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Country Standard Time News Magazine – updated August 3, 2015
 

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CD Reviews and Upcoming Releases

CD review - The Blade Ashley Monroe Ashley Monroe gains more acclaim for other projects than she does for her own solo efforts. Monroe is one third of side group Pistol Annies. She sang with Blake Shelton on his hit "Lonely Tonight." She received praise for her first proper solo album, "Like a Rose," in 2013, although that was a release that stood on the strength of the songs because three singles produced zero hits. Can The Blade turn the trick? »»»
CD review - Bittersweet Kasey Chambers Australian songwriter Kasey Chambers has never managed to gain the profile elsewhere that she has Down Under, despite consistently releasing great albums as a solo artist and as a duo with her ex-husband. Almost a full year after initially releasing Bittersweet, Chambers is giving the strong album an official U.S. release. »»»
CD review - Watkins Family Hour Watkins Family Hour Watkins Family Hour is an immensely entertaining new release from siblings Sean and Sara Watkins (of Nickel Creek fame) and their musical compadres, collectively known as the Watkins Family Hour. Esteemed participants include vocalist Fiona Apple, Benmont Tench on keyboards, Don Heffington on drums, Greg Leisz on Dobro and pedal steel and Sebastian Steinberg on drums. The result is a refreshing romp with all of the participants taking a turn at lead vocals at least once. »»»
CD review - Something More Than Free Jason Isbell Americana guitarist and singer-songwriter Jason Isbell started as part of Drive-By Truckers and is now a drive-by revolutionary. Something More Than Free is his sixth release outside of the band and a follow-up to his 2013 award-winning album, "Southeastern." Isbell carries his group roots with him as he also makes a voice for himself, exploring his southern origins with a progressive nostalgia that's in-touch with audiences of all generations. »»»
CD review - Angels and Alcohol Alan Jackson Alan Jackson, circa 2015, now might be, unfortunately, considered a retro artist. Jackson, thankfully, does not veer from his traditional country beat on his first new studio disc in three years. It's the traditional sound that makes him a throwback today. »»»
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No matter what you say, it's The Deslondes – Country music feature - No matter what you say, it's The Deslondes In the spirit of hard-hitting journalism, it seemed logical to ask Deslondes vocalist/guitarist Riley Downing the Mike-Wallace-from-60-Minutes question that has to be on everyone's mind: How the hell do you say the New Orleans-based band's name? "It's pronounced 'dez lawn,'" says Downing. "I know there's different ways that people have pronounced it over the course of history... »»»
Watkins Family make time – Country music feature - Watkins Family make time From their first, self-titled, major label release, the Allison Krauss-produced, "Nickel Creek," two-thirds of that trio - musical siblings Sara and Sean Watkins - have been in the musical spotlight continually since 1999. As for working with her brother off and on for most of their lives, Sara says, "We have been lucky... »»»
Milk Carton Kids find themselves on "Monterey" – Country music feature - Milk Carton Kids find themselves on "Monterey" Joey Ryan, half of acoustic folk duo the Milk Carton Kids, is girding his loins for the long trip from the band's Los Angeles home base to Australia. Although he's made this trip before, he's yet to acclimate completely to it. »»»
Moreland gets high – Country music feature - Moreland gets high Sitting in a motel room in Houston after a weekend gig at the Mucky Duck, singer/songwriter John Moreland is in a pretty good mood. His career is on a major upswing, and he is riding some pretty big critical success of his latest release, "High on Tulsa." Moreland has a lot to be happy about with three cuts picked for the soundtrack of the hit TV show "Sons of Anarchy,"... »»»
Moorer gets "Down to Believing" – Country music feature - Moorer gets "Down to Believing" Allison Moorer packed a lot of living in the past five years leading up to the recently released "Down To Believing." The results are evident throughout the effort, like a light at the end of a tunnel. Writing or co-writing 12 of the 13 tracks, Moorer is fearlessly open and autobiographical. "Even when I try to make them about something or someone else, they always end up being about me. I am the subject that I know best." »»»
Thanks to Wills, AATW remains the king – Country music feature - Thanks to Wills, AATW remains the king After over 40 years of touring and recording as the founder, lead guitar and front-man for Western Swing music's standard-bearers, Asleep At The Wheel, Ray Benson has a lot of irons in the fire these days. In fact, with his TV show Texas Music Scene a hit throughout the southwestern U.S. and touring in support of AATW's new release, "Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys," he is as busy now as ever. »»»
Concert Review: Rucker brings true southern style – Not all that long ago, contemporary country music concerts were evaluated on the amount (or lack thereof) of authentic country music elements in the performers' content. And make no mistake about it, this is still a relevant issue since so much of what passes as 'country' these days is hardly that at all. But perhaps a more pressing... »»»