Deborah Crooks

California-based singer-songwriter and writer ever in search of truth and beauty.

Hailey Whitters - Raised
reviews

STAFF PICKSHailey Whitters - Raised

By Deborah Crooks, March 16, 2022

Raised is a generous and unabashed celebration of growing up in a big family in a small town that cements Whitters as a true country songwriter of note.

Hannah White - About Time Album Review
reviews

ALBUM REVIEWHannah White - About Time

By Deborah Crooks, May 23, 2022

There’s no numbing the pain in White’s world, only walking—and sometimes stumbling—through it, feeling everything and alchemizing it with music and love.

Holler Country Music
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INTERVIEWThe Songs That Changed My Life: Courtney Marie Andrews

By Deborah Crooks, October 27, 2022

“I love songs that transcend time. Songs that make you think of something new every time you listen to them, that have layers and depths, that can be thought about in many different ways.”

Artist - Kris Kristofferson
lists

ESSENTIALSThe Best Kris Kristofferson Songs

By Deborah Crooks, June 23, 2022

Delving into his lengthy catalogue, Holler determine which 15 of Kristofferson's songs have stood the test of time, becoming the finest in his repertoire.

Sierra Ferrell
lists

ESSENTIALSThe Best Sierra Ferrell Songs List

By Deborah Crooks, November 29, 2022

For a decade, Sierra Ferrell crisscrossed the country busking, an inveterate troubadour for the modern generation.

Holler Country Music
reviews

ALBUM REVIEWLarkin Poe - Blood Harmony

By Deborah Crooks, November 8, 2022

Rather than breaking new ground, Blood Harmony finds Larkin Poe reasserting a claim to their Southern rock root, but the album's quieter moments hint at a possible new, even more compelling, frontier.

Holler Country Music
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ESSENTIALSThe Best Willie Nelson Songs

By Deborah Crooks, January 2, 2022

So many of Nelson’s tunes can now be considered standards. Still going strong at 88 years of age, it’s hard to pick 20 songs from his legendary cannon, but here’s our shot at it.

Artist - Wilco
lists

ESSENTIALSThe Best Wilco Songs

By Deborah Crooks, October 27, 2022

For more than 30 years, Jeff Tweedy has led Wilco away from any established musical path without losing its identity or relevance.

Artist - Ashley McBryde 1
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ESSENTIALSThe Best Ashley McBryde Songs

By Deborah Crooks, August 24, 2022

With a wide-ranging voice that easily pivots between raw-edged rock, country swagger and tender balladry, Ashley McBryde comes across as the knowing big sister you turn to in your darkest moments.

Album - Hayes Carll - You Get It All
reviews

ALBUM REVIEWHayes Carll - You Get It All

By Deborah Crooks, October 26, 2021

You Get It All indeed does have it all: the good, the bad and the most acute challenges of human experience which Carll treats with humor, heart and clear-eyed intelligence.

Holler Country Music
reviews

ALBUM REVIEWJane Bruce - My Bed

By Deborah Crooks, February 9, 2022

On My Bed, the deeply personal is all the politics there is. Not to say that there’s any simple resolution to be found: for Bruce, conflicting feelings and contradictory impulses are dissected, sometimes subdued, but rarely tamed.

Holler Country Music
lists

ESSENTIALSThe Best Sheryl Crow Songs

By Deborah Crooks, August 8, 2022

Over 11 studio albums and countless singles and collaborations, Sheryl Crow has steadily created an iconic songbook built on a bedrock of clear-eyed truth-telling and rock-solid musicality.

Holler Country Music
reviews

ALBUM REVIEWPatty Griffin - Tape

By Deborah Crooks, June 6, 2022

Patty Griffin’s new collection of previously unreleased demos and home recordings makes up for unvarnished production by capturing the immediacy of inspiration and sure-footedness of a master songwriter at work.

Holler Country Music
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ESSENTIALSThe Best Carly Pearce Songs

By Deborah Crooks, February 11, 2022

Carly Pearce displays an uncanny talent for plumbing the depths of every emotional experience, laying claim to both her missteps and her triumphs. We look back at some of her best songs yet.

Holler Country Music
reviews

ALBUM REVIEWCody Jinks - Mercy

By Deborah Crooks, November 9, 2021

On Mercy, where Jinks has the option to be definitive and nuanced, he more often opts for vague declarations and opposing expressions.