CD Reviews

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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 ...
 
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Innovative Multi-Format Releases Celebrate Groundbreaking Artists

Forget about summertime blues. The Zombies, Staind, Incubus, and Muddy Waters and the Rolling Stones (with the help of Buddy Guy and Junior Wells) have all released winningcollections celebrating their original material. Artist: The Zombies. Title: Live In Concert at Metropolis Studios (Convexe Entertainment/Conveyor Inc.) You might be interested in buying this if you like: The Beatles, The Doors. Tell me more: Few bands to emerge in the early 1960s proved to be as talented as The Zombies. Formed in 1961, the band has lost,,,
 
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Sunnie Haeger - Pieces In The Dark

Several years ago, my ex-wife said she was jealous because I tended to "fall in love with chick singers." If that is the case, then I'm ready to settle down for a long-term relationship with California-based Sunnie Haegar after listening to her new CD, Pieces In The Dark. From the opening track through to the 12th song on the CD, I am enjoying the music of Sunnie. What I find interesting is the blending of styles on the album. Normally, I see that...
 
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Cody McCarver – I Just Might Live Forever

Cody McCarver is an artist that his lived the lyrics of his songs over the years. When he sings it, you know he’s lived it. After making quite a bit of impact with his Peace, Love, and Coondogs album, the former Confederate Railroad member is back with a heaping helping of songs that will entertain you to no end, and maybe make you think just a little bit before the album is done. The title cut is one of those type of songs. It’s about a man who has seen...
 
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Simon McBride - Crossing The Line

OK, so I'm not sure if this is an official genre or not, but I'm going to call Simon McBride's new CD, ​Crossing The Line​, a Southern Blues Power Rock package chock full of really phenomenal songs. Some of the tunes have a Blues flavor, some are straight Rock and Roll, a couple have a Southern Rock feel and some have a combination of all three. But what this CD definitely has over all is a lot of power! Hailing from Ireland, McBride has been called "the natural heir to Rory Gallagher & Gary Moore," and more...
 
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Jimmy Fortune – Lessons

There is no doubt in my mind that Jimmy Fortune is one of the best pure singers that has ever been in Country Music. As a longtime member of the Statler Brothers, he crafted and sang lead on some of the groups’ biggest hits. For the past decade, he has been on his own, releasing some very excellent material as a solo artist. This album, his fifth project, is a little bit different. Oh, it’s .just as satisfying on the ears as anything he has cut, and if Jimmy Fortune...
 
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Josh Turner - Live Across America

Since he burst upon the scene almost a decade with “Long Black Train,” Josh Turner has become one of the most dependable acts in Country Music. Along the way, Uncle Herschel and the good folks at Cracker Barrel have picked up on this fact, teaming up with the singer for a live disc a few years back, as well as sponsoring his recent tour. The two have partnered up for another exclusive release, and this one will no doubt entertain Turner’s...
 
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Cloverdayle – 9 Miles Down A 10 Mile Road

In this day and age, an act better be prepared to show that they can be a lot of different things musically. Husband and wife Chad and Rachel Hamar make this their mission on their debut album, and they succeed with flying colors. The couple manage to seamlessly shift from style to style and they do it with relative ease. They aim for the gusto from the start on the full-throttle “Sometimes,” but then drive straight into the crisp traditional...
 
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Lydia Salnikova - Hallway

I stopped at my mailbox on the way to the grocery store and found Lydia Salnikova’s new CD, Hallway, waiting for me. I opened the package, jumped back in my car and put the CD in the stereo. What should have been a two minute drive to the store ended up being a forty-five minute trip as I kept the wheels moving so the music would continue playing. I didn’t want it to stop. Cutting her teeth as lead singer for the Grammy-nominated band Bering Strait (see MNN’s review of their album, “Pages” in the CD review archives), Salnikova has ...
 
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Lonesome River Band - Chronology Volume 2

You would expect a pretty good bluegrass album to come from an award-winning band, and that's just what you get with Volume Two of Lonesome River Band's Chronology series. It's got all the elements of a good bluegrass CD - great pickin', good vocals and a nice blend of ballads and upbeat tunes. Starting with the up-tempo "Barely Beat The Daylight In," the album demonstrates why LRB has been nominated for numerous IBMA awards over the years. It's traditional; it contains an element of "new-grass" in places keeping...
 
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Stephanie Layne - Self-Titled

Sometimes a new artist's CD will cross my desk where I'm liking what I hear, but it also leaves me wanting something more. Such is the case with Stephanie Layne's new self-titled album. When I put it into the player and the first track, "Can't Quit You." started, I was floored by the sultry, sexy quality of Stephanie's voice. Her throaty, bluesy vocals set the tone for the entire project, and I was really hoping the rest of the album would have the same quality as the first song. Musically, it does. The melodies are catching and well-crafted...
 
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Danny Riddle - The Hands of Time

There simply is no doubt that Danny Riddle loves God. His new CD, "The Hands Of Time", is a 16-song testament to his faith and spirituality. And it's not surprising, considering his background as a Southern Gospel singer who started his first ministry at the age of eleven. The CD has a unique blend of styles in the songs, with spoken word melodies, bluegrass tunes and old-time Southern Gospel sounds. In a way, the various styles found on the project actually detract from the basic musical roots of the genre. On his website, Danny ...
 
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Tim Culpepper – Pourin’ Whiskey On Pain

You don’t hear “it” that often anymore. I’ve got to say that there have only been a few times I remember hearing “it”myself. I do remember, as a twelve year old buying Keith Whitley’s 45 RPM of “Miami, My Amy” at Wal-Mart for $1.36 back in 1986. That was one of those times that I undoubtedly heard “it,” though back then, I couldn’t tell you what “it” was. Flash forward to 2012, and let me introduce you to an artist by the name of Tim Culpepper. He hails from...