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Lynn, Smith release new music

Friday, March 4, 2016 – Loretta Lynn returns with her first album in a dozen years, while Granger Smith makes his full-length label debut.

Lynn is out with "Full Circle," her first since 2004's "Van Lear Rose." John Carter Cash and Patsy Lynn Russell co-produced the 14 songs, which includes new songs, covers and re-recordings. Elvis Costello sings on "Everything It Takes," and Willie Nelson closes out the set with "Lay Me Down."

Smith, a Texas artist, has gained success with the single "Backroad Song." That was on an EP out last year, but the song returns on "Remington." Smith has an alter ego, Earl Dibbles Jr., who is a country hick. He appears on a few songs.

Bluegrass artist honors "Family, Friends and Heroes" on his latest, which does not include his backing band Dirty Kitchen as the group, but band members do help out. Solivan makes this a family affair with his father and late mother singing on the disc. Songs include "Wayfaring Stranger" and "Pretty Woman."

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CD reviews

White Christmas Blue CD review - White Christmas Blue
There are some "country" stars that can't seem to make true country music. Then there are artists like Loretta Lynn that can't not create pure country music. Lynn's "White Christmas Blue" album may feel like a Christmas miracle to many traditional country fans. Take Lynn's version of "Away in a Manger," for which Lynn is listed as arranger, for example. It features a lovely Paul Franklin steel guitar solo. "Blue Christmas" is best »»»
Full Circle CD review - Full Circle
Loretta Lynn shows no signs of slowing down at 83. "Full Circle" is her first album since her extremely well-received Jack White-produced "Van Lear Rose," a 2004 masterpiece. Some of the 14 songs on "Full Circle" are new recordings, while a few ("Fist City," "Secret Love" and "Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven") are new versions. Others are old songs ("Black Jack David, "Always On My Mind," "In the Pines") that Lynn »»»
Remington CD review - Remington
On the surface, Granger Smith seems like the type of artist who would be regularly topping modern country charts. Instead, he has existed in the underground, never quite getting his break on country radio until now. "Remington" is full of radio friendly country music complete with elements of hip hop beats and Auto Tuned vocals, the same sound that Jason Aldean frequently tops the charts with. Smith's recent signing to Aldean's Broken Bow Records imprint, Wheelhouse, suggests »»»
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: Lambert refuses to rest on laurels – Watching this stop on Miranda Lambert's "Livin' Like Hippies Tour," one is struck by just how many great songs the country singer/songwriter already has in her repertoire. With most artists, it's relatively easy to guess which song a performer will choose to close a show. But Lambert has so many winners to pick from, many... »»»
Concert Review: DBT rocks on – Drive-By Truckers still sometimes get miscategorized as alt.-country, but who's kidding whom? With three electric guitarists upfront exchanging hard rock licks all night, this is a blistering Southern rock band. Hitting the stage just before 10, the band played a satisfying 2-hour-plus set. At 11:40, Patterson Hood announced the band would be... »»»
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