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”

Dolly Parton’s Discography: Heartbreak Express (1982)

1981 was a significant year for Dolly – it was the first gap in her album release schedule since her debut in 1967. During some of those years she had released up to three albums a year, and such insane productivity had led her to country music superstardom, moderate pop success, opportunities in Hollywood but ultimately brought her to her knees. It is during this time in the early eighties she endured a crisis, with serious personal and health concerns that led her to contemplate suicide. Furthermore the difficulties of filming her movie ‘The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’ would prove that becoming a Hollywood star was not the stuff her dreams had been made of. Continue reading “Dolly Parton’s Discography: Heartbreak Express (1982)”

Album Review: Miranda Lambert – Wildcard

Miranda Lambert’s last album The Weight of These Wings and the Pistol Annies’ Interstate Gospel are not just two of my favourite records of the last few years but indeed of all time. The former is one of the reasons I started writing this blog, and the latter has been a constant friend to me ever since its release. So to say I have been waiting in anticipation for Miranda’s new record is somewhat of an understatement.

On the other hand my intense connection with those two records has also made me nervous. After all how could anyone, even a country music genius like Miranda Lambert, possibly follow up the emotional depth and lyrical scope of those two albums?  Continue reading “Album Review: Miranda Lambert – Wildcard”

Album Review: Karen & the Sorrows – Guaranteed Broken Heart

When I first started the blog back in 2017 one of my favourite new artist discoveries was New York based Karen and the Sorrows, a band front by Karen Pittleman who were expanding the horizons of alternative country music. Finding a place in the genre has always been challenging for minority groups so it was a breath of fresh air to hear a band that were proudly queer and committed to creating safe space for LGBT fans who didn’t connect with its conservative, traditional roots. Continue reading “Album Review: Karen & the Sorrows – Guaranteed Broken Heart”

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