CD Reviews

Rigsby-Doctors-Orders

Don Rigsby - Doctor's Orders: A Tribute To Ralph Stanley

Among Bluegrass musicians of the past twenty years, there may not be a musician any more influential than Ralph Stanley. With all due respect to Bill Monroe, Stanley has continued to create new music that has touched across today's generation - and his old music, showcased in O'Brother has received a lot of attention as well. So, it's no surprise that the great Don Rigsby has chosen to salute the singer with an album that...
 
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Kenny Chesney - Life On A Rock

Over the years, Kenny Chesney has made no secret of his love for the islands. Though it has filled several of his albums, and inspired his 2005 disc Be As You Are (Songs From An Old Blue Chair), I've got to admit that on this disc, I get it. It's not just the fact that Chesney might or might not be a fan of Jimmy Buffett. He actually does take this music seriously. This album - along with the still stunning Hemingway's Whiskey might be the...
 
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Mike Aiken - Captains and Cowboys

On Captains and Cowboys, singer / songwriter / sailboat captain Mike Aiken returns with an album produced by former Georgia Satellite Dan Baird that features some of Nashville's top players, including steel player Dan Dugmore, who made his name with Linda Ronstadt, and Steeldrivers fiddle player Tammy Rogers, among others. This album isn't hardcore country though, as such instruments might suggest, as Aiken blends folk, country, roots and rock throughout , as his website accurately states...
 
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Fat Opie – Victoryville

“I remember the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show/Own all their records but I don’t own a stereo/I nailed them to the wall and I read the LP cover,” so writes Scott Mickelson of Fat Opie in the lyrics to his “Concrete Kid” on their latest release, “Victoryville.” The San Francisco band’s frontman has penned all nine songs on this, their fifth album, making social commentary by ambitiously taking a different persona’s point of view in each song. The once-90s grunge band has morphed down into its present...
 
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William Clark Green - Rose Queen

William Clark Green is another in the long line of Texas artists who fall under the "Red Dirt" umbrella the same way that so many acts are called "Americana," which basically means they fit no specific genre while being influenced by several different genres at the same time. Green's Nashville-recorded Rose Queen doesn't sound like a lot of Red Dirt recordings, but it's certainly not as sterile as some Nashville records either. One can hear influences of Texans like Steve Earle and Willis Alan Ramsey...
 
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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...
 
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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...