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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.

More news

CD reviews

Fired Up CD review - Fired Up
A brand of neo-traditional country music has entered the mainstream scene in response to the hip hop beats of bro country and smooth EDM of metro country. Artists like Aaron Watson and Randy Houser are providing a strong alternative on the charts for fans who prefer their country closer to its roots. The challenge for a country artist today is to find a balance between the fans and their business. A small handful of writers are responsible for most of the mainstream chart toppers, resulting in a »»»
Lola CD review - Lola
There had to be some trepidation when 15 years into her career, Carrie Rodriguez decidedly emphasized her Latina heritage and incorporated several Spanish songs on her latest record. The Texas-born Rodriguez didn't grow up speaking Spanish (she picked it up from her ex-husband). Seven previous solo releases (two were live) and her early career collaboration with songwriter Chip Taylor, a Spanish-infused album seemed, well, foreign to an older audience comfortable with her fiddling and alt. »»»
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 »»»
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: The Surly Gentlemen prove anything but – For about the past six months, veteran bluegrassers Clay Hess, formerly of Kentucky Thunder, and Tim Shelton of NewFound Road, along with Clay's son Brennan, have collectively been The Surly Gentlemen. The trio's sound is probably best described as stripped down bluegrass meets singer/songwriter. These Surly Gents have been playing small... »»»
Concert Review: Dustbowl Revival leads just another typical night in Music City – The Station Inn is Nashville's self-styled "World Famous" venue for bluegrass and roots music for over 40 years. Over time, the area around The Station Inn (much like the rest of Nashville) has changed, swapping gritty and sweaty for shiny and slick. The area, known as The Gulch, now features shopping and restaurants, with little of the... »»»
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Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

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.... »»»
For Shires, home is where the family lies Mercy Rose Isbell recently celebrated her first birthday and, ironically, the album she helped inspire has just been released. Synchronicity is a beautiful thing. Mercy Rose is, of course, the daughter of singer/songwriters Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, two of the most gifted Americana artists working today... ... »»»
The Drugstore Gypsies CD review - The Drugstore Gypsies
In a time when good old fashioned electric guitar rock has grown a bit stagnant, a fresh new quintet from Texas is stepping up to provide a jolt courtesy of a concise and confident debut that makes a case for the genre by adding touches of blues, country and southern rock to muscular classic rock riffs. »»»
Universal Favorite CD review - Universal Favorite
Noam Pikelny is the most ingratiating musical iconoclast you're likely to come across. He has deep roots in the Americana genre, and his playing, on banjo in most contexts, is precise and brilliant. Pikelny has produced a string of outstanding solo records, most recently "Universal Favorite."  »»»
Vaquero CD review - Vaquero
Independent singer/songwriter Aaron Watson's "Vaquero" is an ambitious 16-song mix of Texas country and mainstream Nashville with mostly good results. The strongest tracks are those that embrace the Tex Mex style of the title track, which imparts some sound advice delivered by an "old Mexican cowboy" the singer meets in a bar ("don't live your life like a sad country song/ A fool on a stool still a fool right or wrong"). »»»