Tag Archives: americana music association

John Hiatt – Terms Of My Surrender

Question – What do Kenny Rogers, Rosanne Cash, Paula Abdul, and B.B. King have in common? The answer is they have each recorded a song from the ever-flowing well of John Hiatt. The Indiana native’s talent has touched many over the years – as both a tunesmith and as a performer. Hiatt returns with a new album that is sure to leave his fan base satisfied, and could also serve as an introduction as to…
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Marianne Allison – Till It Breaks My Heart

Based in Mississippi, Marianne Allison turned a lot of ears and heads earlier this year with the release of “Till It Breaks My Heart.” Reminiscent of what Norah Jones might have sounded like as a traditional based female vocalist in the 1980s. The song showcased a very powerful and moody vocal, and garnered the songstress some well-deserved attention. Now, with a full album, there is evidence that there…
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Girls, Guns and Glory – Good Luck

When you listen to “All The Way Up To Heaven,” the opening cut from this disc, the last place you would think that Girls, Guns, and Glory might be from is Boston. The track has such an old school Country sound that it just doesn’t mesh with the land of clam chowder. But, as are many things about this band, appearances can be misleading. And, so can first impressions. The group segues quite effectively into…
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The Hello Strangers – Self Titled

Music has changed a lot to my ears over the years. When I was growing up, the lines between genres were very decided and kind of easy to decipher. Nowadays. it’s not that simple. What was “Country,” back in 1988 might still be Country, but it might also be known as Americana. That’s where you have The Hello Strangers. Hailing from Pennsylvania, the sister duo of Larissa Chace Smith and Brechyn certainly wouldn’t have been…
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The Henry Girls – Louder Than Words

Get ready to listen, folks, because this is something special. And, no – that has nothing to do with the writer. Every now and then, you run across something so uniquely different that you just have to shout it from the mountaintops. The Henry Girls are one of those musical acts that you just want to tell people about – as many as you can. Natives of Ireland, their style has been described as a mixture of Folk and Americana. I will buy…
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Dan Cohen – Bluebird

Veteran sideman / musician Dan Cohen has already achieved plenty of milestones in his career. He has played the stage of the heralded Ryman Auditorium, played behind some of the biggest acts in the business, and written with many of the most talented songwriters in Music City. So, with all that, you might expect his latest disc to be a great Country disc. Well, you’d be wrong. For all of his ties to Nashville artists and…
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The Loudermilks – Self Titled

If you are a student of music history, you might know that the Louvin Brothers’ real last name was Loudermilk. This five-piece band, based in North Carolina, is very familiar with that fact, and took their name as a tribute to the tight and pristine harmonies from Ira and Charlie. On their album, you will find plenty of the same – though the music is very much different – a little more rock-influences at some spots, with even a hint…
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Annalise Emerick – Field Notes

Not a lot of artists that we profile on Music News Nashville actually are from here. That makes Annalise Emerick a little unique. But, seriously, all you have to do is take one listen to this woman and her talent, and you will come away with a deep appreciation for all that she brings to the table as an artist – whether she’s from Plano, TX or Savanna, IL, she’s just plain good. But – as a music reviewer, I am pained with a…
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Jim Lauderdale – I’m A Song

Since the late 1980s, the vocal and writing style of one Jim Lauderdale has been one that is one of the most identifiable sounds in Country or Americana music. Simply put, when you hear him sing – or hear one of his songs recorded by another artist – you know exactly who it is. Lauderdale’s compositions have been recorded by names like Strait, Loveless, Jones, and Womack – as well as himself! For his latest album, the…
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Sasha Mercedes – Painful Part Of Love

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Minnesota native Sasha Mercedes definitely qualifies as a vocalist. Her vocal style is one that is very much capable of captivating you and moving you emotionally at the same time. That was the case with her last project, and she continues to only get stronger with this – her latest release. This five-cut EP begins with the rolling and rollicking “Turn It Loose,” which gives her a chance to show just what she can do with a tempo…
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Brian Keane – Coming Home

Born in the heart and soul of Gamecocks country, Brian Keane lets his southern pride shine brightly all over his current release. When he talks about the town slowing down to a crawl during his youth on Football Friday nights – and the slow but sure death of the small-town America that he grew up with in the lyrics of the wistful “You Can’t Go Home,” he evokes a Springsteen-type Rock and Roll spirit that most people will be able to identify with.
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Charlsey Etheridge – Memories Of Mine

As a music fan, I have to tell you that the more old school the better – as far as I am concerned. That saying that, I know it’s not always the easy way to get exposure for your art or airplay, but I love an artist that isn’t afraid to show their twangier side – one that hearkens back to the traditional sounds. Georgia-born Charlsey Etheridge is one such artist. She has assembled a collection of songs that have been done time and again, but knows that a great song is always just that…..a great song. She doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel on standards…
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Nikki Lane – All Or Nothin’

There’s a confidence that Nikki Lane tends to exude that makes you realize – not even midway through the opening “Right Time,” that she has not only got the stage and vocal swagger to spare – but she’s likely had it since she first performed in front of the public. Imagine what Wanda Jackson might have sounded like had she started her career today instead of the 1950s, and you’ve got it – almost. At times, like on the opening…
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Michael-Ann Azoulai – Heavy Load

There’s a charm about the voice of Michael-Ann Azoulai that has a certain degree of an old school charm to it. Listen to the first couple of tracks, “Any Day,” and the title track, and you hear quite a bit of folk quality about her voice. I mean that with all due respect, as she sounds like she could definitely fit in at different stops along the country way. There’s a dramatic flair that Azoulai seems to specialize in – that she pulls off very…
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Parker Millsap – Self Titled

Recently nominated for “Emerging Act of the Year” by the Americana Music Association, it’s easy to see why Parker Millsap is getting the rave reviews that he has of late. Listen to “The Villain,” for example. It’s so heartfelt and simple. Millsap’s vocal approach brings to mind a little bit of Kristofferson – in that he’s got that same rough quality. It goes to show you that this is not for the faint of heart. You’ve actually got to think…
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The Livesays – Faith, Hope, and Love

The Livesays are a Rock & Roll band from Miami that love to turn up the volume and the tempo. That being said, the group also has another strength – strong lyrics. So, not only do you get some eloquent melodies on this disc, but you also get some thought-provoking material that will no doubt make an impact on you as a listener. That is apparent from the start of Faith, Hope, and Love – with the Springsteen-ish “You Don’t Know Me.” Call it Rock Music for the Thinking Man. We just prefer to call it dang good. Other top-drawer moments include the blues-laden “Hit Parade,” which will knock you right between the eyes with its’ dramatic flair – and then, there’s the poppy sheen of “Endless Summer,” which
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The Sea The Sea – Love We Are We Love

There’s an old saying that “You Can’t Judge A Book By It’s Cover.” Take a listen to this CD from Chuck e. Costa and Mira Stanley, and you will agree. With the cover art – and the unique name – I had this album pegged in my head as Alternative Pop. I have never been more wrong. Granted, the music isn’t exactly easy to classify. There’s some Bluegrass harmonies and instrumentation involved here, yet also some folk sensibilities…
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Brigitte DeMeyer – Savannah Road

If you read many of my reviews, one name that I cross-reference from time to time is that of 60s roots music queen Bobbie Gentry. There was something so fresh, so sexual but at the same time something so Gothic about her recordings – such as “Ode To Billie Joe” that struck a chord with many female singer-songwriters of the time – as well as those that have come along since. Now, Brigitte DeMeyer is not a copy cat of Gentry, mind…
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Rodney Crowell – Tarpaper Sky

Two of my favorite albums of the 1980s were Diamonds And Dirt and Keys To The Highway from Rodney Crowell. Both discs signaled an acceptance from the mainstream realm of Country Music that he had never seen before as an artist. But, as quickly as the pendulum swung that way, with the release of 90s discs like Life Is Messy and Jewel Of The South, he remained a critical darling without the airplay. I never…
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Lee Ann Womack – “The Way I’m Livin”

Typically, I don’t do many single reviews – there are simply too many albums, and I have developed a habit of getting behind too easily. But, Lee Ann Womack is not your typical Country artist. And, she doesn’t put out new singles everyday. . Her last single was 2009′s “There Is A God.” So, simply said – five years is too long for one of the most talented artists in the format. I have felt that way since the spring of 1997, when Sheila…
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