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Casey James, The Hunger Games out today

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 – A former American Idoler and the soundtrack to perhaps the most anticipated movie of the year are out today.

Casey James releases a self-titled disc. The former American Idol member wrote 9 of the 11 songs on the disc. He also produced the disc with help from Chris Lindsey and Aimee Mayo. James also played guitar on all tracks.

"The Hunger Games" soundtrack also drops today. The disc includes Taylor Swift contributing two cuts, Eyes Open and Safe & Sound, which features The Civil Wars. Kingdom Come from The Civil Wars also is on the soundtrack. The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Glen Hansard, Miranda Lambert featuring Pistol Annies and the Decemberists also contributed to the soundtrack.

More news for Taylor Swift

CD reviews for Taylor Swift

Journey to Fearless DVD
Part Behind The Music style documentary and part concert film, Taylor Swift's new Blu-ray release offers an interesting hybrid approach to the typical live performance video - an approach that hits more than it misses. "Journey To Fearless" focuses on Swift's meteoric rise from aspiring grade-school singer/songwriter to award-winning country and pop megastar while sprinkling in live performances. Hardcore Swift fans will find a lot to love on this single-disc set (which is also »»»
Speak Now CD review - Speak Now
Taylor Swift has made the best CD of her young career with her fourth CD. The biggest difference is that Swift's singing, spotty on previous releases and live performances, is far far superior here. Swift wrote all 14 songs here, which like her other albums tend to deal with relationships that have gone south. Swift's songwriting always has been one of her strengths, and that continues to be the case here - both lyrically and musically. Put simply, Swift knows a lot about penning »»»
Fearless CD review - Fearless
Taylor Swift took the county world by storm with her huge selling debut and its five hit singles. With a huge marketing push and myspace, Swift was on her way. Kind of like an Avril Lavigne for the teen female country set. Sophomore slump? There's no indication of that. Swift once again writes her material - all 13 songs here with help sometimes from Liz Rose, Colbie Caillat and John Rich. Swift writes of what she knows about - relationships and teen love come and gone in songs speak to her fans. »»»
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: Avett Brothers come home – For the 30th anniversary of the "Traditional Plus" MerleFest music festival, there might not be a more appropriate act to anchor the opening night than the Avett Brothers. Born of a desire to bring rock 'n' roll energy to traditional music and formed by devotees to Doc Watson, The Avetts may have outgrown their acoustic roots over... »»»
Concert Review: Turnpike Troubadours leave no doubt – Turnpike Troubadours have not released an album since mid-September 2015. Don't look for any new release hitting the streets any day now either. The last time the Oklahoma-based band played Boston, they were in a pretty, 1,200-seat theatre. So, one could have been outwardly skeptical about the band when it downsized to a venue on the outskirts... »»»
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Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

The Avett Brothers come home to MerleFest For The Avett Brothers, MerleFest is a coming home of sorts. This year's edition of the MerleFest "traditional-plus" music festival in Wilkesboro, N.C., the event's 30th anniversary, a milestone sure to be marked by many different special appearances and commemorations during the festival's four-day run, is no exception.... »»»
Gibson Brothers rise up from "In the Ground" There's no more solid live bluegrass show than the Gibson Brothers. They play with great technical skill and crispness. Their harmonies are just what a brother act should be: sweet, true and never forced. Brothers Leigh and Eric Gibson surround themselves with outstanding sidemen with impeccable bluegrass cred: Jesse Brock (mandolin), Mike Barber (bass) and Clayton Campbell on fiddle.... »»»
The Devil Makes Three examine salvation, sin For nearly a decade and a half, The Devil Makes Three has concocted an amazing blend of bluegrass, folk, country, blues, rockabilly and whatever happens to bubble to the surface, and applied it liberally to their songwriting ethic.... »»»
The Harmed Brothers CD review - The Harmed Brothers
Let's put it succinctly. The Harmed Brothers may be the best band no one has ever heard of. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration. They do have their ardent admirers, so let's not discount their following entirely. Still, for those who are unaware, the band's new eponymous effort ought to make it clear that this is a group with a wealth of resources at their command. »»»
West Coast Town CD review - West Coast Town
Chris Shiflett is best known as a guitarist in Foo Fighters, but he's also has some authentic traditional country in his bones. Inspired, in part, by much of the fine vintage country music created in California, "West Coast Town" lets Shiflett show off his country music skills. »»»
Something's Going On CD review - Something's Going On
Trace Adkins' wonderful low singing voice can be a little deceptive because he could easily sing utter crap and still somehow sound great. It's why the critical ear must pay close attention to specifically what he's saying in his songs whenever evaluating his work. Adkins doesn't write his own songs, so he's entirely dependent upon stellar writers.  »»»