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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

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. »»»
Defying Gravity CD review - Defying Gravity
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: Time makes a difference for Striking Matches – What a difference four months makes. When the duo Striking Matches debuted in Boston in late May, Sarah Zimmerman and Justin Davis capably showed off their skills, but somehow it felt like a lot of songs fell just a bit short. Davis and Zimmerman tended to cut a lot of songs abruptly, never letting them breath enough or fleshing them out.... »»»
Concert Review: Home Free sings out – Home Free, the Minnesota-based a capella quintet that first caught the nation's attention by winning the fourth season of NBC's reality competition The Sing-Off in 2013, is one of the most talented and unique acts in modern country music. The question has always been whether or not the group and their all-vocal style, which includes the... »»»
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Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

No matter what you say, it's The Deslondes In the spirit of hard-hitting journalism, it seemed logical to ask Deslondes vocalist/guitarist Riley Downing the Mike-Wallace-from-60-Minutes question that has to be on everyone's mind: How the hell do you say the New Orleans-based band's name? "It's pronounced 'dez lawn,'" says Downing. "I know there's different ways that people have pronounced it over the course of history...... »»»
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Lost Time CD review - Lost Time
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Southern Drawl CD review - Southern Drawl

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Turnpike Troubadours CD review - Turnpike Troubadours
Over the course of their career, Oklahoma sons Turnpike Troubadours have exhibited a commitment to melding country music traditions with a ragged edge which perfectly exemplifies the roots of Red Dirt Country. With less of a focus on rock sounds than those in the alt.-country movement, they have built a sound designed to invoke images of smoky barrooms and raucous crowds. After three years, it was worth the wait.  »»»
Start Here CD review - Start Here
Maddie & Tea (aka Madison Marlow and Taylor Dye) start their biggest song "Girl in a Country Song" with a warning, "No country music was hurt in the making of this song." That warning also applies to the remaining 10 songs, which is about as country sounding as music seems to get these days for most artists.  »»»