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Country Standard Time News Magazine – updated February 17, 2017
 

Country Music News


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CD Reviews and Upcoming Releases

CD review - Notes of Blue Son Volt Son Volt's Notes of Blue is said to be influenced by the blues (among other musical styles), and the blues is most at the fore during "Cherokee St.," a stomping, electric guitar-driven blues rocker. The song has the stripped-down sound of a Blind Willie Johnson sermon, although lead vocalist Jay Farrar is by no means the gravelly singer Johnson was. »»»
CD review - In the Ground The Gibson Brothers The family band is a longstanding conceit of bluegrass and mountain music, including the Carters, the Osbornes, the McReynolds, the Whites, The Stanleys and even the progenitors of bluegrass Bill and Charlie Monroe. The trope continues to the present with The Gibson Brothers carrying on this tradition admirably. »»»
CD review - Brett Young Brett Young Brett Young had a hit out of the box with "Sleep Without You," as ear candy of a song. His soulful vocals carry the percolating song that seemed designed with airplay in mind. If Young were a band, this is the type of song that Rascal Flatts might cover. In fact, the airplay bent could be said of most of the dozen songs on the Californian's major label debut after five indie releases. »»»
CD review - Highway Queen Nikki Lane It's lonely out there for listeners these days - a lot of country music wants to be pop, while Americana's gone alternative. Is there anybody out there who still wants to write accessible songs with real instruments, ideally without boring or depressing us? Fortunately, Nikki Lane has been applying for this job for some time. Highway Queen is her third release following "All or Nothin'." »»»
CD review - Faster and Farther Darin & Brooke Aldridge Over five previous recordings, Darin and Brooke Aldridge have shown themselves as mainstream bluegrass's most capable duo. When exploring traditional themes, blending stunning harmony arrangements and extending praise through gospel numbers, the Aldridges have demonstrated that their mature, professional approach to their craft is second-to-none. »»»
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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: The Cadillac Three, Sellers do it their own way – The way The Cadillac Three lead singer Jaren Johnston told it, the band could have had their choice of opening tours this year for the likes of Kenny Chesney, Dierks Bentley and Jake Owen. No go though because the long-haired singer fronting the rough-and-most-definitely ready trio said the band wanted to do it their own way. Based on this most... »»»