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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: Aldean and friends stretch it out, way out – Jason Aldean's tour, "Six String Circus," gets its name from his recent single, "Lights Come On." And titling his tour after a guitar - and more appropriately an electric guitar - makes all the sense in the world. Each act on the bill, which also included A Thousand Horses and Thomas Rhett, use a lot of guitars - but mostly in... »»»
Concert Review: The Jayhawks remain in top form – It's usually a good time to catch a band right after they've released one of their better albums, and "Paging Mr. Proust" is one of The Jayhawks' best. Comprised of smart songs, which consistently put lead singer Gary Louris' engaging vibrato to proper use and instrumental textures that oftentimes stretch the Minnesota act... »»»
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Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

The Earls of Leicester rattle and roar Something old is new again. The Earls of Leicester, fresh from their first release in late 2014 and the IBMA Entertainer of the Year Award for 2015, followed that remarkable success with "Rattle and Roar." The Earls of Leicester play the songs popularized by, and in the musical style of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.... »»»
Watkins does all the right things on "Young in All the Wrong Ways" In the nine years since Nickel Creek declared itself on indefinite hiatus, violinist/vocalist Sara Watkins has been relentlessly busy. She discovered a new pathway for her harmonic gifts with Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O'Donovan in the vocal trio I'm With Her.... »»»
Lonely Heartstring Band navigates "Deep Waters" Four years after forming in Boston and a year after receiving their first major award (an IBMA Momentum nod), when most bands might be expected to have two or three already in circulation, the Lonely Heartstring Band finally has its first full-length CD release "Deep Waters" (Rounder) out on the street.... »»»
Redemption & Ruin CD review - Redemption & Ruin
Charles Baudelaire and Verbal Kint separately and astutely noted that the devil's greatest trick is in convincing the world that he doesn't exist. There could be a corollary concerning the reality of The Devil Makes Three; the trio exists in so many different musical forms that they may well have talked us into believing they're a dozen distinct bands when they are in fact just one single, extraordinarily talented unit. »»»
Transatlanticana CD review - Transatlanticana
Bill Kirchen & Austin de Lone open their collaborative album with "Hounds of the Bakersfield," a cheeky play on words with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective story, "The Hounds of the Baskervilles." But rather than looking for perpetrators of crime, Kirchen and de Lone walk in the footsteps of Merle Haggard, Buck Owens and the other Bakersfield greats in search of Central California country music fame.  »»»
Magic Fire CD review - Magic Fire
The difference between current successful Americana road veterans like Mandolin Orange and Mipso, on the one hand, and lamented, late bands like Joy Kills Sorrow and The Deadly Gentlemen, on the other, is razor-thin. "Magic Fire" amply supports The Stray Birds' bid to be an act in for the long haul. "Magic Fire" is a sharp-tongued lyrical success with harmonies and clever arrangements in abundance »»»
Pure & Simple
Dolly Parton is no stranger to flash. Even before our modern country era, where many of the most successful artists rival contemporary pop stars for high profile image manipulation, Parton had the city girl look down pat (alas, without ever denying her Appalachian roots). However, this master songwriter has simply given us an album about as close to purity as one can get. »»»
Kinda Don't Care CD review - Kinda Don't Care
The title track on Justin Moore's "Kinda Don't Care" album is so good it almost makes you wish the rest of the tracks were this fine. But they're not. Nevertheless, the song's Waylon Jennings thump-thump groove, its steel guitar-electric guitar interplay and lyric about how a broken heart can tempt even a good man to give into available vices - all on account of induced apathy - transforms it into one memorable country song. »»»