – who are autistic. She had just spoke out about some of the songs that I had done, and thought that I might be…
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The Oak Ridge Boys – Boys’ Night Out

There’s nothing quite like the excitement of an Oak Ridge Boys show. However, the legendary quartet has never released an album documenting that experience – until now. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the line-up of Golden, Allen, Sterban, and Bonsall that we all know and love, the group has chosen fourteen of their biggest hits to give the live treatment to. As is the case with live albums, you tend to know what…
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Nick Verzosa & The Noble Union – Love In Principle

Over the past decade and a half or so, the Texas Music world has given us some very talented singer-songwriters. One act that looks to be quickly making a name for themselves on that list is Nick Verzosa and the Noble Union. But, don’t necessairily think this is the same old Texas music that you hear time in and time out. Seriously, there’s more to life – even in the Lone Star state than drinking, armadillos, and proclaiming…
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Various Artists: Working Man’s Poet – A Tribute To Merle Haggard

As evidenced by his recent win of the Crystal Milestone Award from the Academy of Country Music, Merle Haggard’s music has made – and continues to make an impact on newer generations of artists and fans to this day. You might not hear it on the radio, as much of what is played on the airwaves these days is far removed from….
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PawnShop Kings – Self Titled

Listening to the music of brother act The PawnShop Boys will take you back in time a little bit. Their sibling harmonies are very much influenced by the sounds of Don & Phil Everly – as are so many duets that have come down the pike since then. That being said, that is just a comparison of their vocal stylings, as there is nothing dated…
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Deer Lodge – George Jones

Tribute records are nothing new in Country Music, but this set – which pays homage to the ‘Possum’ is one of the most musically diverse and interesting sets that you will hear this year – 0r any other. Deer Lodge is an independent label based in Portland, OR. It’s owned by Bert Sperling and Ezra Meredith, who are both huge Jones fans. OK, everybody says that. But, the two prove their admiration for Jones via the track selection…
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Sarah Davidson – Self Titled

Audiences have warmed up to Georgia native Sarah Davidson for her participation in the TNT series “Private Lives Of Nashville Wives” this spring. That being said, there’s a lot more to the stunning songstress than just that TV show or her former marriage to Nashville songwriter Dallas Davidson. Sarah possesses a warm and tender voice that is sure to find a devoted fan following. The set’s first single, “Drink You Up,” is very warm…
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Don Williams – Reflections

The music of Don Williams is just like an old pair of shoes that has been sitting in the corner for quite a while. You know exactly what you’re getting. There isn’t going to be a lot of fancy frills or wild guitar licks with lyrics about tailgates or Betty Lou. It’s as comfortable of a fit as an old friend. For Williams’ second disc for Sugar Hill…
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Martina McBride – Everlasting

Martina McBride knows the power of a great song about as well as anyone. Her 2005 set Timeless gave newer Country Music fans a history lesson in the greats, and oh, yeah, she’s had a pretty spectacular run of her own since releasing “The Time Has Come” in 1992. For her latest set -and first on Vinyl, her own imprint – she tips her hat to many of the great Pop songs of the 50s, 60s, and 70s that inspired her. Whether it be…
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Ray Price – Beauty Is…

Usually, the final album from an artist tends to be received in a little bit of sentimental thoughts. After all, are you reacting to the passing of an artist, or the music that is there? In the case of this final project from the legendary Ray Price, there’s no need for sentiment. It’s very evident that he closed out his recording career the same way that it endured six decades. Just as he was in 1956, 1970, or 2000, Ray Price went out being a singer’s singer. And, that’s the ultimate…
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Stacey Randol – Fables

Spend any amount of time with the latest disc from Stacey Randol, and you just might be transported back in time to the the music of Roy Orbison. At least, that’s what Fables sounds like to me. Does the album sound straight out of a Monument Records session with Fred Foster behind the glass circa 1964? Not exactly, but Randol seems to have that melancholy sadness that Orbison excelled in so…
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The Charlie Daniels Band: Off The Grid

Back in 1969, Charlie Daniels was one of the session musicians on Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline disc. His guitar playing impressed the legendary singer-songwriter so much that he ended up working on two more Dylan projects. Though the styles of Daniels and Dylan might not be compared by many, both men…
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Ben & Ellen Harper – Childhood Home

Ben Harper’s musical career definitely qualifies as one of the most varied in the music business. He’s enjoyed success with rock, blues, and folk, among other styles. For his latest project, he teams up with the one person who likely knows him better than anyone else- his mother, Ellen. However, that being said…
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Hannah Aldridge – Razor Wire

What is the definition of Americana Music? In all my years of being in this business, I can’t tell you a specific clear cut answer to that question. There are a lot of different styles that comprise the genre, but some of the best examples of “Americana” are sounds that you might have heard on Country Radio in a bygone…
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