CD Reviews


Joey+Rory - Country Classics

OK. The publicists were right. (As every PR rep in town picks their chin off the floor!) For a long time, the duo of Joey+Rory confused me a little. Not talent-wise - they are two of the finest singer-songwriters in the business. Not from a personal level, as you would be hard pressed to find any act who is more genuine and real than either one of them. But the name. I would get the email after a story posted saying "There is no space...

Flatt Lonesome - Too

I found myself smiling within the first thirty seconds of the new CD from sibling group Flatt Lonesome. What makes that fact all the more interesting is the song is not one that you would normally break out into laughter about - a true breakup song. But, what reels you in and hooks you is the incredible harmonies possessed by this very talented family named Robinson. Sister Charli's soaring lead vocals take precedence

Dana Robbins - Self-Titled

In fifth grade, it all started for musician / songwriter Dana Robbins: “I immediately gravitated to the saxophone. To this day, I get so emotional when I pick up my horn. I have such a connection to it still.” This love affair is in full bloom on her self-titled sophomore release, recorded in Nashville and produced by Tom Hambridge. Robbins has a hand in penning six of the eleven tracks, which showcase the sophisticated musicianship she has spent her ...

A Sunny Day In Glasgow – Sea Went Absent

A band as unique as their title suggests, A Sunny Day in Glasgow present a fresh take on cacophonic psychedelia with their new record Sea Went Absent. When I typed A Sunny Day in Glasgow into YouTube I thought that I had accidently started playing two videos at the same time. I went to close the tab and there was no corny Panadol advertisement ...

Dallas Smith - Tippin' Point

After fronting the popular Rock group Default for many years, Dallas Smith has made somewhat of a musical shift - taking his music in a modern Country direction. For this move, he surrounded himself with one of the top producers in the business in Joey Moi - who has taken the careers of Florida Georgia Line and Jake Owen to new heights. That fresh and current sound is very much evident on this disc, with "A Girl Like You" being the...

David Harks – Illusion

The second of four summer releases from Brighton’s David Harks… ahem, harks back to the best of British music with an electronic sheen. Never underestimate the power of a good ba-bap ba-bap baa in turining a forgettable track into the most viciously catchy piece of songwriting. Well used, it can leave listeners with a pop in their step days, even weeks after they listened to the song in question. Vaguely RnB, vaguely synthpop dance music producer David Harks knows...

The Henry Girls - Louder Than Words

Get ready to listen, folks, because this is something special. And, no - that has nothing to do with the writer. Every now and then, you run across something so uniquely different that you just have to shout it from the mountaintops. The Henry Girls are one of those musical acts that you just want to tell people about - as many as you can. Natives of Ireland, their style has been described as a mixture of Folk and Americana. I will buy...

Three Quarter North - Back Home

Three Quarter North borrowed its moniker from a Leo Kottke song “because it sounded vaguely somewhere between folk and bluegrass,” says band member Jim Atkins in a 2011 interview with Schenectady’s Daily Gazette. That’s exactly where this upstate New York gaggle of veteran musicians’ music sits on their 11-song sophomore release, “Back Home.” Recorded in hometown-area Delmar, New York and produced by members Dave Rhodes and Mark E. Smith, this...

Marcus Prouse - 21st Century Cowboy

Marcus Prouse is not your average country singer. Hailing from Ireland, his brand of country sounds much more similar to modern country in America, rather than the music of his roots. Luckily, the emotions that fill up music – especially country music – are universal. There is no lack of story-telling in Prouse’s songs. You’ll find it all here – in-depth tales of colorful characters, and plenty of heartache and longing. The 2007 album 21st Century Cowboy tells...

Lavendine - Feel My Way

“One thing is for sure – you’ll walk away singing what you’ve heard,” writes the pop duo Lavendine on their website. These sisters from Oklahoma, with easy, feminine warmth to their vocals and melodic tunes, turn that boast into reality on their debut album “Feel My Way,” released on the 400 SWC Records label. Produced by Jacy and Jana Ayers, along with Jacy’s husband Daniel and Danny Duncan, this collection of ten songs - all written and co-written...

Dan Cohen - Bluebird

Veteran sideman / musician Dan Cohen has already achieved plenty of milestones in his career. He has played the stage of the heralded Ryman Auditorium, played behind some of the biggest acts in the business, and written with many of the most talented songwriters in Music City. So, with all that, you might expect his latest disc to be a great Country disc. Well, you'd be wrong. For all of his ties to Nashville artists and...

Lucy Hale - Road Between

Known as "Aria" on the hit TV series Pretty Little Liars, Lucy Hale has already made a name for herself in the world of entertainment. That being said, the Memphis native wanted a chance to show her talent in her first love - music. It's something of an understatement, but she makes her mark - and then some. Hale possesses a vocal range and a musical maturity that extends far beyond her twenty-five years. That...

Elbee – Visions of Vactrols

The best release you’ll hear all week? Melt your brain down the digital rabbit hole with Elbee’s Visions of Vactrols. You have to be in a certain state of mind to appreciate Elbee, the solo project of Lloyd Barrett, a state of mind that I was certainly not in when I was driving to the Happy office today. Sober, sleepy and not as happy as the blog’s title suggests our employees are*, his EP Visions of Vactrols obviously required some sort of drug to be ingested before I ...

Andy Bull – Talk Too Much

When you hear a singer for the first time, and you can’t stop thinking about how unique they are, then they have done their job – well at least the hard part of ensuring a positive lasting first impression is over. Without a doubt, the most striking thing about Andy Bull is his voice. From the moment he hits that first note, you’ll realise he’s got the chords to embody a powerfully high falsetto range yet equally able to drench his voice in a gentle and ...

The Loudermilks - Self Titled

If you are a student of music history, you might know that the Louvin Brothers' real last name was Loudermilk. This five-piece band, based in North Carolina, is very familiar with that fact, and took their name as a tribute to the tight and pristine harmonies from Ira and Charlie. On their album, you will find plenty of the same - though the music is very much different - a little more rock-influences at some spots, with even a hint...
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