Singer-songwriter James Otto released his new three song EP, Somewhere Tonight, on July 24th. The EP, his first on Blaster Records, is centered around his current single “Somewhere Tonight,” which has done very well on Sirius XM's The Highway and is set to hit monitored radio. Additioanlly, the EP features two more tracks, an original ("Back It Up") and a cover of Bob Seger's "Night Moves."
The former, a song about wanting more from that girl who has been flirting with him all evening, has that modern, easy to fall into country melody, while the latter is a well done take on a classic song Otto has been performing live for quite some time. On these three tracks, Otto's voice is warm, powerful and full of soul; hopefully a full length record is not far behind.
Stephanie Quayle recently released her new single, "That's What I'm Talking About,” which hit the airwaves in June and is enjoying radio airplay across the country. Written by Lindsay Rimes, Emily Shackelton and Phil Barton, and produced by Ilya Toshinsky (who has worked alongside Dolly Parton, George Strait and Sheryl Crow), the track will be included on her upcoming third album.
“That’s What I’m Talking About” paints the picture of a familiar, yet appropriate summertime topic: a good time with friends. Those lyrics are brought to life by Quayle's vocals as well as an extremely, infectious pop country melody with lots of “Oooh’s” that make it absolutely sing (and sway) along ready. No doubt when you hear this song, you’ll be doing just as Quayle sings, dancing with your hands up in the air.
“All my girls are dancing in their bare feet with their hands up in the air,
All the boys are kicking back, a little this, a little that,
Yeah turn it up now, that’s what I’m talkin’ about
We got the moonlight, sippin’ on a good time, we’re going all night
That’s what I’m talkin’ about
We got that sweet buzz, radio is cranked up, this thing is all ours
That’s what I’m talkin’ about”
After two years, The Statesboro Revue has returned with their newest album, Jukehouse Revival, due on August 7th. While many artists claim their latest albums as their best work yet, here that phrase absolutely rings true. Co-produced with Gordy Quist and Scott Davis of Band of Heathens, Jukehouse Revival is a unified record that finds the band honing in even further on their one of a kind sound. It is a groove fueled, soulful, joyous, forty minutes of “funky country” that celebrates life, love and hard work.
The collection is bookended by the willowy feel of “Bedroom Floor” and the serious, beautiful (almost religious), emotional "Last Ramble," which focuses on leaving this place for another; encouraging those left behind not to dwell on the sadness that accompanies loss. “When they lay me in the ground don’t let the memories bring you down/Just raise your head and rays around/I’ll be in heaven wearing my crown….Home to a place up in the clouds where poets ramble and the lost are found.”
In between, there are nine additional songs which continue to effortlessly merge rock, funk, blues, country, and soul into something undeniably distinctive and appealing. Garrett Mann’s guitar, along with keys, strings, and harmonica perfectly compliment Stewart Mann’s always soulful, honest delivery whether he is singing about relationships, day to day trials or simply having a good time.
Love is the centerpiece in the funky “Like The Sound of That,” the breezy, yet thumping “Keep You Satisfied” and the mid-tempo “Count On Me.” The bluesy, piano heavy “Like The Sound of That” is about spending time with the one you love, while “Keep You Satisfied,” in which he sings of catching the eye and winning the love of a certain someone, has one of the best descriptive phrases on the record: “helpless, hopeless, eternally focused.” Finally, rich with harmonies, “Count On Me,” is about as romantic as you can get, with him pledging to always be there for the one he loves.
There's a melancholy pleading to “Go Down Slow,” which deals with the daily struggles of trying to make ends meet while trying to remain positive. “Times I think I can’t take it anymore /Throwin’ down like a million times before/And other times I just wanna hold on.” Sure to be a crowd pleaser, “Undone,” focuses on the 9-5 working man’s blues, and the need to take time for oneself and unwind. Keeping that spirit going is the rousing “Honky Tonkin’” and “Roll On Mama” as well as personal favorite “Every Town,” a fantabulous tune with clever lyrics about rumors and a night spent “getting funky” in a “one light town.” Rounding out the album is “Tallahassee.” Co-written with Adam Hood, the fiddle laden, foot stompin’ song finds him finds him back in “baby’s arms,” a better man for the lessons learned in the sunshine state.
Jukehouse Revival will reinvigorate your musical soul whether you are in a juke joint, a dive bar, listening alone in your car or sitting on someone’s front porch. The “Best of 2015” list just got a little longer.
Born and raised in South Carolina, Anna LaPrad had a deep passion for music from a young age. At nineteen she bought her first guitar and started playing and focusing on her songwriting. Performing frequently in Nashville, she recently released her second studio album, Storyteller.
The well-written twelve song collection, highlighted by LaPrad’s strong, versatile vocals, begins with the title track, a mid-tempo song about a person in your life who maybe not be forthright in the stories he or she tells. That is followed by her current single, the soulful, groovy, and humorous “Really.” The remainder of the album includes “Wanted Woman” an edgy southern rocker about a woman who gets caught in a love affair and the bluesy “Mayday” about falling fast in love. The varied instrumentation and tempos (and hand claps!) in “Stay” finds her promising to make him happy if he would just stay, while the clever lyrics of “If I Have To Tell You Why” have her leaving a relationship….something he didn’t see coming at all. The album also includes “Waitin’ On You,” “Preacher’s Daughter,” “Watch It Burn” and the powerful and emotional “Heroine,” which addresses substance use.
Storyteller concludes with “You're Still Here,” which is the only song not written or co-written by Anna. The song, originally recorded by twin sister duo, The Kinleys, has Jennifer Hughes (Kinley) providing backing vocals on the track.
Storyteller finds Anna LaPrad doing just that--and doing it well--in a collection of songs that you should definitely give a listen.
Singer-songwriter, and Kentucky native, Camille Rae recently recorded her debut album I Need Me at 1092 Studios in Nashville. The album, which will be released on August 4th, includes her debut single, "Shadows Dance Tonight." The country rocker is one of those songs that immediately grabs you and holds your attention all of the way through (with your feet moving and your lips singing along way before the song ends). Rae's strong, feisty vocals convey the feelings of a woman scorned, but a woman not willing to be a victim or stay with her inattentive lover; she's moving ahead (and isn't afraid to let her ex know it) with a new man who not only treats her right, but doesn't disappoint her either.
Written by Rae as the female response to Tyler Farr's "Redneck Crazy," the song has the potential to be just as big of a hit.
"Darling do you remember how you called me crazy
Darling do you remember how you never called me baby
Darling do you remember how you left me alone at night
You ain't worth the fight
So turn out those lights and see the shadows dance tonight"
Born in Massachusetts and raised in California, David Lorango has a passion for country music that began when he was a child. He fell in love with country music’s earnest songwriting and heartfelt lyrics, and eventually picked up the guitar and begin writing and singing his own country songs. In 2014 David got together with producer Davey Rieley and songwriter Zak Bowman to write songs for his recent EP, Ride All Night. The four song collection has that modern country sound, yet stays true to the tradition of storytelling, particularly on the title track and “Leaves of November.” The former, a romantic tune about spending time with the girl he loves, has a nice introduction that falls into a melody that is easy to nod your head or tap your foot along to. That sentiment continues with the heartfelt “Leaves of November” about remembering the one who got away. Things take a turn toward the rockier edge of country with “Little Bit Wrong” while “Down Home Girl,” a mid-tempo song about meeting that country girl who you can “take home to mom,” (in of all places, a bar) rounds out the project.
Currently, selling out venues in California with his energetic live shows, Ride All Night is a debut EP you should give a listen.
Tyson Colman is a singer songwriter from Coomera, South East Queensland, Australia who taught himself to play guitar when he was fifteen and began singing at an early age. In a career spanning over twenty years, Tyson has played small country halls and pubs, to being lead performer in a multi-million dollar stage production. Currently, Tyson is providing his vocal harmonies as a Session Singer for Kross Kut Records on the Gold Coast and most recently he released his latest album From Now On.
Coleman successfully weaves various genres into the thirteen track collection. The songs, dealing with life, love and relationships, have ear catching and toe tapping melodies with lyrics that connect with the listener. The lead of track “Shines Like Gold,” brings to mind a Brad Paisley tune with lots of fiddle, harmonica and guitar licks while the rollicking introduction of “Wild and Free” encourages one to live life to the fullest.
Romantic ballads abound with “A Certain Touch,” “You’re The Reason” and “Long Gone,” while on the humorous more up-tempo “Gonna Get Me A Cowgirl” he extols the values of country girls like Reba, Dolly and Bonnie. “From Now On” and “You Know You Wanna” are sing along ready country tunes that are sure to be crowd pleasers at a live show. Colman also features bluegrass (“A Change Is Coming”) and folk (“Cry Like A Baby”) tinged songs on a record that you should give a listen.
Hailing from Alabama, The Cains, a trio comprised of siblings Taylor, Madison and Logan, made an impact on the U.K. country scene earlier this year following breakout performances at C2C. Additionally, the group wrote and performed a song for the Bravo TV series “Southern Charm” and was selected to be one of Renegade Radio and The Walt Disney Company's faces of "Young Country." Last week, on July 21st, the trio released their newest project, a self titled EP.
The EP’s opening track and first single, “Journey’s End” is a sprawling, yet percussive song of optimism and love that is highlighted by the trio’s vocals and lovely harmonies. The remaining four songs blend country, folk, pop and a somewhat dark, gothic sound with true storytelling. “Smoke On The Hill” is a haunting song about family violence that paints a picture of a daughter still dealing with the memories and aftermath of dealing with an abusive father (really listen to this song). The mixed sentiments of “Knock Knock” deal with a change a romantic relationship where his vacancy and unavailability has her trying to break through to the love she once knew “beating on the door of your heart.”
“Down To The Water” has religious undertones and a gospel feel which finds her asking for redemption to live anew with a love. “So take me down to the water wash my stains in the river/’Cause these hands were not made to carry sin/Oh my past it does a haunt me, but shame can’t live where love has brought me/ Tear the page out of your book and write again.” While closing track, “Miss Red White and Blue,” with its perfectly paired instrumentation (fiddle and banjo), evokes a warning about a seemingly all American girl who might not be above breaking your heart and the law.
With this project, The Cains have demonstrated their knack for storytelling while blending genres into something all of their own. Definitely give it a listen.
J. Michael Harter's follow up to "Holy Cowgirl" is his latest, "Playing With Fire," which Harter co-wrote with Trey Stevens and can currently be heard on Sirius XM The Highway's On The Horizon.
"Playing With Fire" tells how he literally played with fire as a young boy (with a zippo and lawnmower gasoline) to the way he still does as an adult--trying to get the number of a lady (he succeeds) even though he gets "two black eyes" from the gentleman she is with. A country rocker where the melody compliments the lyrics, "Playing With Fire" paints the picture of a guy drawn to danger and unafriad to take risks in the name of love.
"I love playing with fire
I'm hyponotized by dangerous
Crazy gets me high I guess
I love playing with fire" (x2)
“I think every song on this record has an edge of some sort,” Ashley Monroe told People of her new album, ‘The Blade.’ “It cuts. That's why I thought ‘The Blade’ was a perfect title.
Monroe will release, The Blade, one of the most highly anticipated albums of 2015 on July 24th. The follow up to 2013’s critically acclaimed Like A Rose was once again produced by Vince Gill and Justin Niebank and includes thirteen emotional tracks including her current single “Onto Something Good” as well as the heart wrenching and cutting track, “The Blade,” written by Marc Beeson, Allen Shamblin and Jamie Floyd.
Monroe’s signature vocals shine on the eleven beguiling tracks; songs that stand impressively and distinctly apart from everything in the mainstream. The songs have an edge, some even a darkness that can often be quietly spunky. Monroe isn’t afraid to explore the deep hurt of unsuccessful relationships, whether it is in the shuffling swagger of “I Buried Your Love Alive” or in “Bombshell,” where she exhales and releases the weight she is carrying, "I can't love you, I can't love you anymore."
She’s sweetly reassuring, and supportive on “Weight of The Load” encouraging one that true love can be found while the joyous, jazzy pep of “Winning Streak” downplays her losing streak. “From Time To Time” and “If Love Was Fair” both feel as if they would be comfortable on country radio or contemporary with Monroe’s twang balancing a Fleetwood Mac feel, particularly in the latter. Of course there’s always one song that elicits incredibly deep emotion and on The Blade, the tender piano ballad, “Has Anybody Ever told You” does just that.
Traditional melodies and creative story-telling abound on “Dixie,” “If The Devil Don’t Want Me” and “Mayflowers.” The record concludes appropriately with “I’m Good At Leavin’,” a song whose melody and lyrics are flawless. “Something comes over me/I got a knack for being free/I’m just following a feeling/I’m good at leaving.” It’s a quite perfect ending to an album that is sure to be lauded as one of the year's best.