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Country Standard Time News Magazine – updated May 29, 2016
 

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CD Reviews and Upcoming Releases

CD review - Black Dierks Bentley Dierks Bentley seems intent on expanding his musical boundaries, but he may have overreached too much in eschewing where he came from. That most evident by the textured beats. Producer Ross Copperman and Bentley seem hell bent on injecting odd meters and sounds, sharp detours from past efforts. Unfortunately, the atmospheric beats muddy up the vocal delivery on "Freedom," a song that stretches far too long at almost four minutes. »»»
CD review - If I'm Honest Blake Shelton Blake Shelton makes it abundantly clear that this is not going to be a light-hearted listen, despite his public demeanor. "I have never recorded a more personal or reflective album in my career," Shelton wrote on the cover insert. He said the 15-song release "touches both the highs and low of past year of my life." »»»
CD review - Couchville Sessions Darrell Scott For those who remain unaware of Darrell Scott, "The Couchville Sessions" is an ideal starting place. Long one of "rock, folk, country (and) blues" (to misquote the lead track, "Down to the River") most esteemed sidemen (Robert Plant's Band of Joy, Guy Clark, Steve Earle), collaborators (Tim O'Brien) and songwriters ("Long Time Gone," "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive"), Scott has been making outstanding Americana albums... »»»
CD review - Playing With Fire Jennifer Nettles If you happened to hear Jennifer Nettles' debut solo record, "That Girl," you may have come away thinking that she was a frustrated torch singer. That effort was chock full of emotive ballads, which, while heartfelt, sure was missing a certain element of F-U-N. Problem solved. From the opening sustain of gospel organ, Nettles storms out of the gate in a sensational tour-de-force. »»»
CD review - Circle Round the Signs Al Scorch Credit the new wave of populist nu-folk/newgrass talent and troubadours for having made a profound impression on today's Americana legions. Bands like The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons have influenced any number of artists that have followed in their wake, mostly banjo-thumping, rhythm-ready ensembles ... »»»
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Reams leaps into "Rhyme & Season" – Country music feature - Reams leaps into "Rhyme & Season" James Reams is one of bluegrass music's unconventional stalwarts. A son of Kentucky, Reams' journey has taken any number of unusual pathways since the mid-seventies. Producing albums for more than 20 years, Reams' ninth release of personable bluegrass, "Rhyme and Season," is a relaunch for Reams, an artist who has never followed a singular route. »»»
Solivan turns to family, friends, heroes – Country music feature - Solivan  turns to family, friends, heroes After scoring a 2015 IBMA nomination for Best Bluegrass Album for "Cold Spell," Frank Solivan tried something a little different this time around - an album of songs recorded by "Family, Friends and Heroes" (Compass). In an earlier musical life, Solivan served as stalwart in Country Current, the Navy's touring bluegrass band. Solivan left the service and formed Dirty Kitchen, a hat-tip to his background and continuing efforts as a chef. »»»
Sellers garages her country – Country music feature - Sellers garages her country Aubrie Sellers just may be onto something on her debut - garage country. After all, we've already witnessed traditional country, new country, neo-traditional, country rock, pop country and bro country. Sellers, a 25-year-old Nashvillian with a big time musical pedigree who released her debut, "New City Blues," in January, said the moniker came to mind as her bio was being written. »»»
Waco Brothers are "Going Down in History" – Country music feature - Waco Brothers are "Going Down in History" Twenty two years have passed since Jon Langford formed the Waco Brothers as a jalapeno-spiced country adjunct to his primary gig with his punk-infused Mekons. And while The Mekons have inserted some twang in their stomp and the Wacos have punked up their hoedown, Langford and his talented cast remain focused on each band's primary sonic direction. »»»
Freakwater tells its tales on "Scheherazade" – Country music feature - Freakwater tells its tales on "Scheherazade" Janet Bean and Catherine Irwin have been together as Freakwater for over a quarter of a century, which gives their creative pairing at least the outward appearance of a marriage. And while Bean and Irwin haven't even lived in the same city for the entirety of Freakwater's existence, »»»
Hull lifts a weight off her mind – Country music feature - Hull lifts a weight off her mind Reaching her early twenties, Sierra Hull found herself beset by the same kinds of emotional angst and vulnerability that most of experience coming face-to-face with the challenges of life stretching out ahead. In her case, though, introduction to adulthood came at the age of 16 when she recorded her first »»»
Concert Review: Ex-Brooklyn girl MIchaela Anne makes good – Brooklyn may not exactly have been enough of a hotbed of country music for Michaela Anne. Thus, about 1- years ago, she packed up her belongings with her husband (and drummer) Aaron Shafer-Haiss and headed for Nashville. Except, they headed to East Nashville more precisely where the rep is that the cooler country cats are hanging.... »»»