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Travis releases covers disc; King goes country, sort of

Monday, September 30, 2013 – Randy Travis, who had a major health scare during the summer, returns with a covers disc of his influences on "Influence Vol. 1: The Man I Am." Merle Haggard, George Jones, Lefty Frizzell are among those whose songs he covers including Tonight I'm Playing Possum, featuring Joe Nichols. Travis also sings Thanks a Lot, Saginaw, Michigan and Why Baby Why.

Bluegrass singer James King veers towards country on "Three Chords and the Truth." King puts a bluegrass spin on traditional country songs, including He Stopped Loving Her Today, Old Five and Dimers and Chiseled in Stone.

Canadian folk rock/rootsy band The Deep Dark Woods are out with "Jubilee," featuring 13 songs.

Tyler Farr releases his debut disc, "Redneck Crazy," which happens to be the title of his hit single as well. The disc contains 11 songs.

More news for Randy Travis

CD reviews for Randy Travis

Influence Vol. 1: The Man I Am CD review - Influence Vol. 1: The Man I Am
Randy Travis hasn't had it easy in recent years with abuse, arrests and this past summer, a major health issue of a stroke. But one thing that hasn't changed is the ease with which the North Carolina native, credited with spearheading the Neo Traditionalist movement 25 years ago, tackles traditional material. That's what this disc is about - Travis doing his take on songs that influenced him. From the sounds of it, Travis had a lot of good music kicking around the house, especially Merle Haggard. »»»
Anniversary Celebration CD review - Anniversary Celebration
When Randy Travis released "A Few Ole Country Boys" in 1990, it was plain to see the message of his duet with (and ode to) the legendary George Jones hit close to home. Just a few years removed from his stint as a cook at Music City bar The Nashville Palace, Travis' delivery of lyrics such as "Not too many years ago/When dreams weren't comin' true/I'd reach for inspiration/Sometimes it would be you" carried heavy-hitting meaning by the budding star. »»»
Songs of the Season CD review - Songs of the Season
Randy Travis is to be commended for the fine balancing act he accomplishes here. He keeps the mood light and festive with "Let It Snow," which has a bit of a Willie Nelson feel to it due to Pat Bergeson's harmonica, and then skips playfully through "(There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays." Yet, he switches gears easily for the quiet "Away in a Manger." Travis is an outspoken Christian, which is why the relatively unknown "Labor Of Love" »»»
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: Hurray for the Riff: more than just a great name – Hurray for the Riff Raff is one well-named group. Not that it signifies all that much musically, but at least it's catchy and makes you want to root for the underdog. With a lot to live up moniker wise, the band in concert - which, in reality, is lead singer Alynda Lee Segarra from New Orleans and her backing mates - more than lived up to the "pressure.... »»»
Concert Review: Carolina Chocolate Drops easily weather changes – The personnel in the Carolina Chocolate Drops may have changed drastically over the last few years - two of its three founding members are no longer - but that apparently has not had any impact whatsoever on the group both when it comes to the musical direction and the ability to come through in concert. Rhiannon Giddens, who plays fiddle... »»»
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Currently at the CST blogs

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Carter Girl CD review - Carter Girl

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Turn It Up CD review - Turn It Up
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High Noon CD review - High Noon
Jerrod Niemann's new "High Noon" album is better than the annoying single, "Drink to That All Night," might lead you to believe. Fortunately, the album is not completely a Luke Bryan sound-alike. Even so, there are moments where Niemann sometimes sounds a little too much like his musical contemporaries. »»»