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Country Standard Time News Magazine – updated April 24, 2015
 

Country Music News


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CD Reviews and Upcoming Releases

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. »»»
CD review - Southern Gravity Kristian Bush With a tragic stage collapse prior to a Sugarland show and a failed marriage in his rearview mirror, one might expect Kristian Bush's solo debut to be peppered with tales of regret and heartbreak. Yet Southern Gravity is surprisingly anything but for the other half of Sugarland, offering up a solid dose of positive vibes, heartfelt love and strong mainstream country appeal. »»»
CD review - Somewhere Down the Road The Boxmasters If anyone's waiting for Billy Bob Thornton to grow out of his music phase, some pertinent facts are in order, namely, a) he's done four solo albums to date, b) the Boxmasters, his band since 2007, are now on their fourth album, Somewhere Down the Road, but with three double discs, it's actually seven, »»»

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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: MerleFest Day 4: fest closes with everything from hymns to honky tonk – For the final day of MerleFest 2015, the programming ran from gospel music in the morning to the barroom honky-tonk of Dwight Yoakam's closing set. That wide range is what makes the festival such a success as it carries on the "traditional plus" design of the late Doc Watson. With the Avett Brothers in town for their Saturday night... »»»