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Country Standard Time News Magazine – updated November 20, 2014
 

Country Music News


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CD Reviews and Upcoming Releases

CD review - While No One Was Watching: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records Various Artists It's a magnanimous record company indeed that celebrates its own 20th anniversary by inviting artists from other labels to join in the festivities. Then again, this is Chicago's Bloodshot Records after all, the insurgent outfit out of Chicago that's made its mark by booting tradition up the backside. Consequently, the 2-disc, 38-song set While No One Was Watching: Toasting 20 Years of Bloodshot Records puts a new spin on the usual catalogue compilation... »»»
CD review - Man Against Machine Garth Brooks After releasing his debut album in 1989, Garth Brooks released music almost every year until he announced his retirement in 2000. Since then, he has released repackaged hit collections, new music on "Scarecrow" and "The Lost Sessions" and last year's cover song collection "Blame it All on My Roots." Over the years, there have been live recordings, concert and music video collections. The country songwriter became a pop culture icon... »»»
CD review - A JOHNNYSWIM Christmas Johnnyswim With a seven-song EP, the singer-songwriter duo, Johnnyswim, comprised of Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez, proves how sometimes the best things really do come in small packages. The project opens with an acoustic, acoustic guitar-colored original called "Christmas Day," which gently lists quite a number of good things about Christmas day. Most of this album is secular, lyrically, with an exception with the devout "O Come All Ye Faithful." »»»
CD review - Blood Oranges in the Snow Over the Rhine Over The Rhine has never been lumped in with the alt.-country scene, even though many Americana fans have embraced the act. However, Eric Heywood's pedal steel guitar work - particularly on this album's title track, ought to be mighty appealing to country music fans. Also, the group's reverent cover of Merle Haggard's "If We Make It Through December," one of the best and saddest Christmas songs of all time, will also win the Ohio act points with country fans. »»»
CD review - Rock & Roll Time Jerry Lee Lewis One of the seminal figures in the development - some would say, the assault - of early rock 'n' roll, Jerry Lewis always possessed pure country credence as well. His initial outings mined the full spectrum of his rural Louisiana roots, bringing them to bear in a daring, often outrageous display of unrepentant madness and machismo that rivalled Little Richard and even Elvis himself in terms of sheer bravado. »»»
Concert Review: Girls with Guitars show voices – With the official departure of Taylor Swift from the genre, country music is eager to find replacement star power. Pittsburgh's annual Girls with Guitars show is proving to be a nebula. This year's crop of artists featured former "The Voice" contestants (one winner), a television star and some local flair. Texas cutie... »»»
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Fullbright writes the "Songs" – Country music feature - Fullbright writes the "Songs" John Fullbright didn' grow up around musicians or like-minded songwriters in his little hometown of Bearden, Okla. You'd never know it, though, from his raw, stark, pure and honest songwriting that's drawn comparisons to Townes Van Zandt. His debut album, "From the Ground Up," was nominated for a 2013 Grammy as the Best Americana Album, catapulting him into the company of Bonnie Raitt, Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers and The Avett Brothers. »»»
Book dishes on guys writing the songs – Country music feature - Book dishes on guys writing the songs Jake Brown can't stop writing about music. Over the past 10 years, he's published 35 books, ranging from "Rick Rubin: In the Studio" and "Suge Knight: The Rise, Fall and Rise of Death Row Records" to "Heart: In the Studio." In 2012, he won the Association for Recorded Sound Collections Awards in the category of Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research. »»»
Finally, Skaggs and White duet – Country music feature - Finally, Skaggs and White duet Perhaps there are few more beloved names in the world of country and bluegrass music than Ricky Skaggs and his wife Sharon of the country music family act The Whites. The two have been close friends since their teenage years through music, first meeting at a festival where White was performing with her father Buck White and sister Cheryl, and Skaggs was playing with Keith Whitley. »»»
Douglas dreams on – Country music feature - Douglas dreams on Taking a second look at the two-album deal he had recently signed with the Rounder/Concord group, and then at his busy upcoming touring schedule, Jerry Douglas suddenly realized he didn't have a lot of time to waste. The first album, "Three Bells," a collaboration with fellow resophonic guitar (aka "Dobro") titans Rob Ickes of Blue Highway and the late Mike Auldridge was pretty much ready to go, the sessions having been completed shortly before Auldridge's passing in December 2012 following a lengthy struggle with cancer. »»»
Trampled by Turtles get wild – Country music feature - Trampled by Turtles get wild Trampled By Turtles is an indie folk group, an alt.-country band or a bluegrass act - depending on how you choose to look at them. Perhaps it's best to view the outfit as the ultimate combo platter consisting of just about everything that's good about American music. They play wonderfully, yet they also write intelligent songs that draw everyone from Townes Van Zandt to Nirvana to Ralph Stanley. It's all good, and some (or all) of these influences can be spotted in most of Trampled By Turtles' enjoyable sounds. »»»
Don't try labeling Parker Millsap – Country music feature - Don't try labeling Parker Millsap If you move in alt.-country/Americana circles, you simply cannot get away from the name Parker Millsap. He's certainly one of the biggest buzz artists of 2014. Better still, his self-titled album lives up to all the hype. He's a smart songwriter and a passionate singer and is essential listening for anybody looking for high quality contemporary music. Millsap also creates music appealing to a wide variety of musical tastes. You can make a case that he's a country guy, but you can also hear a lot of blues and folk. And if you attempt to put a label on him, he'll quickly tear it right off. »»»
Simpson gets metamodern – Country music feature - Simpson gets metamodern What a difference a year can make. Last year, Sturgill Simpson was overly anxious about the arrival of his debut album, "High Top Mountain." This year, Simpson is simultaneously anticipating the birth of his debut child and his just-released sophomore album, "Metamodern Sounds in Country Music," and his mood couldn't be more relaxed and joyous. »»»