Last Friday we finally heard the first new music from the country music dream team The Highwomen. This project has been much talked about, with endless teases in interviews and hype on social media to the point where I began to worry the weight of expectations was going to crush the whole thing before it even began. I’m pleased to report that so far, so damn good. Continue reading “The Highwomen Are Finally Here! Thoughts On ‘Redesigning Women’”
Today is the blessed day that have we woken up to not one but two brand new solo songs from Miranda Lambert. They are her first in three years – not that she’s been quiet that whole time – we’ve been treated to tours, the Pistol Annies incredible album and her personal life has been as eventual as ever, with her marrying again earlier this year. Continue reading “Put These Suckers on Spin: Miranda Lambert Releases New Songs ‘It All Comes Out in the Wash’ & ‘Locomotive’”
‘Welcome to my TED talk on how awkward I am,’ said Kacey Musgraves in typically self-deprecating style at the beginning of her interview for the new exhibition honouring her career at the Country Music Hall of Fame. All of the Colors, lives up to its name with an array of stunning artefacts and costumes from across her life and career.
Country trio Runaway June are comprised of Naomi Cooke on lead vocals and guitar; Hannah Mulholland on vocals and mandolin and Jennifer Wayne on vocals and guitar. The girls have become the first all female trio to gain two country top 40 hits in a decade and their new album Blue Roses is released in the same month as their name – a fitting choice for a light and fun summer album of sweet country pop. Continue reading “Album Review: Runaway June – Blue Roses”
Dolly Parton seems to have an inspiring aphorism for every day of the week. Her savvy team post her most famous sound bites frequently on social media and there are even books you can buy just filled with wise quotations from the Queen herself.
Most of those quotes are so well known now they have almost become cliche – like ‘if you want the rainbow you have to put up with the rain’ and ‘if you don’t like the road you’re walking on, start paving a new one’. When I was reading the interview by her biographer Alanna Nash in the book ‘Behind Closed Doors: Talking with the Legends of Country Music’, I was stunned by the fact that Dolly offers these pearls of wisdom and insight so often that many of them have been forgotten. As I read I began writing some of my favourites down in a little pink notebook to consult anytime I felt down or stressed.
So I thought I would share my ten favourites that you might not have heard before (or are worth hearing again). As usual Dolly offers inspiration, advice and a model of how to thrive: Continue reading “Ten Inspiring Dolly Parton Quotes To Get You Through”
And so we’ve reached the eighties – the decade most traditional music fans like myself dread. During the seventies Dolly moved progressively towards pop and finished that decade by recording the most mainstream music of her career. At the beginning of 1980 Dolly Parton was 34 years old and still committed to becoming a worldwide superstar. Her decision to release another pop album dismayed the critics and many of her country music fans alike. And with good reason – Dolly, Dolly, Dolly doesn’t hold up that well to retrospective scrutiny, even if looking at the bigger picture we can conclude that Dolly’s plan for success worked. Continue reading “Dolly Parton’s Discography: Dolly, Dolly, Dolly (1980)”
I’ve noticed a recent trend in country music for songs about how hard it is to make in Nashville – like ‘This Town is Killing Me’ by Caitlyn Smith, ‘Dreams Don’t Come True’ by Angaleena Presley and ‘Ten Year Town’ by Hailey Whitters. Honest thoughts about the crushing reality of pursuing success are also recurring themes on this new album ‘Too Mean To Die’ by Karly Driftwood. Her dreams haven’t come true, not even close, but maybe that just gives her something to sing about. Continue reading “Album Review: Karly Driftwood – Too Mean To Die”
Traditional country music has been having a good 2019 so far, with releases from the likes of legends Reba McEntire and independent acts like Charlie Marie and Steel Blossoms. Austin’s Kathryn Legendre is another name to add to this list – she’s a singer with a honky tonk heart and songs good enough to make you joyously weep into your whiskey. This new EP Making It Up is only twenty minutes and five songs long but every single one is a knock out. Continue reading “EP Review: Kathryn Legendre – Making It Up”
There’s a delightfully delicious dark side to this new self-titled album from Steel Blossoms. Singers Hayley Prosser and Sara Zebley often have their tongue in their cheek, and they know that traditional country music is the perfect place to really put such dry humour to good use. By not taking themselves too seriously the duo have made one of the most entertaining albums of the year. Continue reading “Album Review: Steel Blossoms”