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Rich, McBride, Sahm tribute top new releases

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 – One half of Big & Rich, one of country's finest singers and a tribute disc to a Tex-Mex star are among the CDs out today.

John Rich is a busy guy. He has his duo with Kenny Alphin, aka Big & Rich. He is the driving force behind the reality country TV show "Gone Country." And he is active in writing and producing music as well. Now he is out with his second solo disc, "Son of a Preacher Man." Rich has gained airplay with Shuttin' Detroit Down, the highly topical song about Wall Street and Main Street.

Martina McBride is out with her 10th disc, "Shine." She had a hand in producing the 11 songs along with Dann Huff, who puts more guitar on the music. The first single is Rise.

Tex-Mex singer Doug Sahm died in 1999 after having been in many musical incarnations including Sir Douglas Quintet and the Texas Tornados. Some even thought he was British at one point. Sahm's music comes alive on the tribute disc "Keep Your Soul: A Tribute to Doug Sahm," with a bevy of players including Los Lobos, Alejandro Escovedo, Dave Alvin and Delbert McClinton. Shawn Sahm, the singer's son, closes with one of his biggest hits, Mendocino.

Eric Church gained a good amount of ink, some sales, but no big hits from his debut, "Sinners Like Me." Now, he returns with "Carolina." The title track is the single.

Veteran bluegrass group Lost & Found is out with their first disc in seven years, "Love, Lost and Found." The group's last disc was "It's About Time" in 2001. Since then, mandolinist and co-founder Dempsey Young died in 2006. The current line-up is Alan Mills on bass and lead vocals, Scottie Sparks on guitar and lead vocals; Ronald Smith on banjo; and Scott Napier on mandolin. Young played on mandolin on seven tracks.

Special Consensus is out with "Signs," featuring Justin Carbone, Ashby Frank and David Thomas on vocals. The group, founded by Greg Cahill about three decades ago, wrote six songs. The CD also includes the traditional gospel with What A Beautiful Day For the Lord to Come Again) and the Bluegrass Cardinal's Mountain Girl.

Shooter Jennings surfaces with a best of package, "Bad Magick: The Best Of Shooter Jennings & The .357's." The CD contains two unreleased songs, Lonesome Blues (Live) from an AOL Music Sessions, and Living Proof.

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: Rising Appalachia buck the mainsteam, and that's fine with them – Rising Appalachia would not be accused of being in the musical mainstream. Not too many bands who combine folk and Appalachian sounds with new world music could possibly be. And that suits the sister-led duo of Chloe Smith and Leah Song just fine. In fact, at one point, Chloe made it clear she did not embrace radio play as a sign of success... »»»
Concert Review: Bingham plays with something to prove – Ryan Bingham mainly focused on songs from his sixth album "American Love Song," for this lively show. Backed by a supportive band that also included two female backup singers and a fiddler, Bingham's eclectic setlist touched upon country, singer/songwriter folk, rock and blues. Bingham reached for lively country sounds early on, with... »»»
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