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Bucky Covington, Clay Walker, Pam Tillis top new releases

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 – An American idol finalist and two country veterans top the list of new releases out Tuesday. Bucky Covington participated in the 2006 American Idol, and following the lead of Carrie Underwood, the North Carolina native landed himself a record deal in Nashville. Covington did not win the competition as did Underwood, but he made enough of a name for himself to grab a record deal. His first album is self titled.

Clay Walker finally releases his first album for Curb, "Fall." "'Fore She was Mama," the first song on the 12-song disc, charted, though was not a big hit. The disc includes his rendition of "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" with the late Freddy Fender, who had a big hit with the song.

Pam Tillis had a number of hits oin Arista, but she now formed her own label to release "Rhinestoned." The disc comes out more than four years after a tribute disc to her father, Mel. Tillis co-produced the disc with Matt Spicher and Gary Nicholson, opting for more of a country sound as the recording went on.

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CD reviews

Just in Time for Christmas CD review - Just in Time for Christmas
Pam Tillis takes a supper club approach to Christmas music. It may be the holiday season, but Tillis has put male/female relationships prominently under her tree, right along with all her other presents. Songs like "Christmas Waltz," "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" and "I'll Be Home For Christmas" all point out the social nature of this popular season. Many arrangements sound the way a piano man might sing them at his piano bar. »»»
Rhinestoned CD review - Rhinestoned
Pam Tillis' first non-major label disc, "Tillis Sings Tillis," reminded listeners that Mel's daughter had strong roots in his brand of traditional country. She takes advantage of her continued independence on this new release on her own label to venture not just into traditional fare, but pop, rock and even bit of cabaret jazz style. The end result is a widely varied and enjoyable album that's still commercial-sounding enough that one could imagine many of these songs on »»»
Bucky Covington CD review - Bucky Covington
Bucky Covington is the latest American Idol alum to dive headlong in the country genre. Covington and fellow Idol Season 5 contestant Kellie Pickler are out to prove you don't have to win the competition to launch a career. As a top 10 finisher, Covington was a fan favorite because of his vocals and fun-loving personality. The problem with his debut album is that much of that personality is suppressed in favor of broad stroke generic songs. While his vocals sound better than ever, many of »»»
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: 19 years later, Harris returns with "Wrecking Ball" – At one point, Emmylou Harris told the crowd that she could not believe it had been 19 years since she released "Wrecking Ball." That was most understandable because based on this concert tour devoted towards playing the left of center atmospheric disc, the song bird has hardly missed a beat. Harris' label, Nonesuch, just released a... »»»
Concert Review: Hurray for the Riff: more than just a great name – Hurray for the Riff Raff is one well-named group. Not that it signifies all that much musically, but at least it's catchy and makes you want to root for the underdog. With a lot to live up moniker wise, the band in concert - which, in reality, is lead singer Alynda Lee Segarra from New Orleans and her backing mates - more than lived up to the "pressure.... »»»
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Currently at the CST blogs

Gerry House comes out (from behind the mic) For 25 years, Gerry House spent every weekday morning in people's living rooms. As the host of the much-loved and much-acclaimed morning show, Gerry House and the House Foundation, House reigned on the airwaves on Nashville's WSIX-FM from 1983-2010, taking a brief hiatus to work for WSM-AM in Nashville and for KLAC in Los Angeles.... »»»
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Carter Girl CD review - Carter Girl

It might have been easier, and certainly less emotionally taxing, had Carlene Carter just recorded a batch of Carter Family songs using vocal muscle memory alone. However, as soon as you hear Carter describing the losses of loved ones during "Lonesome Valley," you realize right away this is not just some sort of capitalization on a revered family name. It's a personal testimony. »»»

Where It All Began CD review - Where It All Began
Dan + Shay debut with a likable disc, if your bent is the Rascal Flatts world of country. In fact, Dan Smyers of Pittsburgh and Shay Mooney of Arkansas come mighty close to mimicking the longstanding country stars with the biggest difference that they're a duo and Rascal Flatts is a trio. Perhaps the similarities ought come as no surprise because the duo started writing the day after they met in Nashville in December 2012. Guess who placed their first song on hold? Rascal Flatts. »»»
Turn It Up CD review - Turn It Up
Josh Thompson's sophomore release, "Turn It Up" is his first on Toby Keith's Show Dog label. It seems to be a good match because both artists are cut from the same cloth. Thompson is also known as a champion of the everyman. Turns out they both have the same tendency to go over the top. Thompson excessively showcases the blue collar lifestyle the way Keith champions patriotism. »»»