Country quintet and winners of NBC’s “The Sing-Off” Season 4, Home Free is preparing for the release of their third studio album, Country Evolution, via Columbia Records on September 18th. Produced by Darren Rust, the album features fourteen songs, five originals and nine renditions of songs both classic and modern. The five members, Austin Brown (high tenor), Rob Lundquist (tenor), Tim Foust (bass), Adam Rupp (vocal percussion/beat boxer) and Chris Rupp (baritone), utilize flawless instruments-their voices-creating a completely unique and enjoyable listening experience.
Their harmonies shine bright throughout the album on songs like the funkified “9 to 5,” “Alabama Sampler” and “Seven Bridges Road” as well as personal favorite, the perfectly paired “Fishin’ In The Dark/Boondocks.” Not missing a beat, they also put their stamp on “House Party” and Andy Grammar’s smash “Honey, I’m Good.”
In addition, there are collaborations with guest artists including Charlie Daniels and Taylor Davis (“The Devil Went Down to Georgia), and The Oak Ridge Boys (“Elvira”). Original compositions include “California Country” which exudes a laid back, easy breezy Golden state vibe, fan favorite “Summer In The Country” with over 330K YouTube views, “Good Ol’ Country Harmony,” whose name says it all, and the uplifting “Don’t It Feel Good.” At 1:05, the hymn-like closing track “Serenity” hits the mark. “At the end of the day…..I know I can smile if just for a while, I’ve got a song.”
It’s a country evolution even traditionalists should be able to get on board with.
Kinky Friedman has accomplished more than many in his long and varied career. He’s toured with most of The Band, recorded with Clapton, written novels and appeared on the Grand Ole Opry as well as SNL. Now the singer-songwriter returns with an all new album, his first in over three decades, The Loneliest Man I Ever Met, on October 2nd via Avenue A/Thirty Tigers. The twelve song collection mixes originals with Friedman’s versions of songs by Cash, Waits, Dylan and others.
The Loneliest Man I Ever Met opens with Willie Nelson’s “Bloody Mary Morning” which features Nelson, as well as Nelson’s sister Bobbie (on piano). That’s followed by Tom Waits’ spoken “A Christmas Card From A Hooker in Minneapolis” and title track, “The Loneliest Man I Ever Met,” which is a twenty year old, never recorded co-write with Tim Hoover that gives the feeling of not only loneliness, but the oft accompanied despair and sadness. Those sentiments overlie other tracks as well even as he sings matter of factly on Warren Zevon’s “My Shit's Fucked Up,” warmly on Dylan’s “Girl From the North Country” and sincerely on Cash’s “Pickin’ Time.”
Overall, The Loneliest Man I Ever Met has a sparse, quiet feel, along with a reflective quality that can particularly be found on “Lady Yesterday” and “Freedom to Stay.” The album closes with two American standards, “Wand’rin Star” and “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,” capturing romantic nostalgia, hope and a need to roam, leading one to believe that wherever he chooses to wander, Friedman still seems to have endless possibilities.
Australian native, and two-time Golden Guitar winner, Dianna Corcoran recently signed a recording and publishing deal with Krian Music Group/Universal Music Group and is now making her stateside debut with the single "God Did Good." The song, which Corcoran co-wrote with Kristian Bush and Jeff Cohen, kicks off with a Queen-esque introduction that paves the way for an incredibly catchy, instantly hummable pop-country tune that is a delightful ode to the one she loves. Corcoran’s vocals are strong, yet playful, perfectly complimenting the melody and lyrics on which she sings of how blessed she is to have him in her life.
“God did good when he put you together
From your head down to your toes
Working overtime couldn’t do any better
The whole wide world and Heaven knows
I’ve been blessed with more than I should
When God made you God did good”
"God Did Good" is a sweet way to end the summer and is sure to endear Corcoran to the U.S. country audience in preparation for her U.S. debut album in 2016.