CD Reviews


Devon Allman - Turquoise

OK, let's get it out of the way. Devon Allman has a very familiar last name. That goes without saying. The son of legendary musician Gregg Allman, Devon has a musical sound and style all his own, with a heavy emphasis on the blues side of things. You can hear that instantly on the free-wheeling sound of "When I Left Home," as well as the stirring guitar grooves of "Homesick." He knows what he is doing instrumentally as well as vocally on both...

Gretchen Wilson – Right On Time

The success of her 2004 breakthrough “Redneck Woman” has been a huge cross for Gretchen Wilson to bear over the years. Sure, it was a huge record that gave her instant recognition, stardom, but also maybe pigeonholed her just a little bit. If you have ever listened to the way that the Illinois native handles a ballad, you will truly be amazed. Overlooked cuts like “What Happened” and “He Ain’t Even Cold Yet” show her depth as a...
blue cactus choir_once in a blue moon

Blue Cactus Choir – Once in a Bluegrass Moon

San Francisco Bay area singer/songwriters Marty Atkinson and Katy Boyd make up the duo Blue Cactus Choir. “Once in a Bluegrass Moon” is their debut album on Porgy Records, featuring all-original songs, self-produced along with Thomm Jutz and recorded in Nashville. These artists have had their separate careers – Atkinson had deals with Atlantic Records, EMI and Curb while with Cactus Choir; Boyd with an indie label in the UK – and they have come together with a smooth fusion of bluegrass, folk and country.

OBB - Self Titled

Nashville is known as "Music City, USA," and that nickname is indicative of the, many different musical styles that come from the city. Of course, Country Music is the pre-dominant genre that fans think of regarding Nashville, but there is also a huge Rock scene in the city. But, the Christian music industry also is centered around the Middle Tennessee area, as well. One musical act that is definitely getting some attention in the Christian music...

The Mavericks’ ‘In Time’ Tops List Of New Releases

Outstanding return-to-form gems from The Mavericks and R. Scott, as well as an impressive debut from newcomers Southern Hospitality all celebrate authentic roots music in big ways. Artist: The Mavericks. Title: In Time (Valory Music). You might be interested if you like: Roy Orbison, The Jayhawks, Buck Owens. Tell me more: Much has been made of David’s Bowie’s recent return to music with the release of his first new album (“The Next Day”) in a decade, but yours truly was admittedly much more excited by the...

Crystal Bowersox - All That For This

Crystal Bowersox became the talk of America due to her placing in the runner-up position in the 2010 season of "American Idol." That exposure led to the release of her well-received debut album Farmers' Daughter. In the last three years, the Ohio native has lived a lot of life, and it shows in her second full-length album. Her range is apparent 0n the opening "Dead Weight," which is a perfect fit for her voice, LOL...

Dave Armo - Poets On The Wall

Hailing from the San Francisco Bay area, Dave Armo qualifies as the description of the term "Sensitive Singer-Songwriter." Listening to these tracks, you can tell that he was heavily influenced by much of what was popular in the 1970s and early 1980s on the radio. There's a warmth and vitality that exudes itself on each cut, beginning with the very folky opening cut, "May This Time Never End," which you can fully imagine him playing in...
Robert Kinsler & TJR

Music Worth Buying: Melissa Etheridge & Ron Sexsmith

Orange County Register (CA) music critic Robert Kinsler and his co-host, TJR review new CDs. This week TJR talks about why Melissa Etheridge's new album 4th Street feeling has converted him from not just being a casual fan and Robert Discusses the Melancholy of Ron Sexsmith's latest entitled Forever Endeavor.

Dave Adkins & Republik Steele – That's Just The Way I Roll

Sometimes, things aren’t like you presume them to be. That happened to me with this CD. Being on Rural Rhythm, I naturally assumed that it would be full of top notch Bluegrass Music. Well, I was right in that respect. The Passamano family don’t do anything less than first-rate. However, I have to admit that I was surprised by the vocals on this album. Dave Adkins sounds like nobody else in Bluegrass Music. Rather than being one of...

Jackson Delaney - Self Titled

Listening to Jackson Delaney is similar to a trip back in time to the decade of the 1970s - the "Outlaw" era that was represented so well by acts like Waylon, Willie, and Billy Joe Shaver. The Ohio native's voice is not sweetly fine-tuned like so many these days. It actually sounds like it has (gasp!) lived the lyrics of these songs. The album starts with the moody and brooding feel of "Long Black Cadillac," which he hemmers straight out of the...

Thompson Square – Just Feels Good

The husband / wife duo of Keifer and Shawna Thompson have definitely made an impact on the Country Music world the past couple of years, thanks to hit records like “I Got You” and their number one debut “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not.” They wisely don’t mess with the formula that brought them success on their sophomore album. This disc is chock-full of hook-laden songs that will keep you entertained, along with a few ballads that will...

Granger Smith – Dirt Road Driveway

For the past few years, Granger Smith has been working steadily at his craft, getting seemingly better with each release, culminating with his last studio disc, 2011’s Poets & Prisoners, which brought him his greatest critical acclaim yet. That being said, I think the Texan is about to hit the proverbial motherlode with his latest release, which just might put him on the fast lane to mainstream success. Smith’s confidence as a singer...

Beth Hart – Bang Bang Boom Boom

“It’s like starting over again. It’s like the beginning of music for me. At 40 years old, I feel like I’m five,” says blues rocker Beth Hart about making her newest album, “Bang Bang Boom Boom.” She’s had a decade of a comeback since losing her major label deal and tour, starting with recovering from substance abuse and getting a handle on a bi-polar condition. Acclaim in Europe followed and now finally with the release of this special record by Mascot Label Group/Provogue, Hart ought to brace herself for America falling ...

Music Worth Buying: Quick Reviews Of The Fabulous Thunderbiords, David Bowie and More

Orange County Register (CA) music critic Robert Kinsler reviews CDs. This week, he does some quick reviews of The Fabulous Thunderbirds' On the Verge, David Bowie's The Next Day, Jimi Hendrix' People Hell and Angels, and Phillip Phillips World From The Side Of The Moon.

Terri Clark - Classic

Country Music has been a part of Terri Clark’s life since the very beginning. She has shared before that many of her earliest memories were of her mother and her singing various hits of the day around the house, and watching many of her favorite musical heroes on television – such as the legendary Barbara Mandrell, whom Clark cites as a major influence. Clark tips her famous hat to many of those songs on this new collection, which focuses...