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Allan, Houser top new discs

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 – Gary Allan and Randy Houser lead the list for releases out today.

Allan returns with "Set You Free," which includes the hit single Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain). Allan helped write 5 of the 12 songs, including the hit single. The disc is Allan's first since 2010's "Get Off the Pain."

Randy Houser is riding the charts with How Country Feels, the title track of his disc out today. Houser returns with his first disc since 2010's "They Call Me Cadillac." Houser previously enjoyed hits with Anything Goes and Boots On.

Carrie Rodriguez, who had discs out with songwriter Chip Taylor, is out with her fifth release, "Give Me All You Got." The Brooklyn resident by way of Texas, offers 11 songs on her latest, which was produced by Lee Townsend.

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CD reviews

How Country Feels CD review - How Country Feels
Despite a good track record of releasing quality music, Randy Houser hasn't become a consistent chart-topper yet. His new album, "How Country Feels," has already brought him one hit song with the title track, so perhaps a change of scenery (Houser is now on Stoney Creek) was what his career needed. Houser's last album, "They Call Me Cadillac," was a bluesy, varied album that unfortunately yielded no hits. This time around, he's gone for a much simpler »»»
Set You Free CD review - Set You Free
Gary Allan sets it straight where his musical universe is at when he starts the disc with the words "That was a tough good bye" in Tough Goodbye. You know this is not going to be an easy, joyful ride throughout these dozen songs mainly constricted to heartache and hurting, just as Allan's past would indicate. A look at the song titles - It Ain't the Whiskey, You Without Me, Hungover Heart - makes that abundantly clear. The number one hit Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain) is a »»»
Give Me All You Got CD review - Give Me All You Got
Given her remarkable apprenticeship in the company of veteran singer/songwriter Chip Taylor, and, following that, an acclaimed series of solo outings that brought stardom on her own, the bar was set exceptionally high for "Give Me All You Got." Her last release, "Love and Circumstance," found her taking a momentary detour via an impressive collection of covers, but even so, it makes her return to original material all the more auspicious. Fortunately, Rodriguez takes that »»»
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: Church grows with time – It's heartening to see the continual rise of Eric Church's career, as he is one of the best songwriters in contemporary mainstream country music. Church mentioned from the stage how he performed for - in his estimation - only six loyal fans at The Whiskey for his first tour trip through Las Angeles a decade ago. His headlining stop last time... »»»
Concert Review: Brooks fires it up – Garth Brooks may have stood outside of country music by and large for 17 years, but he is jumping back in with both feet and more. Brooks released "Man Against Machine" in November, his first disc of original music in 13 years. Last fall, he launched a world tour, which is rolling out with multiple dates in multiple cities, sometimes... »»»
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Currently at the CST blogs

Brooks takes the long road Garth Brooks was country radio for years. But a lot has changed since Brooks went silent in 2001. Country has shifted even further away from its roots with rock and hip hop part of the landscape. As for Brooks, he retired to spend time raising his three daughters, far away from the bright Nashville lights in Oklahoma. Yes, he did a residency in Las Vegas, but he went 12 years in between new material before releasing "Man Against Machine" in November. ... »»»
Brown becomes "In Style Again" Surely there is some irony in the title of Jim Ed Brown's new album - "In Style Again." At least it's a little ironic for his fans, for as far as they're concerned neither Brown nor his music have been out of style. His strong, mellow voice flows like liquid gold over and around any song he chooses to sing.... »»»
The "Beauty" of Price continues Before Ray Price died - just over one year ago, on Dec. 16, 2013 - he told his wife, Janie, that she would have to carry on his legacy by going out, promoting the album that he had just recorded, "Beauty Is...," and visiting with his legions of fans. He told me, Janie says, "you're gonna be the closest thing to me that people are going to want to reach out to."... »»»
Fear & Saturday Night CD review - Fear & Saturday Night
Ryan Bingham's roughened voice gives added authenticity to the cowboy ballad "Island in the Sky" off his new "Saturday Night album." The project's title, "Saturday Night," suggests party music, but the accordion-colored "Adventures of You and Me" is one of only a few party anthems on this album. Even so, Bingham sure sounds happy singing to its Tex-Mex accordion groove.  »»»
Man of Constant Sorrow (2015) CD review - Man of Constant Sorrow (2015)

Dr. Ralph Stanley can't sit still; he tried to retire in 2013 and even went out on a farewell tour, but the three-time Grammy winner just wasn't ready to say farewell, yet. Making music for well over half a century, Stanley has been re-shaping music his entire career, riding firmly in the path of bluegrass tradition while helping shape that tradition with his iconic high lonesome sound. »»»