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Evans, Sara - words [2017]
Klasse neues Album von Sara Evans. Nach vielen Turbulenzen, sowohl im privaten, als auch musikalischen Bereich, hat sich Sara Evans von ihrem bisherigen Major-Label getrennt und veröffentlich "Words" nun auf ihrem eigenen Label "Born To Fly", vertrieben von einem unabhängigen Distributor. Die neu gewonnene, musikalische Freiheit bekommt ihr hörbar gut, denn ihr neues Werk wirkt frisch und unverbraucht. Sie spielt genau die Songs, die sie spielen möchte, frei von jedem Mainstream- und Erfolgsdruck, einfach nur der Musik willen. Das gelingt großartig.. Bester Country/ New Country einer erstklassigen Sängerin mit neu gewonnener musikalischer Freihet. Stark!

Hier noch ein Originbal U,S.-Review zu dieser klasse Veröffentlichung:

Sara Evans returns after three years away with 14 new songs to showcase who she is as a mother, wife, lover, fighter and business woman. Chasing the mainstream can be a hard thing for a successful artist when they have had a handful of hits and released records which cracked the mainstream zeitgeist. Like Lee Ann Rimes did with Remnants earlier this year, Sara Evans has decided to independently release Words on her own label (Born To Fly Records) and it finds her refreshed and sounding better than she did on her past couple of releases (even if she did get one more great hit in "A Little Bit Stronger" from that era). Instead of chasing whatever sounds the mainstream has, we have Sara in contemplative balladeer mode throughout the Majority of Words and this is truly where Sara and her distinctive alto shine.
Midtempo "Diving In Deep" reminds me of Paul Simon's "Graceland" musically with some afro-centric percussive melodies serving as the anchor for Sara Evans to sing about falling in love with all the gusto that we always do when in a relationship ("when all is fair in love in war, the consequence I will ignore because this time I'm diving in deep," she sings). "I Don't Trust Myself" is a moody song about being self-aware enough to not fall back into old routines while "I Want You" is a sweet, soaring alternative to "I Don't Trust Myself." Fans of the earlier catalog from Sara Evans, will certainly find moments to enjoy here with the rootsy "Make Room At The Bottom" (co-written by Ashley Monroe), "I'm On My Way" and album opener "Long Way Down" while "Marquee Sign," one of three songs co-written by Sara Evans herself, showcase the singer's pen is still sharp. The song also showcases harmonies from her daughter Olivia. The title track, "Words," feels like a long-lost Emmylou song and "Night Light" features family harmony from Sara Evans three siblings Matt, Lesley and Ashley. Finally, "Letting You Go," is a song any parent can relate to as they watch their children grow up and go away and become adults themselves. It's a beautiful song and a strong closer (though, really, the acoustic version of "A Little Bit Stronger" serves as the real closer here).
It's often hard for stars to know when the time is right to stop chasing mainstream radio and it gets even harder for them to do that if they strive for a career in the independent realm. On some ways, you could listen to Sara Evans new, independently-released Words album and feel like she's chasing a train she'll never catch but the reality is that this is a record for a fans and if she does get some mainstram radio success, awesome, but if not, that's OK too because, hits or not, Words is the record of her career. (Matt Bjorke/Roughstock)

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. Long Way Down - 4:14
2. Marquee Sign - 4:01
3. Diving in Deep - 2:36
4. All the Love You Left Me - 4:17
5. Like the Way You Love Me - 3:05
6. Rain and Fire - 3:38
7. Night Light - 3:38
8. I Need a River - 4:22
9. I Don't Trust Myself - 3:34
10. Make Room at the Bottom - 3:12
11. Words - 2:48
12. I Want You - 3:41
13. Letting You Go - 4:11
14. A Little Bit Stronger (Acoustic Version) - 4:38

Art-Nr.: 9478
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Country
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 14,90

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House and The Blues Cowboys, James - same [2018]
James House, eigentlich im Country zuhause und einer der gefragtesten Songwriter Nashville's, gelingt mit seinen großartigen "Blues Cowboys" ein famoser "Sidestep" in, der Name der Formation lässt es schon vermuten, die Gefilde des Blues und Bluesrocks. Wenn man das hier hölrt, kann man kaum glauben, dass der Bursche etwas mit Country am Hut hat. Denn was er hier abliefert ist rauer, dreckiger, erdiger, Staub- und Whiskey-gegerbter, ungeschliffener Rootsrock, Bluesrock und Southern-Blues voller natürlicher Ecken und Kanten. Die Songs sind kompakt und stark geprägt von dem rauen Gesang und dem klasse (Slide)-Gitarrenspiel des Protagonisten. Das ist der erdige Blues(rock) aus den Honky Tonks Nashville's.

Hier zwei Original-Reviews aus den USA:

Like many in Nashville, James House has a built a career of writing hit songs for others. If you’ve not heard of House, you have probably heard these tunes that have reached well int the millions for radio spins – “A Broken Wing,” “Ain’t That Lonely Yet” and “In a Week or Two.” Count Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, The Mavericks, Dwight Yoakam and Martina McBride, among others who have benefitted from House’s pen. Yet, this prolific and versatile musician has a powerhouse Michael McDonald -like voice that should have him in the lead role more often. His recent work writing for Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart had fans wanting House to do his own blues, roots-rock album. And, like so many in Nashville, who ply their craft in country and Americana worlds, House has always had a love for the blues and it’s been an undercurrent for much of his work. Thus, the self-titled James House and the Blues Cowboys. The Blues Cowboys is indeed a touring band (more on that later) but these sessions were built around some of the best musicians in Music City. House lured them to his studio, Cabin in The Woods, located in a rural area of Nashville. Will Kimbrough plays lead guitar on the first five tracks (side A) while A-list session guitarist Kenny Greenberg joins blues guitarist Todd Sharp on the last 5 tracks (side B). Mike Bradford (Uncle Kracker) plays bass throughout as does drummer Crash Jones. Nashville’s most in-demand fiddler Eamon McGloughlin sits in on Side A while House sings and plays his Fender Strat and organ throughout. That kind of arsenal is built for fire and the sparks fly immediately on “Jail House Blues” with House wailing on lines like these – “Mama killed Daddy in self-defense/Never was one to sit on the fence” as Kimbrough’s slide duels with House’s guitar. “Arkansas Woman’ and “Ain’t No Way” continue the soul aching blues vibe until reaching on of disc’s outstanding tracks “Long Way Down.” It’s taken at a slower, haunting tempo as if John Lee Hooker were singing verses from William Faulkner. “Well Ran Dry” on Side B carries a similar approach. How about this lyric? “I’m an empty soul/At the holy water bowl/Waiting on a rising tide.” Other highlights on Side b include the more roots driven “Gone Again” and the rock tune “Ballad of the TKIngs,” short for Troubadour Kings. Now, let’s go to the touring Blues Cowboys. Singer/guitarist Roddy Romero who just joined Yvette Landry for her recent release, if from Lafayette Louisiana as is lesser know drummer/percussionist Smoove Ras. They back House on the final cut, “What Side of the River Are You on?” the song was inspired by House attending the Buddy Holly Songwriting Retreat and listening to Mary Gauthier sing Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” along the river in Lafayette. In a songwriting meeting with Romero and Ras, his vision for The Blues Cowboys was shaped. Great songs, achingly powerful vocals, and first-in-class musicians make this a terrific album. House has already indirectly put his stamp on contemporary blues with his work with Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart. Now he’s set to make his mark directly with the Blues Cowboys. - Glide Magazine

James House deserves to be better known — or, more accurately, known more widely. He’s co-written several songs with blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa, including Bonamassa’s recent song “Redemption.” House is also a Grammy-, CMA-, and ACM-nominated songwriter, but on his new album, James House and The Blues Cowboys, he weaves rock, blues, and roots music into a colorful pattern that reveals many facets. House’s powerful, sometimes raw, vocals dominate, and he can moan with the best blues-shouters but can be as tender as the best of the balladeers. The new album serves as a showcase for his songwriting, singing, and guitar work. He gathered a group of world-class musicians — Will Kimbrough, Kenny Greenberg, Lou Toomey, Todd Sharp, Roddie Romero on guitars; Michael Bradford and Mike Brignardello on bass; Eamon McLoughlin on fiddle; Crash Jones and Smoov-Ras on drums — at his studio, Cabin in the Woods, to record the album. The album opens with a can’t-sit-still, shake-us-to-our-core blues rocker “Jail House Blues.” The raucous, bone-shaking song lifts us so high, we wonder if it can get any better than this. It does. “Long Way Down” opens with a slow funk with blues moan, but then escalates to a burning rocker in the chorus and the bridge, fueled by guitars reminiscent of Alvin Lee and Ten Years After. “Good Love” features a spacious, atmospheric vibe that allows House’s raw vocals to breathe and to call and respond to Kimbrough’s lead riffs. “Arkansas Woman” is one of the highlights of the album. There’s a place for every note, every chord, and every word, and the song wrings every emotion out of us by its end. Kimbrough’s soulful lead guitar brings this song to life in a way such that every note he plays makes a statement. While some of the playing is reminiscent of Eric Clapton’s leads, the difference here is that Kimbrough never wastes a note; both he and Clapton play clean and crisp, but while Clapton’s crispness is soulless, Kimbrough’s inhabits our souls and hearts and touches us with its depth. The layered riffs that open “Boomerang” mirror the action of the object itself — the riffs always come back, circling around and flying high before returning to start over again. The propulsive tune mimics the halting/forward-moving character of love: “We keep coming back to you and me.” The scalding lead riffs on the song’s bridge balance the pain of leaving with the tentative joy of returning and the inability to throw love far away; it always returns to you. “Which Side of the River You On” turns in a down-and-dirty, funky twist to that old folk tune by Florence Reece, “Which Side Are You On?” In this tune, which House co-wrote with Roddie Romero and Joshua Martin, and which features Romero and Smoov-Ras, shimmers with a roiling slide guitar, and with an insistent funk beat asks, “which side of the river you on / Ain’t saying which is right or wrong / When the flood comes down / It’s too late to get to higher ground.” Listen to this album! Words can’t always describe how perfect, how moving, how powerful some of the songs on the album are. James House and The Blues Cowboys is an album that’s meant to be played and to be played loud, and it won’ let you forget James House. - No Depression / By Henry Carrigan, Staff Reviewer

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. Long Way Home - 3:06
2. Arkansas Woman - 3:11
3. Ain't No Way - 3:09
4. Long Way Down - 3:42
5. Good Love - 3:47
6. Moving on Over - 3:59
7. Well Ran Dry - 3:31
8. Gone Again - 4:13
9. Boomerang - 3:07
10. Ballad of the Troubadour Kings - 3:40
11. Which Side of the River - 3:47

Art-Nr.: 9680
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Rock
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 15,90

In folgende Titel können Sie reinhören:
Long way home
Arkansas woman
Ain't no way
Long way down
Movin' on over
Well ran dry
Which side of the river

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McKenna, Lori - the balladeer [2020]
Die fantastische, aus Boston stammende, vor allem aber in der musikalischen Szene Nashville's sehr umtriebige Singer/Songwriterin Lori McKenna, 2-fache Grammy-Gewinnerin, gilt schon seit Jahren als eine der respektiertesten und profiliertesten Vertretrin ihrer Zunft, gefeiert gleichermaßen von Musikerkollegen, von Kritikern und den Fans. Sie ist ein absoluter Eckpfeiler der heutigen Americana-Musik. Mit "The Balladeer", produziert einmal mehr von Dave Cobb, kommt nun ihr neues Album, das man abermals als ein hell funkelndes Juwel zeitloser Americana-Kunst bezeichnen muss. Hinreißend! In zehn wunderschönen Liedern, meist in einem exquisiten Full Band-Midtempo gehalten, erzählt McKenna bewegende, emotionale Geschichten des Lebens. Wie sie das musikalisch umsetzt ist "pure magic". Ergreifend! Schön! Hochklassig!

Hier ein Original U.S.-Review:

Lori McKenna records should come with a warning label - this product may cause uncontrollable weeping. Every generation has their best songwriters, and this unassuming mom from Massachusetts happens to be one of them. It's the kind of talent that wins Best Country Song Grammys in streaks. She took the trophy home in 2016 for co-penning "Girl Crush". Then in 2017, she won again for "Humble and Kind" (which she wrote herself). Some of the other years, she was at least nominated.
As an artist, McKenna has been dutifully releasing a record at a prolific clip about every other year. "The Balladeer" is her 11th album in the 2000s. She's found a superstar production partnership in Dave Cobb (who has a knack for befriending all the best songwriters alive). The McKenna and Cobb pairing with 2016's "The Bird and the Rifle" was hailed as a masterpiece. But 2018's "The Tree" was stunning in its own right. Add this record to another in the set of McKenna winners.
How does her magic work? Part of it is how songs will disguise themselves as being light and airy, then move you from the inside. With "Good Fight," the melody suggests a peppy and poppy love song. But when we meet the characters, locked in a long marriage, they're embroiled in an argument. That becomes a metaphor for how their lives together have been a test worth the fight.
Simple and often acoustic musical accents abound to accompany the profound poetry. A few friends stop by, like the ladies from Little Big Town ("This Town Is a Woman") or the Love Junkies (a group of songwriters Hillary Lindsey, Liz Rose and McKenna) who helped sing and co-write a few of the stronger pieces of material (When You're My Age").
While that's all well and good (and so is McKenna's overlooked emotional singing), it's the mining of relationship in verse that's the star. McKenna doesn't wow you with her word choice. She uses plainspeak and tiny detail to ring with emotional resonance. She's aiming to find that secret heart where it lives in orbit with others. Maybe it's a sibling ("Marie") or a spouse ("Two Birds"). Maybe it's an old boyfriend, or your younger self - an absolute gem on this collection is "Stuck in High School". Here's a taste: You're always carrying around that kid/Whose picture's in the hallway, 18 and graduating/Did you ever make those dreams come true/Or is the kid still waiting?
This is a chance to sit in amazement and listen to a master songwriter who makes it look easy. Stock up on tissues. The label doesn't say it, but you've been warned.
(Jeff Lincoln / Country Standard Time)

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. This Town is a Woman (feat. Karen Fairchild & Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town) - 3:18
2. The Balladeer - 3:51
3. Marie - 3:33
4. The Dream - 4:29
5. Uphill - 3:01
6. Good Fight - 3:18
7. Stuck in High School - 3:11
8. When You're My Age (feat. Hillary Lindsey & Liz Rose) - 5:11
9. Two Birds - 3:28
10. Till You're Grown - 4:13

Art-Nr.: 10117
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Country
Status: Neuheit || Typ: CD || Preis: € 14,90

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