Album Review: Tessy Lou Williams – Tessy Lou Williams

Tessy Lou Williams is an Austin based country singer whose roots in music stretch back through her childhood and family history. She grew up in Montana, living in a small town called Willow Creek with her parents who were also musicians. Her country music credentials are therefore authentic and inform the traditional sound of the record. The cover image with the mountains in the background, the acoustic guitar held close to her heart, tells you where this album lives both musically and spiritually. Continue reading “Album Review: Tessy Lou Williams – Tessy Lou Williams”

Album Review: Jaime Wyatt – Neon Cross

Jaime Wyatt has been working for a breakthrough for a long time, finding her career waylaid by addiction and even jail. Her last release Felony Blues explored that painful past, with a nod to Merle Haggard and the outlaws who came before her. The question she explores on this new album Neon Cross is: who do you become when you’ve hit rock bottom, recovered and it still wasn’t the end of your pain? How do you get on with LIVIN in this damn world? Continue reading “Album Review: Jaime Wyatt – Neon Cross”

Album Review: Ashley McBryde – Never Will

Having had an amazing run through to the Grammys earlier this year with Girl Goin Nowhere, Ashley McBryde had some really strong momentum to build on heading into this new album Never Will. Sure there has been limited success at country radio (which is insane considering how good her singles are) but she hasn’t let that stop her. In the end it is the live show where an artist can build an audience of fans who buy records, merch and make careers. And live is where this artist shines. Most of these country chart toppers will soon be forgotten and Ashley will still be out there playing to big crowds in the decades to come. Talent, grit and songs will always win out. Continue reading “Album Review: Ashley McBryde – Never Will”

Album Review: Brandy Clark – Your Life is a Record

The truth is none of us are really ready for the big moments. We don’t ask for our lives to change. But they do. So what are we? Helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come, you can’t help that. It’s what you do after them that counts. That’s how you find out who you really are.

So yes this coronavirus outbreak has involved me just obsessively listening to music and watching episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (fans may recognise the reference in the introduction). That’s who I am. That’s what has got me through one of the craziest weeks in world history (and I’ve seen some serious shit). All I can say is thank god for Brandy Clark and this new album Your Life is a Record because otherwise I think I would have just submerged myself in a bath of hand sanitiser and refused to come out (well I would have if I actually had any). Continue reading “Album Review: Brandy Clark – Your Life is a Record”

Album Review: The Haden Triplets – The Family Songbook

After appearing in Hadestown as The Fates, it’s fitting that the Haden Triplets are releasing their new record at the same time as Anaïs Mitchell’s new project Bonny Light Horseman. Like that album, The Family Songbook also takes old songs, passed down through generations of their musical family and reinterprets them in a uniquely different style. Continue reading “Album Review: The Haden Triplets – The Family Songbook”

Dolly Parton’s Discography: Burlap and Satin (1983)

1983 was a year that brought Dolly more crossover chart success thanks to her duet Islands in the Stream with Kenny Rogers. Her 25th solo album released in the same year, Burlap and Satin, in comparison did not contain any real classic or memorable hit songs. The title is an acknowledgement that there will always be two contrasting aspects to her music – and how best to balance pop and country is something she is obviously still struggling to reconcile at this point. This album reached number 5 in the country charts, a disappointment for her, although it did result in a Grammy nomination. Continue reading “Dolly Parton’s Discography: Burlap and Satin (1983)”

Album Review: Little Big Town – Nightfall

Before I started this blog I wasn’t hugely familiar with Little Big Town, since their fame in the U.K. is niche at best. Many of my fellow Americana bloggers seemed to scoff at them, as though they were just another bad example of pop county and the Nashville big machine. However when I caught them live at C2C festival a couple of years ago I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed their set. This new album Nightfall has been mainly produced by the band themselves, alongside Golden Hour producers Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk.

While a band like this don’t set trends themselves, their work and choice of songs has always been admirable in comparison with some other mainstream, major label county artists. Unfortunately this also means that they too have fallen victim to the current banishment of women from the country music radio airwaves, despite their previous success. Luckily for the listener that seems to have freed them to do something much more interesting on this album. Continue reading “Album Review: Little Big Town – Nightfall”

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