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McGraw, Williams, SteelDrivers out with new music

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 – Tim McGraw releases his first album for Big Machine, "Two Lanes of Freedom," after spending his entire career on Curb. McGraw and Curb were embroiled in a nasty lawsuit, but McGraw won the right to record for another label.

The SteelDrivers are out with its third disc, "Hammer Down." Gary Nichols is on lead vocals with the band including banjo player Richard Bailey, bass/vocalist Mike Fleming, fiddler/vocalist Tammy Rogers and mandolinist Brent Truitt. Produced by Luke Wooton, "Hammer Down" is a collection of 10 new tunes from original members Chris Stapleton and Mike Henderson, as well as Rogers and Nichols.

Holly Williams is recording for a new label for "The Highway," Georgiana. The disc includes 11 songs and features guest artists like Gwenyth Paltrow, Jacob Dylan and Jackson Browne.

The late Townes Van Zandt's "Sunshine Boy: The Unheard Studio Sessions & Demos 1971-1972" (Omnivore) includes rare recordings from the singer-songwriter's career.

More news for Tim McGraw

CD reviews for Tim McGraw

Sundown Heaven Town CD review - Sundown Heaven Town
The banjo comes first out of the speakers, the opening strains of "Overrated," the lead-off song on Tim McGraw's latest. But with a "1-2-3-4" count, the mood changes and goes for a more modern country approach. McGraw does about the same on the follow-up "City Lights" with Michael Landau's steely, but rocking lead guitar taking over near the conclusion as it does later hard on "Sick of Me" where the protagonist contemplates a need to turn his life around. »»»
Two Lanes of Freedom CD review - Two Lanes of Freedom
Tim McGraw's debut on Big Machine, "Two Lanes Of Freedom" is his first record since the announcement that he gave up alcohol five years ago and the first since his acrimonious, litigious split from the only label he had ever known, Curb. The new CD literally and symbolically represents a fresh start. If only the material better reflected his new take on life. What is presented here is about as boiler plate as contemporary country gets. The album is a safe play and takes almost no chances. »»»
Emotional Traffic CD review - Emotional Traffic
Tim McGraw is the ultimate country music Zelig. Match him with a great lyric, and he's like the voice of a prophet. But put him with fluff, and he's no better than a news reader anchorman on a slow news day. McGraw is at his best on Better Than I Used To Be, a song as spiritual as you want it to be. It could easily be applied to the New Testament exhortation to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." It can also be taken as a self-help summation. »»»
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: Gibson Brothers join "Brotherhood" in style – The idea of releasing "Brotherhood" by veteran bluegrass band The Gibson Brothers was a natural. The disc paid tribute to a long list of brother acts including the Everlys and lesser known acts like the York Brothers and the Four Brothers. While the younger Gibson, Leigh, sure gave Eric a ton of grief throughout the show - all in jest, of... »»»
Concert Review: Moorer, Gauthier pull for each other – In their own right, Allison Moorer and Mary Gauthier did not really need the other because each is most capable of headlining. But in one of those geniuses of booking, fans had the chance to see the two in a most enjoyable and alternative setting - a good, old-fashioned guitar pull. That meant that the two were seated in comfortable chairs on... »»»
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Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Nathan Stanley carries on family tradition Young bluegrass artist Nathan Stanley doesn't fall far from the branches of the family tree; he honors the legacy of his grandfather, Dr. Ralph Stanley, by delivering straight ahead traditional bluegrass music, interpreting old classics that have shaped him and his music. At the same time, young Stanley is an original, refusing to sing the old songs in the ways they've been performed before. "If it's been done," he says, "I don't think I'll do it that way."... »»»
Gibson Brothers join the "Brotherhood" Eric Gibson, the elder (by less than a year) of the award winning, New York-born Gibson Brothers says that the new Rounder release by he and brother Leigh, "Brotherhood," was more than a decade in the making. "It seemed like every time we'd get ready to do a new record, we'd have a batch of new songs that we felt we needed to get out there...but (Leigh) really pushed me on this... »»»
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Southern Style
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Brighter Every Day CD review - Brighter Every Day
Trout Steak Revival has found its voice. A group of Midwest transplants now firmly rooted in the Colorado High Country bluegrass scene, this five-piece band brings real songwriting craft to its third full-length release where TSR goes for the brass ring. »»»
Canaan Smith EP CD review - Canaan Smith EP
Virginia-native, Belmont educated, Canaan Smith was deemed as "One to Watch in 2012" after his debut single "We Got Us" charted that year. Still, it was nearly three years before his next single "Love You Like That" dropped this past summer. With more than 200,000 downloads, it went number 1 on Sirius XM, but fans have been forced to wait until now for an EP release. »»»