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FGL, Monroe, Bingham, The Long Ryders drop new music

Friday, February 15, 2019 – Florida Georgia Line is out with "Can't Say I Ain't Country," and the duo of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley seem intent on proving that on a number of songs on the disc. The title track is one of their most traditional songs to date. They veer more towards that route, but also return to their more typical sound. Joey Moi once again produced.

Ryan Bingham is out with his first album in four years, "American Love Song." Bingham combines a variety of sounds including country, blues and a Stonesy approach. Charlie Sexton, guitarist for Bob Dylan, produced the 15-song set. Bingham recorded the music in Austin and Los Angeles. Bingham mixes personal and political sentiments on the release.

Ashley Monroe, who received praise for "Sparrow" which it was released last year, returns with "Sparrow (Acoustic Sessions)," a five-song acoustic release of songs from "Sparrow. Dave Cobb produced the release.

Country traditionalist Dale Watson returns with "Call Me Lucky." Watson, who spends a chunk of his time in Memphis, recorded there at Sam Phillips Recording. The album features some of Memphis' musicians and his longtime band, His Lone Stars, and includes a horn section on some of the tracks. Watson channels early Johnny Cash and features Carl Perkins and Cash's former drummer, W.C. Holland, on "The Dumb Song."

Three decades later, The Long Ryders are back. "Psychedelic Country Soul" is out via Omnivore Recordings. The release features the classic line-up of Sid Griffin, Stephen McCarthy, Tom Stevens and Greg Sowders, the same line-up as when they gathered in 1982. Recorded in Dr. Dre's studio, the band reunited with producer Ed Stasium (Ramones, The Smithereens, Belinda Carlisle, Jeff Healey Band) and recorded the album over eight days. The Bangles added harmonies.

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CD reviews

American Love Song CD review - American Love Song
It seems like Ryan Bingham has only fallen up over the course of his 15-year career. A roommate's brother turned out to be a hobbyist drummer and became the foundation for Bingham's band, the Dead Horses. At an early gig, one of the few patrons at a nearly deserted bar was Black Crowes guitarist Marc Ford, who offered to record Bingham, ultimately leading to a contract with Lost Highway and Ford's production on his first two albums for the label, 2007's "Mescalito" »»»
Dig Your Roots CD review - Dig Your Roots
From the ribbits and Dobro on "Smooth," the lead-off song, one might think that Florida Georgia Line is eschewing its rap rock meets country past for something completely different. While at times that is true - "Smooth" has a swampy beat - Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard haven't veered so far from what brought them to the dance. That is evident with the title track where the thwack of drum programming from long-time producer Joey Moi meets the soulful, somewhat shiny vocals. »»»
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 (her ill-fated Satisfied" was released three years after its completion by her former label, Sony), "Like a Rose," in 2013, although that was a release that stood on the strength of the songs because three singles produced zero hits. »»»
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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