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Urban, Nelson top new releases

Friday, April 27, 2018 – Keith Urban and Willie Nelson lead the releases out today.

Urban drops "Graffiti U," the follow-up to his 2016 release "Ripcord." He already had released "Female" and "Coming Home." The disc features more than 30 songwriting, producer and featured guest performance credits, including Greg Wells, Dann Huff, Mike Elizondo, Ed Sheeran, Ross Copperman, JHart, Julia Michaels, Nicolle Galyon, J.R. Rotem, Shane McAnally and Shy Carter.

Nelson is the "Last Man Standing" with his latest disc. Nelson's release contains 11 original songs and was produced by Buddy Cannon. This is the follow up to last year's "God's Problem Child." Most of the songs on "Last Man Standing" were pebed shortly after last year's release came out. The songs were recorded one time with no demos. The disc contains 11 songs.

Morgan Wallen, who is on the charts with "Up Down," featuring Florida Georgia Line, is out with his debut, " If I Know Me," on Big Loud Records. He wrote 6 songs of the 14 songs on the disc produced by Joey Moi. The project embodies Wallen's whiskey-soaked vocals and Southern rock edge. Wallen attended the same high school as Kenny Chesney in eastern Tennessee.

Sideline makes its debut, "Front and Center," on Mountain Home and fourth overall. The bluegrass band was founded by Steve Dilling (banjo), Skip Cherryholmes (guitar) and Jason Moore (bass). The side project changed focused as the core members were joined by Bailey Coe (guitar) and Troy Boone (mandolin). Newcomer Daniel Greeson replaced longtime band member Nathan Aldridge on fiddle in 2018.

Youthful bluegrass band ClayBank is out with "No Escape." The first single is "Queen of Carolina." Half of the North Carolina band is under 20;.

More news

CD reviews

My Way CD review - My Way
Not one to rest on his laurels, Willie Nelson's second studio release of the calendar year finds the artist dipping back into the Great American Songbook. Previous collections, including 1978's stellar Stardust, 2009's "American Classic" and 2016's "Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin," established Nelson as one of the finest modern interpreters of American standards. So, it is only fitting that he now pays tribute to the man widely recognized as the »»»
Last Man Standing CD review - Last Man Standing
Willie Nelson is 123 years old and this is his 85th album. . No, that's not right, He's 85 and this is something like his 123rd album. At a certain point, the years and the numbers don't mean much any more. The bottom line is Willie Nelson has been around for a long time and made a lot of music. Willie will forever be remembered for the song "Whiskey River," but his voice has mellowed like a fine wine. Time has taken away much of the harshness and the off-flavors, if you will. »»»
Graffiti U CD review - Graffiti U
It's telling how two songs on Keith Urban's "Graffiti U" album chug along to a reggae beat because pop rhythms and non-country elements are the obvious inspirations for this collection. Opener "Coming Home" may borrow (steal?) a guitar riff from Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried," but this is where that country road begins and ends. Urban follows "Coming Home" with "Never Comin' Down," which is introduced with a funky bass line »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Lowe stands the test of time – The enduringly cool and dapper Nick Lowe spelled it out for the fans three songs in. One of music's finest popsters (among a number of other more roots-oriented other genres), Lowe said he and his backing band, Los Straitjackets, would dish out "golden oldies you might want to hear, some deep cut grooves, some covers and a few new ones.... »»»
Concert Review: Rich, Anderson, Denning pull it – Three diverse artists performing under the country rubric, who are trying to gain a foothold in the field, joined forces for a good old-fashioned guitar pull. And that may have been the best way for Tyler Rich, Abby Anderson and Travis Denning to showcase their wares. Rich has enjoyed the most commercial success of the three with his single "The... »»»
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Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Carll tells it like it is A visit with Hayes Carll finds him taking a rare day off at home to discuss new album "What It Is" co-produced by Brad Jones and Carll's girlfriend, Allison Moorer. "This album works around three themes; our relationship (he and Moorer), the world and myself.... »»»
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Stronger Than the Truth CD review - Stronger Than the Truth
The beauty of Reba McEntire's albums flows from her way with a phrase, knowing when to modulate to carry us deeper into sadness or joy and when to pull back when she wants us to listen quietly to the lessons of a tear falling. »»»
Reboot CD review - Reboot
Brooks and Dunn return with the duo's first studio album in a dozen years. Sort of. That's because they revisit a dozen of their hits (leaving a bunch behind) with contemporary country singers. »»»
GUY CD review - GUY
A decade after recording his tribute to Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle has released an album of Guy Clark covers. It includes, perhaps, Clark's best-known songs, "L.A. Freeway" and "Desperados Waiting For A Train," as well as a  »»»
Honky Tonk Time Machine CD review - Honky Tonk Time Machine
At this stage of his nearly four-decades-long career, George Strait sure knows his sweet spot. Take a look at the cover of his 30th studio album, and it's understood that it's the honky tonks that are part and parcel of the tall Texan. »»»
The Choosing Road CD review - The Choosing Road

Chris Jones is one of today's top songwriters in bluegrass who keeps stretching the envelope, bringing elements of country, folk, gospel and blues to the idiom. He continues to evolve the genre, by focusing on the song  »»»

Sorta Surviving CD review - Sorta Surviving
The front man for the Bay Area band Mother Hips, Tim Bluhm, steps aside to deliver an authentic country album recorded at Cash Cabin Studios in Hendersonville, Tenn. Yet, this is not an unexpected path for Bluhm, whose connections to classic country figures  »»»