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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

When the Good Guys Win CD review - When the Good Guys Win
For his ninth studio album, "When The Good Guys Win," Granger Smith used outside writers for half the 14 tracks. It is appropriate that Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard has a co-write credit. Much like FGL's sound, this effort feels like it was presented to a focus group of contemporary country listeners for approval before the final cut. The production is glossy, the melodies catchy and the themes bro country.The opening track sets the tone for the 49-minute collection. »»»
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 »»»
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: Bentley brings the A-listers – Dierks Bentley's Valentine's Day "Burning Man World 2019 Tour" stop celebrated his album, "The Mountain," one of his best full-lengths to date. That album's so good, in fact, one was left wishing he'd included even more of it in his setlist. Those album tracks he did sing, though, stood up well among his many hits.... »»»
Concert Review: Lula Wiles is on the verge – Lula Wiles is on the verge. This three-piece folk-Americana band composes and performs music with skill and assurance. This vibrant listening room venue allowed them to display their talent before a full house. Isa Burke, Eleanor Buckland and Mali Obomsawin comprise Lula Wiles. From Burke's opening electric guitar riffs through an acoustic... »»»
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