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Great Music from Unknown Artists



Hearts and Daggers – And there was Dust
CST's Take: Students of country classicism and celebrators of the rugged stories central to it (albeit with those tales reshaped by leader Kevin Wolfe's personal travels) and purveyors of bruised-and-boozed rockin' country
Kasey Anderson – Nowhere Nights
CST's Take: Rootsy rock with a lot of heart and/or heart-baring rock that honors its roots (as in echoes, in varying degrees, of all listed under "Musical Influences" above)
Jon Shain – Times Right Now
CST's Take: Songs celebrating the good ol' days made in good ol' today and somehow sounding like both; in other words, despite the throwback influences and vintage instruments, this isn't antique music.
Joe Swank and the Zen Pirates – Hank Williams Died for My Sins
CST's Take: A witty, rousing sermon preached to the alternative country choir from the Chicago/North Carolina singer and journalist on his third try.
Allen Thompson – 26 Years
CST's Take: It takes a courageous performer to swing the door wide open on a record, and it takes a skilled one to make you want to come inside to hum, sing, and dance along.
Matt Urmy – New Season Comin'
CST's Take: Matt Urmy has one of those old souls that you read about and a big ol' humanist heart a la John Prine (or Prine's honorary godson Todd Snider), and he presents his songs in a semi-raw voice that ranges from hushed to hallelujah and gives extra depth to his messages.
Amanda Shires – West Cross Timbers
CST's Take: Even if, inexplicably, you don't like fiddle or ukulele, you'll stay for Amanda Shires' singing voice and songwriting voice.
Grant Langston – Stand Up Man
CST's Take: West Coast (albeit with deep south roots) rockin' country, with wit, twang, and hooks applied in the perfect measure to sell the stories
Hoots and Hellmouth – The Holy Open Secret
CST's Take: CST has to admit that Hoots and Hellmouth themselves have said it best by stating that they represent "new music for old souls."
Angela Easterling – BlackTop Road
CST's Take: Lovely (and theater-trained) vocals, penetrating songs and a restless heart that always finds its way back home with stories to tell.