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Country Standard Time News Magazine – updated May 1, 2015
 

Country Music News


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CD Reviews and Upcoming Releases

CD review - Suffer in Peace Tyler Farr Sometimes, you have to start at the top before you can get real. Tyler Farr's 2013 debut, "Redneck Crazy," spawned two hits and landed in the Top Five. Colt Ford had him take ""Dirt Road Anthem" for a spin before Jason Aldean cut it. His sophomore effort, "Suffer in Silence," is more introspective. »»»
CD review - Jekyll + Hyde Zac Brown Band Fans looking for the Zac Brown Band of 2005 won't find it in "Jekyll + Hyde" - there's nothing but an aftertaste of the Georgia group's chicken-fried origins. That might be why the album's name is so appropriate. Fans have gotten to know the country-folk band, but a deviant creeps in on all 16 tracks of its fourth album. And, like the classic story, Hyde stands out as more interesting. »»»
CD review - Second Hand Heart Dwight Yoakam Dwight Yoakam appears to be a many of mystery on the cover. With two side-by-side images of himself, the Kentucky honky tonker dons a trademark cowboy hat, jeans jacket and jacket and plucking his electric, legs spread and head pointed down. But there really is no mystery about Yoakam, who has been making music longer than some of the contemporary country acts have been alive. »»»
CD review - Love Somebody Reba McEntire It's been five years since her last album - 2010's "All the Women That I Am" - but the Queen of Country Music's crown hasn't lost its luster. On her 27th album, Oklahoma native McEntire adds another jewel to her tiara with her new album that covers familiar territory: strong women, the heartbreak of breakup, the determination of a broken lover starting over and the destructive and healing power of love. »»»
CD review - Something in the Water Pokey LaFarge Whether Pokey LaFarge's seventh album, Something in the Water, could be called more than "retro" is a stretch. The St. Louis musician's 21st century talent shows through his performance, compositions and writing, but some things work against him in his fight to make the album timeless. »»»

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Pug turns writer's block into "Windfall" – Country music feature - Pug turns writer's block into "Windfall" In his life and career, Joe Pug has never done anything halfway. So when Pug experienced a crippling lack of creative inspiration after his punishing road schedule to promote 2012's "The Great Despiser," he didn't consider the possibility of taking a short break. Joe Pug was on the verge of throwing in the towel. »»»
Giddens takes her turn – Country music feature - Giddens takes her turn A great deal has transpired in the 10 years between Rhiannon Giddens, Dom Flemons and Justin Robinson connecting at North Carolina's Black Banjo Gathering and the release of Giddens' brilliant debut solo album, "Tomorrow is My Turn." Giddens and Flemons formed the very successful Sankofa Springs. Robinson met and was mentored by black string band legend Joe Thompson, and ultimately, Giddens, Flemons and Robinson formed the bluegrass/folk/blues powerhouse, the Carolina Chocolate Drops. »»»
The perfect world of Ray Wylie Hubbard  – Country music feature - The perfect world of Ray Wylie Hubbard A couple of years ago, while discussing various musical poet-heroes, singer-songwriter Hayes Carll mused that "in a perfect world, Ray Wylie Hubbard would be winning Grammys." With the release of his latest offering, "The Ruffian's Misfortune," a follow-up to 2012's critically acclaimed, "The Grifter's Hymnal," now might just be the time that Carll was talking about. »»»
Nathan Stanley carries on family tradition – Country music feature - Nathan Stanley carries on family tradition Young bluegrass artist Nathan Stanley doesn't fall far from the branches of the family tree; he honors the legacy of his grandfather, Dr. Ralph Stanley, by delivering straight ahead traditional bluegrass music, interpreting old classics that have shaped him and his music. At the same time, young Stanley is an original, refusing to sing the old songs in the ways they've been performed before. "If it's been done," he says, "I don't think I'll do it that way." »»»
Gibson Brothers join the "Brotherhood" – Country music feature - Gibson Brothers join the "Brotherhood" Eric Gibson, the elder (by less than a year) of the award winning, New York-born Gibson Brothers says that the new Rounder release by he and brother Leigh, "Brotherhood," was more than a decade in the making. "It seemed like every time we'd get ready to do a new record, we'd have a batch of new songs that we felt we needed to get out there...but (Leigh) really pushed me on this »»»
The Mavericks live up to their name – Country music feature - The Mavericks live up to their name When you call yourselves The Mavericks, you have a reputation to live up to. The long-running country band may have addressed that issue from the get go with "Mono," their second disc since reforming in 2011. For non-audiophiles, music is almost exclusively recorded in stereo, considered a higher quality sound. »»»
Concert Review: Church is in session – Eric Church's choir is growing pretty large these days. Taking a perhaps risky approach with his latest CD, the edgy rocking with purpose "The Outsiders," along with the even riskier decision to play large-scale arenas, Church showed that the risks were worth it in a record setting show. Church not only had to have faith in himself -... »»»