CD Reviews

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Rian Greene – Drown The Miller

“I’ve been looking for a sign, some sort of revelation/Could be something somebody overheard/They’re out draggin’ the river, God knows what they’ll find/Could use a drink to help me calm my nerves,” sings Americana singer and songwriter Rian Greene on the intriguing title cut of his sophomore album, “Drown The Miller,” released by Post Oak Records. Recorded in Nashville and El Cajon, California, lyrics of the eleven self-penned tracks here are awash in a dark veneer, while melodies are ...
 
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Tim Sweeney - This Time

California based singer-songwriter Tim Sweeney has put together a fine effort for your consideration. When you listen to him, one thing is very apparent. He loves to have fun. That light-hearted approach to music and life comes across plainly in tracks such as "Soul Patrol" and "Double Wide." In his way of thinking, it's all about the little things, and he sings about people's lives that you just might recognize. Who hasn't wanted to kick...
 
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Caitlin Crosby – Save That Pillow

Asked about her new record on a recent Hollywood red carpet, actress/singer/songwriter Caitlin Crosby eagerly responded: “One of my passions is girls – not wanting them to give it up so easily to guys who don’t really care about them, so a lot of the songs are pretty graphic about that, and wanting girls to stay strong and value themselves.” “Save That Pillow” is the artist’s first showing in four years, a seven-track EP released on Deep Well Records. Produced with a dramatic 60s-inspired wall ...
 
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Aaron & Amanda Crabb - Mercy

The Crabb family has long been one of Gospel Music's first families. That goes without saying. Joining that hallowed family tradition is Aaron and his beautiful wife Amanda - who make some very nice musical chemistry together. The one thing that jumps out at you very quickly is the harmonies between the two. You can tall that on the opener, "If I'm Guilty." First of all, the opening riffs on the acoustic guitar give this...
 
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Steve Wariner – It Ain’t All Bad

Turnabout, as they say, is fair play. Steve Wariner grew up enamored with such guitarists as Jerry Reed and the man he has often cited as his mentor, Chet Atkins. Well, flash forward a few years, and today’s generation of singers – guitarists all claim such acts as Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, and Steve Wariner as their influences. Though Wariner was one of the biggest hitmakers on Country Radio in the 1980s and 1990s, he has...
 
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Jason Cassidy - Keep It Country

Like any true Texan, Jason Cassidy is proud of the music he makes – and proud that he gets to keep it Country – in the spirit of Waylon and Willie. Of course, the singer tips his hat to the former in his hit single “Blame It On Waylon,” which was co-written by Rhett Akins and Josh Thompson. It’s definitely a winner and a crowd pleaser, but he’s not just a one-trick pony. Cassidy proves himself adept at handling a mixture of...
 
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Big Bill Morganfield – Blues With A Mood

“The blues came callin’ my name/Came straight from my daddy’s grave/You see I heard his voice over and over and over again/He said you’re gonna sing and play the blues,” sings Big Bill Morganfield in “Son Of The Blues” off his latest release, “Blues With A Mood.” This final track of his fifth album, on Black Shuck Records, is a haunting, personal testimony from a man raised by his grandmother in South Florida, who only took up guitar after the death of his blues giant father, Muddy Waters...
 
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Various Artists – Live From The Archives Of 650 AM WSM, Volume 1

There is no other radio station with a more historic musical pedigree than that of Nashville’s 50,000 watt “Blowtorch of the South,” WSM Radio. Since signing on the air in 1925, the station has kept listeners entertained with a variety of music. From Uncle Jimmy Thompson – the first performer on the WSM Barn Dance through 30s and 40s pop programming featuring such legendary figures as Dinah Shore or Snooky Lanson, the station...
 
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Gina Sicilia - It Wasn't Real

Pennsylvania native Gina Sicilia might not be a seductress. She might not be a vamp. But, she plays one on CD rather well. The Temple University graduate has released an album where, more often than not, she gets to show off her sensual side to maximum effect. If you need proof of this, take a listen to the opening title cut. It’s not that hard to imagine her in a jazz club late at night while belting this one out, and having...
 
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Blue October - Sway

Sometimes, being different is a great thing - unless you're just being different for the sake of saying you are. At times, on Blue October's follow-up to their well received 2011 disc Any Man In America, Justin Furstenfeld and Co. sound like they are trying too hard to be a critical darling. I have to admit that's what I was thinking on "Debris" and "Put It In." The former never seems to really pick up any steam, and to...
 
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Billy Droze – Ambassador

When asked if he’s ever been called an old soul, 26-year-old Nashville artist Billy Droze answers, “Every day. I have started believing it. My interest lay in things I should know nothing nor care anything about. I like to be taken back, and I like to take people back through music.” This Louisiana-born/Alabama-raised Country singer and songwriter is “old soul” from the first note to the last on his latest release, “Ambassador” – an EP collection of his own original songs on Carmen Road Records.
 
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Tracy Lawrence - Headlights, Tailights & Radios

Tracy Lawrence has been making music on a very successful level since bursting upon the scene over two decades ago with "Sticks And Stones." Two decades into a career is not when you usually hear about an artist recording "The Album Of A Career," but that indeed is what Lawrence fans can look forward to on his new disc. For starters, the singer is singing as good as he ever has before in his career...
 
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Lightnin Malcolm - Rough Out There

Mississippi's Lightnin Malcolm is a modern-day blues rocker who is influenced by far more than just the blues, but whose music carries the stamp of several styles that could be part of life's soundtrack for anyone old enough to remember the Viet Nam war. With a guitar sound and style that can often be likened to that of ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, but a repertoire that includes tunes that are also reggae and soul-influenced (with some nice horns), as well as some country (real country, not what the...
 
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Charlie Worsham - Rubberband

Charlie Worsham definitely has a fan base - and not just those who have seen the talented performer hone his craft in groups such as Kingbilly over the years. He also definitely has a cheering section among those in the industry, who are beaming with pride over Worsham's success on the charts as of late with the bouncy "Could It Be." It appears that his supporters have plenty to cheer about as he has put together an album...
 
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The Coals - A Happy Animal

There are literally thousands of bands in Southern California, so to be one cool enough to get some press is a major feat. The Coals is one of the ones that is and does. The Coals' website says the band "plays heartfelt California folk," and that's a great description. Because while the band ends up being lumped into the Americana category, the California folk influence, which can include anything from Country Joe McDonald to early Jackson Browne, runs all through the band's music. Lead singer...
 
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