CD Reviews

Bret Michaels - Jammin' With Friends

Bret Michaels may be best known for his 80s rocker days with Poison, but he has been spending a lot of time in Nashville over the past few years. The rumor is that he is working on a full-fledged Country album. While this is not that project, it does contain several tracks that could fit right in on the radio - including a sensational collaboration with a Country Music Hall of Fame member that deserves to be heard. Overall...
 

Doug MacLeod – There’s A Time

Whether he’s debating scripture with a fundamentalist street preacher, observing con artists, night leeches and their unsuspecting victims at a seedy pool hall, or bemoaning his wife’s relations, acoustic bluesman Doug MacLeod always has a colorful story to tell. On his latest album “There’s A Time” – his debut on the Reference Recordings label – the bottleneck-and-finger-style wiz guitarist brings to life thirteen original songs, singing in wails and whispers, punctuating lines with loosey-goosey...
 

Joey+Rory - Inspired

If you are a fan of husband and wife duo Joey+Rory, you know that they have an old school approach to doing their music. Even on a song like their breakout "Cheater, Cheater," which definitely has a little bit of spice and sauce to it, the instrumentation is decidedly traditional. With that sound, as well as the values the duo sing about in their music, it was only a matter of time before the couple recorded their...
 

The Del-Lords – Elvis Club

“We’re doing this now for no other reason other than that we all want to, and that alone is a huge change. Back in the ‘80s, everything in our lives depended on it, and with that came a lot of pressure. But now, we’re no longer on the hamster wheel of record/tour/record/tour, etc. The future is wide open…,” says Scott Kempner of The Del-Lords about releasing their first full-length album together since 1990. Three of the founding members have returned to the New York quartet, after years apart but...
 

Brett Eldredge - Bring You Back

One of the most pleasurable stories to cover in 2013 has been the continued rise of Brett Eldredge. While he kicked off his career a couple of years back with the tender story song "Raymond," the follow-up single, "Don't Ya," has become one of the most played songs on Country Radio this summer - and will be very close to the top of the charts by the time you read this! While some might label the current single as...
 

Jason Elmore & Hoodoo Witch – Tell You What

“I was about 8. That was it. I was poisoned. My dad still apologizes to this day. He thinks I might have had a respectable job by now if he hadn’t taken me to all those shows,” says Texas-blues guitarist Jason Elmore about his early exposure to great blues music. It sent him on a path to playing and singing and writing his own blend of rock, country and R&B-infused blues that runs from smooth and simmering to flat-out high-octane. Now he and his band Hoodoo Witch have released their sophomore...
 

Clint Black - When I Said I Do

Clint Black has been absent from the record world for a few years, though the singer plans to return to stores in 2014 with his first all-new project in well over five years. In the meantime, the singer decided that he wanted to give fans a sneak peek at some of the new music he has been working on, so the partnered up with the outstanding marketing team at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store for this exclusive project. Fans who have missed...
 

Various Artists - Fly Like an Eagle: An All-Star Tribute to Steve Miller Band

I really never got Steve Miller. I couldn't understand how such a good guitar player could go the innocuous pop route he did. Wisely, he didn't listen to my opinion. Now Billy Sherwood, late of Yes and obviously very wired in with classic/prog rock label Cleopatra, has gotten a couple dozen of his friends to contribute to this new Steve Miller tribute album. With Sherwood producing playing nearly all the instruments on nearly every track, guest stars like John Wetton (King Crimson, Asia), Fee Waybill (the...
 

The Courtyard Hounds - Amelita

I will go on record as saying that one of the most talented acts in Country Music will always be the Dixie Chicks. That - despite how some in the business want to make it so - is not a political statement. They simply stood head and shoulders over just about everyone else in the format. And, though (when she sings) there isn't a more captivating or unique voice than Natalie Maines, it was never all about her. She was very fortunate to...
 

David Shelby - Rust Belt Cowboy

With his new CD, RUST BELT COWBOY, David Shelby proves that good country music can originate north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, Shelby brings some hardscrabble grit from Motor City to Music City with a sound he describes as “Rust Belt Country”. The new album, slated for national release August 6, 2013 via major retail Internet outlets, leaps from the speakers with the rocking, uptempo boot-scooter lead-off track, “Kick A Little Dirt Around” that is also the debut...
 

Erin Enderlin - I Let Her Talk

A native of Arkansas, Erin Enderlin has had success as a writer, penning songs for Lee Ann Womack, Alan Jackson, Luke Bryan, and Randy Travis - among others. At the same time, Enderlin is a very powerful vocalist - as proven by her new EP. Producer Alex Kline gives Enderlin free rein on this disc to show her traditional roots to great effect - especially on songs like "Get That At Home." What I really...
 

Blue Sky Riders - Finally Home

“As soon as the three of us sat down to write, all the nerves went out the window. The singing was second nature…it was effortless,” says singer/songwriter Georgia Middleman in a recent interview, speaking about the birth of the new dream-team trio of herself, Kenny Loggins and Gary Burr, now collectively known as Blue Sky Riders. Separately, these band members have carved out a respectable place in the annals of music: Loggins – the legendary recording artist; Burr – Nashville Songwriters...
 

Matt Brock - From the Land of Shadows

It seems like an album by another contemporary Christian artist is released every day, and while they mostly seem sincere and worshipful they just don't seem to have a lot of spark anymore. But the new album from Matt Brock, From the Land of Shadows, is an exciting exception. Obviously not a big-budget recording, the album didn't need to be big-budget to carry the enthusiasm and talent of a young artist who deserves that major break. Writing or co-writing all the material, and playing many...
 

Legendary And New Artists Sparkle On New Collections

Otis Redding, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Delbert & Glen and Anny Celsi are all the focus on outstanding new collections. Artist: Otis Redding. Title: The Complete Stax/Volt Singles Collection (Shout! Factory). You might like if you enjoy: Vintage Trouble, Al Green, Mayer Hawthorne. Tell me more: The modern day neo-soul movement personified by Vintage Trouble, Mayer Hawthorne and Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings owes much to the late Otis Redding. Those who only know...
 

Alberta Hunter - My Castle’s Rockin’

“She likes to communicate. She’s a teacher, as well as a preacher, as well as a singer. This is an indomitable woman who stretched every limit there could be for a performer,” says legendary talent scout and record producer John Hammond in the recently released 25th anniversary collector’s edition of the award-winning PBS film, “Alberta Hunter: My Castle’s Rockin’.” The sassy octogenarian is the focus of this hour-long documentary, which tells of her remarkable, near five decade-long career...