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Country Standard Time News Magazine – updated April 29, 2016
 

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CD Reviews and Upcoming Releases

CD review - Del and Woody Del McCoury For two years we've been hearing of this recording, a project where original lyrics from Woody Guthrie were to be reinvented as bluegrass songs by the legendary Del McCoury. Like previous sets from Billy Bragg & Wilco (3 volumes of "Mermaid Avenue" released between 1998-2012), Jay Farrar, et al ("New Multitudes," 2012) and The Klezmatics (a pair of 2006 releases), lyrics stored within the Woody Guthrie Archives were turned over to McCoury to be repurposed. »»»
CD review - Empty Glasses Reagan Boggs Coming on the heels of her last album, the tellingly titled "Quicksand," Reagan Boggs' latest continues to affirm her reputation as a master of emotion, a performer whose sound and delivery leave no sentiment unturned. Consequently, Empty Glasses becomes an equally expressive handle, given that much of the album bears a deliberately downcast disposition. That can also be discerned by reading the names of certain songs -- "Honey I'm Lost"... »»»
CD review - Lovers and Leavers Hayes Carll A style and sound can be deceptive. So it's little surprise that with his parched vocals, weary demeanor and songs that bear a sense of worn, ragged reflection, Hayes Carll doesn't come across like a man with an ample list of accomplishments. A recent Grammy nomination, a number of chart triumphs and some highly impressive accolades from the public and pundits alike suggest that Carll might be doing far better than he lets on. »»»
CD review - The Family Album Matthew Barber & Jill Barber Two siblings joining forces for an album project. For every precious collaboration from Stacey Earle on a Steve Earle tune, you can end up with other tandems whose work is pure schmaltz. Thankfully for those familiar with Canadian singer-songwriters Matthew Barber and Jill Barber, their playful, innocent sibling rivalry has been set aside for The Family Album, an extremely sweet, stellar result. »»»
CD review - Upland Stories Robbie Fulks Twenty years ago, Robbie Fulks became a beloved alt.-country figure by writing modern honky tonk and country songs that rose above the work of many other contemporary traditionalists thanks to a combination of sharp wit and engaging storytelling. In 2013, Fulks gained critical acclaim for "Gone Away Backward," an album that took a deeper dive into history by embracing the traditional Appalachian folk music »»»
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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: MerleFest Showcases Diversity On Its Second Day – Although primarily thought of as a "roots music" festival, the artists at MerleFest can and do come from a variety of genres and locales. On the first full day of this year's festival that point was underscored with performances from not just bluegrass and string bands but also rock 'n' roll, soul, and international acts... »»»