All posts filed under: Goin’ Country

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 …