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Black, Clint - out of sane [2020]
Clint Black ist neben George Strait und Alan Jackson zweifelsohne einer der bedeutendsten und erfolgreichstem Traditionalisten der Neunziger und frühen Zweitausender Jahre, als die Countrymusic in den Charts noch nicht so "popverseucht" wie heute war. Etliche Nr. 1-Hits stehen für ihn zu Buche. Nun meldet er sich, 5 Jahre nach seinem letzten Werk "On purpose", endlich mal wieder mit einem neuen Album zurück. Und er ist noch immer der Alte. Traditionelle, "echte" Countrymusic, wie wir sie von Clint Balck seit jeher kennen. Mal schön flott, mal im gepflegten Midtempo, aber auch mit einigen schönen Balladen transportiert er seinen typischen Traditional Country unverfälscht in die heutige Zeit. Seine vielen Fans werden es ihm danken. Ein feines Album!

Hier ein Original U.S.-Review zu "Out of sane":

The praise that’s been heaped upon young guns such as Luke Combs, Jon Pardi and Cody Johnson in recent years for helping to revive the sounds of ‘90s country is certainly warranted. We’re not looking to take anything away from them. But we’d be fantastically remiss for not giving a great deal of love to the greats who actually shaped that pre-millennial sound and are still out there making music–and making it rather well.
For his 23rd studio album, and first in five years, Clint Black has drawn from the deep well he originally built his legend upon. Out of Sane, which the Texas native produced and co-wrote all but one track on, is a straight-forward, honest effort from beginning to end. In some cases, that means its refreshingly simple, lacking any pretense, but at other times, the earnestness can be a tad overpowering.
It would be understandable for a veteran such as Black, whose commercial chart-topping days are behind him, to try and update his product into something today’s radio programmers might be compelled to put onto their playlists. Thankfully Black is secure enough in his own talent, fanbase and legacy to avoid such an artistic identity crisis.
The album-opening “Hellbent” is an electrified, crawling rock-inflected number that, thanks to Black’s low southern drawl, carries enough country weight for things to feel decidedly twangy. Similar to Garth Brooks’ most rocking songs (think “Rodeo”), it doesn’t seem as though Black could crank the amps loud enough for things to ever be anything but honky-tonk ready.
Another tune where the tempo meanders while Black’s deeper vocals take center stage is the ominous, almost menacing “Down To It.” It’s a love song, and its plenty country, but the dark, almost stalker-like sonic vibe suggests the recipient of the narrator’s affections isn’t in the biggest hurry to reciprocate.
It’s not all swirling electric guitars though, of course. Black lightens things up impressively with the sorts of fiddle-packed tunes you rarely hear on mainstream country radio now but were plentiful three decades ago. The swinging “My Best Thinking” and the harmonica-drenched “Found It Anyway” feature stomping rhythms and an undeniable fool-good spirit.
If you can listen to the bouncy “Can’t Quit Thinkin’ and not immediately envision a packed dance floor of line-dancing starched Wranglers, then go search “Wildhorse Saloon” on YouTube. And the sunshine pokes through with the bluegrass-powered “With Love” and the soulful, laid-back “Beautiful Day.”
Black does step away from his most comfortable of ranges on this record with mixed results. In the piano ballad love letter to his country, “America (Still in Love With You),” Black seems to be shooting for Lee Greenwood-size patriotic bombast by singing from a schmaltzy Hallmark card. And in the album-closing “What I Knew Then,” he employs an odd voice modulation in the chorus that robs the rocking song of any momentum, making it sound like some wacky ‘80s action figure commercial.
Make no mistake, not all the surprises here take a wrong turn. The bluesy “Find Myself” is a moody gem, and the up-tempo “The Only One” is a searing Tom Petty-esque rocker. The biggest, most pleasant surprise of all is that the one song out of the dozen on the record Black didn’t write is the one he shines brightest on.
Black’s cover of Harry Nilsson’s 1968 hit “Everybody’s Talkin’” is a fully plugged-in roadhouse rager. With tons of wall-rattling reverb backing him, Black absolutely nails that iconic high vocal note towards the song’s end. As much as any other song here, there’s little doubt this would’ve been yet another Number One single for Black had it been released during the Clinton Administration.
The signature marks Black has come to be best known for, like stellar guitar work, boldly clear baritone vocals and straight-forward country storytelling, are quite present and accounted for. In the midst of some questionable left turns and exciting surprises, such dependable constants are comforting and completely welcome. Through it all, Out of Sane, is a fine record, and most importantly, it’s a genuinely unmistakable Clint Black record.
(Kelly Dearmore / Sounds Like Nashville)

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. Hell Bent - 4:13
2. My Best Thinkin' - 3:59
3. America (Still in Love With You) - 4:03
4. With Love - 3:32
5. Everybody's Talkin' - 3:31
6. Found it Anyway - 3:07
7. A Beautiful Day - 3:57
8. Down To It - 4:32
9. The Only One - 4:09
10. Can't Quit Thinkin' - 3:27
11. Find Myself - 3:06
12. What I Knew Then - 4:14

Art-Nr.: 10092
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Country
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 13,90

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Little Big Town - nightfall [2020]
"'Nightfall' is Little Big Town's album of 'peaceful' social commentary in a divisive world". Musikalisch in 13 wunderbare, gesanglich und instrumentell hinreißend vorgetragene Lieder gefasstes, überaus ambitioniertes, neues Album von Little Big Town. Das immer mal wieder als "Fleetwod Mac des Country" bezeichnete, mit vielen Grammys und anderen Preisen hochdekorierte Quartett zeigt sich textlich engagiert und kritisch wie nie zuvor. Man hat etwas zu sagen. Dazu packen Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Roads, Jimi Westbrook und Phillip Sweet die teils sehr zum Nachdenken anregenden Themen nicht in rauschende Partyheuler, sondern in entsprechend exquisites, überaus niveauvolles Midtempo- und Balladen-Songmaterial mit tollen Arrangements. "This is no 'rah-rah beer festival'", betonte die Band dazu in verschiedenen Interviews (nachzulesen in u. a. Original Album-Review des New Yorker Wall Street Journal). "Nigtfall" ist eine absolute Glanzleistung von Little Big Town!

Original Album-Review des New Yorker Wall Street Journal:

Ambitious country-music performers face some daunting choices these days. They can lean toward furthering the genre’s tradition of capturing under-explored scenes and sentiments of contemporary adult life, and thus risk appealing to hard-core connoisseurs only. Or they can engage with popular tropes that, however often repeated, dominate big-time country radio, winning acceptance by the widest audience in the process. The fairly stark dichotomy can be characterized as more lettered, Americana-adjacent country versus country pop; aiming at more mature versus younger audiences; or even simply as album-centered versus hot-single-oriented production.
But there is a third, especially challenging route—one pursued by such repeatedly honored practitioners as Miranda Lambert, Eric Church and Dierks Bentley : working consciously and deftly to have it both ways. And among vocal groups over the past decade, none has proved more adept at walking this road than the mixed-gender, always vocally harmonious quartet Little Big Town—founders Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman, with Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet. Winners of the Country Duo/Group Performance Grammy for “Pontoon” (2012), “Girl Crush” (2014) and “Better Man” (2016), they were also the Country Music Awards’ Vocal Group of the Year for six years running, 2012-2017. Their latest album, “Nightfall” (Capitol Records Nashville), set for release Jan. 17, is yet another in their succession of album gems, and a prime example of an artfully constructed offering likely to gain popularity as well as critical praise.
The most-discussed track before the album’s release has been “The Daughters,” a melodic ballad written by Ms. Fairchild along with respected Nashville songwriters Sean McConnell and Ashley Ray. Introduced by the group on the televised ACM Awards back in April, it outlines the circumscribing demands and expectations young girls are so often subjected to and offers them parental hope, but a chorus line that tossed in “I’m just looking for a God for the daughters” effectively ruled it out as a single promoted to wary and guarded pop-country radio. (The same edgy cheekiness had marked the easily misunderstood “Girl Crush,” and brought more attention to it.) “The Daughters” was nominated for this year’s Country Duo/Group Performance Grammy before the album was even out.
The first track that was vigorously promoted as a single is a song about drinking, safer country territory, and is in a traditional honky-tonk mode—not just in sound and rhythm but in its clever turn on expectations. “Over Drinking” is not about drinking too much, but about being finished with crying in a beer: “I’m drunk ’cause I’m happy, not drunk ’cause you’re gone; I’m over drinking over you.” Classic hard country. But for those looking for a pop alternative, the very next album track is “Wine, Beer, Whiskey,” which, after a teasing after-hours jazz-like opening, turns to a thumping salute to friends named Jack, Jose, Brandy, Sherry and Captain. No explanations required—and audience balance achieved.
The latest single, “Sugar Coat,” is a moody, dark ballad with Ms. Fairchild singing lead, in the persona of the long-suffering wife of a husband with wandering ways. She doesn’t drink, doesn’t take pills, just smiles “with a lump in my throat.” Many will find the song instantly relatable; it was written by country’s expert on such situations, Lori McKenna, along with Josh Kerr and Jordyn Shellhart. One of the advantages of a track record like Little Big Town’s is the happy availability of new songs that work for them from top writers—a number in this case co-written along with the band, and with Ms. Fairchild in particular. The album’s all-star songwriting contributors include Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuck, Grammy-winning producers and collaborating writers for Kacey Musgraves’s “Golden Hour” album last year; and the so-called Love Junkies (Ms. McKenna, Hillary Lindsey and Liz Rose ) who’d been responsible for “Girl Crush.”
Overall, the instrumentation is as varied as the album’s many moods demand, and the always strong Little Big Town vocals rise to the varied occasions. But as the songs add up on “Nightfall,” you notice that there’s a theme at work, reflected in the album title—moods when the lights go down; dreams; thoughts while lying in bed alone or with company, old or new. It’s often sophisticated, yet nonetheless country-ready, after-dark material.
“Nightfall,” the group has been telling interviewers, is no “rah-rah beer festival.” Indeed, the album’s release show is set for New York’s Carnegie Hall on Jan. 16, and the Apollo Theater the following two nights. To use a phrase only occasionally appreciated or particularly appropriate in country, this is a class album from one classy group. (Barry Mazor / The Wall Street Journal)

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. Next To You - 4:06
2. Nightfall - 3:21
3. Forever And A Night - 4:26
4. Throw Your Love Away - 3:44
5. Over Drinking - 3:10
6. Wine, Beer, Whiskey - 3:16
7. Questions - 3:03
8. The Daughters - 3:32
9. River Of Stars - 3:37
10. Sugar Coat - 3:39
11. Problem Child - 3:35
12. Bluebird - 3:11
13. Trouble With Forever - 3:31

Art-Nr.: 9977
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Country
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 15,90

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Lynne, Shelby & Allison Moorer - not dark yet [2017]
Hinreissend schönes Americana-Album der beiden Schwestern Shelby Lynne und Allison Morrer, die hier ihre beiden herausragenden Talente geradezu traumhaft miteinander kombinieren. Ihr Gesang ist exzellent! Bis auf ein eigenes Stück, das fantastische "Is it too much", befinden sich auf dem Album ausschließlich Coverversionen von ausgewählten Stücken diversester Künstler, denen die Beiden problemlos ihren eigenen Stempel aufdrücken. Es ist eine Wonne, wie sie an Stücke, wie etwa Merle Haggard's "Silver wings", Townes van Zandt's "Lungs", Bob Dylan's "Not dark yet", Jessi Colter's "I'm looking for blue eyes" oder Nirvana's "Lithium" herangehen. Die Arrnagements kommen in einer wundervollen, "stripped down" Full Band-Instrumentierung, inszeniert von granduiosen Musikern, wie beispielsweise Doug Pttibone (guitars), Benmont Tench (keyboards), Don Heffington (drums), Taras Prodaniuk (bass), und vielen mehr. Zurücklehnen und genießen! Das ist hochklassige Americana-/Roots-/Alternate Country-Musik, deren Magie sich der geneigte Genre-Fan kaum entziehen kann.

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. My List - 2.53
2. Every Time You Leave - 2.23
3. Not Dark Yet - 4.20
4. I'm Looking For Blue Eyes - 2.58
5. Lungs - 2.55
6. The Color of a Cloudy Day - 4.04
7. Silver Wings - 2.34
8. Into My Arms - 4.48
9. Lithium - 5.39
10. Is It Too Much - 4.46

Art-Nr.: 9502
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Rock
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 14,90

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Moody, Ruth - these wilder things [2013]
Betörend schönes, zweites Solo-Album von Ruth Moody, einem Drittel der gefeierten kanadischen Folk-/Americana-Formation The Wailin' Jennys. Mark Knopfler ist ein bekennender Fan von Ruth und sagt: "I can't take her off my jukebox", All Music Guide bezeichnet das Werk schlicht als "delicious and refreshing". In der Tat begeistert die charismatische, junge Kanadierin mit einem tollen Album voller herrlicher, melodischer, zumeist zart und fragil vorgetragenen, überwiegend akustisch arrangierten und recht sparsam instrumentierten Songs, die sich genüßlich auf einem Terrain zwischen Folk, Bluegrass, Roots, Country, Americana und dezenten Rock-Elementen tummeln. Instrumente wie akustische Gitarren, Dobro, Mandoline, Piano, zurückhaltende Keyboards und E-Gitarren, auch mal eine Flöte oder eine ganz dezent wahrnehmbare Trompete bestimmen das Geschehen. Ruth's wunderbare, zarte Stimme und der musikalische Rahmen harmonisieren fantastisch miteinander. Das gesamte Klangbild besticht mit einer herrlichen, unverbrauchten, rootsigen Natürlichkeit. Musikalische Gäste sind u.a. der eingangs erwähnte Mark Knopfler, Jerry Douglas (Alison Krauss & Union Station), Aoife O'Donovan und Wailin' Jennys-Kollegin Heather Masse. Enthält eine gnadenlos starke, akustische, zwischen Folk und Bluegrass hin und her balancierende Coverversion von Bruce Springsteen's Mega-Hit "Dancin' in the dark". Ruth Moody mit einem hinreissenden Album!

Hier noch ein Original U.S.-Review:

These Wilder Things, the second solo album by Ruth Moody of the Wailin' Jennys, is both apiece and apart from her 2010 debut Garden. While her lyric concerns seem similar on the surface and the music is still rooted in contemporary folk, this ten-song collection ranges farther and wider. Acoustic instruments still dominate the landscape and Moody plays many of them, but the stylistic diversity here is a further step down the road. She wrote all but one song here, a playful, acoustically driven cover of Bruce Springsteen's '80s hit "Dancin' in the Dark," but her reading of it -- sans pulsing keyboards and desperate masculine voice -- makes it fit seamlessly with her songs here: they all seek connection with something larger, in life, love, and spirit. The bluegrass gospel in "One Light Shining," with dobro from Jerry Douglas and backing vocals by Aiofe O'Donovan, projects that bigger reality inside a small frame. So is the minor-key, broken love song "Pockets," with silvery guitar and backing vocals from Mark Knopfler. This is Moody at her darkest; one can feel her protagonist's desolation in the grain of her airy soprano, and Knopfler's grainy baritone comes from the ether as the absent lover sings with the narrator across time and space. The title track features the trace of a Moog by producer David Travers-Smith, but it merely underscores Moody's piano and determined voice. Her protagonist is addressing her fear and doubt, and lets them know solemnly that she will move past them into a wide-open future. Travers-Smith's flügelhorn and e-horns add a ghostly gospel affirmation in the backdrop. Her bandmates help out with backing vocals on the sweet country love song "One and Only," with its slow chugging guitars. Mike McGoldrick's low whistle and John McCusker's fiddle provide traditional Celtic flavor to "Life Is Long," which reinforces its simple yet profound poetry of passage and return. Closer "Nothin' Without Love" finds her on banjo in this aching, jazzy, romantic paean that juxtaposes economic and emotional poverty; it aches to transcend both. Moody's gaze on These Wilder Things is indeed still an interior one, but it's more confident and more sophisticated musically and lyrically. The protagonists in these beautiful songs accept what they encounter, and truthfully and variously recount that adventure to the listener with an open heart.
(Thom Jurek, Rovi)

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. Trouble and Woe - 3:16
2. One and Only - 4:55
3. Dancing in the Dark - 4:19
4. These Wilder Things - 5:14
5. Trees for Skies - 3:32
6. Pockets - 5:03
7. Make a Change - 4:42
8. One Light Shining - 4:43
9. Life Is Long - 5:37
10. Nothing Without Love - 5:00

Art-Nr.: 8185
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Rock; Country
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 16,90

In folgende Titel können Sie reinhören:
Trouble and woe
One and only
Dancing in the dark
These wilder things
Pockets
One light shining

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Sellers, Aubrie - far from home [2020]
Einzigartig und bewegend! Nashville born/LA based artist Aubrie Sellers, Lee Ann Womack's Tochter, veröffentlicht mit "Far from home" ihr zweites Album - und geht damit einen ganz eigenen Weg. Einen ganz großartigen Weg, denn es ist ein tolles, spannendes Album geworden. Mit erstklassigem Songmaterial aufwartend, bewegt sich Aubrie irgendwo im Bereich des Garage Country, des Sonic Country, des Dusty Cowboy Country, also, weniger speziell ausgedrückt, auf dem Terrain zwischen Alternate Counztry, Countryrock, Americana, Rootsrock und Psychedelic Country. Umgeben von halligen Gitarren, schwebenden Keyboard-Klängen und auch mal sehr dreckigen, rauen Momenten, hangelt sie sich mit ihrer wundervollen, außergewöhnlich klaren, reinen Countrystimme durch genauso experimentell und psychedelisch, wie melodisch und eingängig vorgetragenen Songs, bei denen die vordergründig divers gestalteten Arrangements allerdings sehr harmonisch und geradezu grandios zusammenpassen. Instrumentelle In­no­va­ti­vi­tät trifft auf die Stimme eines "Countryengels" - großartig! Melancholische, kristallklar vorgetragene Balladen und erdige, raue Rocker harmonieren auf dem Album ganz prächtig miteinander. Ein Musterbeispiel dafür sind die beiden Eröffnungstracks. Das Album beginnt mit einer traumhaft schönen, ruhigen Ballade, dem Titelstück "Far from home". Zurückhaltende E-Gitarren-Begleitung, "entfernt" wahrnehmbares, sparsames Drumming, psychedelisch eingestreute Keyboard-Klänge und Aubrie's kristallklarer Gesang bestimmen das Geschehen. Die Nummer wirkt wie ein Outtake aus Emmylou Harris' "Wrecking Ball"-Sessions. Fantastisch! Track 2 dagegen kommt deutlich herber. "My love will not change", ein Duett mit Steve Earle, ist ein kantiger, rootsiger, ruppiger, aber dennoch irgendwie vertraut eingängig wirkender Rocker, der mit einem ähnlichen Soundgefüge wie der Opener spielt, nur eben sehr viel dynamischer und dreckiger. Stark hier die "schrägen" Gitarren. So reihen sich ein erstklassiger Track nach dem anderen aneinander, ob das von erdigen Gitarren und Synthie-Klängen bestimmte, knackig und rootsig rockende "Lucky charm", das gar etwas spacige, dennoch countryrockige "Going places", die geradezu geniale, herzzerreißende Ballade "Haven't even kissed me yet" mit ihren herrlichen Gitarrenriffs, der knackige, etwas an Sheryl Crow erinnernde Americana-Rocker "Under the sun", das von einer bestechend schönen Melodie geprägte "Run", oder der knackige, am Ende psychedelisch austrudelnde Countryrocker "One towns trash" - Aubrie Sellers ist ein baumstarkes, sehr innovatives, interessantes und spannendes Album gelungen, das in der Szene jetzt schon für jede Menge, und zwar ausschließlich positive, Aufmerksamkeit sorgt. Sehr cooler, bärenstarker Auftritt, Miss Sellers!

Hier noch ein Original U.S.-Review:

The thump-thump-thump of pulsating drums pushing a distorted guitar riff that wouldn’t be out of place on a Sonic Youth album isn’t what you’d expect from an artist whose previous track opens her sophomore release with a melancholy ballad sounding like an outtake from Emmylou Harris’s Wrecking Ball. Such is the dichotomy that singer/songwriter Aubrie Sellers explores on the often riveting, never predictable Far From Home.
Sellers, the daughter of Lee Ann Womack and stepdaughter of Frank Liddell (who produces both of them), comes by her country vocals naturally. But the roughed up guitars and steely attitude that made Sellers’ 2016 debut such a standout release are amped up and pounded down further on this sequel.
Four guitarists are credited (although frustratingly not by the specific track they contribute to) and even when the songs are relatively straightforward country pop as in “Drag You Down,” the bolstered sonics and raw attack, both instrumentally if slightly less so vocally, justifies the “garage country” tag Sellers uses to describe her approach.
While she occasionally swims in less choppy waters such as on the melancholy, bittersweet “Haven’t Even Kissed Me Yet,” (“Sometimes the sweetest words can really start to hurt when you can’t tell what they mean…you’re already playing with my head”), the song closes with an eerie, reverbed guitar solo highlighting the dark lyrics. But when Sellers rocks out on “One Town’s Trash,” a co-write with the Raconteurs’ Brendan Benson (a veteran who knows from raucous rocking), or the propulsive “Glad” with its near experimental crackling leads and “I’m glad that you broke this heart of mine” lyrics, the gritty punk factor cranks up to Jack White standards.
The needle pegging goes all out in “Troublemaker,” this album’s “Helter Skelter,” where the band goes increasingly bonkers as the track progresses until disintegrating at its end. There’s a bit of Sheryl Crow in the modified melodic rocking of “Under the Sun” and a cool “Taxman”-styled beat that pushes “Going Places” to a Beatle-esque vibe. These balance the more abrasive moments on an album that rightly revels in its indie-rock meets country blend.   
Although her mom has also gotten grittier under Liddell’s production hand, little of this would be confused for even the most unruly Lee Ann Womack tracks. Which is as it should be;Sellers, perhaps acting as the rebellious offspring, is clearly moving in a harder-hitting direction, pushing boundaries and carving her own unique musical path.
(Andrew Gulden / Americana Highways)

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. Far From Home - 3:07
2. My Love Will Not Change - 3:35
3. Lucky Charm - 3:13
4. Worried Mind - 3:24
5. Drag You Down - 2:37
6. Going Places - 4:19
7. Glad - 3:00
8. Haven't Even Kissed Me Yet - 4:33
9. Troublemaker - 3:31
10. Run - 5:05
11. Under the Sun - 4:40
12. One Town's Trash - 5:17

Art-Nr.: 9989
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Rock; Country
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 15,90

In folgende Titel können Sie reinhören:
Far from home
My love will not change
Lucky charm
Haven't even kissed me yet
Troublemaker
Run
Under the sun
One town's trash

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Sugarland - love on the inside ~ deluxe fan edition [2008]
Deluxe Fan-Edition mit 5 Bonustracks! Erfrischend , lebendig, wunderbar! Sugarland (Jennifer Nettles und Kristian Bush) setzen auch mit ihrem von den Fans heiß herbeigesehnten dritten Album konsequent ihren musikalisch eingeschlagenenWeg fort und werden dabei immer besser! Nettles' Stimme war nie kraftvoller, variabler und stärker, Bush's Harmonies, sein Acoustic Gitarren- und Mandolinenspiel waren nie vielfältiger. Dieses Duo ist mit seinem durchaus in Traditionen verwurzelten, aber so modernen, knackigen, dabei alles andere als glamourösen, sondern stets erdigen, exakt auf den Punkt produzierten New Contry-/Country-Rockpop-Sound eine wahre Wohltat für Nashville! Das Album erscheint in den USA in zwei Ausgaben, einer "normalen" Version mit 12 neuen Tracks und einer sogenannten "Deluxe Fan-Edition" mit 5 zusätzlichen Bonustracks! Darüber hinaus kommt die Deluxe-Ausgabe in einer speziellen, edlen Digipack-Verpackung inklusive eines alle Texte und viele Fotos enthaltenden, 20-seitigen Booklets und der Zugangsmöglichkeit zu exklusivem Video-Material. Also, keine Frage: Die "aufgemotzte" Ausgabe ist definitiv die, die es sich lohnt zu kaufen - und deshalb bieten wir auch ausschließlich diese an! Insgesamt ist das Songmaterial im Vergleich zu den beiden mega-erfolgreichen Vorgängern vielleicht etwas "verhaltener" ausgefallen. Will heißen: Der Anteil an Balladen hat im Vergleich zu den Uptempo-Nummern leicht zugenommen. Dennoch strotzt auch dieses Album vor Dynamik und Energie - und das Songmaterial ist einfach nur klasse! Ohne Ausnahme! Toll beispielsweise der froh gelaunte Opener "All I want to do" (gleichzeitig die erste Single und bereits auf dem besten Wege die nächste Nr. 1 des Duos zu werden), mit seinen kernigen Slide Gitarren-Licks (großartig: Gitarren-As Michael Landau), dem trockenen Ambiente und dem wundervollen "Ooh hu hu hu hu"-Mitsing-Refrain, der knackige, sehr melodische Uptempo Rockin' Country-Shuffle/-Boogie "It happens", der traumhafte, einfach herrlich ins Ohr gehende Country-Stomper "We run" mit seinen vitalen Acoustic Gitarren-Rhythmen, dem knackigen Drumming und großartigen Akkordeon-Spiel, die exzellente, leicht folkig angehauchte, einmal mehr wundervoll melodische, Mandolinen-getränkte Country-Ballde "Genevieve", das entspannte "Already gone", der satte, rockige, ungemein melodische Knaller "Take me as I am", das rootsige, viel Americana-Feeling aufbauende, von schöner Slide, Steelguitar und einem klasse Traditional Country-Rhythmus bestimmte "Steve Earle" (einer Huldigung der beiden an die große Roots-/Alternate Country-Ikone), und die wunderschöne, getragene, ruhige, kristallklar in Szene gesetzte, reine Country-Ballade "Very last country song" - eine traumhafte Nummer! Die fünf, auf der Fan-Edition zusätzlich enthaltenen Songs (3 weitere neue Studio-Tracks und 2 bärenstarke, bislang auch nicht als Studioversion existierende Live-Nummern) reihen sich nahtlos an den hohen Qualitätsstandard der übrigen Stücke an und sind somit für den geneigten Sugarland- und New Country-Fan ebenso unverzichtbar! Erwähnenswert hier besonders die brillante Live-Fassung des Achtziger Jahre-/Dream Academy-Klassikers "Life in a northern town", das am 13. Dezember 2007 in Fayettevill/North Carolina während der gemeinsamen US-Tour von Sugarland mit Little Big Town und Jake Owen mitgeschnitten wurde, die sich auch alle gesanglich an dieser tollen Intepretation beteiligten. Sugarland sind und bleiben mit "Love on the inside" (vielleicht sogar ihr ausgereiftestes, bestes Album) eines der absoluten Zugpferde Nashvilles in Sachen knackigem, modernem, qualitativ gochwertigem New Country, inklusive "eingebauter" Hit- und Chart-Garantie! Ein tolles Album - und darüber hinaus mit über 71 Minuten Spielzeit ein wirklich prall gefüll

Ganz interessant: Ein offizieller Sugaland "Song by Song"-Überblick (im Original):

"All I Want To Do"
The duo’s intent here was to have a lot of swing to the lead single of this album. To funk it up a bit, and keep it very hooky. Musically, this number’s somewhere between Bonnie Raitt and Jack Johnson, with some Marvin Gaye and Van Halen thrown in. "I love the flirty sound," says Jennifer Nettles. "We just always want to bring different energies, and we got to play on the lighter side this time." If you listen close, the easy percussion from Matt Chamberlain gives the song its sexy heartbeat.

"It Happens"
Sometimes, you just gotta let go. That’s what this gritty little tune’s all about, says the duo. "We always say we should take the music seriously, but not ourselves," Nettles says. When the guitar comes in at the top, you know this is going to be a little more 80s pop than down-home country. Think "Walking on Sunshine". Because this tune wraps it all up with some very advisable lyrics: "Let go, laughing". And Nettles thinks the ironies, like getting in a fender bender with your ex and his new girl, shows listeners what a grand sense of humor the universe has. It’s a very uptempo way to look at a world that’s out of your control.

"We Run"
New love. Young love. Green love. There’s an excitement to that experience that Sugarland has captured in this intoxicating bluegrassy rocker. Nettles admits this grew from a seed of an idea that Bush had, since he grew up playing mountain music in Tennessee. And this song lends itself to that Appalachian sound, that driving four-on-the-floor beat. You can’t really describe that feeling, so the duo chose to show it rather than tell it. The imagery--of pockets of dirt and reckless weather on the breath--convey how beautiful, messy and powerful love can be.

"Joey"
Teenage love doesn’t always have a happy ending. Especially when a tear-jerker like Bill Anderson has pen in hand. He helped Nettles and Bush craft this modern take on the traditional teen tragedy, and yet much more alternative influences went into the vocals. "We ended up with a haunting wail in the chorus and this R.E.M. background vocal," says Bush of the melancholy music. "It’s simple and dark." The rich texture of this song is built around all those "what ifs" that run through your mind as you explore regret. "Nothing mitigates loss," says Nettles "But everyone has regrets, so we can all relate."

"Love"
Nettles’ powerhouse pipes take center stage in this ballad. And that strength comes though in the form of questions, about how you can possibly define love. Is it the face of a child? Kindness in the eyes of a stranger? In a hotel room in Washington D.C., when Sugarland was chasing down the theme of the whole album, the topic of love came up. "No way could you ever narrow it down," Nettles says of their writing time with Tim Owens ("Settlin’"). There’s love lost, love found, new and old loves. So this tune gets right in the middle, and makes some reaches musically. Bush’s powerful voice is featured for the second half of this song. "When we were writing the back half, Jen said ‘I want you to sing these words I wrote just for you,’" recalls Bush. "I will always feel special singing those words."

"Genevieve"
Nettles said that Bush had the whole first verse worked out. That verse--and his pure, sweet mandolin work--were inspiring enough. But when the idea for some three-part harmony came up, it only made this dirge of a country heartache even better. Nettles says it reminded her of some of the southern Baptist hymns she grew up on, and likes that the story’s not clear cut. "It’s a beautiful thing when we get to play characters that are complicated." There’s a mystery of who this character is that is coping with such a dramatic loss. It’s a little twisted. But that creates an even stronger pull into the lyrics.

"Already Gone"
A waltz-time lope? On a country album? Writing with Bobby Pinson ("Want To"), the duo was determined to do a song in six-eight. And to keep it very personal. "This is the story of coming of age, literally and emotionally," says Nettles. And it’s such a healing tale, about a woman who is growing up, leaving home, falling in love and saying goodbye.

"Keep You"
Is it possible to write an emotional song about being numb? It’s like writing a song about being loud by being quiet, Nettles and Bush think. That irony, blended with a bittersweet epiphany of knowing it’s time to walk away, make this one of the most contemporary done-me-wrong songs of our time. "Subtlety and nuance make all the difference in this song. Painting emotions with broad strokes is easy, but this time we’re using a toothbrush to dig through the finer emotions," says Nettles, comparing the duo to archeologists. And the vocal range she plays with throughout keep this song on the edgier side, because of the way she explodes into huge notes that few singers can even attempt.

"Take Me As I Am"
When the curtain opens, there’s a woman in a hotel room at night. As the song unravels, so does the mystery of why she’s there. In this character-driven narrative, with a Pat Benatar influence and some solid electric guitar work, the empowering message is clear. When you reach that point, when you are comfortable in your own skin, the line about "I’m not perfect, but I’m worth it" makes all the sense in the world. This could very well be the anthem of the unsung heroes who walk among us every day. "This is a very grown-up place to get to in your life," Nettles explains.

"What I’d Give"
Written with Kenny Chesney’s long-time lead guitarist Clayton Mitchell, this one builds a lingering story around some Faces era guitar and mandolin stylings. The kind that Sugarland thinks make for a story of their own. Usually in country, the song ends when the bow is tied off neatly with a lyric. But after the last lyric ends, they still had more to say musically. Nettles vocals are sultrier than they’ve ever been, and she likes the romantic implications of the lyrics. And both she and Bush agree that if you aren’t making out halfway into this six-minute yearning, then you aren’t ever going to be.

"Steve Earle"
If you know anything about Steve Earle, this song will thrill you with its comic pining for his songwriting. If you don’t know him, it’ll certainly pique your curiosity. Both Nettles and Bush share a fondness for Earle’s brand of country. It taught them that country was still viable, and gave them confidence to reimagine the sound. And when the duo found out what a shameless romantic Earle was, they had to set all his comings and goings to music. This upbeat barn burner fueled by a big pedal steel, is a playful way to process a painful subject. Nettles looks at it this way: "There comes a point in life of a troubadour when the character can become heroic. Even legendary."

"Very Last Country Song"
Aptly named, the last song on the album is a look at what would happen if nothing ever went wrong again. "If life stayed the way it was, if those conditions weren’t in our lives, then this would literally be the last country song," says Nettles. Everything is as it should be was the impetus and inspiration behind this song. Co-writer Tim Owens told the duo that someone had once asked him why country music was always so sad. Owens’ answer was that if bad things never happened, then what would we have to write about? The ethereal tones underneath this song stay quiet enough so the insight into the human condition can be felt. Like when you can hear Nettles smile as she sings the verse that looks back on the unexpected joy of an unexpected child.

Plus 5 Bonus-Tacks:

Fall Into Me 4:46
Operation: Working Vacation 3:59
Wishing 4:11
Life In A Northern Town (Live) 4:14
Come On Get Higher (Live)

Art-Nr.: 5848
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Country
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 18,90

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Williams, Lucinda - bob's back pages - a night of bob dylan songs [2021]
Lu's jukebox Vol. 3: Bob's back pages - A night of Bob Dylan songs!

"Lu's jukebox" ist eine virtuelle Reihe von insgesamt 6 Benefiz-Konzerten zugunsten unabhängiger Musik-Clubs und -Promoter, die Lucinda Williams in den letzten gut zwei Monaten des vergangenen Jahres 2020 ins Leben rief und live mit ihrer herausragenden Band, ohne Publikum, in Ray Kennedy's "Room and Board"-Studios in Nashville/TN einspielte. Damit unterstützt die Americana-Ikone nicht nur die durch die Corona-Pandemie finanziell arg geplagten Locations, sondern bringt gleichzeitig für Ihre Fans und die Musikwelt eine grandiose, höchst interessante, exklusive, themenorientierte Konzertreihe auf den Weg, die ihresgleichen sucht. 6 Konzerte, 6 verschiedene Mottos, ausschließlich neu eingespielte, unveröffentlichte Tracks, bis auf ganz wenige Ausnahmen Coverversionen. Lucinda sagt dazu: "We’ve actually wanted to do a cover series for a long time now, but never had the time with my touring schedule", und ergänzt "My hope for this project is that we’ll be able to help as many venues as we can. They’re our homes, as artists. We have to take care of them, for the sake of live music to come". Was für eine fantastische Sache, was für ein Fest!

Mit dem 3. Teil der großartigen "Lu's jukebox"-Reihe, betitelt "Bob's back Pages - A night of Bob Dylan songs", jetzt endlich auch auf CD erhältlich, nimmt uns Lucinda mit auf eine herrliche Reise in das schier unendliche Repertoire des großen Bob Dylan, der in diesem Jahr seinen 80. Geburtstag feierte. Der Titel des Albums, "Bob's back pages" zielt einerseits auf seinen Song Dylan's ("My back pages"), andererseits erklärt er aber auch ein wenig Lucinda's Herangehensweise an dieses großartige Tribute-Album, denn sie covert ausnahmslos weniger bekannte Stücke des legendären Songwriters, ganz zu schweigen von seinen Hits. 11 tolle Tracks hat sie sich ausgesucht, die sie, passend zur aktuellen Zeit und Situation auf der Welt, voller Hingabe und Seele zu neuem Leben zu erwecken scheint. Dabei gelingt es ihr und ihrer herausragenden Band (Stuart Mathis - guitars, Joshua Grange - guitars & keyboards, Stephen Mackey - bass, Fred Eltringham, - drums, Tim Lauer - keyboards) einerseits den Spirit und die Authentizität der Originale auf natürlichste Art und Weise zu bewahren, dem Material auf der anderen Seite aber auch ihr typisches, raues, eigenes Williams'sches Profil zu verpassen, so wie wir es auch schon bei Lucinda's bärenstarkem, aktuellem "Good souls better angels"-Album erleben durften. Intensiv, rau, dreckig, ungeschliffen, rotzig, aber auch emotional, voller Herzblut, erfrischend, zeitgemäß und einfach wunderschön entladen sich die Gefühle der Protagonistin in den überragenden, überwiegend von einem baumstarken, vielschichtigen Gitarrengewand umgebenen Songs. Es gibt nicht den Hauch einer Schwachstelle. Erstklassig produziert haben dieses Live-Event Ray Kennedy und Lucinda Williams' Gatte Tom Overby. Man kann Lucinda Williams und allen Beteiligten gar nicht oft genug zu dieser wunderbaren Idee und der herausragenden Umsetzung der Konzertreihe gratulieren. Ein mit "etwas anderen" Songs des Großeisters gespicktes Bob Dylan Tibute-Album vom Allerfeinsten!

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry - 5:47
2. Everything is Broken - 3:31
3. Political World - 8:20
4. Man of Peace - 6:39
5. Not Dark Yet - 4:44
6. Meet Me in the Morning - 5:17
7. Blind Willie Mctell - 5:23
8. Tryin' to Get to Heaven - 5:06
9. Queen Jane Approximately - 5:09
10. Idiot Wind - 7:43
11. Make You Feel My Love - 4:26

Art-Nr.: 10421
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Rock
Status: Neuheit || Typ: CD || Preis: € 14,90

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