Elizabeth Cook's "Exodus of Venus" is a difficult record to sit through. Not because of the music, which is filled with high quality sounds from start to finish, but because of its painful content. For instance, when an album features a song with a title like "Methadone Blues," about a drug used to treat heroin addiction, you realize right away you're not in the realm of squeaky clean mainstream country. Cook has had some rough patches along the way, and "Exodus »»»
On her latest release (the title is a nod to her father), Elizabeth Cook is as full of sass and vinegar as ever, and her hick valley-girl recitation El Camino ("If I wake up married, I'll have to annul it/Right now my hands are in his mullet"), the marital advice she offers up in Yes to Booty and the wry portrait painted by Rock n Roll Man will likely end up being the record's popular favorites, and for good reason.
But other songs may turn out to be more enduring: »»»
Elizabeth Cook has come up with another album of unvarnished country music, delivered by her thick-as-molasses twang and solid, stripped-down honky-tonk backing.
The album is stuffed to the gills with reasons to listen that ought to attract the attention of anyone partial to contemporary iterations of traditional country.
There are shuffles galore, from "He's Got No Heart" and its classic wordplay ("he's got no heart that I know of... I'd shoot him down if I knew »»»
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... »»»
"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... »»»
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... »»»
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... »»»
It's been obvious for some time now that Willie Nelson is essentially super human. At the age of 87, he's as active as ever, a wizened presence, spiritual icon and guiding light for all those that adore country music and Americana. »»»
Blackberry Smoke's covers EP is not a tribute to just one group. Rather, it's a celebration of one particular recording studio, Capricorn Sound Studios in Macon, Ga., instead. Blackberry Smoke has become »»»
There are moments while listening to Kip Moore's album where the listener might feel like he/she is sampling new Kid Rock music - albeit, with plenty more heart and soul. Moore sings with a similarly endearing scratchy vocal tone, »»»
Welcome country traditionalist Tessy Lou Williams who hails from Montana, the daughter of two musicians who emigrated from Nashville to Willow Creek, Mont. (population 210). Her parents toured with their »»»