CD Reviews

coytaylor_1

Coy Taylor - Better Man

Average Joe’s might have very well pulled off one of the biggest steals of 2012 with the signing of Coy Taylor to their roster. The Kentucky native had already impressed critics and fans with his debut single, and now with the release of his very first EP, it sounds like all systems are go for Taylor to become one of the “ones to watch” in 2013. Taylor has quite a bit of depth as an artist and a writer. That’s apparent in the opener, “Shake The...
 
fla-ga-line

Florida Georgia Line – Here’s To The Good Times

Scott Borchetta knows a good thing when he hears. With his track record, that’s a given, but he proves it once again with this duo. “Cruise,” their debut single, was slowly but surely finding a spot on radio playlists nationwide before Borchetta decided to take a closer look to see what the buzz was about. Evidently, he liked what he saw enough to offer the duo of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley a contract with Republic Nashville. Since signing...
 
tracy-delucia-self

Tracy DeLucia - Self Titled

New York native Tracy DeLucia has made quite an impact at secondary radio as of late with her smoky new single “Stand By Your Man (The Hell I Am!).” I guess you could call it the anti-Tammy Wynette song – I mean that with all due respect! The songstress proves on her debut EP that she has plenty of styles from which to draw on. And, as good as the single is, it’s actually the third best of the cuts here. Producer extraordinaire Kent...
 
david-ball-christmas

David Ball & The Pioneer Playboys – The Greatest Christmas

Since he burst upon the charts almost twenty years ago with the traditionally-charged “Thinkin’ Problem,” David Ball has developed a reputation for being one of the most uniquely talented acts in the music business. His first-ever Christmas album continues that tradition, as well, as it’s evident he’s doing it his own way, not copying anyone else. The title cut is a showcase for his natural twang-ified voice, but the arrangement channels memories...
 
yardbirds-making-tracks-dvd

Legendary Artists Shine on New Releases

The Yardbirds and Peter Gabriel are the focus of new DVD releases, while one of The Beatles’ earliest recording projects returns in a splendid stocking stuffer-minded package. A special Nektar album features the progressive rock outfit joining forces with a who’s who of classic rock talents. Artist: The Yardbirds. Title: Making Tracks: On Tour 2010 – 2012 (Eagle Rock Entertainment) You might be interested if you like: Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck. Tell me more: While Robert Johnson, Sonny Boy...
 
chris-weaver-band

The Chris Weaver Band – Standing In Line

Every now and then, you hear something that just knocks you out. Listening to this album is one of those instances. Simply put, Chris Weaver is a star in the making, though I have to admit it took me a few listens to “get it.” He’s that different. His style is not that “Drivin down a back road, with Betty Lou and a Michelob” brand that is so popular with mainstream Country radio these days. Weaver is an out-and-out singer – with a Capital “S.” You...
 
darin-brooke-aldridge

Darin & Brooke Aldridge - Live At Red, White and Bluegrass!

Over the past few years, husband and wife Darin & Brooke Aldridge have steadily built their career in Bluegrass Music. That distinction comes from an airtight vocal chemistry these two possess that I think will continue to take them places - thanks to the great music included here. North Carolina natives and IBMA winners, they can take the most unlikely song and make it seem a Bluegrass classic. On this album, they take the Shania...
 
sweet-truth-records

Various Artists – Sweet Truth Records, Cleveland Compilation, Volume 1

New record company Sweet Truth has a lot of reasons to be proud these days. Judging from the talent on their initial compilation disc, they should very well be looking forward to the new year, as many of their artists seem to be ready for the prime time. Leading off this sampler is Brent Kirby and The Lost Fortunes, a group that showcases their winning personality and talent blend on the fun-filled “Place The Pieces.” Up next in the lineup is...
 
nine-times-blue

Nine Times Blue - Falling Slowly

The city of Atlanta, Georgia has a lot of different sounds and styles that make it such a great musical melting pot. At the forefront of the city's musical scene is this group that is comprised of Kirk Waldrop, Greg King, Jeff Nelson, and Jason Brewer. You remember how it was back in the late 1980s and early 1990s? Rock and Pop bands recording music that just made you feel good rather than trying to push the envelope from a tech / dance level or...
 
ashley-monroe-rose

Ashley Monroe - Like A Rose

You have been forewarned. This review contains plenty of dramatic statements. But, in this case, there is no record company hyperbole – this is the real deal. I first heard about Ashley Monroe back in 2004 or 2005 as she had been signed to Sony by John Grady. Unfortunately, the East Tennessee native got caught up in the Sony-BMG merger, and her album (which was never commercially released until a few years later – in a digital...
 
sandy-atkinson-collection

Sandy Atkinson - Collection

Just like many other musical performers, Sandy Atkinson began performing as a child in Church. Her vocal talents are nothing short of extraordinary throughout this disc, but what really stands out to me is the great songwriting on each of the 21 cuts here. She's a musician who knows exactly what she wants to do on record, and does it very well. Where do I start? I guess the beginning. She turns up the intensity from the start with "Let It Go," and seemingly raises the bar with each track. Some of the better cuts here include "Tired Of The Crying,"
 
jake-lear

Jake Lear - Diamonds And Stones

Jake Lear mixes it up musically, and he does so rather well. When you have lived in areas as diverse as Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, and Memphis, one might expect your musical stylings to be all over the map. There are so many different sounds represented on this disc, and Lear handles each of them very well. A Blues man by heart, the edgier the better on this album. Take "Jack O' Diamonds," for example. Imagine what happens...
 
lady-antebellum-winter

Lady Antebellum - On This Winter's Night

Christmas albums are seemingly a rite of passage for most musical acts. Some go into the studio in July, knock off ten standards in a day or two, tint the album cover red or green, and Voila! - In October, a Christmas album just magically seems to appear. Then, you have the case of Lady Antebellum. The award-winning trio have had a Holiday album on their radar for a few years, and this year, the timing just seemed to be on target. And, to say it...
 
wanda-jackson-capitol-rarities

Wanda Jackson - Capitol Rarities

Long before Miranda Lambert, Wanda Jackson might very well have been Country Music's first female singer with an attitude. Of course, one can not just label Jackson as a Country singer, as her influence went into Rock & Roll, as well. Heck, the stunning Oklahoma native even dated a singer by the name of Presley once upon a time - so we're not dealing with your average female singer of the time! Omnivore Recordings, as part...
 
veryspecial_christmas

Various Artists - A Very Special Christmas (Big Machine Version)

A few weeks ago, we took a look at the Contemporary Christian version of the successful “A Very Special Christmas” series that was released this year. It’s one of two new pieces that benefits Special Olympics, this one shining the spotlight on secular artists. Train kicks off the set with a stirring take on “Joy To The World,” and listen for the unique way the band mixes in one of their biggest hit records. Jewel contributes a warm vibe to “Angels We...