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Nashville Review Archives

Blunderbuss

Review of: Jack White

(Third Man Records) Jack White's photo on the CD cover of Blunderbuss with a vulture on his shoulder speaks volumes. Fair warning ladies. White produced and recorded his read more...


Boys & Girls

Review of: Alabama Shakes

(ATO) Boys & Girls counts as the Alabama Shakes debut album. Formed during 2009 in Athens, Alabama, the band includes Brittany Howard (vocals/guitar), Zac Cockrell (bass), Steve Johnson (drums), Heath Fogg (guitar) and Ben Tanner (keyboards). This group read more...


Nothing's Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me

Review of: Justin Townes Earle

(Bloodshot Records) Recorded live at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, North Carolina, Justin Townes Earle's Nothing's Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now retains a soulful Memphis sensibility. This counts as his fifth studio album.


Nobody Knows You

Review of: Steep Canyon Rangers

(Rounder) Nobody Knows You counts as the Steep County Rangers' fifth studio album. The group earned a Grammy nomination for their 2011 bluegrass collaboration with Steve Martin titled Rare Bird Alert. The Rangers played The View, The David read more...


Nashville 48

Review of: Honey Blue

(Paper Boat Records) Honey Blue's latest EP, Nashville 48, was recorded in Nashville during April 2011. This collection serves as a natural progression to the group's debut release Broken read more...


Long Live All of Us

Review of: Glossary

(Last Chance Records) Long Live All of Us counts as Glossary's 7th studio album. Glossary hails from Murfeesboro, Tennessee. They transformed a house in rural Rockvale, Tennessee, into a studio where they recorded these well-crafted 12 songs. Band members read more...


The Legend Begins: Rare and Unreleased Recordings

Review of: Hank Williams

(Time Life Entertainment) These newly discovered recordings include Hank's first session at 15 as well as his lost syndicated Radio Series. This remarkable 3-CD set features restored recordings of previously unheard Hank Williams music that will hit stores on September read more...


Long Line of Heartaches

Review of: Connie Smith

(Sugar Hill Records) Long Line of Heartaches counts as Connie Smith's 53rd album, but her first since 1996. Produced by her husband Marty Stuart, these sessions transpired read more...


Songs And Stories

Review of: Guy Clark

(Dual Tone Music) Guy Clark's Songs And Stories was recently recorded live at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville. This collection culls Clark's most memorable material. The backing band on this album includes Kenny Malone (drums), Bryn Davies (bass), Shawn Camp read more...


Ramble at the Ryman

Review of: Levon Helm

(Vanguard) This recording captures Levon Helm's band live at the Ryman Auditorium on September 17, 2008. The group that night included Helm, Larry Campbell, Amy Helm, Teresa Williams, Brian Mitchell, Erik Lawrence, Clark Gayton, Jay Collins, Steven Bernstein, Paul Ossola, read more...


Country Again

Review of: Ronnie Milsap

Ronnie Milsap became famous as a country singer.  He's won six Grammys and had 40 number one country songs, third all time to only George Strait and Conway Twitty.  Considering all of these accolades, it might be a bit of mystery to many as to why he would name his latest read more...


Premium Country

Review of: David Adam Byrnes

(Better Angels) It used to be that country radio didn't split between its roots and its desire to keep soccer moms happy.  A pop tune with a pedal steel is still a pop tune - just ask the Carpenters.  These days we can often forget we are listening to a country read more...


The Man That Time Forgot

Review of: John Paul Keith

(Big Legal Mess) Imagine that Buddy Holly didn't die in a plane crash in Iowa, but instead landed safely in Memphis where he spent the next few decades immersing himself in all kinds of music from read more...


The Harrow & The Harvest

Review of: Gillian Welch

(Acony Records) The Harrow & The Harvest serves as Gillian Welch's first studio album in eight years. This is her fifth studio album with her musical partner David Rawlings. Welch's respect in the industry is well deserved. She's performed and collaborated with read more...


Looking For America

Review of: Mark Wills

(Gracie Productions) Just in time for the Fourth of July comes Mark Wills latest album Looking For America.  This Tennessee born, Georgia-raised country singer has left behind the major labels to make more personal statements with his music.  Looking at read more...


Better Day

Review of: Dolly Parton

(Dolly Records) Dolly Parton's legendary status as a performer and a country music icon has long been cemented.  She's a living legend. Dolly's star peaked during the later 70s and early 80 thanks to the mainstreaming of Southern culture courtesy of read more...


Reason And Rhyme

Review of: Jim Lauderdale

(Sugar Hill Records) Jim Lauderdale played bluegrass music back in his native North Carolina as a teenager in the 70s. He won a Grammy in 2003 with Ralph Stanley for Best Bluegrass Album. Reason And read more...


Natural History

Review of: JD Souther

(eOne Music) The 1980 film The Idolmaker chronicles an fictional music svengali from the early rock and roll era who creates teen music idols with his management and songwriting skills.  The movie's last scene ends with him finally singing his own read more...


The Lost Cause Minstrels

Review of: Grayson Capps

(Royal Potato Family Records) The Lost Cause Minstrels is Grayson Capps' fifth studio album. After Rott N Roll, Capps dissolved his group The Stumpknockers and formed The Lost Cause Minstrels. This new read more...


The Dreaming Fields

Review of: Matraca Berg

 (Dualtone Records) The release of The Dreaming Fields is certainly cause for celebration.  Not of the wild party variety, but the type of celebration that one feels on the inside, knowing that something good has just happened, something to read more...


It's Already Tomorrow

Review of: Foster & Lloyd

(Effen Ell Records) Of late, the music business has been overrun by reunions.  Sadly, most of these are done to take advantage of millions in touring and merchandise.  The Eagles come to mind as they ushered in a cottage industry of high profile (and high profit) read more...


Paper Airplane

Review of: Alison Krauss and Union Station

Sometimes it is difficult to understand the broad influence of an artist while a career is ongoing.  Make no mistake, Alison Krauss has changed music.  It's hard to deny her 26 Grammy wins. She brought "newgrass" music to the mainstream including working read more...


Barton Hollow

Review of: The Civil Wars

Last night as I sat with friends on my porch overlooking Elk River, I put The Civil Wars' new album Barton Hollow read more...


Invariable Heartache

Review of: KORT

(City Slang) KORT, the duo of singer-songwriter Cortney Tidwell and Lambchop's Kurt Wagner, has made a true Nashville record, true to the history of its country music roots.  Before the pop sheen and polish that have invaded Music City became its dominant sound, read more...


Ben Hall!

Review of: Ben Hall

(Tompkins Square) Nashville's Ben Hall, originally from Okolona, Mississippi, is barely twenty years old, and he has already has won flat-picking contests from Kentucky to Arkansas.  Like another great young guitarist,


Behold The Spirit

Review of: William Tyler

(Tompkins Square) William Tyler rise as a noted guitarist in Guitar Town comes from his indelible work with the Silver Jews, soul legend Candi Staton, and Lambchop - the ensemble that Tyler remains with today.  Although a young man, Tyler's approach to the guitar is read more...


I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive

Review of: Steve Earle

(New West Records) Produced by T-Bone Burnett, 11 original Steve Earle songs comprise I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive. Earle read more...


American Nomad

Review of: The Apache Relay

(Nomadic/Thirty Tigers) As the Apache Relay's follow up to their critically lauded debut, American Nomad has been widely anticipated by many people who identified this band as one to watch.  The previous album by this Nashville-based ensemble was produced by read more...


Solitary Pleasure

Review of: James Leg

(Alive Records) The White Stripes and the Black Keys might be today's most noted purveyors of punk-influenced blues, but its roots go back much further to bands, producers, and studios from Memphis who became enamored with the minimalist sound, often just guitar and drum, of read more...


Hard Bargain

Review of: Emmylou Harris

(Nonesuch) Hard Bargain counts as Emmylou Harris' 21st studio album. Produced by collaborator Jay Joyce these songs, recorded in Nashville, include formidable original material. The read more...


The Party Ain't Over

Review of: Wanda Jackson

(Third Man/Nonesuch) After his impressive turn in producing Lorreta Lynn's Van Lear Rose, people have been waiting for Jack White to work his production magic on another Nashville legend. Since that record, White has assembled an amazing creative hub in Nashville with read more...


Moonlight Revival

Review of: Ponderosa

(New West Records) Moonlight Revival counts as this Athens/Atlanta, Georgia, band Ponderosa’s debut album. Recorded in Nashville and Atlanta, these 11 songs aim for glories down gasoline alley where


Hustlers, Killers & Thieves

Review of: Greg Hester

(Ropeadope Records) Recorded in Nashville by Eric McConnell (Loretta Lynn & Todd Snider), Greg Hester’s Hustlers, Killers & Thieves evokes pure funk and soul music. Hester grew up in James Brown’s hometown of Augusta, Georgia, and these ten read more...


Off The Edge

Review of: Bruce Brown

(brucebrownmusic.com) You can catch Bruce Brown playing a mean guitar most any day of the week in The Charlie Daniels Band, but with Off The Edge, Bruce steps out front to display his apt skills as a read more...


Skeletons in the Closet

Review of: Billy Crain

(Slidebilly) There’s no question that Billy Crain ranks among the true legends of Southern Rock, having played guitar with such stars as Bobby Whitlock, The Henry Paul Band and now The Outlaws. The brother of Tommy Crain (Charlie Daniels Band), Billy is also an read more...


Le Noise

Review of: Neil Young

(Reprise Records) “You can either be true to your art, or be a good public relations man,” said Neil Young years ago. Le Noise finds read more...


Grandma's Roadhouse

Review of: Riley

(Delmore Recordings) In 1970, a killer rock & roll trio called Riley—named after bandleader and guitarist Riley Watkins—recorded Grandma’s Roadhouse at Owen Bradley’s legendary read more...


Land Thar I Love

Review of: Charlie Daniels Band

(Blue Hat) At a time when confidence in our wonderful nation seems to be at an all time low, our buddy Charlie brings out the big guns for a red, white and blue tribute to America. It’s a collection of songs, old and new from a man who is the biggest advocate of read more...


A Storm--A Tree--My Mother's Head

Review of: Bobby Bare Jr.

(Thirty Tigers) Bobby Bare Jr. knows music. He grew up in the shadow of his father, lived next door to George Jones & Tammy Wynette, earned a Grammy nomination at 6 and wrote read more...


Water Bound

Review of: Shannon Whitworth

(Thirty Tigers) Water Bound counts as Shannon Whitworth's second release. Whitworth served as a member of The Biscut Burners. She released her first album--No Expectations--in 2008 and hit the road. Born in Virginia, Whitworth grew up in South Carolina and read more...


Life is a Wheel

Review of: Ragged Jack

Just every once in a while a CD comes across my piled-under desk that stands head and shoulders above the other dozen plus submissions we receive at GRITZ every week. A CD that shines from the moment you open the package. The cover art looks great, the band name is cool, and you read more...


Truth & Salvage Company

Review of: Truth & Salvage Company

Silver Arrow Records The rare collection of songwriters in Truth And Salvage Company originates from Atlanta, New Orleans, Tupelo and Ohio, read more...


Bo Bice 3

Review of: Bo Bice

(Saguaro Road Records) I have been following Bo Bice since the very first American Idol audition way back when, and have always liked him a lot. The guy has a great voice, a lot of guitar ability, and just a whole lot of performing savvy. After read more...


Tears. Lies and Alibis

Review of: Shelby Lynne

(Everso) Tears. Lies and Alibis counts as Shelby Lynne's 11th studio album. The basic tracks were recorded in her home studio, finished in Nashville complete with ten original compositions and released on her own label. Guests on the album include Muscle Shoals read more...


Crazy Heart

Review of: Various Artists

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (New West) Well, I haven’t seen the movie yet but after listening to the soundtrack a few times, I can hardly wait to see Crazy Heart. The actors in this movie do some fine singing. Not only Jeff Bridges, who read more...


I Got News For You

Review of: Bekka Bramlett

(Shongaloo) Finally! I have been lurking and eagerly awaiting the arrival of a Bekka Bramlett solo album for several years. I have always been in love with the girl’s voice. I guess that goes al the way back to my love of her parents’ music - Delaney & read more...


Folk Country/Waylon Sings Ol' Harlan

Review of: Waylon Jennings

(Collector's Choice Music) Folk Country counted as Waylon Jennings’ debut RCA release. RCA wanted to lure the folk crowd, but Jennings remained country on these songs. Four of the compositions were originals, four were Harlan Howard songs and three were read more...


Joy To The World - A Bluegrass Christmas

Review of: Charlie Daniels and Friends

(Blue Hat) Charlie Daniels is just so good at making you feel like you are smack-dab in the middle of the party. In this case, one of the most joyous of Christmas parties ever held. Besides members of the Charlie Daniels Band, Joy To The World is read more...


Azalea

Review of: Jefferson Ross

(Jefferson Ross Records) Every spring, my mother would beckon me to help her empty out the ashes from our fireplace. We would then take it and spread it at the base of all the azaleas in our backyard. When I asked why we did this, she simply said, “The read more...


Closer to the Bone

Review of: Kris Kristofferson

(New West) Closer to the Bone finds one of the greatest poets of our time at the very peak of maturity, yet stripped down to his most basic elements, both in voice, read more...


Acquired Taste

Review of: Delbert McClinton

(New West) For his 30th studio album, Delbert McClinton enlists the help of Grammy Winning producer Don Was, and combined with some just plain excellent songwriting, he turns in the most introspective and intelligent record of his fifty year career. Delbert read more...


Sing Chapter I

Review of: Wynonna

(Curb) Wynonna Judd is one rockin’ country girl. If there was a shred of doubt in your mind, it will be obliterated after a single listening with her new release Sing Chapter 1. Wynonna has decided to have some fun. She selected a handful of read more...


I Like Her But

Review of: Lee Bogan

Lee Bogan is one of the hardest working songwriters in Nashville, having scored may a hit, including the classic country tune “Honky Tonk Attitude.” Lee is currently recording and touring with Ronnie McDowell, and has co-penned several songs for Ronnie’s upcoming read more...


Live at The Old Quarter Houston, Texas

Review of: Townes Van Zandt

(Fat Possum) The Holy Grail of Townes Van Zandt albums...during this July 1973 performance Van Zandt operated and the apex of his powers. With only his acoustic guitar


127 Rose Avenue

Review of: Hank Williams, Jr.

(CURB) Hank William’s, Jr has released his best album since 1987’s Born to Boogie. There is simply not a bad song on the album. Bocephus manages to combine his Outlaw Country and Southern Rock stylings with thought provoking lyrics that grab your read more...


Love Filling Station

Review of: Jesse Winchester

Jesse Winchester's songs have been recorded by songwriting legends like Waylon Jennings, Emmylou Harris, Jimmy Buffett, Ralph Stanley, Delbert McClinton, and the Everly Brothers too name a few.  


The Boys Are Back

Review of: Oak Ridge Boys

The Oak Ridge Boys were riding high during the 1980’s due largely to their mega-hit “Elvira,” but this excellent quartet, whom I had played many years before when they were a Southern Gospel group and I was a young DJ, have been away for a while. Well, they are read more...


For Our Heroes

Review of: Montgomery Gentry

For Our Heroes is an amazing collection of “greatest hits” from country rockers Montgomery Gentry that collects twelve of their best loved songs for a very special cause. Eddie and Troy have partnered with


Blame it On My DNA

Review of: Diane Durrett

dianedurrett.com When I met Diane Durrett down at The High Lonesome Saloon in Georgia last year, I had no idea who I was meeting. I never knew just what an accomplished singer/songwriter I was shaking hands with. I read more...


Townes

Review of: Steve Earle

Townes Steve Earle New West Records By James Calemine "Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world and I'll stand on


Exit/In, Nashville

Review of: Candy Coburn

Nashville, TN April 28, 2009 Candy Coburn hit the stage at the legendary Exit/In tonight and took no prisoners. This girl reminds me of Pat Benatar in a way. That is, she’s tiny as can be, but when she sings, it is with the strength of read more...


Words & Music

Review of: Various Artists

I have always been a fan of songwriters. They are the soul of the music. Without songwriters, there would be no country or Southern Rock stars. And for the record, I really prefer hearing the songwriter sing their own songs. That goes all the way back to my youth. Many of the read more...


Fork In the Road

Review of: Neil Young

Fork In the Road Neil Young Reprise By James Calemine        “Got a pot belly. It’s not too big. Gets in my way when I’m driving my rig.        Driving read more...


A Picture of Me/Nothing Ever Hurt Me

Review of: George Jones

A Picture of Me (Without You)/ Nothing Ever Hurt Me (Half As Bad As Losing You) George Jones American Beat Records By James Calemine This double-barreled re-issue captures two of George Jones’ strongest albums. One cannot quibble read more...


Written In Chalk

Review of: Buddy and Julie Miller

(New West Records) A broken heart grown cold is the hardest burden you can find


Let It Shine

Review of: Colleen McFarland

(9th Child Records/High Horse Records) www.colleenmcfarland.com “Let It Shine” is the new album by singer and songwriter Colleen McFarland, an artist who proves to be talented in both read more...


Nashville Songwriter Sessions

Review of: Guy Gilchrist

A staple of the annual Angelus benefits in Tampa, Florida, Guy Gilchrist is best known as the professional cartoonist responsible for the legendary “Nancy and Sluggo” cartoon strip. He was also chosen by the late Jim Hinson to create the “Muppets” comic read more...


Dixieland Delight

Review of: Clay Travis

As we head into the off season, now that the recruiting season is over (mostly), there might be no better time to pick up and read Clay Travis's


What I'm For

Review of: Pat Green

(RCA) In a press release, Green says of his new album, "I wanted to make a perfectly circular record -- one that you could just put on repeat and really live with for a while." To that I say, “Mission accomplished.” The artist has gone directly to his read more...


Glide

Review of: Jerry Douglas

(Koch Records) I considered the 2002 release “Lookout For Hope” by Jerry Douglas to be an acoustic masterpiece, which found his squareneck Dobro stretching out on an array of original compositions highlighted by guest artists that made every cut special. read more...


Fearless

Review of: Taylor Swift

(Big Machine) It seems like every article or review I read about Taylor Swift starts off with some variation on the theme of her age and the fact that she has accomplished so much in her career and has just now turned eighteen. Sure, there have been countless teen idols read more...


A Tribute to a Legend

Review of: Les Paul & Friends

(EMI/Capitol) The title of “legend” gets tossed around a lot by music critics. I myself plead guilty as charged to the overuse of the term. But no matter how you look at it, shake it up, smell it and pour it back out, there’s no denying the fact that read more...


Piece Of My Heart: The Best of 1969 - 1978

Review of: Bonnie Bramlett

(Raven/Australia) I maintain my opinion that Bonnie Bramlett is still the "Queen of Southern Rock and Soul." If you don’t believe me, just check out this new compilation disc from Raven Records in Australia. It’s enough to make a brother shout.


Preachin', Prayin' and Singin'

Review of: Charlie Daniels and Friends

Charlie Daniels an Friends Live From Nashville (Koch DVD) On April 25, 2005, Charlie Daniels took to the stage in Nashville to debut songs from his bluegrass-gospel album Songs From the Longleaf Pines. Charlie also brought read more...


Free and Easy

Review of: Charlie Tatman

(charlietatman.com) Charlie Tatman rocks, brothers and sisters. Sporting a whiskey soaked voice and a smoking guitar, the big Ohio man has true Dixie heart, and it comes through loud and clear in this read more...


The Imus Ranch Record

Review of: Various Artists

(New West) Bekka Bramlett has a mystical effect on me. She always has, even as backing singer for Faith Hill, or dueting with Sam Moore, Billy Burdette or Joe Cocker. But like her mother before her, soul sensation Bonnie Bramlett, and her daddy Delaney for that matter, she read more...


You Can't Help But Love Me

Review of: Amanda Martin

(amandamartin.net) Amanda Martin could very well be the next big thing in Nashville’s huge circle of young female artists. To make it these days, you have to possess something special and different read more...


One Foot In The Groove

Review of: Donnie Fritts

Donnie is simply one of the best songwriters around.  "One Foot in the Groove" is humorous, clever and heartbreaking. Everyone should own it.


Perfectly Clear

Review of: Jewel

I have been a fan of Jewel since her first video appearance on MTV. I was blown away by the weet and innocent vocal of “You Were Meant for Me,” and the young girl with the crooked teeth and pretty smile who sang it. I bought the album, and every one since, even the read more...


Rollin' with The Flow

Review of: Mark Chesnutt

(Lofton Creek Records) I had a hard time getting past the first track on Mark Chesnutt’s new CD. I mean, the laid back melody, the beautiful pedal steel, and the wonderful lyric of “Things to Do in Wichita” had me at “hello.” read more...


Deep Cuts

Review of: Tony Joe White

Tony Joe White Deep Cuts Swamp Records Tony Joe White, quite simply, is one of the most underappreciated musical forces of the last 50 years.  This doesn't mean that people haven't read more...


Lady Antebellum

Review of: Lady Antebellum

(Capitol) They’re young, they’re hot and most important of all, they are damned good. Their breakout single “Love Don’t Live Here” kicks off the album with a sound that brings to mind what Hootie and The Blowfish might read more...


35 Biggest Hits

Review of: Toby Keith

(Show Dog Nashville) Toby Keith began his country career as one of those cute, curly haired pretty boys, but it didn’t take long for him to find his inner Outlaw and Southern rock roots. That’s when ol’ Toby really started dominating the charts. Since then, read more...


Back Down To Louisiana

Review of: Dale Hawkins

Dale Hawkins Back Down To Louisiana Plumtone Records For those who don't read more...


The Mighty Handful Volume One

Review of: The Mighty Handful

scottymoore.net The Mighty Handful is one helluva band. Headed up by former Elvis Presley guitarist Scotty Moore, the band features Billy “I Can Help” Swan on vocals; Bob Moore, also a read more...


Me and Pepper

Review of: Mel Tillis

Me and Pepper Mel Tillis Collectors' Choice By James Calemine Born in Tampa, Florida, during the Great Depression, Mel Tillis began stuttering at age three. However, when he sang Tillis did not stutter. His speech impediment made him a sort of hero to read more...


Stronger

Review of: Carlene Carter

Stronger Carlene Carter Yep Roc By James Calemine Stronger counts as Carlene Carter’s first album of new material since 1995. Severe read more...


Third And A Mile

Review of: William C. Rhoden

Third And A Mile by William C. Rhoden ESPN Books Third and read more...


Do What's Right

Review of: Jack Pearson

(Candlefly) jackpearson.com Jack Pearson is one of our greatest living guitar players. Like many others, I fondly recall the brief tenure he enjoyed as a member of The Allman Brothers Band, and the bootlegs of read more...


Trucker Tracks Vol. 1

Review of: Various Artists

(Spec Records) There are thirteen tracks on Trucker Tracks, filled with some genuine houserockin’ Southern Rock and Outlaw country songs, all about that special breed of individual read more...


Honey Songs

Review of: Jim Lauderdale & The Dream Players

Honey Songs Jim Lauderdale & The Dream Players Yep Roc Records By James Calemine North Carolina native Jim Lauderdale's new CD, Honey Songs, contains various read more...


Brothers of the Southland

Review of: Brothers of the Southland

Brothers of The Southland is one of the best of the plethora of “all star” bands playing today, and their debut CD is a sheer joy from beginning to end. This is the kind of music that gets me downright excited. Maybe that’s why I named it as the best Southern Rock read more...


Beautiful

Review of: Bonnie Bramlett

(Rockin' Camel) With the music business in a state of flux, it is indeed refreshing to come across an artist who isn’t struggling to reinvent herself daily to fit a fleeting slot that may not exist in a week’s time. The new offering from Bonnie Bramlett, read more...


Lovers

Review of: Bobby Whitlock & CoCo Carmel

(www.bobbywhitlock.com) Joined by a stellar group of musicians, music icon, Bobby Whitlock and wife, CoCo Carmel, have released a new CD, appropriately titled “Lovers” for Valentine’s Day. The ten tracks, recorded and produced mostly in Austin, TX chronicle read more...


Volume One

Review of: Johnny Neel & The Criminal Element

(Breakin’ Records) Johnny Neel is one funky white boy. He pours the funk on heavy with the opening track, “Toasted.” It’s Tower of Power meets Edgar Winter’s White Trash, with a little George Clinton tossed in for good measure. The band read more...


Just A Little Lovin'

Review of: Shelby Lynne

After an early career spent bucking against the Nashville system, Alabamian Shelby Lynne has emerged as one of our Footprint's significant artists.  Her latest, Just A Little Lovin', displays the vistas of her imagination and the strength of her read more...


The Trailer Tapes

Review of: Chris Knight

(Drifter's Church 0010) Some albums are just meant to be heard. Chris Knight recorded 'The Trailer Tapes” in 1996 more to put the songs he'd written on tape than for release, but some songs are just not made to stay in the can. Last year, co-producers read more...


Darren Brothers Band

Review of: Darren Brothers Band

(thedarrenbrothersband.com) I have really enjoyed getting to know Darren Brothers as the lead guitarist for The Winters Brothers Band over the past few years, and I always enjoy his playing style. The guy read more...


Motels & Highways

Review of: Old Union

oldunion.com Old Union continue to amaze me with their sophomore release, Motels & Highways. This Nashville based band that many lump into the “jam band” category is first and foremost a read more...


My Kind of Country

Review of: Van Zant

(Sony) I had someone remark the other day that I had not yet reviewed VanZant’s second album. Being the smart ass I can be at times, I informed him that this is actually the read more...


The Best of The Johnny Cash Show 1969-1971

Review of: Johnny Cash

(Columbia/Legacy) I was in my early teens when The Johnny Cash Show originally aired. I recall watching it every week with my parents on an old black and white Motorola television, back in the days of three channels, when you either watched ABC, CBS, read more...


The Johnny Cash Christmas Specials 1976-77

Review of: Johnny Cash

The Johnny Cash Christmas Special 1976 The Johnny Cash Christmas Special 1977 (Shout!Factory) From the Country Music Hall of Fame Archive Series comes a pair of classic Christmas TV specials hosted by Johnny Cash and family.


Premonition

Review of: Jimmy Dormire

(1968/Dream Spirits Music) jimmydormire.com Jimmy Dormire is a helluva guitar player. His work with Confederate Railroad is always astounding, and he can pick that Southern rock and Outlaw Country like read more...


Live At the Avalon Ballroom 1969

Review of: Gram Parsons With The Flying Burrito Brothers

Live At The Avalon Ballroom 1969 Gram Parsons with The Flying Burrito Brothers Amoeba Records By James Calemine If you're reading this review, chances are you've heard of


Song of America

Review of: Various Artists

Song of America Various Artists 31 Tigers Records By James Calemine This 50-song, 3 CD collection tells the story of America through songs from the year 1492 through modern times. Song of America contains a diverse line-up of artists read more...


Blood Meridian Or the Evening Redness in the West

Review of: Cormac McCarthy

Blood Meridian Or the Evening Redness in the West Cormac McCarthy Vintage Books By James Calemine ...A classic volume of southern literature... Blood Meridian Or the Evening Redness in the West ranks as one of


Deuces

Review of: Charlie Daniels Band

(Koch/Blue Hat) Deuces is Charlie Daniels’ finest work since Fire On The Mountain. Now I realize that is a bold statement, given the fact that he has produced dozens of excellent works between that seminal 1970’s album and this new read more...


Live From Iraq

Review of: Charlie Daniels Band

(Blue Hat/Koch) The CDB put every bit of their heart and soul into these performance, recorded during various shows for American troops in Iraq. It’s an amazing, high energy show with Charlie firing the guys and girls up with his patriotic anthem “In read more...


Coast to Coast

Review of: Winters Brothers Band

(South Star Records) The Winters Brothers Band’s 1978 album Coast to Coast is now available on CD, and includes bonus acoustic tracks and much more. The album, originally recorded at Capricorn Studios during the hey day of Southern Rock was read more...


Whitt's Barbecue

Review of: Penne J. Laubenthal

Whitt's #1 1397 East Elm Street Athens, Alabama 35611 256-232-7928 My sister had a Whitt's BBQ sandwich for breakfast this morning. She called me on her cell phone to say excitedly that the Whitt's in downtown Athens, read more...


Trailercana

Review of: Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Trubadours

(DPR Records) I have really been having fun listening to this one, Trailercana, the new release from Antsy McLain and The Trailer Park Troubadours. It’s kind of like a country-fried Barenaked Ladies, with witty southern lyrics and infectious hummable melody read more...


Ultimate Gospel

Review of: Johnny Cash

(Columbia Legacy) I have been a Johnny Cash fan my entire life. Seriously. Ever since my dad turned me onto his old 78 RPM records like “The Wreck of The Old 97” and of course “Folsom Prison Blues,” I have loved the man's work. Cash was read more...


The Lost Crowes

Review of: The Black Crowes

The Lost Crowes The Black Crowes Rhino Entertainment Company By James Calemine The Lost Crowes comprises two Black Crowes recording sessions that remained buried a decade before their release. The first CD, Tall—an old read more...


West Springs

Review of: Lee Bogan

(Lanier Records) Lee Bogan is simply one of the most talented people I have ever met. A world class songwriter who scored a major hit with Joe Diffie (“Honky Tonk Attitude”) and a performer who has played smoking lead guitar with Diffie, Billy Joe Royal, Artimus read more...


Some People Change

Review of: Montgomery Gentry

With their latest release, Some People Change, Montgomery Gentry goes far beyond their past efforts, bringing a new level of maturity into play that was foreshadowed on their last album, My Town. Make no mistake, the boys are not even thinking of hanging up their read more...


Bonnie Bramlett w/ The Capricorn Rhythm Section -

Review of: Bonnie Bramlett

BONNIE BRAMLETT THE CAPRICORN RHYTHM SECTION Nashville Station, Macon, GA March 25, 2006 “Oh, how I wish that I had written this song,” lamented Bonnie Bramlett, from the stage of the Nashville read more...


Renegades of Southern Rock, Nashville, TN 5/10/06

Review of: Renegades of Southern Rock

Renegades Of Southern Rock May 10th, 2006 Opryland Nashville Recently, friend and neighbor George McCorkle invited my wife and I out to hear his band The Renegades Of Southern Rock. To further add to the honor he asked if I would like read more...


Lynyrd Skynyrd / Shooter Jennings, Pittsburgh, PA

Review of: Lynyrd Skynyrd

Shooter Jennings / 3 Doors Down Lynyrd Skynyrd July 14,2006 Post Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pa Well it was a very hot and humid night when the Skynyrd boys rolled back into stee ltown with an all star show. First up was Shooter read more...


The Winters Brothers Band, Nolensville, TN 6/17/06

Review of: The Winters Brothers Band

THE WINTERS BROTHERS BAND ANNUAL SOUTHERN SUMMER JAM June 17, 2006 • Nolensville,TN I am the Winters barn. I have a relaxed and quiet life, since they’ve stopped farming. Sometimes it is boring just standing read more...


David Allan Coe - The Handlebar, Greenville, S.C.

Review of: David Allan Coe

DAVID ALLAN COE The Handlebar, Greenville, SC July 22, 2006 David Allan Coe took over that audience so fast it would make your head spin, and played a simply amazing show, opening with “Statesborro Blues,” and doing one read more...


Open Casket

Review of: Minton Sparks

Minton Sparks Open Casket (Ruckus Films) Minton Sparks is a wonderful storyteller. Her tales are true to life, southern fried stories made into free form poetry, set to a bed of music by John Jackson, Steve Conn, Pat FLynn read more...


A Salute to Hee Haw - Collector's Edition

Review of:

A Salute To Hee Haw Collector’s Edition (Time Life) This 5-disc DVD is jam packed with all the downright corny jokes and excellent musical performances that made Hee Haw a multi-generational success story. Hosted read more...


Robert Earl Keen - Live At The Ryman

Review of: Robert Earl Keen

Robert Earl Keen Live At The Ryman (Koch) The Ryman Auditorium is the best sounding music venue in the world. No wonder everyone wants to play there. Pair up that venue with the superior talent of singer-songwriter Rovert Earl Keen, read more...


Old Union & Mile 8 - October 29, 2005 EXIT/IN

Review of: Old Union

Old Union and Mile 8 October 29, 2005 EXIT/IN When two of Nashville’s favorite bands decided to stage the ultimate Halloween jam band concert, no one knew just how great the show would go down and what a fantastic DVD would come read more...


Country Music Changed My Life

Review of:

Country Music Changed My Life by Ken Burke (Chicago Review Press) My first exposure to Ken Burke was through his writings in Goldmine Magazine. His articles and reviews were always well written, and when Country Music read more...


Honky Tonk Hero by Billy Joe Shaver

Review of: Billy Joe Shaver

Honky Tonk Hero by Billy Joe Shaver (University of Texas Press) Billy Joe Shaver had lead a very interesting life, to say the least. We have all been privy to certain chapters of the Texas singer/songwriter’s life by read more...


Lovesick Blues: The Life of Hank Williams

Review of: Hank Williams

Lovesick Blues: The Life Of Hank Williams by Paul Hemphill (Viking) So much has been written about Hank Williams Sr., arguably the greatest figure in country music, that it comes as a shock to find that a biography could be produced read more...


Soldier of the Cross - The Concert

Review of: Ricky Skaggs

Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder (Skaggs Family) Ricky Skaggs brings his award winning gospel album Soldier Of The Cross to the stage for a rousing, spirit filled, bluegrass fueled set. Along with guest artists The Whites and Jerry read more...


Alison Krauss and Union Station - Live

Review of: Alison Krauss and Union Station

Alison Krauss and Union Station Live (Rounder Records CD/DVD) Alison Krauss and Union Station are on a roll. They have carved out an audience that supports their shows to the tune of sell-out after sell-out. Now, with the read more...


Lyve: The Vicious Cycle Tour

Review of: Lynyrd Skynyrd

(Sanctuary) Recorded live in Nashville at the Amsouth Amphitheater in July, 2003, Lyve is an excellent documentation of the highly successful Vicious Cycle tour the band has taken around the world during 2003. The set list features all of the read more...


Heartworn Highways

Review of: Various Artists

(Catfish Entertainment/Snapper Music) In the early 1970’s outlaw country music came onto the scene to clear the air. The mainstream country music ideology of the day was known as the Nashville Sound, but folks like Willie and Waylon chose to do it read more...


All Star Bluegrass Celebration

Review of: Various Artists

(Sugar Hill) Both the DVD and the CD of this live show, recorded onstage at the revered Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, are absolutely indispensable to any lover of Bluegrass music. I mean, the cream of the crop of today’s pickers are on hand, and the read more...


The Man, His World, His Music

Review of: Johnny Cash

(Sanctuary) Watching this DVD is a little like looking at home movies. Actually, a lot of it is old home movies. And the fact that many of us children of the sixties and seventies felt like Johnny Cash was a part of our family, causes it all to make sense. read more...


Live From Austin, Texas Cash, Hiatt, Yoakam, & Tex

Review of: Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash John Hiatt Eric Johnson Dwight Yoakam Texas Tornados Live From Austin Texas - (New West) With the latest installment of DVD’s and CD’s culled from the archives of the read more...


CDB-DVD-Live

Review of: Charlie Daniels Band

(Koch) I could not have imagined a better DVD from our old friends The Charlie Daniels Band. In this, their first ever concert DVD, we get a full length, absolutely smoking live set from Charlie Daniels, Joel "Taz" DiGregorio, Charlie Hayward, Bruce read more...


Sweetheart of the Rodeo

Review of: The Byrds

The Byrds’ classic country record, 1968’s Sweetheart of the Rodeo, has been reissued with unreleased Gram Parsons vocal tracks. This new two-CD release proves worth the price for just the read more...


Southwest Stampede

Review of: The Winters Brothers Band

The Winters Brothers Band Southwest Stampede (SouthStar Records) Ladies and gentlemen, The Winters Brothers Band have delivered what may be their best album since their 1970’s debut. Southwest Stampede is a 12-song disc filled with read more...


Corn Pickin' and Slick Slidin'

Review of: James Burton and Ralph Mooney

James Burton and Ralph Mooney Corn Pickin’ and Slick Slidin’ Merle Travis and Joe Maphis Country Music’s Two Guitar Greats Speedy West Steel Guitar (Sundazed) It’s no secret read more...


Straight To Hell

Review of: Hank Williams III

Hank III Straight To Hell (Bruc) The grandson of Hank Williams is a true original. He keeps you guessing. One minute, he is crooning a country ballad that would make grandpa proud, and the next minute he is rockin’ out punk read more...


Back To The Well

Review of: Lee Roy Parnell

Lee Roy Parnell Back To The Well (Universal South) Lee Roy Parnell is the mac daddy. He is a guitar player’s guitar player. We love to hear Lee Roy. And on Back To The Well, he dips deep into that cool water, and anyone who’s read more...


Roots, Blues, and Jazz

Review of: Bonnie Bramlett & The Mr. Groove Band

Bonnie Bramlett & The Mr. Groove Band Roots, Blues, and Jazz (ZOHO Music) The legendary Bonnie Bramlett has teamed up with the very excellent Mr.Groove Band for an outstanding recording featuring a couple of original songs and some read more...


Mellowicious

Review of: Marshall Chapman

Marshall Chapman Mellowicious (TallGirl) I’ve always felt that Marshall Chapman is a brilliant writer, and I’ve been following her career since her debut album, Me, I’m Feeling Free came out on Epic Records back in the read more...


Out Of The Ashes

Review of: Jessi Colter

Jessi Colter Out Of The Ashes (Shout! Factory) Jessi Colter, widow of the King of Country Outlaws, Waylon Jennings, is back with what can only be called the finest album of her career. Produced by the enigmatic Don Was, read more...


What's Wrong With Right

Review of: Hacienda Brothers

Hacienda Brothers What’s Wrong With Right (Proper) The Hacienda Brothers, led by singer/songwriter Chris Gaffney and Dave Gonzalez, ripped up the charts with their debut album last year, a fantastic “Western Soul” read more...


That's How They Do It In Dixie

Review of: Hank Williams, Jr.

Hank Williams, Jr. That’s How They Do It In Dixie (Curb) Bocephus is back with the ultimate “Greatest Hits” collection, along with a pair of hot new tunes.”Stirrin’ It Up” is typical Hank, Jr., and the read more...


The Soul Jazz Sessions

Review of: Moe Denham

Moe Denham The Soul Jazz Sessions (Thortch Recordings ) Back in the day, some of the coolest vinyl recordings that you could find would be by the Hammond B-3 organ artists who would kick it up on the keyboards and totally swing it. read more...


Rebel Meets Rebel

Review of: David Allan Coe & Cowboys From Hell

David Allan Coe & Cowboys From Hell Rebel Meets Rebel (Big Vin Records) Country’s favorite outlaw teams up with his pals from Pantera to rock the freakin’ roof off the house, blending metal and country into something read more...


Goodbye Guitar

Review of: Tony Gilkyson

Tony Gilkyson Goodbye Guitar (Rolling Sea Records) Tony Gilkyson has been there and done that in the music world. His father, Terry Gilkyson, was a songwriter for the Disney Company who wrote well-known songs such as “Memories Are read more...


Lonely Runs Both Ways

Review of: Alison Krauss and Union Station

Alison Krauss and Union Station feat; Jerry Douglas Lonely Runs Both Ways (Rounder Records) The new album, Lonely Runs Both Ways, by read more...


This Old Road

Review of: Kris Kristofferson

Kris Kristofferson This Old Road (New West) One of America’s all time greatest song-writers is back, stripped bare of any ornamental musical enhancements, just the man and his wonderful songs. Producer Don Was has once again woven read more...


Try A Little Kindness

Review of: Bobby Osborne and the Rocky Top X-press

Bobby Osborne and the Rocky Top X-press Try A Little Kindness (Rounder Records) Well, what the heck do you do when you’ve had a 50-year career in music with your brother, having won award after award, having been inducted into read more...


Ragged Old Flag

Review of: Johnny Cash

Originally released on Columbia Records in April 1974, Ragged Old Flag consists of twelve original Johnny Cash compositions. In the liner notes, Cash revealed, “I got so excited writing the songs in this album that you’d think I just started in read more...


If I Could Only Fly

Review of: Merle Haggard

The name Merle Haggard carries a heavy weight in country music. Haggard remains a maverick who stared into the face of decadence during peaks and valleys of his legendary music career—thirty-nine number #1 country hits, IRS troubles, addictions, prestigious accolades, extreme read more...


Taking The Long Way

Review of: Dixie Chicks

The Dixie Chicks Taking The Long Way (Columbia) Since the release of their last album, 2002's Home, the Dixie Chicks have been ridiculed, scorned, banned from country radio and called out onto the carpet a gazillion times read more...


Heard It In A Love Song

Review of: Mark Chesnutt

Mark Chesnutt Heard It in A Love Song (CBUJ Ent) It wasn’t just the title of this album that caught my eye, although anyone who reads my writings on a regular basis knows just how big a fan I am of The read more...


The Essential Marty Robbins

Review of: Marty Robbins

Marty Robbins The Essential (Columbia/Legacy) During his 30 year recording career, Marty Robbins was not only considered one of country music’s finest singers, but also one of Columbia’s best selling pop artists. “ A read more...


Flying Under The Radar

Review of: Kentucky Headhunters

Kentucky Headhunters Flying Under The Radar (CBuJ Entertainment) I don’t care what you say, The Kentucky Headhunters are a Southern Rock band. You can feel it in the music. Not only that, but read more...


Longest Meow

Review of: Bobby Bare, Jr.

Bobby Bare Jr Longest Meow (Bloodshot) Bare, Jr. is back with an awesome record that vacilates between a seventies glam rock vibe, psychedelic Pink Floyd flavor and down and dirty 4-wheelin’ Southern Rock. Co-written with read more...


The Best Kept Secret

Review of: Jerry Douglas

Jerry Douglas The Best Kept Secret (Koch) Hands down, Jerry Douglas is the best Dobro picker ever, but besides that, he is a major innovator. The Bluegrass icon has turned out another of his “virtually bluegrass - read more...


A Hot Piece of Grass

Review of: Hayseed Dixie

Hayseed Dixie A Hot Piece of Grass (CKV) I have been a fan of Hayseed Dixie for years now. Their tongue in cheek approach to rock-n-roll played bluegrass style has provided at least two great records, one a tribute to AC/DC and read more...


American V: A Hundred Highways

Review of: Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash American V: A Hundred Highways (American/Lost Highway) Let me just start by saying that this is a beautiful album. I just can’t stop listening to it. I am, like many others, a huge Johnny Cash fan. Have been my read more...


Nashville

Review of: Solomon Burke

Solomon Burke Nashville (Shout!Factory)


Lonesome In Black - The Legendary Sun Recordings

Review of: Johnny Cash

This definitive collection features Johnny Cash's recordings for the Sun Records label from 1955-1958. These stark classics serve as a strong foundation to Cash's undeniable legacy. Born in Kingsland, Arkansas, John R. Cash joined the air force and spent his early years read more...


The Heroines

Review of: Tony Joe White

Tony Joe White's work inspired many great musicians like Ray Charles, Brook Benton, Elvis Presley, Tina Turner, Dusty Springfield, Joe Cocker, John Mayall, Waylon Jennings, and many others to cover his songs. Just tunes like "Polk Salad Annie", "Rainy Night in read more...


Donnie Fritts and Friends

Review of: Various Artists

Donnie Fritts and Friends Norton Auditorium University of North Alabama Florence, AL January 22, 2000 Donnie Fritts began his lifetime in music read more...


I Am Shelby Lynne

Review of: Shelby Lynne

(Mercury Records) Sometime it's hard to be born with beauty and blessed with the voice of an angel. You can ask Shelby Lynne. She came to Nashville at the age of 18 itching to sing pure country music. Her voice caught the ear of George Jones read more...


Muscle Shoals Sounds: The Rhythm Of The River

Review of: Various Artists

Back on November 13, the University of North Alabama hosted a symposium dedicated to the musical history of the Muscle Shoals area. The event mainly covered the area's musical past, but also included segments on the business of songwriting, modern studio production, read more...


Gentleman Of Leisure

Review of: Jesse Winchester

(Sugar Hill Records) Born into a Memphis family of prominent heritage, young Jesse James Winchester hightailed it to Canada when he received his Vietnam draft notice. Filled with the sounds of Memphis music in his head, he started writing the songs for read more...


Lying To The Moon & Other Stories

Review of: Matraca Berg

(RCA Records) Matraca Berg provides an excellent example of how major labels can ruin promising careers. A Nashville vet at age 18 when she wrote her first #1 for T.G. Sheppard, Berg got a chance at a solo career when RCA Records released her first read more...


Chock Full Of Country Goodness

Review of: Amazing Rhythm Aces

Amazing Rhythm Aces "Chock Full Of Country Goodness" Breaker Productions Born out of soul music's ashes, this six man ensemble played country music - meaning the music defined by Hank Williams, Bill Monroe, Bob Wills, and sometimes Al read more...


Say It One Time For The Brokenhearted

Review of: Barney Hoskyns

In the wake of Ray Charles's new country music box set as well as Lambchop's recent soul dabbling both on their own and with Vic Chestnutt, this reprint of Barney Hoskyns's "country soul" study couldn't have come at a better time. "Say It One Time For the read more...


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