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Country Standard Time News Magazine – updated September 30, 2014
 

Country Music News


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CD Reviews and Upcoming Releases

CD review - The Way I'm Livin' Lee Ann Womack Six years later, Lee Ann Womack is finally back. Her traditional country sounds were not quite working with Nashville, which was veering increasingly pop. Now, the Texas native returns with a new label, but the same lovely voice. Originally intended for her old label, MCA Nashville, Womack was given the marching orders to make the type of disc she wanted to listen to. »»»
CD review - Tribal Imelda May With the clacking of drum sticks, "one-two-three-four" count off and the echoey rockabilly voice of Irish singer Imelda May taking over with authority, Tribal hits the nail on the head. No wonder she sings "I hold my head up proud." She sure does with a punky, early rock and rockabilly sound. There aren't a lot of female rockabilly singers out there these days. »»»
CD review - Three Bells Jerry Douglas, Mike Auldridge and Rob Ickes It must be frustrating to resophonic artists of the stature of these three that even they still have to on occasion answer the question "What is that thing you're playing?" The number of well-known Dobro players has always seemed to lag behind even the banjo, and even in the "Golden Years" of '50s and '60s country music, the only widely known names were Josh Graves and Pete "Brother Oswald" Kirby. »»»
CD review - The Earls of Leicester The Earls of Leicester In 1946, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs were integral parts of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys when they recorded a series of singles that most historians of the music consider the "birth of bluegrass" as we know it. Upon leaving to form their own band, The Foggy Mountain Boys (much to Monroe's consternation), they spent most of the 1950s recording one landmark single after another. »»»
CD review - The Cowboy Rides Away: Live From AT&T Stadium George Strait George Strait has been one of the most dependable country music stars for three decades. In this day and age, the Texan is a certifiable throwback. He's low key, not a self-promoter. All's he has done is churn out hit after hit for decade after decade. He has not been the kind of artist who put his finger up in the air either or trading his cowboy hat for a baseball cap. When looking up the definition of traditional country, George Strait sits at the top. »»»
Concert Review: No wonder life is good for Shovels & Rope – Things are go swimmingly - pun intended - for Shovels & Rope, the South Carolina-based duo comprised of husband-and-wife Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent. For starters, their new disc, "Swimmin' Time," debuted at 21 on the Billboard Top 200 in its first week just a few shot weeks ago. On the local front, the band was playing two... »»»
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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. »»»
Mary Sarah builds "Bridges" – Country music feature - Mary Sarah builds "Bridges" What is not expected is for a virtually unknown artist, turning 19 on the day before her album release and finishing high school during the recording of the album, to be the featured artist, with Dolly Parton, Vince Gill and the late Ray Price lending not only their vocals, but also their most-beloved standards in country music. Texas-turned-Tennessee songbird Mary Sarah Gross - Mary Sarah is her stage name - saw that dream realized on her sophomore album "Bridges." »»»
The Secret Sisters put a new one down – Country music feature - The Secret Sisters put a new one down In October 2010, The Secret Sisters released their down home country meets the Everly Brothers debut to much acclaim. Positive reviews ensued. Having T Bone Burnett executive produce your introduction to the music world didn't hurt. Laura and Lydia Rogers hit the road hard, opening dates for the likes of Ray LaMontagne. The Rogers sisters may not have enjoyed any hits from their self-titled disc, but they put their name on the map. »»»
Lowrey gets personal – Country music feature - Lowrey gets personal Levi Lowrey is best known for co-writing "Colder Weather," a number one hit, and "The Wind," both for his friends, Zac Brown Band. Lowrey also wrote "Day For The Dead," from last year's "The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1." In fact, Lowrey is often on the road opening for the group, but he also has his own career going. Lowrey just released his third disc, a self-titled effort on Brown's label, Southern Ground. »»»