Tag Archives: bob doerschuk

New Artist Spotlight: Parmalee

A Southern rock patrimony, dues paid in church gigs, a player too drunk to pick, and a late-night gunfight: Parmalee’s Country pedigree is as real as it gets. Brothers Matt and Scott Thomas tagged along on their father’s blues/rock band gigs around Greenville, N.C. Soon they started playing on their own, joined by their cousin Barry Knox, a church choir drummer. After their dad’s inebriated guitar player failed to appear for a show, Matt took his place, with Scott assuming…
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Ronnie Milsap Looks Forward to the Past

Ronnie Milsap has no fear of mining his past and building his sound on what he retrieves. All the elements of his new single and title track, “Summer Number Seventeen,” written by Joe Hunter and Sam Hunter, harks back musically to much of his catalog. His longtime, loyal fans will ease into it like weary listeners into a warm bath of reverie. Inspired as much by Jim Reeves as by soul giant Jackie Wilson, Milsap embraces multiple influences. That’s why…
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New Artist Spotlight: Logan Brill

If we were to judge Logan Brill by the lyrics on her debut album, Walking Wires, we might feel a little worried. After all, she sings about being haunted by a lost relationship on “No Such Thing As Ghosts” (written by Chris Stapleton), the consequences of staying with a stranger in a hotel room on “Month of Bad Habits” (Andrew Combs and Doug Johnson), forlornly “going from bar to bar” on “Rewind” (Paolo Nutini), being “too tired to swim, too weak to crawl” on “Seven Year…
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New Artist Spotlight: Jon Pardi

Saloon pianos clink, guitars crunch and fiddles, well, they fiddle throughout Write You a Song, Jon Pardi’s debut album on Capitol Records Nashville. And it fits together into a package that practically dares you not to get up and dance. A lot of Pardi’s energy stems from days on the road and long nights on stages throughout his home state of California. He was already absorbing the spirit of real-world Country when he performed “Friends in Low Places” at age 7 for his father’s…
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New Artist Spotlight: Kayla Calabrese

You can thank the CVS drugstore chain for getting Kayla Calabrese excited about Country Music. After all, she was born in Pine Beach, N.J., far from the nearest ranch or honky-tonk. Her family is pure Italian-American. Though she definitely enjoyed singing, Calabrese grew up dreaming more of being a doctor than a Country crooner. All of that changed when she and her mother took part in a scavenger hunt for tickets to a Martina McBride concert…
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New Artist Spotlight: Brandy Clark

Brandy Clark came to Nashville from Morton, Wash., where she watched her grandmother smoke on the front porch as Mount St. Helens erupted a short ways away, and later worked in a fencing mill. Her love for Patsy Cline, Merle Haggard and Loretta Lynn, coupled with her perceptive observations of everyday characters, fueled her ascension as a songwriter. Two No. 1 hits — The Band Perry’s “Better Dig Two” and Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart” — are…
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New Artist Spotlight: Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay

Before the World Was Made is a delicious mix: raw, retro Country plus sweet irony. That’s apparently the specialty of Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay, the Austin-based duo whose debut, on their B&N imprint, is hilarious, sentimental and profound, usually all at the same time. Produced by Gurf Murlix, with only one of its 12 tracks penned by an outside writer, this album draws from Guy Clark, Lucinda Williams, the Louvin Brothers and, perhaps unconsciously, Nichols and May. Backed by…
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New Artist Spotlight: Cassadee Pope

You’ve got to hand it to Blake Shelton: He knows how to pick winners. When he recruited Cassadee Pope for Team Blake on 2012’s “The Voice,” he found an artist with that rarest of assets: outstanding chops tempered by interpretive sensitivity. On her debut album for Republic Nashville, Frame By Frame, produced by Dann Huff and, on selected tracks, Nathan Chapman, Max Martin and Shellback, Pope does hit the occasional spectacular high note, but these only emphasize…
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New Artist Spotlight – Tyler Farr

Tyler Farr celebrates girls and trucks. Just what Country Music needs, right? In Farr’s case, absolutely. He follows a familiar path through much of Redneck Crazy, his Columbia Nashville debut. But every now and then he slams on the brakes and veers in an unexpected direction. Farr’s drawl draws from somewhere south of his hometown, Garden City, Mo. He rasps too, whether it’s from loving the outdoorsman’s lifestyle or working four nights each week at Tootsies Orchid Lounge.
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Sheryl Crow Crosses the Country Divide

Sheryl Crow didn’t get off the Greyhound in Nashville, with guitar case in hand and a heartful of dreams. Actually, though, in a way, she did. She didn’t arrive by bus, but otherwise she could relate to the excitement and apprehensions that many new arrivals feel as they first set foot in Music City. Of course, Crow had certain advantages, having already achieved worldwide superstardom and earned nine Grammy Awards and six Platinum albums, including two that have reached triple and…
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New Artist Spotlight: Sundy Best

They come from Appalachia. Their friendship dates back to elementary school. Their voices blend like bourbon and soda. Listening to their debut album on eOne Music, Door Without a Screen, produced by Coleman Saunders and released Aug. 2, you get the feeling that Kris Bentley and Nick Jamerson were born to make music together. Apparently they were also destined to represent their beloved home state to the world through their songs. Co-writing every track, they visit the theme…
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The Subversive Country Artistry of Kacey Musgraves

It was one of those nights at the Grand Ole Opry that promised satisfaction for Country traditionalists. One after the other, Del McCoury, Ricky Skaggs and Dailey & Vincent filed out and fired up some sizzling bluegrass. Yet it was an idiosyncratic new artist that brought the audience to its feet. Wrapped in a tight, blazing-red outfit, Kacey Musgraves teetered out in heels. Smiling a little shyly, she spoke two words — “Hello, Opry!” — and then drifted into “It Is What It Is” (written by Musgraves, Luke Laird…
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New Artist Spotlight – JJ Lawhorn

Many artists draw from their background, but the music of 19-year-old JJ Lawhorn goes deeper, to embody the sights and sounds, aromas and soul, of rural America. Raised on his family’s Virginia farm, he never dreamed of knocking on doors up and down Music Row. His plan was to study agriculture at Virginia Tech and devote his life to farming. Then, in the spring of 2010, producer Jeremy Stover came across a Lawhorn performance on YouTube. He tracked the young artist down; within …
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New Artist Spotlight – Rachele Lynae

The daughter of a fisherman, Rachele Lynae was raised on Alaska’s Kodiak Island. From the start, she set her eyes far beyond the snow-capped mountains that towered on the horizon, toward the Lower 48 and a career in Country Music. She began singing in church at age 5, did her first show at 11 in the Kodiak Lions Club, started writing songs at 12 and embarked on her first tour at 17. Enrolled after that in Belmont University, she polished her chops at Tootsies Orchid Lounge and other…
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New Artist Spotlight – The Henningsens

These are halcyon times for Country vocal groups. So how does a new group stand out? The Henningsens have at least two ways of making an impression in this crowded field. One involves songwriting: On American Beautiful, their Arista Nashville debut, Brian Henningsen, son Aaron and daughter Clara, as a trio or in various combinations, join with various co-writers on all 10 tracks, with consistently pleasing results. Match that with singing that exceeds today’s standards for technique…
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New Artist Spotlight – The Sins Country

Listening to Muscadine on Go Time Records, you might bet Joe and Kristen Sins grew up together in some crossroads town deep in the Texas countryside. Not so: Both are Californians, though neither is city folk; Kristen grew up in Sonora, on the edge of Yosemite National Park, while Joe’s roots are in Twentynine Palms, close to another wonder of Western nature, the Mojave Desert. Yet here they are, joined in marriage and music on one of the strongest duo debuts of recent years…
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New Artist Spotlight: Angie Johnson

Apparently, it’s not enough for Missouri-born Angie Johnson to have served as an intelligence analyst in the United States Air Force; she also sang and toured with The Air Force Band. Then, following an initial attempt to find a break in Nashville, she studied psychology at Columbia State Community College in Franklin, Tenn., to help children and veterans struggling with PTSD. When a soldier posted his video of Staff Sgt. Johnson performing Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” for troops in a spirited acoustic performance…
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New Artist Spotlight: Tate Stevens

Tate Stevens’ triumph on Season 2 of “The X Factor” confirms that Country Music is stronger than ever. More important, it heralds the arrival of a performer whose music is in step with what America wants to hear. On his self-titled upcoming Syco Music/RCA Nashville debut, Stevens flaunts a raw vocal power. This Missouri native and onetime construction worker has clearly lived the life he sings about. When it comes to connecting to the real world of his fans, this ability to project from real experience can’t …
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New Artist Spotlight – Carrie Zaruba

What made Carrie Zaruba so tough, so able to express her feelings in song? Maybe it comes from always being the last kid when your class had to line up in alphabetical order? Whatever it was, she is rising into the Country Music sky, bright, fast and impossible to ignore. Her debut album, Woman on a Mission, announces her arrival with crunchy power guitar, sizzling Country fiddle and lyrics that bounce between heartbreak and fist-pumping pride. Released on Go Time Records, produced by Kent Wells, who also…
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Kellie Pickler Is on the Case with Trϋ Protection

When Keiko Napier and her sons founded Trϋ Protection in 2009, they had several top priorities. One was to create a line of high-quality accessories for Apple iPhones, iPods, iPads and other products. Equally important, they wanted to support charities through sales of dedicated designer items. So when she took note of Kellie Pickler’s Bald Beauties campaign to encourage women to get mammograms and detect breast cancer early, Napier knew at once she had found an ideal cause and partner. As it happens, Pickler…
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