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Kacey Musgraves
star-crossed

It's nearly impossible not to read between the lines when listening to Kacey Musgraves' "star-crossed" album, as it's her first release after her divorce from Ruston Kelley. The good news, is that Musgraves doesn't sound angry and out for revenge on her ex. ...

Tim Easton
You Don't Really Know Me

"You Don't Really Know Me," the 10th release for roots singer-songwriter Tim Easton, marks a rebirth of sorts. Easton had seen several things take a collective toll, but now divorced and sober, he describes the album as personal and peaceful. The buoyant title track kicks it off with ...

Sierra Ferrell
Long Time Coming

Sierra Ferrell's songs will appeal to fans of Americana music, especially the more eclectic ones. Her "Long Time Coming" album incorporates plenty of different styles, so the term 'old timey' likely fits it best. For example, "At The End Of The Rainbow" – with ...

Connie Smith
The Cry of the Heart

Many would argue that Connie Smith is the greatest living female country singer. The opening sentence in her liner notes to "Long Line of Heartaches" is "I believe that country music is the cry of the heart." A decade later, it's as if she hasn't missed a beat, ...

Mike and the Moonpies
One to Grow On

Mike And The Moonpies open "One To Grow On" with a true working man's blues called "Paycheck To Paycheck." Although it's a fast-paced country-rocker, featuring plenty of fine picking, its message is as serious as a blue-collar heart attack. The 'Mike' in the ...

Chris Young
Famous Friends

Given the massive success of Chris Young's award-winning collaboration with Kane Brown on the title track, it would be an easy assumption to make that his eighth studio album would tow the same contemporary line that landed him a bevy of hits. The result is exactly that. ...

Yola
Stand for Myself

For most of us, Yola arrived in 2019 without fanfare; we encountered "Walk Through Fire" and were simply blown away. An unmistakeable, irresistible mix of soul, blues and country, her interpretation of modern Americana was refreshing and timely. "Stand For Myself" is more of the ...

Emily Duff
Razor Blade Smile

New Yorker Emily Duff has brought out Eric "Roscoe" Ambel's twangy side on "Razor Blade Smile," much as in 2018's "Born on the Ground." When the guitarist/producer gets behind a project, one need take notice. Duff, the rising singer-songwriter, now 32 years ...

The Secret Sisters
Quicksand

It may be a little jarring to hear The Secret Sisters harmonizing over the machine-like percussion of "Heavy Balloon," a Fiona Apple track taken from that singer/songwriter's esteemed "Fetch the Boltcutters" album. Although also colored by soulful organ and sparse electric ...

Midland
The Last Resort

Midland make it sound easy with the new "The Last Resort" EP. While the upbeat "Two To Two Step" is already a setlist favorite, much of this project – as well as a goodly portion of Midland's catalog – is slower and much more thoughtful. It's all good, though, ...

Tylor & The Train Robbers
Non-Typical Find

This is the third album from Tylor & The Train Robbers. The Boise, Idaho-based band takes its name from the infamous "Black Jack" Ketchum, member of the famed Hole-In-The-Wall Gang. History informs us that Ketchum was of the same ilk as the famous wild bunch led by Butch Cassidy. ...

The Flatlanders
Treasure of Love

Every Flatlanders' album release is a welcome treat, but "Treasure of Love" is especially sweet. Although there are some standout originals on this release, most of these 15 tracks are well chosen cover versions. Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely and Butch Hancock are all distinctive ...

Riley Green
Behind the Bar

Riley Green is one of the guys that gets turned up loud whenever one of his songs comes over the radio. Most of his singles have substance and style. "Behind The Bar" is a small package, only seven songs long, but it still contains a few musical gems. In short, it's mostly a volume-cranker. ...

Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones
Here to Tell the Tale

Hudson Valley, N.Y. might not be the first place one would look to find an authentic rockabilly band, but devotees of this genre are likely already familiar with the quartet, Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones, who now deliver their third and most fully realized album yet. Rockabilly contains a hybrid of ...

Gary Allan
Ruthless

Much of Gary Allan's "Ruthless" leans toward the big, booming production so common in contemporary country today. Even so, Allen also has one of the most compelling male voices in country music; one that more often than not cuts right through all the over embellishments. ...

Brian Kelley
Sunshine State Of Mind

Brian Kelley may be one half of Florida Georgia Line (by some accounts, disease-spreading vectors of bro country), but "Sunshine State of Mind" is not a FGL album – not by a long shot. Like his high-profile duo gig, Kelley's solo venture is not at all lyrically deep. This is a party album. ...

Robyn Ottolini
The But I'm Not Always Sad Either EP

If the talented Canadian singer Robyn Ottolini makes it to the biggest stages someday, it's songwriting honesty that'll propel her there based on this four-song EP. Ottolini often writes about who we are behind the masks we wear, especially on a boozy night out. And she does it with good humor and empathy. ...

Gary Louris
Jump for Joy

Gary Louris is, for many, the Jayhawks. Although the band's "XOXO" album from 2020 featured more contributions from his fellow bandmates than usual, it's always Louris' special singing that distinctly sets this band apart from the Americana pack. Maybe there just wasn't ...

Merle Monroe
Songs of a Simple Life

For those who haven't yet picked up Merle Monroe on their bluegrass radar, the first item of business here is to point out that this is not about a front man and his backup crew, not "The Merle Monroe Band" or "Merle Monroe and his Band." It is the collaboration of a ...

Brett Young
Weekends Look a Little Different These Days

It's troubling after listening to an album multiple times in a row, to not have even one song stick in one's memory. However, this is an honest initial response to Brett Young's "Weekends Look A Little Different These Days." It's not so much that the music on Young's ...


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