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Hough, Owen, Zac Brown win ACM awards

Friday, March 6, 2009 – Julianne Hough, Jake Owen and Zac Brown Band were named Top New Female Vocalist, Top New Male Vocalist and Top New Vocal Duo or Group respectively by the Academy of Country Music. The three winners are now nominees for the Top New Artist award, which will be given out on the 44th Annual ACM Awards broadcast live from Las Vegas Sunday, April 5 at 8 p.m. eastern on CBS.

Each winner will perform and receive their trophy on the Sara Evans hosted GAC special, "ACM Top New Artists" premiering March 19 at 10 p.m. eastern.

Voting for Top New Artist takes place at www.VoteACM.com beginning March 16 and ends at 8 p.m. eastern on Sunday April 5.

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CD reviews

Welcome Home CD review - Welcome Home
With "Welcome Home," the Zac Brown Band continues to do what it does best, which is making quality roots music. In fact, one of the album's songs is even titled "Roots." Brown may not be the most religious guy, but his latest songs focus on many truly spiritual cornerstones of life: family and friends. Both "Family Table" and "My Old Man" find Brown reflecting on his family life, with the latter also looking at 'the here and now' of being a father himself. »»»
American Love CD review - American Love
Most everyone has made up their mind on bro-country music. Maybe you love the breezy images of the beach dippin' and sippin' lifestyle, or you write it off as empty headed and repetitive. Either way, Florida native Jake Owen was a torchbearer for the genre, and it's rewarded him well - four albums and five Number One singles (remember "Beachin"?). His career has been on a more-or-less upward arc, with higher-profile tours and bigger hits each time out. »»»
Jekyll + Hyde CD review - Jekyll + Hyde
Fans looking for the Zac Brown Band of 2005 won't find it in "Jekyll + Hyde" - there's nothing but an aftertaste of the Georgia group's chicken-fried origins. That might be why the album's name is so appropriate. Fans have gotten to know the country-folk band, but a deviant creeps in on all 16 tracks of its fourth album. And, like the classic story, Hyde stands out as more interesting. It hits hard, too. The opener, "Beautiful Drug," has an electric-pop »»»
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: Pistol Annies hit the targets – Pistol Annies, the all-star trio comprised of Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley, made the last stop of its short tour a downtown Los Angeles date. This was the last show, that is, until after the pregnant Presley gives birth to her child. Traveling in support of the act's third album "Interstate Gospel," these talented... »»»
Concert Review: Williams brings the joy back – It's not as if Lucinda Williams has been idle. Far from it this year, but 20 years on, Williams decided to trot out her masterpiece "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road" as the centerpiece of her tour. Music and artist have held up exceedingly well. Williams had always been a well thought of performer, although she was not too big when it came... »»»
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Christmas Everywhere CD review - Christmas Everywhere
Rodney Crowell's "Christmas Everywhere" is a (mostly) melancholy collection of songs, with Christmas time as its setting. It's a strong set of carefully worded tunes, set to widely varying musical backings.  »»»
Radio Hymns CD review - Radio Hymns
Songwriters Vanessa Olivarez and Elizabeth Elkins form the duo Granville Automatic, the name borrowed from a 19th Century typewriter. And, as you might guess, leaning on a name like that, they love to write about history. »»»
The Southern Ground Sessions CD review - The Southern Ground Sessions
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Live at the Ryman CD review - Live at the Ryman
Jason Isbell didn't record this live effort at The Ryman Auditorium as a gesture to be country music's savior at The Mother Church of Country Music. The Alabama native's music is country-adjacent at best, more than it is traditional »»»