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.
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 »»»
They Call Me Cadillac
Country music needs more true country songs, not more songs proving country credentials. Randy Houser's latest contains a few examples of the former. After bragging unnecessarily in one verse about liking to "smoke from my left hand," he ends the chorus to Whistlin' Dixie by stating, "I ain't just Whistlin' Dixie." Then on the bluesy, rocking Out Here In The Country he tells us, "Them city lights ain't my cup of tea." But this bluster all »»»
Love And Circumstance
Despite having a respectable music past, Carrie Rodriguez is an artist without moorings. On All the Rain, recorded in 2003 with mentor Chip Taylor, Rodriguez sang, self-mockingly, "Didn't they tell you/There's something wrong with her accent?" On her fourth solo album, the accent - and perhaps the self-awareness that line betrayed - is all but gone, locked away in the vaults, presumably, until Rodriguez is ready to release a retrospective on her career. If she hasn't »»»
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: Steve Earle doesn't rest (on laurels)
If you didn't realize Steve Earle had a new disc out, "The Low Highway," it would have been no problem realizing that quite and quickly.
That was because Earle started the two-hour show with three straight tracks from "The Low Highway," and he would not be done for the night. The title track of was a midtempo effort... »»»
Concert Review: The Howlin' Brothers leave the radar behind
The Howlin' Brothers - this trio, in reality, contains no brothers - are about eight years into their career and on their fifth album. To say they've been under the radar screen may be an understatement. You couldn't even say they've been flying under that screen because they have stuck very close to their Nashville environs.... »»»
Country News Digest
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
Some folks listening to Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison's new duet album, "Cheaters Game," may well exclaim, 'Well, it's about time!' after finally hearing these two talented country singer/songwriters recording music as a pair for the first time. Willis has built quite a following for her independently-minded feminine perspective, while Robison has written hits for the Dixie Chicks (Travelin' Soldier
) and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (Angry All the Time
), as well as penning the ultimate Willie Nelson tribute, What Would Willie Do?
and recording it as a solo act.
Last fall, singer/songwriter Steve Forbert dropped the 14th studio album of his 35-year career, the impeccable "Over With You." Critics recognized the album as a return to the form Forbert displayed on his earliest works - 1978's stripped back and personal "Alive on Arrival" and 1979's more lushly produced and commercially accessible "Jackrabbit Slim" - but the fact is that Forbert has never strayed far from their basic folk/rock tenets.... »»»
Over the course of the past 20 years or so, Jim Lauderdale and Buddy Miller have both experienced a certain rise in their respective rootsy country profiles. Miller has become one of Nashville's hottest speed dial numbers, as an artist, a guitarist-for-hire (a role he has performed for Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris and Robert Plant, among others) and an intuitive producer (he's currently working with Executive Music Producer T Bone Burnett to provide the soundtrack for ABC's "Nashville" television series).... »»»
"Wilderness" is another twisted menagerie of The Handsome Family songs. Once again, husband Brett Sparks sings their songs, sometimes in a bellowing gravedigger voice, after adding music to wife Rennie's lyrics. This time out, each and every tune is named after an animal, insect or other such nature creature. However, Rennie studies animals the way Flannery O'Connor wrote about humans, which is with the weirdness and character flaws in primary focus. »»»
Love Is Everything
George Strait may have reached his seventh decade, but he shows zero signs of slowing down. In fact, Strait seems to be getting even more consistent as he gets older. Strait doesn't stray all that far from the formula that has resulted in superstar status. First and foremost, that means his sonorous voice is mixed far above the music, a very good thing. »»»