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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: Queen Taylor wears her crown well – When Taylor Swift brought Natalie Maines of Dixie Chicks on stage to sing "Goodbye Earl," it meant more than just another star guest, on an already celebrity-packed, five-night attendance record-breaking Los Angeles concert run. This duet also brought into clear focus the truth that Swift's huge success unintentionally fulfilled the... »»»
Concert Review: Mandolin Orange commands the room – Mandolin Orange presents a simple picture: two members, sharing fiddle, mandolin and guitar and two powerful voices. As Mandolin Orange, Emily Franz and Andrew Marlin command the room. The duo formed in Carrboro, N.C. a few years back, and have released an impressive series of CDs over the last few years, most recent "Such Jubilee" on Yep Roc Records.... »»»
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Currently at the CST blogs

No matter what you say, it's The Deslondes In the spirit of hard-hitting journalism, it seemed logical to ask Deslondes vocalist/guitarist Riley Downing the Mike-Wallace-from-60-Minutes question that has to be on everyone's mind: How the hell do you say the New Orleans-based band's name? "It's pronounced 'dez lawn,'" says Downing. "I know there's different ways that people have pronounced it over the course of history...... »»»
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Start Here CD review - Start Here
Maddie & Tea (aka Madison Marlow and Taylor Dye) start their biggest song "Girl in a Country Song" with a warning, "No country music was hurt in the making of this song." That warning also applies to the remaining 10 songs, which is about as country sounding as music seems to get these days for most artists.  »»»
Wild Ones CD review - Wild Ones
Kip Moore's sophomore release has been a long time in coming - 3 1/2 years - a surprise considering how well he did with his debut, "Up All Night," and its big hits ("Somethin' 'Bout a Truck," "Beer Money"). Moore has said he spent time expanding his sound - and he surely has done that - although two failed singles doubtlessly didn't help. »»»
Common Law Wife CD review - Common Law Wife
Slipping into the spot vacated by Nanci Griffith, South Carolinian Angela Easterling provides her perspective on modern country music, motherhood, the state of her nation, lost love, hometown shut downs and matrimony.  »»»
Michael Ray CD review - Michael Ray
The big single from Michael Ray's self-titled album, "Kiss You in the Morning," is one of the most annoying songs of the summer. It's an unbridled lust lyric that describes one man's pursuit of a girl in a country song. Ray is better on the driving song, "Drivin' All Night," though. Maybe it's the fact that Ray name-drops both Steve Earle and Tom Petty on it. »»»