CD Reviews

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Brad Hoyt – Together Alone

The mysterious and curious harp guitar is not well-known to the modern music-loving public. Robbie Robertson of The Band played one in their Scorsese-directed documentary, “The Last Waltz”. Legendary musician, the late Michael Hedges, performed on both acoustic and electric harp guitars back in the 80’s and 90’s. Basically a guitar with two necks, one neck is fretted, with six or twelve strings; the other neck is unfretted, with unstopped open strings. It’s those open strings that provide the tell-tale drone to the instrument’s sonic...
 
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Joss Stone – The Soul Sessions, Volume 2

Joss Stone broke onto the American music scene with a bang in 2003 with her The Soul Sessions CD. Her first single in the States, “Fell In Love With A Boy” captivated audiences of both genders, and she delivered the song with such power and bravado that it was hard to believe she was only sixteen at the time. She’s grown up a lot since then, and this sequel (of sorts) to that first album showcases that growth in a big way. It’s hard to believe...
 
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Thomas Rhett - Self Titled

They say that music that is personal starts with singing about what you know. If that is the case, Thomas Rhett is doing exactly that. Growing up in Georgia, and inspired by many of the local artists down there, there is a rougher edge to his music – similar to that of Jason Aldean and Eric Church – two acts that are doing quite well these days. His debut single, “Something To Do With My Hands” found a home at Country Radio, and from listening to the possible...
 
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Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder – Music To My Ears

The role of the producer has been something that has been argued about for a long time. Some artists like having the freedom of making their own records, and it’s been something that has marked a constant battle in Music City since the days of the “Outlaw” movement. Doing things his own way has worked well for Ricky Skaggs. From Waitin’ On The Sun To Shine on, he has produced his records – and seeing how many of those discs would place...
 
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Neon Trees – Picture Show

The first time I ever heard of the Neon Trees was when I had an opportunity to catch their live show as they were supporting the Duran Duran tour. I thought to myself, “This is a really cool band, and their music is rockin’.” With the release of their newest CD, Picture Show, those thoughts have been cemented in stone. If you like The Killers, you’ll like Neon Trees. If you like R.E.M. and U2, you’ll like Neon Trees. If you like edgy, hard-drivin’ melodies and great lyrics, you’ll like Neon Trees and their new CD. Picture Show opens with the up-tempo “Moving In...
 
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Kathy Mattea – Calling Me Home

The music of Kathy Mattea has always had something of a Folk slant. Go back to the beginnings of her career to the 1986 album Walk The Way The Wind Blows, and listen to a song such as “Leavin’ West Virginia,” and you can tell that beyond a shadow of a doubt. Listen to her last album, the Marty Stuart-produced Coal, and you can hear it even more clearly. Listen to this disc, her debut for Sugar Hill Records, and you’d have to be deaf not to hear it. This is...
 
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Tam Lin – Garden In Flames

From the opening note of Tam Lin’s new album, Garden In Flames, I closed my eyes and found myself sitting in the back of a coffee house songwriter’s room. A hush falls over the crowd as frontman Paul Wienfield’s mellifluous voice takes control and steers the musical journey through an intricate maze of Dylanesque lyrics and melodies. Starting with “Field of Reeds” and finishing with “One Woman, Many Women, No Woman: Love”, the nine-track CD tells stories through Wienfield’s words in all his self-penned songs.
 
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Dustin Lynch - Self Titled

One of the biggest success stories on Country Radio in 2012 has been the rise of Broken Bow’s Dustin Lynch. A native of Tullahoma, TN, the singer has scaled the upper echelon of Billboard’s Country Songs chart with his debut single, “Cowboys & Angels.” Since the release of his first single, many in the industry have hailed Lynch as one of the rising stars of our format. When you listen to him, it’s easy to tell why. He’s got as much confidence and swagger as anyone on the scene today. That’s apparent from listening to such high-octane tracks...
 
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Jill King – Somebody New

I remember it was the winter months of 2003. Regina Raleigh, one of the top radio promoters in the business had told me about a new artist I was going to be hearing a lot about. Knowing that I had a weakness for women with a heavy “Twang Factor,” she assumed that I would fall like a domino for Jill King – a full throttled female singer from Arab – Alabama, that is! All of these years later, I’ve got to say she’s right. Out of all of the singers I have...
 
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7Horse, Maia Sharp and The American Wake Thrill on New Releases

Artist: 7Horse. Title: Let the 7Horse Run (Los Gatos Records). You might be interested in this if you like: Dada, Radiohead, The Doors, The Beatles’ “White Album”. Tell me more: Although “Let the 7Horse Run” is the Los Angeles-based duo’s official debut, the members of 7Horse are no strangers to crafting cutting edge rock. Singer-drummer Phil Leavitt and singer-guitarist-bassist Joie Calio are both long-time...
 
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The Time Jumpers - Self Titled

They are one of Nashville’s best-loved bands, and with good reason. The lineup of the Time Jumpers consists of some of the greatest singers and musicians that have ever played on a record coming out of Nashville. They do what they do, and they do it very well. So, what exactly are “The Time Jumpers?” Well, one could call them Western Swing. That’s one description that could work. On cuts such as the opening “Texoma Bound,” and “,Nothing But The Blues,” there is a little bit of that sound. They do it very well. Joe Spivey, Larry Franklin, and Music City treasure ...
 
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Bedhed and Blondy – Down South

Over the past several months, we’ve had some really cool indie albums come to us that are genre defying, or – perhaps more appropriately – genre defineing. Such is the case with Bedhed and Blondy’s new project, Down South. It’s what I would call Eclectic Country Folk with a pinch of alt-pop and a couple good dashes of blues thrown in for flavor. One really positive aspect of being an indie-pendent artist is that you can create projects that don’t fall into the defined boxes that major record labels create, which has a consequence ...
 
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Bonnie Bishop – Free

Texas native Bonnie Bishop is one of those artists that you will no doubt remember the first time you heard her. I know I will. She’s got a little bit of Raitt, Judd, and Nicks all combined in her style, but she is very much her own artist. She exudes confidence all over this album, especially on the opening “Keep Using Me,” where she gets to demonstrate her vocal prowess. It’s too bad that pop radio doesn’t embrace such a blues-oriented sound, because...
 
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Little Big Town - Tornado

Little Big Town has been doing what they do -and doing it well - for a decade now. Though they have charted many hits at Country Radio, it's been their current single, "Pontoon" that have finally lifted them to the apex of the Billboard Country Songs Chart. Have they suddenly got better, and became worthy of the attention? The answer to that is no, they have been as close to sonically perfect as it gets since their debut single, "Don't Waste My Time" was...
 
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The Rolling Stones - GRRR! A Greatest Hits Collection

The Rolling Stones, ABKCO Music & Records and Universal Music Group are pleased to announce the release of GRRR! by The Rolling Stones on the 12th of November 2012 for the World Excluding North America and on the 13th of November 2012 in North America. Available in various different formats – including a three-CD 50 track version featuring 50 tracks, and a four-CD Super-Deluxe version gathering a whopping 80 tracks – the collection tells the fascinating ongoing story of the Greatest Rock'n'Roll Band ...