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Robison/Willis, Fullbright, Muth, O'Neal offer new sounds

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 – Independent releases by Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis, John Fullbright and Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers lead the list of CDs out today. And Jamie O'Neal, who had several major hits in 2000 and 2005, returns.

Robison and Willis both have enjoyed careers on their own, but the married couple is out with their second disc, "Our Year." Robison and Willis both take lead vocals on the 10 songs with Willis doing her take of Tom T. Hall's "Harper Valley PTA."

Fullbright, an Oklahoma native, releases, his second disc, "Songs." His first album, "From the Ground Up," garnered him a Grammy nomination for Best Americana Album.

Muth and her band are out with their third disc, "World of Strangers." Muth, who migrated from Seattle to Austin, wrote every song except "April Fool," penned by Ronnie Lane. George Reiff, who plays bass in the band, also produced. Martie Maguire of the Dixie Chicks and Robison help out.

O'Neal, who had hits with "There Is No Arizona" and "When I Think About Angels" in 2000, returns with her first album in nine years, "Eternal." The release is a covers disc, except for the closing song, "Wide Awake," which the Australian helped write. Covers include ""Golden Ring" with Andy Griggs, "The Sweetest Thing" and "Leavin' On Your Mind."

CD reviews for Zoe Muth and The Lost High Rollers

World of Strangers CD review - World of Strangers
After three albums and lots of touring in the U.S. and Europe, Zoe Muth uprooted herself from Seattle to Austin a few years ago. If this release is any indication, the change generally served Muth well. A fresh sounding "Little Piece of History" kicks off the 10-song set, followed by the twangy most traditional sounding song on the disc, "Mama Needs a Margarita" with a bit of a crack in Muth's delivery. Muth's vocals are far more charged on "Annabelle," »»»
Old Gold CD review - Old Gold
Zoe Muth has been positively compared to many great female country singers over her budding career, but it's a relatively obscure artist that mainly comes most to mind while listening to "Old Gold," Muth's new mostly covers EP. There are times when she is simply a dead ringer for Iris DeMent, who has sadly become the J.D. Salinger of country music - rarely seen or heard from. This six-track set mixes DeMent's sadness with Emmylou Harris's regal sweetness, for a »»»
Starlight Hotel CD review - Starlight Hotel
Zoe Muth's singing voice is a lot like Emmylou Harris' vocals. She's similar to Harris in a few other ways, as well. For one, she sounds prematurely old, just as Harris did when she first started. Secondly, she loves traditional country music with a passion. Along with her Lost High Rollers, Muth has gifted the world with a collection of music that is straight, no chaser. This album opens with I've Been Gone, which rings out with a boisterous brass horn section, not unlike »»»
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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