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Country Standard Time News Magazine – updated January 18, 2017
 

Country Music News


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CD Reviews and Upcoming Releases

CD review - Laws of Gravity The Infamous Stringdusters The Infamous Stringdusters have always been difficult to categorize. That's part of their charm. Part traditional bluegrass (leaning on sound bluegrass instrumentation, namely guitar, Dobro, banjo, fiddle and standup bass), part jam band (extended sets of songs in their live shows in which one song triggers another), and wholly original with a signature sound and energy that goes on without cease. »»»
CD review - Rented Room on Broadway Wildfire Emerging from a latter version of The New South, over the past 16 years, Wildfire has quietly established itself as a consistent bluegrass outfit. With original members Robert Hale (guitar) and Curtis Chapman (bass) leading the way, Wildfire returns with Rented Room on Broadway, their fifth album. John Lewis remains on banjo while bluegrass vagabonds Greg Luck (fiddle and guitar, and another J. D. Crowe alumnus) and Chris Davis (mandolin) make their recording debut. »»»
CD review - Gunslinger Garth Brooks If naming your release Gunslinger, you'd better let it rip and go for a harder country sound, especially if donning a black cowboy hat on the cover. The reality does not exactly match that sentiment for Garth Brooks, but at times he comes mighty close. »»»
CD review - Dear Life High Valley There's a scene in the movie "Bull Durham" where Kevin Costner tells Tim Robbins how holding the record for most home runs in the minor leagues is kind of a dubious honor - it shows a lot of years that you didn't make it to the majors. Is that what being the biggest country band in Canada is like? High Valley, who've scored an impressive run of Great White North charting singles and awards, would disagree. »»»
CD review - Live Dinner Reunion Robert Earl Keen Talk about déja vu all over again, Robert Earl Keen's 'new' live album is a two-disc re-living, if you will, of the Texas singer-songwriter's "No. 2 Live Dinner," which was originally recorded in 1990. Performed again in front of an audience at John T. Floore Country Store in Helotes, Texas, Live Dinner Reunion includes many of Keen's best songs. »»»
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The Devil Makes Three examine salvation, sin – Country music feature - The Devil Makes Three examine salvation, sin For nearly a decade and a half, The Devil Makes Three has concocted an amazing blend of bluegrass, folk, country, blues, rockabilly and whatever happens to bubble to the surface, and applied it liberally to their songwriting ethic. »»»
For Shires, home is where the family lies – Country music feature - For Shires, home is where the family lies Mercy Rose Isbell recently celebrated her first birthday and, ironically, the album she helped inspire has just been released. Synchronicity is a beautiful thing. Mercy Rose is, of course, the daughter of singer/songwriters Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, two of the most gifted Americana artists working today... »»»
The Earls of Leicester rattle and roar – Country music feature - The Earls of Leicester rattle and roar Something old is new again. The Earls of Leicester, fresh from their first release in late 2014 and the IBMA Entertainer of the Year Award for 2015, followed that remarkable success with "Rattle and Roar." »»»
Watkins does all the right things on "Young in All the Wrong Ways" – Country music feature - Watkins does all the right things on "Young in All the Wrong Ways" In the nine years since Nickel Creek declared itself on indefinite hiatus, violinist/vocalist Sara Watkins has been relentlessly busy. She discovered a new pathway for her harmonic gifts with Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O'Donovan in the vocal trio I'm With Her. »»»
Lonely Heartstring Band navigates "Deep Waters" – Country music feature - Lonely Heartstring Band navigates "Deep Waters" Four years after forming in Boston and a year after receiving their first major award (an IBMA Momentum nod), when most bands might be expected to have two or three already in circulation, the Lonely Heartstring Band finally has its first full-length CD release "Deep Waters" (Rounder) out on the street. »»»
Bush tells the story – Country music feature - Bush tells the story Sam Bush is back with a new record, "Storyman," not that he ever went anywhere. Identified with The Telluride Bluegrass Festival, which he has played in one form or another for each year but one, he helped define the new grass sound. »»»
Concert Review: In crazy times, a little Williams joy endures – Nearly a week before the inauguration President-elect Donald Trump, Lucinda Williams served notice she's set on counting her blessings (opening her concert with "Blessed"), and determined not to let her joy be stolen by troubled times (closing with "Joy"). With a nearly two-hour set, Williams drew from all points her recording... »»»