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Kix Brooks Takes Control on New to This Town

Album ReviewsKix Brooks Takes Control on New to This Town

By Deborah Evans Price
© 2012 CMA Close Up® News Service / Country Music Association®, Inc.

Few people on Music Row, if any, possess a more diverse résumé than Kix Brooks. He can be heard weekly as host of the syndicated radio show “American Country Countdown with Kix Brooks.” He co-owns Arrington Vineyards, an award-winning winery just south of Nashville in pastoral Arrington, Tenn. He answers fan questions in a column for Country Weekly. He has launched an acting career and started a film company, Team Two Entertainment, in partnership with his son, Eric, director/producer Dustin Rikert and actor/producer William Shockley.

Then, of course, there’s his music career, which these days finds the Louisiana-born entertainer embarking on a new path. After 20 years as one-half of the multi-award-winning, multi-Platinum duo Brooks & Dunn, he amicably parted with partner Ronnie Dunn in 2010. Dunn released his self-titled project last year, and on Sept. 11 Brooks issued his own 12-song collection, New to This Town.

Brooks actually came to Nashville as a solo artist. He had released a single on Capitol Records, “Sacred Ground,” which peaked at No. 87 in 1989, and was establishing himself as a songwriter when he switched gears and paired with Dunn in 1990. Now, in striking out again on his own, he began by gathering material. Eventually, he wound up with 12 songs, nine of them with his credit as co-writer.
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Ty Stone - American Style

Album ReviewsTy Stone - American Style

Americana and Southern Rock blend seamlessly on this stand-out CD from newcomer Ty Stone, produced by fellow Detroit-native Kid Rock. A chance encounter at a Detroit Pistons game led to Kid discovering Ty's music, and thank God it happened! Bursting with soul and powerful vocals, American Style is easily my favorite CD this year.

I'm not even going to bother trying to choose a track or two to highlight. The whole album is great. Buy it and hear the awesomeness for yourself!

Buy the CD: http://store.tystonemusic.com/product...le-tour-cd
Online: http://www.tystonemusic.com/
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Mark Wills - Looking for America

Album ReviewsMark Wills - Looking for America
By Steven S. - AngryCountry Staff Writer

Mark Wills has brought us some big hits in the past, including: I Do, Wish You Were Here and Back at One. Now he''s back on a new album and with a new attitude. And he''s delivering what is easily his best album to date. Nine wonderful track plus an acoustic version of the most meaningful track on the album: Crazy Being Home.

''Home is a ballad about the effects of being in the military can have on a man even when he gets home. Wills is a regular visitor to our soldiers here at home and in the middle east, so this song rinds true and genuine when he presents it. Moving and important, every American should hear this song and support our troops.

Other notable tracks include: Rockin'' The Country - a loud and fun throwdown; Smokin'' Gun - About missing the signs that a relationship is already over; Phantom of the Opry brings the legends of country music back to life inside Nashville''s most beloved music halls.

With Looking for America Mark Wills shows growth as an artist and a dedication to country music. Who could ask for anything more? I highly recommend this one.

Buy The Album: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASI...admedia-20
Online: http://markwills.musiccitynetworks.com/
Learn more about PTSD and our Men and Women in the military: http://crazybeinghome.com/
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Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers single “Me and Paul Revere”

Album ReviewsSteve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers single “Me and Paul Revere”

The story of Paul Revere's midnight ride has been in the news a lot this week, but this isn't THAT version of the tale. This beautifully crafted story song comes instead from the point of view of Revere's horse: Brown Beauty.

You can hear the new single starting today on your favorite country music radio station, or see it performed live on PBS July fourth as part of their annual "A Capitol 4th" concert celebration.

Words & Music by Steve Martin - L.A. Films Music

Steve Martin: Banjo
Woody Platt: Lead vocal, acoustic guitar
Graham Sharp: Banjo, harmony vocal
Nicky Sanders: Fiddle, harmony vocal
Mike Guggino: Mandolin, harmony vocal
Charles Humphrey III: Upright bass
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Teddy Gentry's Best New Country

Album ReviewsTeddy Gentry's Best New Country
By Michael A. - AngryCountry Senior Staff Writer

I'm not sure when Cracker Barrel replaced record stores, but it happened. From The Grascals to Kenny Rogers big names are making waves at the country store known for front porches and scrambled eggs.

Now Teddy Gentry of Alabama fame is using his name and Cracker Barrel's distribution prowess to introduce America to the future of country music. Twelve talented up and comers present themselves well with the help of Teddy in the production booth. From rocking country to slow ballads "Best New Country" spotlights artists who just may be the future of country music.

AngryCountry caught up with one of the artists - 3 Lanes Crossing - performing live at a Cracker Barrel in Athens, AL. "Live" is how we prefer to experience new artists. Nashville music studios have a lot of tricks that can make just about anybody sound good on a CD, but an acoustic set in the middle of a busy restaurant you are left with nothing but your raw talent. And these ladies have it! Beautiful medleys created by three sisters with unique voices.

Other notable artists on this collection include:
Laura Fedor - A Better Woman - A well crafted song about being yourself.
Brad Long - Long Lost Smile - A southern-pop masterwork.
Jimmy Stewart - Every Mile I'm Missing You - Teddy Gentry's influence is most seen here in this southern rock power ballad that easily could have been an Alabama single.

Buy The Album: http://shop.crackerbarrel.com/dp/B005...2861987011
Online: http://bestnewnashville.com/
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Justin Haigh - People Like Me

Album ReviewsJustin Haigh - People Like Me
By Michael A - AngryCountry Senior Staff Writer

Drinking, Waylon and Jail... does it get much more country than that? Justin Haigh gives the listener all that and more. With vocals that remind me of a young Tracey Lawrence, and a devotion to all things country that brings Craig Morgan to mind Haigh delivers a thoroughly country album for traditionalists and new country fans alike. A true toe-tapping pleasure of a disc.

"In Jail" is easily my favorite song of the album, telling the story of what love can make you do. A funny cautionary tale.

The title track "People Like Me" is a up-tempo blast about knowing who you are and not caring what others think about it. It's about everything country and people like YOU.

"The Leaving In Your Eyes" presents a sad melody in a beautiful tune reminiscent of Hank Williams.

Overall a great album. Should do well at country radio, in the clubs and on your ipod!

Buy The Album: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASI...admedia-20
Online: http://justinhaigh.com/
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Ronnie Dunn - Ronnie Dunn

Album ReviewsRonnie Dunn - Ronnie Dunn
By Michael A. - AngryCountry Senior Staff Writer

"Debut Album" is such a strange concept when you consider the many accomplishments of Ronnie Dunn's musical career; but here we are. And 'here' is a good place to be! After this line there will be no mention of the Duo known as Brooks and Dunn in this article - no comparisons. This is a debut album by a new artist, and that's how it will be reviewed.

Now, I have to admit I almost tossed this album aside a minute into track one. "Singer in a Cowboy Band" is an unoriginal, boring tune that twice led me to turn off the radio in my car where I was planning to listen to the album. But this morning I loaded it into iTunes and started with track two.. and that was a better place to begin!

Each track offers a unique sound as Ronnie strives to find his place as a solo artist, but that doesn't mean a "see what sticks" approach to the music. Each is a artistically crafted masterpiece that showcases one of Nashville's best voices.

Among my Favorites:

Cost of Livin' - A perfect song for today's high gas prices and tight job market. A classic song for the working man or woman.

Last Love I'm Tryin' - Penned by Ronnie - a song about giving love everything and making it last.

I Just get Lonely - Another Ronnie Dunn original, a tender ballad sure to make his female fans swoon.

Eleven great tracks... and the first one... each fresh and unique. I have high hopes for this newcomer who seems oh so familiar.

Buy The Album: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASI...admedia-20
Online: http://www.ronniedunn.com/
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Randy Travis - Anniversary Celebration

Album ReviewsRandy Travis - Anniversary Celebration
By Michael A. - AngryCountry Senior Staff Writer

I grew up just north of Boston in an area that did not even have a country music radio station when I was young. Somehow, I still became a fan of Randy Travis. I have been blessed to attend hundreds of concerts over the years, but Randy was my first... and remains one of the most memorable to this day. It was the Marlboro Country Music Festival that brought a half dozen of country's biggest stars to the Worcester Centrum in Massachusetts and while the years have made me forget all of the artists on the bill, I have never forgotten the soulful vocals of Mr. Travis, or the way that his trademark gravelly low-notes vibrated the metal seats of the modest auditorium.

While I respect all the legends of country music, for most of them I can't honestly claim to have followed their careers enough to fairly speak of it. But Randy Travis, him I know. From the early hits on cassette to the inspirational songs sung live in a small Alabama church I have enjoyed all of Randy''s work.

From then to now: Today we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of Storms of Life, and while any greatest hits collection would have been enough - the artist that is Randy Travis delivers instead a new album, reinterpreting some of his biggest hits with the help of other musical greats. What impresses me most about this album is that Randy doesn't have the guest artists bend to his style, but worked with them to create a fresh sound that blends their styles with his beautifully.

It's hard to select a few standouts on such an overall great album, but I really enjoyed He Walked On Water with Kenny Chesney; a great mash-up of Better Class of Losers and She's Got the Rhythm featuring Alan Jackson; and of course the classic Diggin' Up Bones with John Anderson.

A wonderful collection that chronicles a career while creating new works worthy of kicking off the next twenty-five years.

Buy The Album: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASI...admedia-20
Online: http://www.randytravis.com/
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Meat Loaf, John Rich, Lil Jon & Mark McGrath Join Forces as Backbone on New Charity Single "Stand In The Storm" -

Album ReviewsMeat Loaf, John Rich, Lil Jon & Mark McGrath Join Forces as Backbone on New Charity Single "Stand In The Storm" - Available Now

NEW YORK, May 23, 2011-- Meat Loaf has joined fellow musicians and "Celebrity Apprentice" contestants John Rich, Lil Jon and Mark McGrath to record "Stand In The Storm," a new single benefitting the charities selected by the four members of Team Backbone.

Each of the four artists in Backbone will be donating 100% of his individual proceeds from the worldwide sale of "Stand In The Storm" to the charity of his choice: The Painted Turtle (Meat Loaf), St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (John Rich), The United Methodist Children's Home of North Georgia Conference (Lil Jon), and Save The Music Foundation (Mark McGrath).

Backbone's "Stand In The Storm" is available for purchase now. Please visit http://www.meatloaf.net for details.

"Stand In The Storm," a hard-rockin' hybrid of rock, pop, country, and hip-hop, is a tour de force showcasing the individual strengths and styles of the four musicians in the formidable Backbone supergroup. It will give fans a first taste of Meat Loaf's upcoming new studio album, titled Hell In A Handbasket, slated for fall release.

Fans can also catch Meat Loaf on his North American tour that kicks off June 29th in Milwaukee, WI. Check out http://www.meatloaf.net to view the full list of tour dates.

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Frankie Ballard - Frankie Ballard

Album ReviewsFrankie Ballard - Frankie Ballard
By Michael A. – http://AngryCountry.com Senior Staff Writer

Over-produced, self-indulgent and forgettable. Am I channeling my inner Simon Cowell? Maybe, but this album screams of trying too hard to be what someone told him country music is supposed to sound like right now. Not a single song on the disc grabbed me, moved me or made me want to get up and move. The tracks are so generic, down to his corny guitar licks that it was sometimes difficult to tell that the song had changed.

This Keith Urban on Xanax may find some fame by being a carbon copy of every country-rocker in Nashville today, but Frankie Ballard isn’t a name country music fans will remember in a few years. He does everything everyone else does, but he doesn’t do it better than those already on the air.

To my ears Ballard has performed the most unforgettable sin… he came on the scene as a new artist and created an album that sounds like the same crap I’ve been hearing for years. Where’s the originality?

Disappointing. I love hearing new artists, but I heard nothing new today!

On The Web: http://www.frankieballard.com/
Buy the album: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASI...admedia-20

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