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Willis, Harmon lead releases

Friday, May 18, 2018 – Kelly Willis returns with her first solo album in almost 11 years, while Trent Harmon, who won American Idol in 2016, releases his debut.

Willis is out with "Back Being Blue," a 10-song set produced by her husband, Bruce Robison. The two have released several albums and toured together. Willis adopts a bit more of a soulful approach this time around. Her last solo disc was "Translated from Love" in 2007.

Harmon is out with "You Got "em All," an 11-song disc produced by Jimmy Robbins and Julian Raymond (Glen Campbell). While Harmon had a hand in writing most of the songs, he also covers Sia's "Chandelier."

Jason Boland & The Stragglers are out with their ninth disc in 20 years, "Hard Times Are Relative." The release contains some harder core country along with a variety of other sounds.

The Country Music Hall of Fame put out "Outlaws & Armadillos" along with Sony Legacy. The release is a two-CD set of outlaw country music to coincide with the hall's exhibit "Outlaws & Armadillos: Country's Roaring '70s." Songs include Waylon Jennings' "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way," Rodney Crowell's "I Ain't Living Long Like This" and The Flatlanders' "Dallas."

Songwriter Gretchen Peters is out with "Dancing With the Beast." Peters, perhaps best known for Martina McBride's "Independence Day," produced the set with Doug Lancio and Barry Walsh.

More news

CD reviews

You Got 'Em All
Trent Harmon is a as much soul singer, as country artist and his "You Got 'Em All" is fine showcase of his unique vocal skills. Harmon helped write the title cut, and it's a wonderful composition in the sad country song tradition. "I'm still looking for your jeep in every parking lot," he confesses, like one who's still not over this girl. Tragically, he admits to feeling like the better days of his life are now history, "And I think you got 'em all. »»»
Dancing With The Beast CD review - Dancing With The Beast
Informed by the renewed strength of today's woman's movement, particularly in light of recent cultural social and political upheavals, Gretchen Peters' "Dancing With the Beast" finds her sharing stories about loss, struggle, upheaval, tragedy and turmoil in ways that resonate with a common bond, though told from a woman's perspective. It's a powerful set of songs, mostly echoing a downcast perspective, but each comes across with both enlightenment and emotion, »»»
Hard Times Are Relative CD review - Hard Times Are Relative
Jason Boland and The Stragglers serve up the ninth helping of their unapologetic, get it or not, country, in the past 20 years. This appears to almost be two EP's with the first mostly being a hard country dance cd and the second being a little more "out there" mix of fun and contemplative tunes, much less easy to categorize. Beginning with the stone country "I Don't Deserve You," the Stragglers versatility shines against Boland's baritone (joining on »»»
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: With or without band, Isbell satisfies – Usually, when an artist performs without his regular backing band, it becomes about mathematics of subtraction. That artist is armed with far fewer artistic weapons at his/her disposal, after all. In Jason Isbell's case, though, when he performed with just his wife and fiddler Amanda Shires, it was more about substitution than subtraction.... »»»
Concert Review: Grammy nominations aside, Yola, Kiah are the real deal – Grammy nominations do not make the artist, but Yola and opener Amythyst Kiah underscored time and again on this night that the honors were well deserved. In fact, Yola and Kiah's other group, Our Native Daughters, are nominated in the same category - Best American Roots. Yola has three other nominations as well. The clear winners... »»»
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