All posts filed under: Goin’ Country



We premiered the track a few months ago – now Popdose is pleased to present the video for Eileen Carey’s single, “In The Air”.  Directed by Taner Tumyaka and filmed on the streets of Paris, the video for “In the Air” is a heartfelt tribute to the city Ms. Carey visited two weeks before terrorists killed 130 people in November, 2015. Featuring dancers Kristen Morris and Daniel Kermidas, the video is a reminder of the conquering nature of love in such troubled times. Ms. Carey’s thoughts are these:  “Paris is such a whirlwind of love, romance, and excitement. The city inspired me to write a love song for two people set in the gaiety that is still Paris. Simply put, it is about love over hate.” That’s a pretty good sentiment, indeed.  We hope you enjoy what you see and hear.



Around two years ago, Popdose introduced you to Arrica Rose, lead singer of Arrica Rose and The… their album Wave Function.  Now she’s back again with a new band, the predominantly country-oriented Dear County and their debut album, Low Country.  Co-led by Mark W. Lynn, this band mixes that country feel with a semi-heavy approach, tempered with Ms. Rose’s rich vocals.  Low Country is in essence, a fresh slant on retro styles, balancing the raw and more ethereal. From the moment you listen to all of the opening track, “On And On”, with Ms. Rose’s yearning vocals and the rich harmonies that prop up the strength of the singing, you know this band is definitely on to something good.  There’s something immediately embraceable about the melancholy feel of the music; “Oh My Darlin’” follows this spirit in a classic, almost late ’50’s-type of arrangement (listen to it and you’ll know exactly what I mean) and “Losing Leaves” is slow, sad and atmospheric, with its delicate guitar figures and mournful guitar strums.  Interestingly, the band’s version …



This is just too good.  Pure country magnificence in the grand traditional sense, with lyrical firepower and vocal skill – Kelsey Waldon, if you haven’t heard her before, is something special.  I’ve Got A Way, her sophomore effort, is filled with songs about life, love and one’s own quest for solidity within one’s self and in the outside world.  Eleven tracks with two nods to the greats by way of covering Bill Monroe and the Gosdins, this album sparkles. The opening track, “Dirty Old Town” just brings you right to the joyful sounds of pedal steel runs and delightful twang with an upbeat number and her voice, which is indescribably sweet.  “All By Myself”, the video (included here) and centerpiece is about strength and stands out as a thesis statement for the rest of the album, if not for life in general. In Ms. Waldron’s own words, it’s not about her, “it’s about everyone, and isn’t a lecture or sermon, but a statement: power is inside of each of us.”  “False King” is just a …



Proving that love is more inspiring than hate, award-winning country star Eileen Carey has countered recent terrorist attacks, racial violence, and global turmoil with “In the Air,” her feel-good ode to the City of Love, Paris, France. Described as “blending pop, country, and rock in a way that feels uniquely hers,” Carey was recently named the 2016 National Radio Hits Favorite Female Country Artist of the Year and New Music Weekly’s Country Breakthrough Artist of the Year. “In the Air” features champagne, limousines, movie stars, and, of course, love. “In the Air” is the first single from Carey’s fifth studio album, set for release later this fall. According to Carey, “In the Air” is a heartfelt tribute to Paris, the city she visited two weeks before terrorists killed 130 people there in November of 2015: “Paris is such a whirlwind of love, romance, and excitement that the terrorist attacks there felt personal to me. I had just visited the City of Love two weeks before. It inspired me to write a love song for two …



Something to sink my teeth into, rich with acoustic guitars, mandolins, violins and shiver-inducing harmonies.  Although The Danberrys, who hail from East Nashville, are a band, the two main drivers are Ben Deberry on guitar and vocals and Dorothy Daniel on vocals.  The two have one of the sweetest blendings of voices and these songs are ripe with melody, emotion and pure, American soul.  This album, their fourth release, is one fine slice of Americana. Starting with “Receive”, the slow, mournful nature of the song actually turns into one of hope and uplift; the use of fiddle and subtle mandolin gives a greater dramatic feel along with the simply gorgeous harmony; “Lady Belle” is an acoustic tour-de-force with Ms. Daniel’s vocals gripping and fluid and “Long Song” is a deep country piece, raging with banjo, fiddle, mandolin and a galloping rhythm that walks straight out of the Bill Monroe school of bluegrass.  “Let Me Go” is stripped down to just two guitars and Dorothy Daniel’s echo-y and mesmerizing vocals; “Get Back Home” is possibly the …



If it wasn’t enough that John David (J.D.) Souther’s debut self-titled album was a stunner, then it shouldn’t come as any kind of surprise that his sophomore effort, Black Rose, was a masterpiece.  Originally released by Asylum Records in 1976 and produced by Peter Asher (of Peter and Gordon fame, etc.), this now-expanded 17-track edition recently re-released by Omnivore Recordings breathes new life into this vibrant collection. Featuring the likes of Linda Ronstadt, Glenn Frey, Don Henley, David Crosby, Joe Walsh and Art Garfunkel amongst others, the original ten tracks shine brightly on their own – a brief but powerful piece like “Simple Man, Simple Dream” or a slow country-soul epic like “If You Have Crying Eyes” which features the heavenly voice of Ms. Ronstadt and a string section.  “Bang My Head Against The Moon” is a neatly upbeat groover; “Baby Come Home” is another of those “great lost Eagles tracks” since Souther was very much the unsung 6th Eagle; “Black Rose” is a perfect example of mid-’70’s mellow and there isn’t anything wrong with …



Not new to any scene; in fact, been missing in action for over a decade, Freakwater return with their new album, Scheherazade.  A crushing, 12-track collection, this album sees and hears the off-kilter harmonies of Janet Bean and Catherin Irwin, who have been doing this since 1989.   Although they eschew any kind of classifications (rightfully so), their country-fied flavor/twang/vibe immediately send chills right up the spine of the fortunate listener as those voices blend beautifully and the music (sometimes deliberately understated) carries you away. “The Asp and the Albatross” is one such track, filled with a wrenching that you just can’t put your finger on; “What The People Want” starts off in such a deliciously sinister way; dark and swampy and then the vocals – always that little bit disjointed – wrap you up tightly and makes you feel it and “Take Me With You” just makes you ache from those voices and that gentle acoustic guitar.  The only word that applies is exquisite. “Velveteen Matador” sounds like it walked right out of 1968 Nashville; …


ALBUM REVIEW: BOB WOODRUFF, “The Year We Tried To Kill The Pain”

This new album from Bob Woodruff is only his fourth in a 22-year recording career and it’s a fine statement as to what patience and skill in songwriting can do.  Although he’s a New York City native, this album was recorded in Sweden and sounds more like it comes straight out of Nashville.  A clean, crisp production with a big, radio friendly sound helps lift this collection of songs up even higher, considering the quality of the songs already do this. Wryly titled The Year We Tried To Kill The Pain, the maudlin nature of the title belies some of the joyful and uplifting melodies that shape this record.  The album’s opening track, “I Didn’t Know” is bouncy and catchy, primed to come screaming out of radios; “I’m The Train”, with its very fine-tuned Rickenbacker 12-string chiming sound and sweeping pedal steel lines reminds me of a Tom Petty-oriented tune (and lo – Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench appears on this album!) and the title track is a pure country kicker – dark, pain and perspective …

JD Souther Press Photo

ALBUM REVIEW: J.D. SOUTHER, “John David Souther” (reissue)

J.D. Souther’s debut solo album could (at least the argument is there) be looked at as the “lost Eagles album” – between the debut and the more countrified Desperado.  But it isn’t; it’s a fine, sublime beginning from this most lauded and respected of songwriters/musicians.  Having first worked with Glenn Frey in Longbranch/Pennywhistle and then going on to write with The Eagles and play with Linda Ronstadt, Souther’s career has been one melodic journey after the other and this 1972 initial bow is a perfect jump off. Starting off, quite rightly, with “The Fast One”, an uptempo “new” country (as it was sometimes known) track, you hear the trademark tunesmanship Souther quickly became known for; clean bendy licks and catchy, it’s an excellent way to open an album; “Run Like A Thief” is a sweetly, soft narrative and “Kite Woman”, it has to be said, sounds like The Eagles – and I would venture a guess that Glenn Frey is singing the harmonies – regardless, it’s an absolute high point.  “Some People Call It Music” …

Shelby Lynne “Miss You Sissy”
Bruno Mars “Locked Out of Heaven”
Leon Russell “A Song For You”

ALBUM REVIEW: Allison Moorer, “Down To Believing”

Good Lord, this is good.  One of my absolute favorite albums this year, Allison Moorer’s Down To Believing is a 13-track blast of passion, quality songwriting and skilled musical performances that leave you breathless and wanting more.  Ms. Moorer has a voice that makes you ache one minute, then turns you on the next.  You feel everything she says in her songs, 12 of which are co-writes (the thirteenth being a wonderful cover of Creedence’s “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?”).  Forget the usual hyperbole of Allison Moorer being Shelby Lynne’s sister (and I LOVE Shelby Lynne, make no mistake) and being Steve Earle’s wife (and I respect him immensely) – Allison Moorer is her own performer – one with power, heart and damn it, balls, once you give this album a listen. Kicking you awake from the first note, “Like It Used To Be” is just prime country-fried rock in big, bold letters with a gusto-filled delivery; “Thunderstorm/Hurricane” is dramatic and powerful, lush and intense; “I Lost My Crystal Ball” is pure gut emotion.  …


Goin’ Country: Favorite Country Albums of 2013

            I recently sat with my friends Annie and Matt and described my year of listening to country music. As I told them, it has been one of my most fulfilling times as a music fan in a decade. Like I did when I discovered classic rock in the 80s and Underground in the early 90s, I felt like I’d entered a new world when I began exploring country music in all its forms dating back to the birth of American music. I may not have been as diligent about keeping this column current as I would’ve liked, but that didn’t stop me from becoming a qualified amateur when it comes to critiquing this style of music. I hope to keep contributing Goin’ Country throughout 2014, and I hope you’ll continue with me on this journey. Until then, here are my favorite country albums of the past year. Happy New Year, and as always, thanks for reading Popdose! 10. Tim McGraw, Two Lanes of Freedom Tim McGraw returns to the …


Goin’ Country: The 2013 CMA Awards

  The 47th annual Country Music Association Awards were broadcast on ABC this week and, as in the past, the show was a pleasant blend of music, banter between the affable hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, as well as some awards being handed out. The CMA Awards are country music’s big night, the equivalent of the Academy Awards in Nashville. The music is usually great, the jokes take a swipe at everyone (but all in good fun… supposedly) and the awards generally go to the right winners. Florida Georgia Line, the Bon Jovi of country music, opened the show with a version of their smash hit, “Cruise,” this time sharing the stage with their good buddy, Luke Bryan. Bryan then segued into  “That’s My Kind of Night,” one of his many party anthems, to the passionate crowd of music fans and industry insiders. “Cruise” would go on to win Single of the Year, which is well deserved considering it spent 24 weeks sitting at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs. FGL also …


Goin’ Country: Patty Griffin’s “Silver Bell” Finally Gets a Proper Release

Fans of Patty Griffin – and there are many – can tell you that the singer/songwriter’s story has had a missing chapter since the turn of the new Century. It was at that time her label, A&M, merged into the conglomerate known as Universal Music. In the midst of that merger, she delivered her third album, Silver Bell, to the record company. After many delays in its release, the album got shelved and Griffin was cut from the label’s roster. For thirteen years, Silver Bell has sat in a vault. Fortunately, someone at Universal has finally seen the light and released it to the world. Griffin became a critical darling in the mid 90s with her debut album, 1995’s Living with Ghosts. This stunning release, essentially the demo recordings she submitted to A&M, featured just the guitar and voice of the promising new songwriter. Griffin’s sophomore effort, Flaming Red, came out in 1998. It was a departure from the acoustic fare of the first record. Loud, boisterous guitars and keyboard samples populate the record, indicating …


Goin’ Country: “Nashville: The Complete First Season”

ABC’s Nashville should be much worse than it is. With so many melodramatic storylines that are textbook “nighttime soap opera,” its first season chould have derailed before it reached mid-season. Yet the fine acting by Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights) and Hayden Panettiere (Heroes) and the hand-picked music by T Bone Burnett and lift Nashville above the typical sudster. When I began flirting with country music a year ago, I was an early enthusiast of Nashville. The series was created Academy Award winner Callie Khouri, a writer known for depicting strong women characters in all of her films. Khouri is the writer of Thelma & Louise (as well as the underrated rom com, Something to Talk About). In Nashville she’s come up with three more compelling women: Britton’s Rayna James, Panettiere’s Juliette Barnes and Claire Bowen’s Scarlett O’Connor. Rayna is a Faith/Shania/Martina-type country singer whose prime years occurred during the 90s and early 2000s. In her we see a woman doing her best to maintain the same level of success that she earned when she …