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Taylor Swift tops new releases

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 – Taylor Swift had a massive hit with her self-titled debut and tries following up with "Fearless" (Big Machine) on Nov. 11. This is Swift's second full-length CD. In between, she released a deluxe edition, a Christmas set and a Wal-Mart exclusive CD. The 13-song disc includes the hit single "Our Love." Like her debut, the Pennsylvania native wrote the songs on "Fearless."

The history of Kevin Costner and Modern West goes back 20 years when Costner first met band mate John Coinman in Los Angeles during an acting workshop. The two began playing and writing music together and soon after started a band called Roving Boy. As Costner's star began to rise in the movie industry, he was unable to devote much time to the band. However, he and some of the band members continued behind-the-scenes playing, writing and recording. The album, "Untold Truths," (Universal South), out Nov. 11, is comprised of 12 original tracks all written or co-written by the group. Modern West is Coinman, Blair Forward, Teddy Morgan, Larry Cobb and Park Chisolm.

The Boxmasters, a trio including actor Billy Bob Thornton, are busy. They released a 2-CD debut earlier this year and now are back with a 10-song Christmas collection, "Christmas Cheer' (Vanguard) on Nov. 11. Songs include "Silver Bells" and "Blue Christmas" along with "Happy X-Mas (War Is Over)" and "Christmas in Prison." The group also includes J.D. Andrew and Mike Butler.

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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