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Bryan, Ray release

Friday, August 7, 2015 – Luke Bryan releases "Kill the Lights," his fifth studio album, today. Bryan wrote 6 of the 13 songs on the disc, five more than he wrote on 2013's "Crash My Party." "Home Alone Tonight" features a duet with Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town. This is Bryan's second release this year as he released his final spring break EP in March.

Michael Ray releases his self-titled debut, which contains the hit "Kiss You in the Morning." Ray, a Florida native, released an EP in April and in November 2014 released "Tour Bootleg," containing some of the songs on the full-length. Scott Hendricks the 12-track album.

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CD reviews

Amos
Michael Ray's sophomore album, "Amos," is a tribute to his late grandfather. He expresses his appreciation on the insert with a lengthy and heartfelt bio of their special relationship. Though not explicitly stated, Ray infers that he learned that he would be best served by staying in his own lane. In this case, holding down the front man role while leaving the songwriting duties to the likes of Ross Copperman, Shane McAnally and Luke Laird and Jaren Johnston of The Cadillac Three. »»»
What Makes You Country CD review - What Makes You Country
Luke Bryan aims to please often, and that rarely goes unpunished. The Georgia native has a strong voice, some songwriting skill and even legitimate farming cred. But Bryan still gets pegged as the face of corporate country - that pandering beast packaging artists for mass consumption. The label can be unfair, but not wholly undeserved - Bryan has a long track record, for instance, of records about chasing girls and Bud Lights. In truth, he married his college sweetheart and they share a quiet, »»»
Farm Tour...Here's to the Farmer CD review - Farm Tour...Here's to the Farmer
Luke Bryan has been in that "hardware" phase of his career for the last few years. There have been several armloads of awards, many on the strength of the high-caliber singles from 2013's "Crash My Party." It might present a challenge to stay grounded. But Bryan has kept himself busy with work for charities (he's embarking on a traditional tour of farms to benefit his scholarship fund), and the use of the EP - this marks his eighth. Many artists use the EP format »»»
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: Carlile takes her chances on feeling "Blue" – During a rare moment sitting at the piano and appropriately dressed in blue, Brandi Carlile paraphrased a memorable Joni Mitchell quote. Basically, it went that, if you listen to Joni Mitchell music and only picture Mitchell - but not yourself - something is wrong. While Carlile, who performed Mitchell's "Blue" album in its entirety for... »»»
Concert Review: The Head and the Heart go beyond the nah nahs – "Nah nah," "la la" and "Wee oh" populated a number of songs from The Head and the Heart. Yes, the Seattle-based band does pen a good amount of sing-along songs that were clearly designed that way. And while that style can certainly engage and energize a crowd, there was more to that from the sextet.... »»»
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