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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

The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury CD review - The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury
Gretchen Peters' tribute to Mickey Newbury is a 12-song labor of love, which makes the strong case to never forget the works of this songwriting master. Peters, who has said her mother initially turned her on to Newbury's music, dedicates this album to her mom because she "loved Mickey's sad songs almost more than mine." With that said, though, not all these songs are particularly sad. One of Newbury's most famous songs is "Just Dropped In (To See What »»»
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, »»»
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: The Lil Smokies provide the perfect antidote – On a night when the world to be falling further apart thanks to coronavirus (this would be the night the NBA postponed the season), there stood The Lil Smokies to at least in some small measure save the day. The quintet is part of a generation of musicians with bluegrass as the basis, but not totally the sum of the music either.... »»»
Concert Review: White makes the case for himself, no matter how dark the music – John Paul White opined with a glint in his eyes that his songs were not of the uplifting variety. In fact, they were downright dark. How else to explain "The Long Way" with the line "long way home back to you." Or "James," a song inspired by his grandfather who suffered from dementia. But lest you think that the Alabama... »»»
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