<![CDATA[My Site - Album & Single Reviews]]>Sun, 22 Apr 2018 05:00:50 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Brandon Grafius "Cardinal In Winter"]]>Sat, 07 Apr 2018 17:56:08 GMThttp://thedailycountry.com/album--single-reviews/brandon-grafius-cardinal-in-winter

Brandon Grafius' new single, “Cardinal in Winter” seeks to illuminate the light we often find ourselves looking for beneath the darkness. Led by a gentle acoustic guitar and layers of delicate keys and harmonica, "Cardinal In Winter" offers a sense of optimism and hope via its vivid lyricism and dreamy melodies that despite difficult seasons in our lives, there is always something to look forward to.

"Cold creeps in through the windowpanes, the fire's down to embers
Your soul feels like it’s frosting at the center
When it seems the sun will never come, try hard to remember
There’s a cardinal in winter"

Grafius' upcoming album, Highways and Backroads,  is due out May 11 on Lost Mitten Records

<![CDATA[Caitlin Canty 'Motel Bouquet']]>Tue, 27 Mar 2018 23:46:22 GMThttp://thedailycountry.com/album--single-reviews/caitlin-canty-motel-bouquetPicture

Vermont native, and current Nashville resident, Caitlin Canty is set to release her third album Motel Bouquet on March 30th. The 10 track collection was flawlessly produced by Noam Pikelny of the Punch Brothers and includes contributions from Aoife O’Donovan (vocals), Stuart Duncan (fiddle), Russ Pahl (pedal steel) and Pikelny pulling extra duties on electric guitar and banjo. Combine those talented artists with Canty’s songwriting prowess and sultry vocals and a good listen is bound to follow. It’s a blend of bluesy folk and country, exploring the winding and uncertain paths of romantic relationships.

The project kicks off with the gentle sway of pedal steel on “Take Me For A Ride” describing the irresistible pull of someone you know you should quit (“I’ve got no use for shiny cars, but here you are”) and continues with fiddle driven reflection on the consequences of giving in to the temptation in “River Alone”.  The longing and loneliness of being separated from a lover is beautifully conveyed in “Time Rolls By” where the time apart moves slowly “like a frozen river winding to the sea.”

There’s lovely acoustic guitar on “Motel” an offering on the power of love that overcomes darkness while “Scattershot” brings into focus the power of fate and things out of our control using the hit or miss unpredictability of summer storms as a metaphor and “Basil Gone To Blossom” which speaks to the reminders of the seeds of a relationship gone sour. “Cinder Blocks” closes the album with an ode to the role of strong foundation in surviving adversity.

In Motel Bouquet, Canty cements her reputation as a consummate singer-songwriter. Find out more about this project and her upcoming tour dates at www.caitlincanty.com            

<![CDATA[Andy Hughes feat. Rachel Hanson "Misery"]]>Sun, 18 Mar 2018 20:18:48 GMThttp://thedailycountry.com/album--single-reviews/andy-hughes-feat-rachel-hanson-misery
Hailing from La Crosse, WI Andy Hughes previously spent time as the front man and main songwriter for Alternative Reggae/Ska band, TUGG, whose recordings all made the Top 5 iTunes and Amazon’s Reggae Charts.  A life-long fan of classic country - Hughes counts Cash, Kristofferson, and Prine among his influences - the singer-songwriter switched gears in 2017, releasing his debut album, Heartland and Heartache, a reflective, bittersweet, and memorable twelve-track collection which mines classic country melodies and relatable themes.

One of the album's standout tracks "Misery," a stirring duet led by a gentle acoustic guitar and steel, finds Hughes slightly raspy vocals exchanging sentiments with Hanson as they ponder the misery of loneliness.

"Eight long days since I felt your touch 
In more way than one that just ain't enough
Eight more days and I need your love
Swear that you ain't giving it to someone who don't mean too much." 

For more information visit HERE
<![CDATA[Album Review: Parsonsfield 'WE']]>Sun, 11 Mar 2018 08:00:00 GMThttp://thedailycountry.com/album--single-reviews/album-review-parsonsfield-wePicture

Massachusetts-based quintet Parsonsfield put forth a mature reflection on the emotional turbulence life places at our feet in their new EP, WE. Produced by Dan Cardinal, WE embodies the band’s multi-person harmonies, layered instrumentation, tight musicianship, and signature merging of styles on four originals and one cover that offer perspectives on loneliness, sadness, and unrequited love in ways thoughtful and sincere.
The warm and spacious banjo-led track “Light of the City” opens the project, capturing an intense loneliness that's present despite being surrounded by many. That's followed by the wistful “Go Find Yourself,” which builds to become a passionate plea to follow your heart rather than taking the easiest path (“When love comes to find you/Don’t run and hide”), the bluesy-yearning of “Take Me Back,” and a stunning rendition of Everclear's "Santa Monica" which expresses the emotional weight of the song in an unexpected and welcome way. The short set concludes with the "Kick Out The Windows," a buoyant anthem of perseverance.

On WE, Parsonsfield explore universal experiences that while undeniably real, never leave you disheartened. Struggle, loneliness, and depression all exist, but do so alongside a hopeful resiliency which we are tasked to mine while enjoying every minute of this gift we've been given. 

<![CDATA[No Dry County "Fifteen Piece Band"]]>Wed, 07 Mar 2018 16:01:20 GMThttp://thedailycountry.com/album--single-reviews/no-dry-county-fifteen-piece-band

No Dry County - Trent Langford (Singer/Songwriter/Guitar/Keys), Matt Newsom (Drums/Vocals), Dub Wood (Bass/Vocals) and Bristen Phillips (Guitars/Keys) - began in 2009 as an 80’s cover band. Developing a sound of their own, they released their debut EP Ella Rose in 2011 followed by their sophomore EP To Whom It May Concern in 2012 and debut full-length, The Night Before, in 2015. Now, the Texas-based foursome are gearing up for their newest LP, Panhandle Music, due this Spring.

Recently, NDC debuted the first track from the project, "Fifteen Piece Band." A melodic and moving roots rocker "Fifteen Piece Band" grapples with the struggles a veteran encounters when he tries to reconnect with family while trying to cope with PTSD. 

"Seventeen when I signed some papers playing an arcade game
You were young and wild like I was, we were much the same
Now I'm waking night sweats, walking nightmares, it ain't what you signed for
The best thing a man can do is leave you on this big dance floor"

The poignant "Fifteen Piece Band" packs an emotional punch where you're feeling your feet move while simultaneously sensing your chest swell. It's a precursor to what you'll find on Panhandle Music 
an album that tells the stories of the people within this landscape, from their deepest despairs to their highest hopes, climbing mountains, and facing illusions and failed expectations in the place they call home. For all the info visitHERE

<![CDATA[Song Review: Rich O'Toole "Mississippi Baby"]]>Sun, 04 Mar 2018 13:12:55 GMThttp://thedailycountry.com/album--single-reviews/rich-otoole-mississippi-babyPicture
Coming off his most recent #1, "God & George Strait," Rich O'Toole released brand new music on March 2nd with the track "Mississippi Baby." Led by a carefree, breezy melody buoyed along by electric guitar and O'Toole's familiar and heartfelt vocals, "Mississippi Baby" paints a vivid picture of one man's journey down the highway as he travels to seek clarity and escape the every day.

"I got the windows down, you can smell the salty air
I got a little gumbo, turn up that banjo
Dancing in the Dark, got the wind blowing through my hair"

Listen HERE

<![CDATA[Jim Seem "Shelly"]]>Fri, 02 Mar 2018 23:20:36 GMThttp://thedailycountry.com/album--single-reviews/jim-seem-shellyPicture

What began as a way to make extra money by performing thousands of concerts at senior living centers, soon became a driving force in Jim Seem's life. In late 2016, the singer-songwriter took four days off to record a batch of brand-new material at Pine Hollow Studios in Eau Claire. And now, Seem is ready to share those tunes with the world beginning with the first single, "Shelly."

Inspired in part by a passage from Thomas Wolfe's  Look Homeward, Angel, “Shelly” is utterly charming. Led by acoustic guitar, a breezy indie folk/pop melody, and Seem's throaty vocals, "Shelly", about the redemptive power of love, simply makes you feel good. 

“Shelly” will be available everywhere March 3.

<![CDATA[Single Review: Brandon Grafius "Things Get Right"]]>Fri, 02 Mar 2018 23:08:39 GMThttp://thedailycountry.com/album--single-reviews/single-review-brandon-grafius-things-get-right
Hailing from Michigan, singer-songwriter Brandon Grafius’s upcoming second album, Highways and Backroads, explores the journey of life - our connections with places, what it means to travel from place to place, and why some places aren’t right for us, while others feel like home. The first single from the project, "Things Get Right" is a carefree shuffler led by fiddle and Brandon's rich, warm baritone that carries the listener along to a place of contentment where as Grafius sings, "things get right."

Brandon has performed widely throughout Michigan and beyond. He’s shared the stage with artists such as Olivia Mainville and the Aquatic Troupe, Jared & the Mill, the Drunken Hearts, and Michigander. For more information visit: 

Facebook I Soundcloud I Spotify
Highways and Backroads is due May 11 on Lost Mitten Records.

<![CDATA[Kären McCormick: "Just A Song"]]>Sun, 25 Feb 2018 21:10:33 GMThttp://thedailycountry.com/album--single-reviews/karen-mccormick-just-a-songPicture

For Washington-based artist ​Kären McCormick, it all started with a song. After hearing Taylor Swift's "Tim McGraw" McCormick begged her father for a guitar, which she got as a Christmas present when she was 13 years-old. McCormick got right to work and wrote her first song that day. Since then. she has performed for audiences at fairs and festivals across the Pacific Northwest. Now, the young singer-songwriter is gearing up for the release of her new single, "Just A Song."

Produced by Matt Carey in Nashville, "Just A Song" is an autobiographical, yet universal, tune that deals with how a song can be so much more, especially when it evokes strong feelings of nostalgia. The pop-country track is accented by electronic flourishes, drums, and McCormick's airy vocals, which recalls a certain superstar.

"Just A Song" will be available on March 16th

<![CDATA[Album Review: Johnny Chops & The Razors (Self-Titled)]]>Tue, 13 Feb 2018 13:30:00 GMThttp://thedailycountry.com/album--single-reviews/album-review-johnny-chops-the-razors-self-titledPicture

For the better part of the past twenty years Texas native Johnny “Chops” Richardson has been perhaps best known as the bass player for the Randy Rogers Band. In 2013 the talented singer-songwriter released his first solo album Sticks & Stones introducing the music scene to his blend of blues and soul. On March 23rd Richardson returns, backed by an all-star band, for the release of Johnny Chops & The Razors. Co-produced by Richardson and David Abeyta of Reckless Kelly, the new release is a  refreshingly eclectic mix of rock, blues and soul that is buoyed by stellar writing.

The album adds an other-worldly vibe to the blues as it delves into the supernatural and superstition in “Believer” and infuses rock on “Medicine” a song grounded in the reality of the dangers inherent in our pill-for-everything society.  Willie Dixon’s sultry “I Just Want To Make Love To You” has been covered by a variety of artists spanning many different genres but Richardson’s version is a breath of fresh air and provides a more modern take on the lyrics with the addition of Brandy Zdan as his duet partner. 

“Ten Cent Talker” and “Only When You’re Breathing” are stories of deceit with the former exposing those who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk, while the latter explores the dissolution of trust in a relationship. The Gospel Starz are featured on the uplifting, soulful “Taking A Chance On Me” which was released as a single in January and is a song of gratitude for those who can see past the flaws in a person who might look less than promising on paper.     

The humor is dark and clever on “Tombstone Flowers,” where an old school R&B sound backs the lament of a relationship’s end, and “Rock Bottom,” a rollicking romp of a tune about bad decisions.

The collection closes with the same other-worldly vibe of the first track on the shadowy and sharply-written, “Good Night,” which tells the tale of a killer having his fate sealed by a revenge seeker skilled in deception.

There’s a lot to love in Johnny Chops & The Razors for both the lyric driven listener and fans of gritty blues. Visit the website at www.johnnychopsmusic.com to pre-order the album and to learn more about this multifaceted artist.