CD Reviews

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Sandra Boynton - Frog Trouble (And Eleven Other Pretty Serious Songs)

Sandra Boynton has carved out a very successful career as an author, selling over 60 million copies of her children's books worldwide. Her books have also included CD's that accompany them, and those have been successful as well - netting her a trio of Gold albums. Having never done a Country related project before, Boynton sticks her toe in some new waters - and comes up with a disc that is well worth your time and...
 
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Tommy Bolin - Whirlwind

Tommy Bolin was on the fast-track to becoming a classic rock legend when he succumbed to rock 'n' roll excess in 1976. As the man who had played in the James Gang and Deep Purple, as well as on landmark jazz fusion albums, by the time he was 25, Bolin worked constantly and was touring behind his second solo album at the time of his death. Now, producer Greg Hampton and Bolin's brother Johnnie, drummer for Black Oak Arkansas, have produced Whirlwind, a two-CD set of rehearsal ...
 
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LoCash Cowboys - Self Titled

In a sense, LoCash Cowboys - the duo comprised of Chris Lucas and Preston Brust rank as pioneers - in their own kind of way. Long before Florida Georgia Line and other acts were blending Country Music with other musical styles, this duo was mixing it up to great effect. Songs like "Chase A Little Love" and "You Make It Look Good" are both showcases for the rich harmonies between the guys, while things heat up beginning...
 
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Ashton Shepherd - This Is America

When Joe Spivey's fiddle kicks off this CD - and the song "Andy," from Ashton Shepherd's third disc, you know one thing for sure - that you are in for a dose of traditional Country Music - not that there's anything wrong with that. The song will fit her fan base to a tee, as well. With lyrics that yearn and plead for the days when families gathered around the television at night and watched the famous sheriff of Mayberry. The...
 

Alabama - Alabama & Friends

With well over thirty number one singles on the Billboard charts, Alabama has definitely made an impact on the Country Music world. Though the band called it a day following their farewell tour a decade ago, retirements in the music business only tend to last for a while sometimes. And, that is a good thing. The band returns with a new project - but with a twist. Randy, Teddy, and Jeff have re-cut several of their biggest...
 
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Luke Bryan - Crash My Party

Luke Bryan has done quite well for himself over the past six years. That is a huge understatement. But, there is somewhat of a misconception about the singer - that he is all about dirt roads and Dixie Cups. Not that he would complain about that accusation. After all, it has served him well. But, he has shown an ability to record some pretty deep material in addition to the tempo-driven party favorites. "Do I" was one of...
 
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Roots Music Champions Fired Up On New Discs

Moreland & Arbuckle, Walter Trout, and Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa are featured on summertime sets. Moreland-Arbuckle_7citiesArtist: Moreland & Arbuckle. Title: 7 Cities (Telarc/Concord Music Group). You might like if you enjoy: Badlands, Little Walter, Buddy Guy, Vintage Trouble. Tell me more: This year has proved to be a banner year for insightful and hard-hitting roots blues and roots music. On the heels of excellent early 2013 releases from Otis Taylor and Ben Harper's acclaimed collaboration ...
 
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Newsong – Swallow The Ocean

Music is just a vehicle to throw out lifelines, share truth, shine light and bring hope. The methods have changed; the music has changed; but the Message will never change, says Russ Lee, lead vocalist of Christian rock band NewSong. The Grammy and Dove Award-nominated group of seven musicians has released their latest collection on HHH Records, “Swallow The Ocean,” eleven tracks of contemporary Christian material recorded in Nashville and produced by Christopher Stevens...
 
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Brandon Rhyder - That's Just Me

Brandon Rhyder's new album is titled "That's Just Me." I say that, because at least according to my ears, "Me" is somewhat of a change in definition. Don't get me wrong. If you've been a fan of the Texas Country artist so far, there's nothing here that will change your opinion of him - far from it. Songs like "Haggard," "Scat Kitty," and "Don't Rob Me Blind" sound like they would fit right in with Rhyder's previous material. But, at the...
 
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Gareth - The Journey

Okay, so the Native American flute isn't an instrument that's in high demand. Especially when a keyboard player with decent sounds can play the same parts. But that keyboard player, even with breathy samples, can't infuse the emotion and inflections of someone who is actually having to breathe to produce the music, and, in this case, of someone who is playing the music of his ancestors.
 
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Erich McMann – The Last American Songbook

“’The Last American Songbook’ is a musical document of a time, place and sound that no longer exists,” writes Erich McMann about his new CD of traditional country music. Composed by the Chicago singer/songwriter while “stranded” for a few days in a Branson motel room, the ten tracks successfully capture the vintage vibe that filters through the air of the Missouri music-resort town. Recorded live with a handful of guitar overdubs, produced by McMann and Ray Smith, and released on the...
 
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Bobby Cyrus - Homeplace

A native of Kentucky, you might be wondering about the last name that Bobby has. Well, yes, he is related to Flatwood's favorite son, Billy Ray Cyrus. The two are cousins, and there are times that you can definitely hear the family resemblance - from a vocal standpoint. But, as where Billy Ray is at his best when he lets his rockin' side show through, Bobby is quite at home with a more traditional sound - where this album excels the...
 
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Bret Michaels - Jammin' With Friends

Bret Michaels may be best known for his 80s rocker days with Poison, but he has been spending a lot of time in Nashville over the past few years. The rumor is that he is working on a full-fledged Country album. While this is not that project, it does contain several tracks that could fit right in on the radio - including a sensational collaboration with a Country Music Hall of Fame member that deserves to be heard. Overall...
 
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Doug MacLeod – There’s A Time

Whether he’s debating scripture with a fundamentalist street preacher, observing con artists, night leeches and their unsuspecting victims at a seedy pool hall, or bemoaning his wife’s relations, acoustic bluesman Doug MacLeod always has a colorful story to tell. On his latest album “There’s A Time” – his debut on the Reference Recordings label – the bottleneck-and-finger-style wiz guitarist brings to life thirteen original songs, singing in wails and whispers, punctuating lines with loosey-goosey...
 
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Joey+Rory - Inspired

If you are a fan of husband and wife duo Joey+Rory, you know that they have an old school approach to doing their music. Even on a song like their breakout "Cheater, Cheater," which definitely has a little bit of spice and sauce to it, the instrumentation is decidedly traditional. With that sound, as well as the values the duo sing about in their music, it was only a matter of time before the couple recorded their...
 
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