I’ve supported a few artists during their crowdfunding campaigns, something I am happy to do for an artist I know and love. Dallas Dorsey was not someone I had followed in the past, but I had heard a few tunes I’d enjoyed and my buddy John from Pitstop For Country couldn’t say enough about him. That was about all I needed to throw $10 in the ring toward a digital download of this self-titled EP, and boy am I glad I did; this album is great.
It’s not often that I stumble on a new (To me) artist and fall in love with an entire album. Let’s face it, most albums have a song or two that is either a dud or just OK, which is simply not the case with Jody Booth’s 2018 album ‘The Rosewood Tapes Volume One’, every song is a stone-cold killer.
It’s no secret that Karen Jonas is one of my favorite country artists; I’ve talked about how well she harnessed the alt and honky-tonk sounds in her two previous albums, peppering them with a healthy helping of strong female protagonists. With ‘Butter’ I knew the recipe would have a more personal feel, but what I was not prepared for was the genre-defying sound that would present itself throughout the album. Karen and crew took something that was working very well and bulked it up, making it even better than before, something I wasn’t sure was possible.
One of my parameters for characterizing an artist as a favorite is how well I can relate to the vast majority of what they write. Any artist that can put to music something I’ve thought and felt is going to be my guy. Erik Dylan continues to do just that with his most recent album ‘Baseball on the Moon’, giving us more of his poignant every-man lyrics and shattered-mirror reflection of the Norman Rockwell life.
While a song from her previous album continues to climb the Texas charts (“Already Gone” is currently #25 on TRRR), Jenni Dale Lord Band dropped a new album on us last week; that album is called ‘Reboot’ and it’s a stunner. There is a comforting familiarity to this entire recording, even on first listen; this is the kind of artist that will make a new fan out of you when you weren’t looking.
There is no one quite like Charley Crockett. While several of my pre-orders were filled yesterday, the one I was most looking forward to was ‘Lonesome as a Shadow’ by Mr. Crockett. There is a raw honesty to his music, rooted deeply in many different styles; he blends them so effortlessly that he almost requires his own genre.
The wider I open my eyes (And ears), the more I find in my own back yard. Case in point: Singer-songwriter Jenny Van West is a New Englander with an impressive array of sounds, all culminating in her new album ‘Happiness to Burn’, releasing today. On this album you will find folk, country, and jazz all mixed into a melting pot of pleasant vocal-driven Americana.
I’ve been waiting so long for this album from Joshua Hedley, that I was afraid I may have psyched myself up too much to enjoy it. When you go into an album with high hopes it is so easy to be disappointed; I knew Josh had the voice, and I knew he had the right folks backing him to allow creativity to flow, but you always wonder how it’s all going to jive when done… I’m happy to say that ‘Mr. Jukebox’ absolutely blew me away, even with such high expectations. This is blue ribbon country in 2018, as perfect now as it would have been 50 years ago.
Yesterday, for the first time ever, I heard an Ashley McBryde song on local country radio. I had waited patiently for this new album, since her 2016 independent EP, and hearing her on the radio was a moment of excitement; the world is now taking notice of this talent. While I don’t consider radio play to be the end-all for artistic accomplishment, it sure is nice to know someone you appreciate is finally getting recognized for their years of grinding.
About a month ago I was introduced to Jesse Terry and had the privilege of seeing him at one of my favorite venues. I had gone to see the opening act and avoided listening to more than a couple of Jesse’s songs before-hand, so I could experience the rest live first. What an experience it was; Jesse Terry showed himself to be a master of the storyteller song, with a soft-spoken stage presence that told the story with nothing more than his guitar and a microphone. I connected with the music, my wife cried when he played “Noise”, and Jesse earned himself a couple new fans.
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