CD Reviews


Bobby Chitwood – Gravity

Brownwood, Texas native Bobby Chitwood has listened to a lot of the “masters” growing up, like Haggard, Nelson, and Williams. You can instantly tell that with one listen to his latest album. Cuts like “The Way You Drive Me Crazy” have a definite traditional sheen, albeit one mixed with a little bit of a current attitude (He did listen to a little Skynyrd too!). “Put Your Lips Here (On Mine)” is also a favorite from the traditional side of the fence, featuring some...

Kelly Lang – Shades Of K

Kelly Lang has one of those distinctive voices that can seemingly run the gamut from Traditional Country to more crossover-oriented sounds. On her latest album, she tries both out for what might very well be her most effective vocal showcase yet. A collection of songs that influenced her, you instantly get the idea that Lang was listening to a wide variety of sounds growing up in Oklahoma. What makes the album very different than a lot...

Music Worth Buying - Releases That Impress

Guitar great Michael Schenker, singer-songwriter-guitarist Orianthi, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and an oustanding tribute to the late Levon Helm highlight a bevy of new titles available now. Artist: Michael Schenker. Title: Temple of Rock (Inakustik). You might be interested if you like: UFO, The Scorpions. Tell me more: Like Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore, one-time UFO lead guitarist Michael Schenker influenced countless players to pursue the art of perfection when playing their...
Robert Kinsler & TJR

Music Worth Buying - Alvin Lee (10 Years After) and Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown

Orange County Register (CA) music critic Robert Kinsler and his co-host, TJR review new CDs. This week we pay tribute to guitar hero Alvin Lee of 10 Years After and look at a new up and coming guitar hero Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown's debut album Wild Child.

George Kilby, Jr. - Six Pack

“Music marketing professionals advise you to always have the same band, sound, and even guitar, so folks can ‘brand you.’ Makes some sense, but doesn’t work for me. I suppose my attention span is too short, or maybe I just can’t resist the lure of different kinds of music,” writes singer/songwriter George Kilby, Jr. in one of two bios posted on his website (one bio is written from his heart; the other one, he writes, is “if some of you journalists want facts and dates”). This cover-your-bases Alabamian-turned-New Yorker’s ...
brandon reeves_a decent melody

Brandon Reeves - A Decent Melody

Like the artist himself, Brandon Reeves’ sophomore release, A Decent Melody, is a workingman’s album. It is the culmination of writing and playing 100 live dates annually for three years. Stints with the bands of Ringo Starr, Billy Joel and Zac Brown helped Reeves road test the material. What results is an aptly titled album. Each of the very diverse 13 tracks has lead single potential. From the soulful opener, I Still Believe to the Celtic folk tinged Song About An Irish Girl, Reeves manages to fuse elements of rock...

Hadden Sayers - Rolling Soul

Houston-born Hadden Sayers had gone through many a life’s change over the years in his pursuit of music, which would have made many simply give up their dreams. For a while, he did put his on the backburner. However, while renovating houses, he found himself rediscovering some of the sounds that inspired him the most – such as Van Morrison and Sam Cooke. You can hear those influences – and a whole lot...

The Danberrys – Self Titled

How would one categorize the music of the Danberrys? There are so many layers to the sound of Ben DeBerry and Dorothy Daniel that one thing is for certain – you can’t place them in a 4 + 4 box. They are much too complex and smart for that. At times, there is a definite old-school sound to the music of the couple. “Rain In The Rock” features a mountain-style intro, which serves the song very well. “Meet Me There,” the lone outside tune the duo...

Devon Allman - Turquoise

OK, let's get it out of the way. Devon Allman has a very familiar last name. That goes without saying. The son of legendary musician Gregg Allman, Devon has a musical sound and style all his own, with a heavy emphasis on the blues side of things. You can hear that instantly on the free-wheeling sound of "When I Left Home," as well as the stirring guitar grooves of "Homesick." He knows what he is doing instrumentally as well as vocally on both...

Gretchen Wilson – Right On Time

The success of her 2004 breakthrough “Redneck Woman” has been a huge cross for Gretchen Wilson to bear over the years. Sure, it was a huge record that gave her instant recognition, stardom, but also maybe pigeonholed her just a little bit. If you have ever listened to the way that the Illinois native handles a ballad, you will truly be amazed. Overlooked cuts like “What Happened” and “He Ain’t Even Cold Yet” show her depth as a...
blue cactus choir_once in a blue moon

Blue Cactus Choir – Once in a Bluegrass Moon

San Francisco Bay area singer/songwriters Marty Atkinson and Katy Boyd make up the duo Blue Cactus Choir. “Once in a Bluegrass Moon” is their debut album on Porgy Records, featuring all-original songs, self-produced along with Thomm Jutz and recorded in Nashville. These artists have had their separate careers – Atkinson had deals with Atlantic Records, EMI and Curb while with Cactus Choir; Boyd with an indie label in the UK – and they have come together with a smooth fusion of bluegrass, folk and country.

OBB - Self Titled

Nashville is known as "Music City, USA," and that nickname is indicative of the, many different musical styles that come from the city. Of course, Country Music is the pre-dominant genre that fans think of regarding Nashville, but there is also a huge Rock scene in the city. But, the Christian music industry also is centered around the Middle Tennessee area, as well. One musical act that is definitely getting some attention in the Christian music...

The Mavericks’ ‘In Time’ Tops List Of New Releases

Outstanding return-to-form gems from The Mavericks and R. Scott, as well as an impressive debut from newcomers Southern Hospitality all celebrate authentic roots music in big ways. Artist: The Mavericks. Title: In Time (Valory Music). You might be interested if you like: Roy Orbison, The Jayhawks, Buck Owens. Tell me more: Much has been made of David’s Bowie’s recent return to music with the release of his first new album (“The Next Day”) in a decade, but yours truly was admittedly much more excited by the...

Crystal Bowersox - All That For This

Crystal Bowersox became the talk of America due to her placing in the runner-up position in the 2010 season of "American Idol." That exposure led to the release of her well-received debut album Farmers' Daughter. In the last three years, the Ohio native has lived a lot of life, and it shows in her second full-length album. Her range is apparent 0n the opening "Dead Weight," which is a perfect fit for her voice, LOL...

Dave Armo - Poets On The Wall

Hailing from the San Francisco Bay area, Dave Armo qualifies as the description of the term "Sensitive Singer-Songwriter." Listening to these tracks, you can tell that he was heavily influenced by much of what was popular in the 1970s and early 1980s on the radio. There's a warmth and vitality that exudes itself on each cut, beginning with the very folky opening cut, "May This Time Never End," which you can fully imagine him playing in...
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