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CD Reviews and Upcoming Releases

CD review - Born Here, Live Here, Die Here After taking in Luke Bryan's "Born Here Live Here Die Here," the listener will never guess this full length was released during a pandemic. Maybe that's a good thing. After all, we might need a diversion from the international health crisis now and then. The release opens with "Knockin' Boots," which is how modern cowboys describe sexual intercourse. A few songs  »»»
CD review - The Balladeer Lori McKenna records should come with a warning label - this product may cause uncontrollable weeping. Every generation has their best songwriters, and this unassuming mom from Massachusetts happens to be one of them. It's the kind of talent that wins Best Country Song Grammys in streaks. She took the trophy home in 2016 for co-penning "Girl Crush". Then in 2017, she won again for  »»»
CD review - Gaslighter Much has changed for The Chicks since their last studio release, "Taking the Long Way," some 14 years ago. Rebranding for one. No more Dixie Chicks, thanks to their reaction to the discussion over racial issues in the U.S. following the killing of George Floyd. "Dixie" was no longer the right look. And then there's the music and the end of a marriage, an overriding  »»»
CD review - Sunday Drive When an artist achieves the kind of commercial success that Brett Eldredge has, there seems to inevitably be an album that is all about the songwriting. Having described his 2017 self-titled album as his "most honest collection of songs," he doubles down on the sincerity factor and bills "Sunday Drive" as his "most deeply personal to date." The distinction is a fine  »»»
CD review - Co-Starring The country music world was more than a little surprised by the news of Big Machine Records signing Ray Wylie Hubbard. This, after all, is the label home for mainstream stars Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts and Sugarland and the former label residence of pop superstar Taylor Swift. Hubbard, in contrast - as 'one of these things is not like the other' - is an original country music outlaw,  »»»

Articles and Interviews

Tillis unlocks "Looking for a Feeling" "It had been a while since I'd given my fans any new solo music," Pam Tillis explains, when asked about the motivation behind recording her album "Looking for a Feeling." Until recently, Tillis mostly busied herself by recording and touring with fellow country star Lorrie Morgan. "I had a batch of songs that I felt good about," she continues, "and, you know, you just get that itch."  »»»
Hull takes "25 Trips" Sierra Hull would be the first to tell you that releasing a new CD in the teeth of a global pandemic is a challenge. "It's very strange…just adjusting to being home and knowing what that feels like. It's the most I've been home since I was a kid. I left home when I was 17, you know, to go to Berklee College of Music, and I've done a lot of traveling ever since. So, it's the longest stretch sleeping in my own bed I think I've ever had."   »»»
Lewis (and her daughters) make beautiful music (occasionally) and carry on the legacy Linda Gail Lewis has several interesting bullet points on her lengthy resume. She released her first singles in 1963 at age 16, and her first solo album, "The Two Sides of Linda Gail Lewis," in 1969 when she was just 22; her follow up album wouldn't appear until 1990. Since then, Lewis has recorded an additional 23 studio and live albums,  »»»
Hancock shows he's still "Man of the Road" Wayne Hancock exhibits his well-defined self-deprecation while describing the nature of his vinyl/digital only release, "Man of the Road." "Yeah, greatest hits," he says with a raspy chortle, the sound that every smoke-filled, whiskey-soaked roadhouse he's ever loaded into would make if it could laugh.   »»»
With "Headlights," Della Mae turns it up Ten years on, Della Mae has covered a lot of ground in the world of bluegrass, and the band is meeting the challenges of building a sustaining, long-term career with its latest release "Headlights." The new record displays features of new and old. Kimber Ludiker, fiddle player and founding member of the band, along with co-Dellas Celia Woodsmith  »»»
The Mavericks "Play the Hits" When recording its album "Play the Hits," The Mavericks approached this covers album in much the same way the band creates any of its other studio albums. "Above all, we're always trying to reach a certain musical bar that we are trying to get to, no matter what it is we do," notes guitarist Eddie Perez.   »»»
Larue moves "Onward" The release of "Onward," his eighth studio album, finds veteran Texas Music/Red Dirt artist Stoney Larue at a crossroads. After almost two decades on the road, playing 200 shows a year across America and abroad, he has had success on the U.S. country album chart (landing in the Top 25 on three separate occasions), has developed a loyal following  »»»