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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: Drive-By Truckers finds little to celebrate – While introducing "Guns of Umpqua," off the new "American Band" album, Drive-By Truckers' Patterson Hood wondered out loud - in a profanity-laced observation - why he can never seem to see a flag not at half-mast anymore. "We can do better, people!" he admonished the crowd. In an election year with two of the most... »»»
Concert Review: Simpson rides the night out in style – Sturgill Simpson came to Beantown with a deserved music reputation after three albums and a well-received, albeit quite adventurous release earlier this year, "A Sailor's Guide to Earth." He doesn't have hits per se or much of a commercial presence. His rep has been built on quality. While the Kentuckian's first two discs... »»»
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Currently at the CST blogs

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... ... »»»
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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.  »»»
For Better, Or Worse CD review - For Better, Or Worse
With "For Better or Worse," John Prine follows up his "In Spite of Ourselves" album with more male/female duets. And this one is a true A-list effort, as it finds Prine trading lines with the likes of Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves and Alison Krauss. Once again, though, Iris DeMent steals the show with the angry and sarcastic "Who's Gonna Take the Garbage Out," the same way she did with the prior album's title cut. »»»
Blue Mountain CD review - Blue Mountain
Bob Weir's "Blue Mountain" opens with a song titled "Only a River," which borrows liberally from the old folk song "Shenandoah." In fact, much of this album, which Weir wrote with producer Josh Kaufman and singer Josh Ritter takes its inspiration from timelessly meditative Americana folk songs. The aforementioned album opener's lyric finds Weir repeating the line, "Only a river gonna make things right." »»»