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
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 »»»
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. »»»
Keith Urban's 2006 album, "Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing" seemed to mirror his life in all its tabloid-baiting chaos, and you can only hope that 2009's "Defying Gravity" does the same. If this album is an indication, Urban has clearly put that chaos behind him, replacing it with the love and joy that comes from marriage and a new daughter. The 11 songs dance along, driven by joyful rhythms and guitar hooks. Even the one song that starts off like a kiss-off, »»»
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: Trampled by Turtles leads stellar night
The animals ruled, for the most part, led by Trampled by Turtles, in a superb trifecta of music long on musicianship and quality songs.
Trampled by Turtles, who headlined the sterling bill that also included Elephant Revival and Hurray for the Riff Raff (not animalistic unless the "riff raff" act that way), are going through some major sonic changes.... »»»
Concert Review: Goodnight, Texas gets on the map
Goodnight, Texas is a town with a small population - 28 according to the band's web site. So, if anything is going to put the unincorporated dot on the map, it may be the bi-coastal country band that stole the name.
Avi Vinocur, who dwells in San Francisco, and Patrick Dyer Wolf, of North Carolina, are the mainstays of the band with them... »»»
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Currently at the CST blogs
Trampled By Turtles is an indie folk group, an alt.-country band or a bluegrass act - depending on how you choose to look at them. Perhaps it's best to view the outfit as the ultimate combo platter consisting of just about everything that's good about American music. They play wonderfully, yet they also write intelligent songs that draw everyone from Townes Van Zandt to Nirvana to Ralph Stanley. It's all good, and some (or all) of these influences can be spotted in most of Trampled By Turtles' enjoyable sounds.... »»»
If you move in alt.-country/Americana circles, you simply cannot get away from the name Parker Millsap. He's certainly one of the biggest buzz artists of 2014. Better still, his self-titled album lives up to all the hype. He's a smart songwriter and a passionate singer and is essential listening for anybody looking for high quality contemporary music. Millsap also creates music appealing to a wide variety of musical tastes. You can make a case that he's a country guy, but you can also hear a lot of blues and folk. And if you attempt to put a label on him, he'll quickly tear it right off.... »»»
What a difference a year can make. Last year, Sturgill Simpson was overly anxious about the arrival of his debut album, "High Top Mountain." This year, Simpson is simultaneously anticipating the birth of his debut child and his just-released sophomore album, "Metamodern Sounds in Country Music," and his mood couldn't be more relaxed and joyous.... »»»
It must be frustrating to resophonic artists of the stature of these three that even they still have to on occasion answer the question "What is that thing you're playing?" The number of well-known Dobro players has always seemed to lag behind even the banjo, and even in the "Golden Years" of '50s and '60s country music, the only widely known names were Josh Graves and Pete "Brother Oswald" Kirby. »»»
The Earls of Leicester
In 1946, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs were integral parts of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys when they recorded a series of singles that most historians of the music consider the "birth of bluegrass" as we know it. Upon leaving to form their own band, The Foggy Mountain Boys (much to Monroe's consternation), they spent most of the 1950s recording one landmark single after another. »»»
The Cowboy Rides Away: Live From AT&T Stadium
George Strait has been one of the most dependable country music stars for three decades. In this day and age, the Texan is a certifiable throwback. He's low key, not a self-promoter. All's he has done is churn out hit after hit for decade after decade. He has not been the kind of artist who put his finger up in the air either or trading his cowboy hat for a baseball cap. When looking up the definition of traditional country, George Strait sits at the top. »»»