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Wall, Evans, Allen offer new music

Friday, October 12, 2018 – Canadian country singer Colter Wall is out with his sophomore disc in a career that's on the rise. Aussie Morgan Evans and Jimmie Allen make their debuts with both having hit singles to propel their launches.

Wall has a whiskey-soaked, smoky voice with many songs about his native country on his new release, "Songs of the Plains." Dave Cobb, known for his work with Chris Stapleton and Jason Isbell among many others, once again produced. They recorded the disc at the famed RCA Studio A in Nashville. The album features 11 songs including 7 original songs written by Wall, versions of Billy Don Burns' "Wild Dogs" and Wilf Carter's "Calgary Round-Up" plus 2 cowboy traditional songs.

Evans is out with "Things That We Drink To," his first U.S. release. He has previously released music Down Under. Chris DeStefano produced the set. The two wrote every song together along with playing every instrument. Evans, who is married to Kelsea Ballerini, had a hit single with "Kiss Somebody." "Day Drunk" is his second single. Ballerini sings on "Dance With Me."

Allen has had success with "Best Shot," which is on his debut, "Memory Lane." The Delaware native, who moved to Nashville in 2007, mixes R&B and country on the 15 songs. Allen had a hand in writing eight of the songs. Ash Bowers and Eric Torres, who produced a 2017 EP, also were behind the controls for "Memory Lane."

Chandra and Leigh Watson, aka The Watson Twins, are out with their sixth album, "Duo." This marked the first that the Watson co-wrote all of the material and sing all of the songs together. Russ Pollard once again produced the disc, which was recorded in Nashville. The album features guest musicians Carl Broemel and Bo Koster (My Morning Jacket), Vanessa Carlton, Mickey Raphael and The Cactus Blossoms.

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CD reviews

Things That We Drink To CD review - Things That We Drink To
Morgan Evans' U.S. debut a matter of personal preference. It straddles the line between repetitious and tedious. If you like radio friendly, cliched three-minute singles, then this half hour is for you. He is clearly following the formula that powered his international single," Kiss Somebody" to number one in the U.S. 2017 was a busy year for Evans between moving to the U.S. from Australia and marrying Kelsea Ballerini. She serves as his muse on several of the songs, clearly »»»
Memory Lane CD review - Memory Lane
Jimmie Allen's "Mercury Lane" is an album of likeable pop-country. Being likeable is always a good thing, but an album of music merely that is not a sonic description that leads directly to a hearty recommendation. The production on the full-length is big, bright - and in a word - pop. Allen may be a country guy, but these 15 songs will never be confused with real country sounds. Lyrically, Allen - who had a hand in writing most of this album - pushes many of the right radio »»»
Morgan Evans CD review - Morgan Evans
There's been a window in Morgan Evans' life where he has had the unusual experience of living in the shadow of his own personal life. If Nashville had a Homecoming Court, Kelsea Ballerini would surely be in it. And Evans must have disappointed legions of men by marrying her in 2017. But while the groom had some buzz as a singer/songwriter in his own right, much of the familiarity with his work stayed on the shores of his native Australia. He finally took the plunge in 2017 to pursue »»»
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: The Lil Smokies provide the perfect antidote – On a night when the world to be falling further apart thanks to coronavirus (this would be the night the NBA postponed the season), there stood The Lil Smokies to at least in some small measure save the day. The quintet is part of a generation of musicians with bluegrass as the basis, but not totally the sum of the music either.... »»»
Concert Review: White makes the case for himself, no matter how dark the music – John Paul White opined with a glint in his eyes that his songs were not of the uplifting variety. In fact, they were downright dark. How else to explain "The Long Way" with the line "long way home back to you." Or "James," a song inspired by his grandfather who suffered from dementia. But lest you think that the Alabama... »»»
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