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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: Queen Taylor wears her crown well – When Taylor Swift brought Natalie Maines of Dixie Chicks on stage to sing "Goodbye Earl," it meant more than just another star guest, on an already celebrity-packed, five-night attendance record-breaking Los Angeles concert run. This duet also brought into clear focus the truth that Swift's huge success unintentionally fulfilled the... »»»
Concert Review: Mandolin Orange commands the room – Mandolin Orange presents a simple picture: two members, sharing fiddle, mandolin and guitar and two powerful voices. As Mandolin Orange, Emily Franz and Andrew Marlin command the room. The duo formed in Carrboro, N.C. a few years back, and have released an impressive series of CDs over the last few years, most recent "Such Jubilee" on Yep Roc Records.... »»»
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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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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.  »»»
Wild Ones CD review - Wild Ones
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Common Law Wife CD review - Common Law Wife
Slipping into the spot vacated by Nanci Griffith, South Carolinian Angela Easterling provides her perspective on modern country music, motherhood, the state of her nation, lost love, hometown shut downs and matrimony.  »»»
Michael Ray CD review - Michael Ray
The big single from Michael Ray's self-titled album, "Kiss You in the Morning," is one of the most annoying songs of the summer. It's an unbridled lust lyric that describes one man's pursuit of a girl in a country song. Ray is better on the driving song, "Drivin' All Night," though. Maybe it's the fact that Ray name-drops both Steve Earle and Tom Petty on it. »»»
The Blade CD review - The Blade
Ashley Monroe gains more acclaim for other projects than she does for her own solo efforts. Monroe is one third of side group Pistol Annies. She sang with Blake Shelton on his hit "Lonely Tonight." She received praise for her first proper solo album, "Like a Rose," in 2013, although that was a release that stood on the strength of the songs because three singles produced zero hits. Can "The Blade" turn the trick? »»»