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LBT, Giddens, Watson drop new sounds

Friday, February 24, 2017 – Little Big Town, Rhiannon Giddens and Aaron Watson top the heavy release schedule today.

Little Big Town got off to a fine start with "The Breaker," as its lead single "Better Man" hit the top of the chart. The song was penned by Taylor Swift. The next single is "When Someone Stops Loving You." "The Breaker" is the band's eighth studio release. The band had a hand in writing 3 of the 12 songs. Ace songwriter Lori McKenna helped on five of the songs. All four band members have lead vocals with Karen Fairchild assuming the lead on half of the songs.

Giddens, who had first gained acclaim with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, remains on her own with "Freedom Highway." The dozen-song disc describes the African-American experience in America. Giddens closes with "Freedom Highway," the Staples Singers' song.

Watson is a veteran of the Texas music scene, but made a big move career-wise with his 2015 release, "Underdog," which hit number 1 on the Billboard Top Country Album charts despite being an indie release. "Vaquero" is a 16-song set that goes from Texas dyed-in-the-wool country to more contemporary sounds.

Veteran band Old 97s are out with "Graveyard Whistling," which mixes their country beats and alt.-country/rock sounds. Rhett Miller handled the writing with some assist from Brandi Carlile, who guests on the disc as well.

Scott H. Biram veers towards the blues, but he maintains a country/roots quotient on "The Bad Redemption," his sixth for Bloodshot and 10th overall.

More news for Little Big Town

CD reviews for Little Big Town

Nightfall CD review - Nightfall
Little Big Town gets billed as a country music vocal group, but "Nightfall" plays out more like a four-headed singer-songwriter effort. Many of these songs hearken back to some of the best '70s introspective songwriter efforts. The album opens with "Next to You," which builds from a gentle meditation, into a full-on anthemic ode to the comfort and strength of fidelity. "Questions" interestingly finds an ex asking questions via song lyrics, which she can never »»»
The Breaker CD review - The Breaker
Anyone who missed Little Big Town's remarkable 2012 Unplugged performance on CMT should seek it out online. When they sing their monster hit "Pontoon," four hypnotic voices combine to harmonic perfection with no studio tricks - pick from any of the microphones, and it works as the song's lead vocal. But now that the group has ascended to the upper rung of stardom, different challenges arise. How do you compete with yourself fresh from a Grammy for Best Country Song »»»
Pain Killer CD review - Pain Killer
For some, listening to Little Big Town will be an act of searching for something at least half as catchy as "Pontoon," yet without success. Whenever a group creates such a fantastically memorable single, the prospect of following it up successfully can be a bit of a handicap. With that said, though, "Pain Killer" is a pretty good pop-country album, as pop-country albums go. Although Little Big Town has never been known to be rockers, the rollicking "Save Your Sin" »»»
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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