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Justin Moses
Fall Like Rain

If one were to put together an elite group of acoustic bluegrass players and furnish them with a strong mix of original and cover songs, it would be nearly impossible to surpass what multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/songwriter Justin Moses has created with "Fall Like Rain." The self-produced ...

The Burnt Pines
The Burnt Pines

The Burnt Pines comfortably fit at the smoother edge always-increasing Americana big tent. With a harmonic vocal style reminiscent of the late-'60s/early-'70s (think Simon & Garfunkel, Donovan) their music is polished in an understated, mostly-acoustic-sounding way. So very appealing to experienced ears. ...

Aaron Watson
American Soul

With the title track to this Aaron Watson release, the Texas singer/songwriter raises questions that he doesn't fully answer. In a severely divided country, it's getting tougher and tougher to find commonalities in the American soul. On it, Watson salutes hard workers, while also quoting the ...

Morgan Wallen
Dangerous: The Double Album

The buzz in the industry is that Morgan Wallen is primed to be the next big country music superstar. If prognosticators are correct with this prediction, the man fully deserves all the recognition. Proof positive is his "Dangerous: The Double Album," which is a humongous 30 songs long! ...

Barry Gibb
Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers Songbook, Vol. 1

Barry Gibb has gone to Nashville to record an album with multi-Grammy winner Dave Cobb, producer with such artists as Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson and the Highwomen. He did this because as he told the New York Times recently, "I'm a country singer, I'll always be a country singer. ...

Steve Earle & The Dukes
J.T.

When a child buries a parent, it's the natural order of things. The old make way for the young, hopefully content that they have passed along enough wisdom and strength of character to help them survive and prosper. But when a parent buries a child, the natural order is subverted in tragic ...

Nicki Bluhm
Buno Natale EP

Until now, it seemed like any attempt to challenge Darlene Love's version of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home") – except for U2 and Bono's worthy take – was a waste of good studio time. However, Nicki Bluhm's soulful belting of the song on her "Buon Natale ...

Calexico
Seasonal Shift

Calexico's "Seasonal Shift" is a delightful new holiday album, even though you may not recognize some of its songs nor speak the language for some of its lyrics. As is always the case with Calexico projects, this collection is eclectic. More than that, though, it's extremely heartfelt. ...

Ty Herndon
Regifted

With "Regifted," Ty Herndon goes the traditional route in creating a holiday album. Even so, though, his collection of mostly familiar carols and seasonal songs includes a few creative turns. The album kicks off with a powerful ballad, "Orphans of God," a duet with Kristin Chenoweth. ...

Ward Davis
Black Cats and Crows

Ward Davis is billed as an outlaw country rocker, but that description is far too limiting. He is a terrific songwriter, able to generate loud, rowdy outlaw-like tunes as well as delivering warm, engaging ballads with the stroke of his same pen, or, better said, notes on the piano. ...

The Steel Wheels
Everyone A Song, Vol. 1.

With "Everyone A Song, Vol. 1," The Steel Wheels attempt to salvage what might have otherwise been deemed a lost year as their planned 2020 tour was cancelled by the pandemic with this project that frontman Trent Wagler dubbed "Distance Together." The five band members recorded ...

The Wild Feathers
Medium Rarities

It takes fairly sizable and sturdy cajones to assemble a rarities collection when your decade-long history includes just three studio albums and a live set. In the case of the Wild Feathers, it bears mentioning that, during that same evolutionary decade, the roots rockers opened for Bob Dylan and ...

Chris Stapleton
Startin' Over

Chris Stapleton's "Starting Over" release is one of those rare beauties of an album, where your favorite track may change from day to day. All of 'em are just that great. It is, simply put, Stapleton's best full-length to date. You may love the title track, which puts flesh ...

Josh Abbott Band
The Highway Kind

The Texas-based Josh Abbott Band's "The Highway Kind" effectively straddles the edginess of Texas alternative country with slick Nashville production values. The best two tracks are the opening title cut and the sweetly sentimental ballad that closes the set. Abbott kicks it off with ...

The Sensational Country Blues Wonders!
The World Will Break Your Heart

The Sensational Country Blues Wonders! is the moniker for singer-songwriter Gary Van Miert of Jersey City, N.J. This eccentric character has a natural facility for crafting solid country songs with clever word play ("I'm playing second fiddle to a steel guitar. My lover jumps around from bar to bar. ...

Mitchell Tenpenny
Neon Christmas EP

If all you know about Mitchell Tenpenny is "Alcohol You Later," you may be unprepared for a few of the Christmas present surprises on his "Neon Christmas" EP. Granted, "Snow Angels" is a little too pop for its own good. However, the acoustic guitar-picked subtlety of ...

Maddie & Tae
We Need Christmas

In just two songs, Maddie & Tae illustrate the two sides of Christmas. The pair's version of "O Come All Ye Faithful" is given a faithful reading and even includes scripture recitation at the end. Next, with "Merry Married Christmas," marital fidelity at Christmastime is celebrated happily. ...

Trace Adkins
Ain't That Kind of Cowboy

Anybody with staying power in the modern country music landscape must have found a four-leaf clover and a niche. Trace Adkins hearkens back to a time when country stars included more Alpha males. He's got a baritone as deep as an oil well and stands eye-to-eye with quite a few pro basketball players. ...

Steep Canyon Rangers
Arm in Arm

The Steep Canyon Rangers are best known over the past decade for backing Steve Martin in his musical pursuits, but the North Carolina-based outfit has been active since 2000, and "Arm In Arm" marks their third release in 2020 alone. Bluegrass is at the core of the music infused with ...

Sturgill Simpson
Cuttun' Grass Vol 1 The Butcher Shoppe Sessions

Anybody that believes you can have too much of a good thing, obviously hasn't listened to Sturgill Simpson's "Cuttin' Grass" collections, volumes one and two. Volume one contains a plentiful 20 songs, and it's a hoot and a holler – start to finish. ...


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