CD Reviews

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Tyler Barham – Self Titled

You might have heard of Internet sensation Tyler Barham. The Montana native has made quite the name for himself with a wide variety of You Tube videos – but in all honesty, a lot of aspiring artists do that. At the end of the day, it’s all about what’s on the record. Can he deliver in the studio? After listening to this disc a few times, I can readily affirm that the answer is yes. Barham has a great deal of talent and enthusiasm that will impress you, and is ready for that next career step. Producers Dave Flint...
 
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Lynn Taylor – BarFly

As a member of the string band Felix Wiley, Lynn Taylor developed a reputation as a vocalist and a performer. He left the band about a decade ago to start a family, but once something gets in your blood, it’s hard to flush it out. So, about three years ago, he started playing live around Nashville again. The results were so overwhelming that he started work on a new album – which was recorded at Paul Burch’s Pan American studio last year. Starting off with the blues tinged sounds of “It’s Alright,” Taylor...
 
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Alo – Sounds Like This

You know the term “California Music?” It’s sometimes defined by a very 60s or 70s throwback sound. Well, on their fourth album, there’s a slight hint of that – particularly on the thrilling “Cowboys And Chorus Girls,” but if you’re familiar with the music of this group, you know that you can’t really put them into a stylistic box. Alo combines dramatic songwriting, arrangements, and an unusual amount of synergy to make an album that qualifies as one of the most entertaining I have heard in some...
 
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Larry Stephenson - What Really Matters

For many years, Larry Stephenson has been one of the shining lights in Bluegrass Music. His vocal and instrumental work are among the most revered in the format. Once again, the legend delivers on his latest project, which shows just how timeless and ageless his talents are. Kicking off with "My Heart Is On The Mend," Stephenson's voice is as clear and as pristine as ever. He's also in fine form on "The Blues Don't Care Who's Got Them" as well as re-cut of Merle Haggard's 1970s classic "The Seashores...
 
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The Raconteurs – Live at Montreux 2008

Montreux, Switzerland sees its share of great musical performances every year, and The Raconteurs’ appearance there in 2008 could go down in city annals as one to remember for their signature “mature mayhem with a touch of genius” style. This Nashville-based band, founded in 2005 by Jack White of The White Stripes, shook the stage at the renowned jazz festival in support of their second album, “Consoler of the Lonely,” and that concert of in-your-face rock infused with blues – recorded on film and now released ...
 
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Alan Jackson - Thirty Miles West

Alan Jackson has been a mainstay on the airwaves for well over two decades now. Sometimes, when an artist hits such a long period of making the charts time in and time out, there are definite peaks and valleys. So, sometimes one kind of shakes things up. Jackson is no different. After being with Arista since 1989, he signs with EMI - which was a big enough shake-up. But, in doing so, Jackson stepped up to the plate and has delivered his most musically varied album in quite some time. The...
 

Lisa Biales - Just Like Today

 
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Six Market Blvd - Shake It Down

The Stephensville, Texas based band Six Market Blvd sounds like they have been performing together for years. However, they have only been honing their craft together since 2008.. But the synergy that these guys come up suggest they have been doing it a lot longer. Saying they are good together is one thing, but describing their style is a little different, There are elements of Country, Rock, Pop, and several other styles from which they weld their sound together with. On cuts such as "The Painter" and...
 
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Grady Skelton – Live Simply

Born in the heart of Texas, Grady Skelton is one artist that seems to be having a good time in life. In all of the promotional shots I have seen of him, I have yet to see a picture where he wasn’t smiling. I have a feeling that listeners to his CD are going to be feeling the same way. This CD is just ten tracks of pure fun and a lot of emotion. It starts off with the melodic “We Like Drinkin,” which sounds like a slightly polished Steve Earle sound. He stays in that vein on “Girl I Love,” which are two of the...
 
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Josh Harty – Nowhere

Madison, Wisconsin singer/songwriter Josh Harty laid down six of seven tracks of his new EP “Nowhere” in a Bozeman, Montana studio – seemingly the perfect locale for his brand of snowed-in-under-dark-skies Americana to be wrestled with and recorded. There’s a quiet, almost Celtic sadness that seeps from his work, which could explain why the disc was initially released in the UK, where the artist has a following. In a voice that resonates as much as the hardwood of his guitar, Harty explores mature themes and self-examines ...
 
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Kenny Chesney – Welcome To The Fishbowl

I think that Hemingway’s Whiskey, the 2010 release from Kenny Chesney, might very well have been one of the most important releases of his career. While there were a few up-tempo party type songs on it, the album really seemed to be full of material that was a little bit heavier in depth. It received some of the best reviews of his career, and thanks to hits like “Somewhere With You” and “The Boys Of Fall,” it proved to be yet another major seller. Well, for the follow-up, Chesney keeps the emotions high, and the resulting factor is another strong disc. The opening track, “Come...
 
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Jeff Powers - Self-Titled

Sometimes, music is all in the interpretation. Two people are not going to hear the same thing the same. That being said, I know I will take some heat for this. But, there are times on his self-titled disc that Jeff Powers sounds like Bob Dylan. Maybe, not in terms of how he approaches his vocals, but in lyrical content. Songs like "Longest Train" and "15 Seconds, 67 Shots," definitely have a little bit of social commentary lean to them. The latter, in my opinion, might very well be the most powerful...
 
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The dB’S – Falling Off The Sky

Memorable melodies are the strong suit of The dB’s solid re-union effort on Bar/None Records, “Falling Off The Sky.” It’s been thirty years since the original line-up of this indie jangle pop/rock band has released an album. Inspired by their live performances back in 2005 when they briefly came back together, founding members Peter Holsapple on guitar and keys, Chris Stamey on guitar, Will Rigby on drums and Gene Holder on bass took their time recording this angst-free twelve-track collection of self-penned songs with...
 
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Buck Owens – “Live” At The White House

Many Country performers have performed in front of the President over the years, but to my knowledge, Buck Owens was the only one to ever release an album of the performance to the public. Taped during the last months of Lyndon B. Johnson’s term in September 1968, the album stayed on the shelves until 1972. At the time, Owens was riding high on the singles chart with “You Ain’t Gonna Have Ol’ Buck To Kick Around No More,” a song inspired by a decade-old statement from President...
 
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Edens Edge - Self Titled

I remember a few years back I was attending a songwriter's showcase at Nashville's Fontanel Mansion. Paying tribute to the legendary tunesmith Kye Fleming was a new trio named Eden's Edge. I came away thoroughly impressed with their musicianship and their tight harmony. Now, the group has released their very first album, and I have to admit that I am very impressed with the entire album as a whole. It's not everyday that you hear an album where there are no clunkers or dead weight, but this...