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Album - Drive By Truckers - Southern Rock Opera

COUNTRY CLASSICSDrive-By Truckers - Southern Rock Opera

By Hal Horowitz, September 25, 2021

There is never a moment throughout this saga when the playing, singing and vocals feel anything less than earthy, honest and pure. That’s quite an accomplishment for this expansive hour and a half listen, particularly one where lyrics are so crucial to its enjoyment.

Dolly Parton - Coat of Many Colors Album Review

COUNTRY CLASSICSDolly Parton - Coat of Many Colors

By Marcus K. Dowling, September 25, 2021

It's on 1971’s Coat Of Many Colors that Dolly Parton's Hall of Fame level talent as a creator and wordsmith emerged. As for the rest of the album, it’s a fascinating journey into how the foundations of her professional streak took shape.

Album - Billy Strings - Renewal

ALBUM REVIEWBilly Strings - Renewal

By Matt Wickstrom, September 24, 2021

Renewal is Billy Strings’ Sistine Chapel; his grandest work to date that’s sure to cast a wide net of influence over bluegrass music for years to come.

Mickey Guyton - Remember Her Name Album Cover

ALBUM REVIEWMickey Guyton - Remember Her Name

By Helen M Jerome, September 23, 2021

Not your run-of-the-mill country album by any measure, Mickey Guyton has stepped up and grabbed her moment in the spotlight here. Exploring everything from romance and abandonment to self-esteem and social justice, Remember Her Name is a milestone record.

Album - Taylor McCall - Black Powder Soul

ALBUM REVIEWTaylor McCall - Black Powder Soul

By Hal Horowitz, September 22, 2021

Listeners who gravitate to the darker fringe of the genre will find plenty to chew on in this stunningly intense album that takes no prisoners, often detonating as if ignited by the explosive titular element.

Merlefest 2021 by Amanda Wicks

LIVE REVIEWReview: Merlefest 2021

By Amanda Wicks, September 21, 2021

The beloved festival — which boasts attendees who show up not just year after year, but decade after decade - underlines what it has grown to encompass since its earlier bluegrass days; you might even venture to call it “traditional plus plus”.

Album - Adia Victoria - A Southern Gothic

ALBUM REVIEWAdia Victoria - A Southern Gothic

By Hal Horowitz, September 16, 2021

Victoria has crafted a serious, often unrelenting and potent collection in A Southern Gothic - a powerful, searing work that pulses with the heartbeat of the American South.

The Felice Brothers - From Dreams To Dust Album Cover

ALBUM REVIEWThe Felice Brothers – From Dreams To Dust

By Helen M Jerome, September 16, 2021

“Music is a medicine. It can make our time on the planet a little more enjoyable”, Ian Felice of the Felice Brothers said. Their new record, From Dreams To Dust, succeeds in doing precisely that.

Album - Carly Pearce - 29: Written In Stone

ALBUM REVIEWCarly Pearce - 29: Written In Stone

By Jof Owen, September 15, 2021

As crushing and humiliating as heartbreak can be, it always allows for a rebirth of sorts. For Carly Pearce, it's resulted in 29: Written In Stone - a modern country music masterpiece.

Charley Crockett - Music City USA

STAFF PICKSCharley Crockett - Music City USA

By Hal Horowitz, September 14, 2021

It’s tricky to pick one singular track to return to after the 50-minute album is complete. It’s once again an all-killer-no-filler album, Crockett keeping up his extraordinary run of matching quantity with quality, all garnished with an endearing, “aw-shucks” vibe.

Kacey Musgraves - star-crossed Album Cover

ALBUM REVIEWKacey Musgraves - star-crossed

By Amanda Wicks, September 14, 2021

On star-crossed, Musgraves' vulnerability doesn’t fully disappear, but neither does she trust it so completely anymore. What emerges are astute observations told plainly. Wrapping them in witticisms or metaphors would lose the truth they need to convey — to herself as much as to anyone else.

Album - Deana Carter - Did I Shave My Legs For This?

COUNTRY CLASSICSDeana Carter - Did I Shave My Legs For This?

By Jof Owen, September 13, 2021

Did I Shave My Legs For This? caught the fever that was tearing through country music in the 90s, as a new army of women spiced up tradition with a reinvigorated tone of feisty independence.

Album Cover - Garth Brooks - Ropin' The Wind

COUNTRY CLASSICSGarth Brooks - Ropin' the Wind

By Alison Bonaguro, September 9, 2021

It’s been exactly 30 years since Brooks released his pivotal third album and changed the way people heard country music. We take a look back on its legacy.

Home In This World: Woody Guthrie's Dust Bowl Ballads Album Cover

ALBUM REVIEWHome in This World: Woody Guthrie’s Dust Bowl Ballads

By Hal Horowitz, September 8, 2021

These interpretations replicate the timeless qualities all great work exudes. The artists breathe new life and fresh inspiration into material whose words and melodies haven’t lost an ounce of their powerful intensity, regardless of the style they are replicated in.

Album - Emmylou Harris and the Nash Ramblers - Ramble in Music City

STAFF PICKSEmmylou Harris and the Nash Ramblers - Ramble in Music City: The Lost Concert

By Hal Horowitz, September 1, 2021

A stunning live recording that helps solidify the importance of the three-year stint of the Nash Ramblers, adding another notch to Harris’ impressive belt that every Emmylou enthusiast - and even those that aren’t - will treasure.

Album - Pistol Annies - Hell on Heels

COUNTRY CLASSICSPistol Annies - Hell on Heels

By Helen M Jerome, September 1, 2021

The Pistol Annies shook things up when they burst onto the scene with their debut album Hell On Heels in 2011. To celebrate its 10-year "annieversary", we look back on the formation of the no-shit-taking trio, and the record's lasting effect on country music.

Railbird Festival Limestone Stage - Holler / Sarah Cahill

LIVE REVIEWReview: Railbird Festival

By Matt Wickstrom, August 31, 2021

Railbird’s merging of top shelf music, bourbon and horse racing culture helped to create an event that was uniquely Kentucky in every way imaginable.

Album - Niko Moon - Good Time


By Jof Owen, August 25, 2021

The 14 tracks that make up his delightful debut album, Good Time, are full of barefoot, homespun wisdom. Niko Moon sits back, forgets all about it and just lets the world go by.

Sturgill Simpson - The Ballad of Dood & Juanita Album Cover

ALBUM REVIEWSturgill Simpson - The Ballad of Dood and Juanita

By Helen M Jerome, August 23, 2021

In The Ballad of Dood and Juanita, Sturgill Simpson has created something extraordinary.

Connie Smith - The Cry of the Heart Album Cover

ALBUM REVIEWConnie Smith - The Cry of the Heart

By Hal Horowitz, August 20, 2021

Marty Stuart should be praised for his production of the project, but on the enthralling The Cry of the Heart, Connie Smith shows that she remains a vibrant and convincing presence. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another decade for number 55.

Wanda Jackson - Encore Album Cover

ALBUM REVIEWWanda Jackson - Encore

By Zoe Hodges, August 19, 2021

Wanda Jackson, the Queen of Rockabilly, is back for her Encore - solidifying the notion that the sound she pioneered lives on in the music her younger counterparts are creating today.

Dwight Yoakam - Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. Album Cover

COUNTRY CLASSICSDwight Yoakam - Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.

By Hal Horowitz, August 19, 2021

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of this debut. Not only did it introduce Yoakam as a fledgling yet seasoned talent with a voice that comes along once in a generation, but it presented pure country, amplified and energized, to a new, younger audience.

Album Cover - Sierra Ferrell - Long Time Coming

ALBUM REVIEWSierra Ferrell - Long Time Coming

By Hal Horowitz, August 17, 2021

It’s obvious that Sierra Ferrell is a refreshingly original talent on the roots music landscape; one who’s revealed just a sampling of her gifts on this confident and uncompromising initial studio set.

Album - Sam Williams - Glasshouse Children

ALBUM REVIEWSam Williams - Glasshouse Children

By Helen M Jerome, August 16, 2021

This almost faultless debut from 22-year-old Sam Williams has so many fine collaborations and great songs that it's certainly been worth the wait.

Album - James McMurty - The Horses and the Hounds

STAFF PICKSJames McMurtry - The Horses and the Hounds

By Hal Horowitz, August 16, 2021

James McMurtry has always been one of Americana’s finest artists, but with The Horses and the Hounds, he even bests his previous work for an album undoubtedly on the shortlist as one of 2021’s finest. 

Brooks & Dunn - Brand New Man Album Cover

ALBUM REVIEWBrooks & Dunn - Brand New Man

By Jof Owen, August 13, 2021

30 years on and Brand New Man still sounds as sparkling and fresh as it did when it first came out, its influence echoing back out from contemporary artists Midland to Jon Pardi.

Album Cover - Leah Blevins - First Time Feeling

STAFF PICKSLeah Blevins - First Time Feeling

By Hal Horowitz, August 10, 2021

It won’t take long to realize that with First Time Feeling, singer/songwriter Leah Blevins has released one of the most impressive debuts in recent memory.

Jade Bird - Different Kinds of Light

ALBUM REVIEWJade Bird - Different Kinds of Light

By Hal Horowitz, August 9, 2021

Jade Bird is just 23 and has two impressive records to her name. From the direction of Different Kinds of Light, her future could be about to take flight.

Album - Chris Young - Famous Friends

ALBUM REVIEWChris Young - Famous Friends

By Helen M Jerome, August 6, 2021

Chris Young says he just can’t wait to start playing this new music on the road, and you simply can’t help but sense that excitement coursing through the songs on Famous Friends.

Billy Currington - Intuition Album Cover

ALBUM REVIEWBilly Currington - Intuition

By Helen M Jerome, August 6, 2021

If you like your country to bend towards lighter emotions for top-down, shades-on, guns-out summer fare, then this will definitely tickle your fancy.

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