CD Reviews

Buck Howdy - Giddy Up

I’m still tapping my foot and slapping my knee after listening to this CD. I felt like I was put in a time machine and traveled back to the days of Hee Haw. Nice toe stomping fiddles and clever story lines and a couple of quite comical experiences. I have never been as entertained as I was after experiencing the song, “Baked beans”, the clever lyric told a story of a cowboy that killed himself by.....
 

Bruce Robison - Eleven Stories

Imagine that you’re Bruce Robison. You’re a gifted songwriter and artist. You’re married to a beautiful, talented singer. You sometimes make music with your equally talented brother. Your sister-in-law is a Dixie Chick. Tim McGraw, Lee Ann Womack and Gary Allen have recorded your songs. Sounds great, right? Okay, but then imagine this: you’re balancing a tour schedule and a family life......
 

Brian McComas - Back Up Again

Where has this guy been all my life? Brian McComas is a talent that was lost in the shuffle but luckily has been found again. He is a down home country boy with creative sensitivity and “Thank You Ma'am” manners. His songs seem to be literally ripped from the pages of his journal. I appreciated the honor of being allowed that bit of insight of this particular artist. Brian is an incredible vocalist.......
 

Brian Bates - Outside The Lines

Brian Bates is a conflicted man, and it shows. That leads to a conflicted CD review. Brian wants us to believe he’s a rebel and he’s coloring outside the lines. Forgive me, but there’s nothing on this CD to prove it. The opening track is called Wild Side of Grace, which is an intriguing idea. Personally, I believe a true relationship with the Almighty is anything but tame. It starts out promising, with....
 

Brett Dennen - So Much More

When I was in high school, my friend Julie worked as a hostess at a fancy restaurant. I’d hang out sometimes and we’d hit the salad bar on her supper break. (Oh, those wild high school nights. It’s a wonder I lived through them.) They had caviar on the salad bar. I tried it—several times, in fact. But no matter how many times Julie said “Can you believe we’re eating caviar?” and how many people were......
 

Bobby Cage – Wrong Side of Love

Bobby Cage’s sophomore CD asks the question “could this be the future of country music?” With the overwhelming number of songs dedicated to finding love, losing love, wanting love and other love stuff, I’d have to say the answer is no. It presents itself as a more easy listening, standard representation of country. The CD picks things up and leaves you (at least me) with a happier feel when.......
 

Blue Moon Rising - On The Rise

Blue Moon Rising - one of the hottest new groups in bluegrass music today is definitely on the rise. Getting a lot of attention is their new CD "On the Rise" which has been growing in popularity, as folks hear about the great music the group provides on this CD. Blue Moon Rising consists of members Chris West, lead guitar and vocals; Keith Garrett, mandolin, guitar and vocals; Randall Massengill.......
 

Blake Stamper – The Way Back to Texas

Blake Stamper looks like Mr. Clean in a pair of overalls. He might also be mistaken for your second cousin’s next-door-neighbor’s boy, the wild one, who’s legendary for running moonshine into the next county—when he’s not tearing up the dirt roads on his Harley. But don’t let that.......
 

Billy Swisher & Pony Express, WHAT GOES AROUND

Throw in a couple of beers, some stale cigarette smoke, and you’re in the local VFW on a Friday night listening to Billy Swisher & Pony Express. They’re probably the best local band in the tri-county area. Not that there’s anything wrong with that—heck, a good local band is what Friday night is all about. But something tells me they have bigger plans. Maybe it was the “All Copyright Laws Apply” in big print......
 

Bill Sheffield - Journal On A Shelf

This Atlanta based blues boy is rockin the scene with Journal on a Shelf, starting with “Cherry Blossom Time” and spilling out some Keb Moe-style vocals that capture the listener. Stealing your conscience with “Trouble” and captivating your heart with “Your Still On My Mind,” Bill has an amazing talent on the guitar and mesmerizes the listener with bluesy licks and signature finger picking.....
 

Beyond Reach - Self-Titled

The cover of this album caught my attention first and foremost. As a traveler through Patagonia, myself, I saw this and thought "hello, fellow travelers." Okay, so they caught my attention with their picture, but the CD starts off with a haunting, intense one-minute intro and now I’m really hooked. Randle Chowning and Larry Lee have the ability to force you into their world whether you want to be......
 

Becca - Self-Titled

No doubt about it, Becca is a beautiful woman. The CD cover is a compelling sell. Tiny waist, great abs, and a cowboy hat to convince us that she is indeed a country girl. Reading all the promotional material that came with this record is enticing. This is an artist who has labeled her music “LA Country”.......
 

Barry Tognolini - Treasure Road

Every now and then, you hear a CD that is, simply put, a treat to hear. Barry Tognolini is a pianist from Australia who is making a big push to be heard in the states. He recently kicked off his promotional tour in the U.S. by offering his disc on the cable shopping channel QVC. If you like gentle music that puts you in the mode to relax and reflect, then Barry Tognolini is for you! There is an eclectic mix of songs on.....
 

Barbara Mandrell - She Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool: A Tribute To Barbara Mandrell

What a trip down memory lane, and reliving every hit this woman had was just as entertaining today as it was back then. I remember dancing around in the living room in front of the TV set, my sister and I fighting over who gets to be Barbara. The country star oozed with talent, and I don’t think there was an instrument she couldn’t play as she backed the music with a voice that is an instrument all on its own........
 

The Arkansas Traveler:Music from Little House on the Prairie

This a recording of songs from Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It’s true American folk music rendered by some splendid musicians and talented vocalists, and the result is extraordinary.I wish I could describe it for you, but you’re going to have to hear it for yourself. It’s yesteryear’s music given a new slant. It should be in a museum, a time capsule, and your CD player. John Cowan, Elizabeth Cook..........
 
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