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Urban lights the way with new music

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 – With Keith Urban leading the way, it's a busy release day, including a newcomer to the country scene who's made her marks a roots rocker.

Urban releases the generally very fast-paced "Fuse," a 13 or 16-song disc depending what version you get. He does a duet with Miranda Lambert on We Were Us.

Sheryl Crow makes her home in the Nashville area these days. And that apparently is where her recording heart is also because she released "Feels Like Home," which is being billed as a country disc. The music is not so far different from what Crow previously has done. Her single, Easy, has gone top 20.

Steve Wariner hopes people will think he has lived up to the title of his latest, "It Ain't All Bad." Once again, Wariner put out a disc - this one contains a dozen songs - on his own label.

Steep Canyon Rangers took enough time away from touring with Steve Martin to record "Tell the Ones I Love." Guitarist Larry Campbell, who played with the late Levon Helm, produced the set, which was recorded in Woodstock, N.Y.

Jimmy Webb has gained more acclaim as a songwriter than a singer thanks to Glen Campbell. Webb flies on his own, sort of, with "Still in the Sound of My Voice." In fact, he gets help from folks like Bran Wilson, Kris Kristofferson, Keith Urban and Lyle Lovett.

Brian Wright releases his second set on Sugar Hill, "Rattle Their Chains."

More news for Keith Urban

CD reviews for Keith Urban

Ripcord CD review - Ripcord
Even though Keith Urban's single, "Wasted Time," borrows more than a little sonic sensibility from electronic music, there's still an upfront banjo solo. And this is how it's always been with Urban. He may play the part of the guitar hero at times, and even revealed his eclectic musical knowledge as a judge on American Idol, but Urban will always be a country boy at heart. And boyish good looks and talent have taken this country boy far, too. The wonderfully titled »»»
Fuse CD review - Fuse
Keith Urban will keep his superstar status intact with the lengthy "Fuse." The upbeat, commercial- and fan-friendly music and singing from Urban will ensure that. This is pretty much vintage Urban. That means Urban's not very high on the country quotient. What sounds like a guitar on the rocking Good Thing and the somewhat swampy Red Camaro, for example, is Mike Elizondo's programming. Yes, there's gango (six-stringed banjo with guitar neck) sprinkled in many songs, but »»»
Get Closer CD review - Get Closer
In a conversation with John Fogerty on CMT's "Crossroads" show, Keith Urban commented that his goal as a young man growing up was to have songs that people heard on the radio, and they would turn them up and sing along. Following that line of thinking, and the influence of catchy songwriters such as Fogerty, Urban continues to hit his mark on "Get Closer." The song quality is on par with past Urban releases; the musicianship, as is to be expected, is top notch. »»»
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: Hard Working Americans more than live up to moniker – Hard Working Americans is a generic enough sounding term, conveying that you're part of the lunch bucket crowd. Part of a faceless pack instead of an individual. In reality, it's something of a misnomer for the sextet of the same name heretofore considered a side project. That's because they or in most cases, their other... »»»
Concert Review: Wolf rolls on with ease – Peter Wolf starts off his first disc in six years, "A Cure for Loneliness," with "Rolling On." Great title for a song, and as he would prove in concert, he lived up to those words. The song starts "You can lay down and die / You can lay up and count the tears you've cried / But baby, that's not me / There's a... »»»
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Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Reams leaps into "Rhyme & Season" James Reams is one of bluegrass music's unconventional stalwarts. A son of Kentucky, Reams' journey has taken any number of unusual pathways since the mid-seventies. Producing albums for more than 20 years, Reams' ninth release of personable bluegrass, "Rhyme and Season," is a relaunch for Reams, an artist who has never followed a singular route. ... »»»
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Sellers garages her country Aubrie Sellers just may be onto something on her debut - garage country. After all, we've already witnessed traditional country, new country, neo-traditional, country rock, pop country and bro country. Sellers, a 25-year-old Nashvillian with a big time musical pedigree who released her debut, "New City Blues," in January, said the moniker came to mind as her bio was being written.... »»»
If I'm Honest CD review - If I'm Honest
Blake Shelton makes it abundantly clear that this is not going to be a light-hearted listen, despite his public demeanor. "I have never recorded a more personal or reflective album in my career," Shelton wrote on the cover insert. He said the 15-song release "touches both the highs and low of past year of my life."  »»»
Couchville Sessions CD review - Couchville Sessions
For those who remain unaware of Darrell Scott, "The Couchville Sessions" is an ideal starting place. Long one of "rock, folk, country (and) blues" (to misquote the lead track, "Down to the River") most esteemed sidemen (Robert Plant's Band of Joy, Guy Clark, Steve Earle), collaborators (Tim O'Brien) and songwriters ("Long Time Gone," "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive"), Scott has been making outstanding Americana albums... »»»
Playing With Fire CD review - Playing With Fire
If you happened to hear Jennifer Nettles' debut solo record, "That Girl," you may have come away thinking that she was a frustrated torch singer. That effort was chock full of emotive ballads, which, while heartfelt, sure was missing a certain element of F-U-N. Problem solved. From the opening sustain of gospel organ, Nettles storms out of the gate in a sensational tour-de-force.  »»»
Circle Round the Signs CD review - Circle Round the Signs
Credit the new wave of populist nu-folk/newgrass talent and troubadours for having made a profound impression on today's Americana legions. Bands like The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons have influenced any number of artists that have followed in their wake, mostly banjo-thumping, rhythm-ready ensembles ... »»»