CD Reviews

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Nell Robinson & Jim Nunally - House & Garden

Music is something that causes a natural reaction - just like the same emotion and feeling that people have for nature. On this album, veteran performers Nell Robinson and Jim Nunally demonstrate their love of both, tying their feelings into such warm and inviting tracks as "Life In The Garden" and "The Gardener." There's an earthiness to these cuts that will almost make you think you are listening to some alternate cuts from a Carter...
 
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Mati Haskell - 10,2&6

What do you get when you mix Bonnie Raitt, Amy Winehouse, and Mavis Staples with a dash of Liza? Enter Canadian up and comer Mati Haskell and a debut record the likes of which you’ve never heard before. The diversity of influences is astounding. Itunes auto categorizes it as Blues, but it encompasses gospel, soul, Motown and even cabaret. The musical lineup is loaded with heavy hitters including Glenn Worf (Mark Knopfler), Reese Wynans (Stevie Ray Vaughn), John Gardner (James Taylor), Jim...
 
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The Statesboro Revue - Ramble On Privilege Creek

Not to minimize the rest of the band, but the Statesboro Revue is pretty much the work of brothers Stewart and Garrett Mann, who wrote most of the material on Ramble on Privilege Creek and sang and played several instruments. From the Bo Diddley vibe of "Til I Leave" to the romantic lilt of "Isabella," this band delivers a sound that is head and shoulders above many of the other Texas acts that are coming out of the woodwork lately. Think the Black Crowes meet The Band, with a touch of post-Duane...
 
Robert Kinsler & TJR

Music Worth Buying: Jordan Corey & Johnny Marr

Orange County Register (CA) music critic Robert Kinsler and his co-host, TJR review new CDs.. TJ and Robert check out new releases by Jordan Corey who TJ says will appeal to fans of Adele and Amy Winehouse, and The Debut release of Johnny Marr, former guitarist of The Smiths, Modest Mouse, & The the to name a few.
 
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The Boxcars - It's Just A Road

Bluegrass group The Boxcars have carved out one of the most successful careers in the format as of late. Thanks to their impeccable musicianship, and pristine clean-cut harmonies, they have become one of regular winners at the IBMA Awards - currently holding the prize for Instrumental Group of the Year They put both of those talents to good use on their new collection, which is a taste of what the guys do...
 
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Kate Earl - Stronger

How do you describe the music of Alaska native Kate Earl? It's one of the most unique musical blends that I have heard in quite some time. It's a little bit of Country, a little bit of Pop, a dash of Jazz, and at some points, the swagger of good old fashioned Rock & Roll. At the heart of Stronger is some fine writing from Earl and her collaborators. She demonstrates a strong ability to turn a phrase, like she does with the incredible title...
 
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Randy Rogers Band – Trouble

According to the artists, compared to their five previous studio efforts, the new album out this week by the Randy Rogers Band, “Trouble,” best reflects how they really live and who they truly are. Country radio has been responding to this honesty, making their recent single “One More Sad Song” the Texas quintet’s first Billboard Top 40 hit. With producer Jay Joyce (Eric Church – “Chief,” Little Big Town – “Tornado”) at the controls, the MCA Nashville release of eleven songs scores with killer ballads...
 
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VOTA – Love Found Me

Contemporary Christian pop rock band VOTA has joined forces with Tiny Hands International to help stop human trafficking of children along the Nepal/India border. No easy solution to this problem where 15,000 Nepalis are sold into sex slavery each year, but the band is raising money through donations for downloads of their new album, “Love Found Me,” with the goal of helping 1,500 of those girls over five years. All proceeds will go to fund five monitoring stations, each one of which can yearly intercept...
 
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Tate Stevens - Self Titled

What a whirlwind the past few months have been for Tate Stevens. Fresh from his win on NBC's "The X-Factor," Stevens gets a chance to show Country audience the talent he has had for years on his debut album. The momentum that he has enjoyed since his win continues with a very well-produced debut effort that should keep his name on the lips of fans everywhere. On this disc, Stevens demonstrates an ability to move between uptempo...
 
4PAN1T

Euferzine - Excuse Me, But I Have Something to Say

Americana artist Denise Reagan, aka Euferzine (paying homage to her so-named hill country grandmother), is a rare Nashville singer/songwriter in that she wrote all of the nine songs on this album by herself. That's right, no co-writes, which doesn't happen much in Music City. A native of the Upper Cumberland, Euferzine is not too Nashville, not too Piedmont and not too Appalachian, but a good mix of the three, with an occasional hint of bawdiness that betrays a touch of the bad girl wanting to sneak...
 
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Neverwonder - Really Let It Out

Sometimes, a change can bring about a bit of creative energy. When it comes to Los Angeles-based Neverwonder, that sentence definitely applies. After a well-received 2010 debut, the band has switched lead singers for their new EP, with Alima Soul joining the group. What does she bring to the band? Actually, a lot! Soul shimmers through the tracks on this disc with all the confidence and sultriness of a Rock & Roll vixen, particularly on...
 
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Skinny Molly – Haywire Riot

“I’ve got bikes to ride, fish to catch/ Songs that I ain’t written yet/Girls to love, hearts to break/Livin’ like it’s all at stake” is the life’s-too-short-to-waste-it-on-you mantra growled at a dishonest lover in “If You Don’t Care” – the opening track of the new album by Skinny Molly. The scrappy hard rock band, fronted by former Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Mike Estes, produced and recorded “Haywire Riot” in Alabama and Nashville – their sophomore effort released on Ruf Records. Estes wrote ten of the eleven tracks...
 
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Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver - Roads Well Traveled

In the course of Bluegrass history, there are few male vocalists as revered as the incomparable Doyle Lawson. That distinction was proven by his recent induction into the IBMA Hall of Honor. But, the thing about awards and plaques is that they just tend to gather dust. They look nice in a history book, but the true mark of an artist is to keep on creating, and that's what Lawson and Co. continue to do. Quicksilver - now consisting of Joe...
 
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Rival Sons – Head Down

“Rock and Roll can’t be over-thought, and if it is, it loses its immediacy and instinct…it needs to be a knife fight, not a choreographed knife dance,” says Scott Holiday, guitarist for Rival Sons. Like their earlier albums, this Long Beach, California band’s latest, “Head Down,” was written, recorded and mixed in a mere 20 days. The result is a shattering recording that is raw and real in a Zeppelin kind of way, while bringing 70s rock into the 21st Century. Recorded in Nashville with Dave Cobb and Vance Powell...
 
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Della Mae – This World Oft Can Be

Based out of Boston, I was very surprised when I took a listen to the Rounder debut for the five-woman group Della Mae. Their talent speaks for themselves, as they have developed one of the top reputations in the business for their melodic work. But, how do you combine the influences of the ladies – ranging from straight-ahead Bluegrass to Blues to even, (at times), a bit an international flavor into a cohesive musical thread? Well, how you do...