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Evans, Sara - words [2017]
Klasse neues Album von Sara Evans. Nach vielen Turbulenzen, sowohl im privaten, als auch musikalischen Bereich, hat sich Sara Evans von ihrem bisherigen Major-Label getrennt und veröffentlich "Words" nun auf ihrem eigenen Label "Born To Fly", vertrieben von einem unabhängigen Distributor. Die neu gewonnene, musikalische Freiheit bekommt ihr hörbar gut, denn ihr neues Werk wirkt frisch und unverbraucht. Sie spielt genau die Songs, die sie spielen möchte, frei von jedem Mainstream- und Erfolgsdruck, einfach nur der Musik willen. Das gelingt großartig.. Bester Country/ New Country einer erstklassigen Sängerin mit neu gewonnener musikalischer Freihet. Stark!

Hier noch ein Originbal U,S.-Review zu dieser klasse Veröffentlichung:

Sara Evans returns after three years away with 14 new songs to showcase who she is as a mother, wife, lover, fighter and business woman. Chasing the mainstream can be a hard thing for a successful artist when they have had a handful of hits and released records which cracked the mainstream zeitgeist. Like Lee Ann Rimes did with Remnants earlier this year, Sara Evans has decided to independently release Words on her own label (Born To Fly Records) and it finds her refreshed and sounding better than she did on her past couple of releases (even if she did get one more great hit in "A Little Bit Stronger" from that era). Instead of chasing whatever sounds the mainstream has, we have Sara in contemplative balladeer mode throughout the Majority of Words and this is truly where Sara and her distinctive alto shine.
Midtempo "Diving In Deep" reminds me of Paul Simon's "Graceland" musically with some afro-centric percussive melodies serving as the anchor for Sara Evans to sing about falling in love with all the gusto that we always do when in a relationship ("when all is fair in love in war, the consequence I will ignore because this time I'm diving in deep," she sings). "I Don't Trust Myself" is a moody song about being self-aware enough to not fall back into old routines while "I Want You" is a sweet, soaring alternative to "I Don't Trust Myself." Fans of the earlier catalog from Sara Evans, will certainly find moments to enjoy here with the rootsy "Make Room At The Bottom" (co-written by Ashley Monroe), "I'm On My Way" and album opener "Long Way Down" while "Marquee Sign," one of three songs co-written by Sara Evans herself, showcase the singer's pen is still sharp. The song also showcases harmonies from her daughter Olivia. The title track, "Words," feels like a long-lost Emmylou song and "Night Light" features family harmony from Sara Evans three siblings Matt, Lesley and Ashley. Finally, "Letting You Go," is a song any parent can relate to as they watch their children grow up and go away and become adults themselves. It's a beautiful song and a strong closer (though, really, the acoustic version of "A Little Bit Stronger" serves as the real closer here).
It's often hard for stars to know when the time is right to stop chasing mainstream radio and it gets even harder for them to do that if they strive for a career in the independent realm. On some ways, you could listen to Sara Evans new, independently-released Words album and feel like she's chasing a train she'll never catch but the reality is that this is a record for a fans and if she does get some mainstram radio success, awesome, but if not, that's OK too because, hits or not, Words is the record of her career. (Matt Bjorke/Roughstock)

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. Long Way Down - 4:14
2. Marquee Sign - 4:01
3. Diving in Deep - 2:36
4. All the Love You Left Me - 4:17
5. Like the Way You Love Me - 3:05
6. Rain and Fire - 3:38
7. Night Light - 3:38
8. I Need a River - 4:22
9. I Don't Trust Myself - 3:34
10. Make Room at the Bottom - 3:12
11. Words - 2:48
12. I Want You - 3:41
13. Letting You Go - 4:11
14. A Little Bit Stronger (Acoustic Version) - 4:38

Art-Nr.: 9478
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Country
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 14,90

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McEntire, Reba - keep on loving you [2009]
Reba's neue... - und es ist wieder ein prima Album geworden. Reba McEntire ist eine großartige Künstlerin, die es problemlos versteht, sich den Gegebenheiten des modernen Nashville's anzupassen, ohne auch nur im geringsten ihre Wurzeln zu leugnen. Genau das ist ihr hier bestens gelungen. So ist "Keep on loving you" ein modernes, überwiegend schön knackiges, kraftvolles Country-/New Country-/Contemporary Country-Album geworden, das typisch Reba ist, und eindrucksvoll offenbart, dass die Diva in Nashville's Gegenwart angekommen ist. Klasse!

Reba hat zu jedem einzelnen Stück des neuen Albums ein paar Gedanken und Statements preis gegeben, die wir nachstehend im Originaltext weitergeben:

1. "Strange" (Wendell Mobley, Jason Sellers, Neil Thrasher)
"I liked the way it has a lot of different melodies to it. It has great range, but the main reason I like it is because it's so sassy. I love the attitude of it. It's totally different, but it reminds me of the attitudes of `Can't Even Get the Blues.' I seem to have success with sassy attitude songs. This song is about a woman who has been left behind from her partner or boyfriend, and she is trying to feel sad, but it's just not working, so she's going on with her life. It's a strong woman song."

2. "Just When I Thought I'd Stopped Loving You" (Mark Nesler, Rivers Rutherford)
"This is the song that Rivers Rutherford wrote with Mark Nesler. I loved the beat and the melody. It reminded me of a Rascal Flatts song in the first part of it. It's really catchy. It's a song that I'd be singing the middle of the night when I woke up, so I knew it would be a great song when it is in your subconscious like that. I would say this is the least powerful woman song, because she is like, `Oh, I can't give in and take you back one more time, I can't,' but then she does. I hate to say it's a booty call song, but it does remind me of that. I guess this is my booty call song!"

3. "I Keep On Lovin' You" (Ronnie Dunn, Terry McBride)
"We were in the studio recording with Tony Brown, and Tony had said they were just finishing up some of the Brooks & Dunn songs. He said, `You ought to listen to this one song. I just love the song. I think it is wonderful. I think it can relate to a couple who have been together for a short time or a long time, but basically a long time. We've been through the highs and lows and ups and downs, we've fought and gotten back together, but no matter what we go through, I'm going to keep on loving you. I think it's an anniversary song."

4. "I Want a Cowboy" (Katrina Elam, Wayne Kirkpatrick, Jimmie Lee Sloas)
"Katrina Elam co-wrote this song. I am a huge fan of Katrina Elam. She is one of the best singers I've ever heard. I asked Tony to ask Katrina if I could cut `I Want a Cowboy.' She came in and sang some of the harmony on it too. It's a great kick-ass song that is good attitude. And I'm a cowgirl; I've rodeoed 10 years and I'm a third-generation rodeo brat, so I thought it was just perfect."

5. "Consider Me Gone" (Steve Diamond, Marv Green)
"It's a strong woman song. I'm sure there are tons of women who get the cold shoulder when the husband comes in from work. He's had a rough day and she's had three kids at home, especially if it's summer. He doesn't want to talk, something's going on and it's confrontation time. If you are giving me the cold shoulder, if you're not wanting to talk to me, and if things aren't getting any better and if I don't turn you on, consider me gone. Here's the way the cow eats the cabbage. It's like, let's poop or get off the pot. Tell it like it is. It's a pretty cool song and it's confrontation time. That is one thing that is wrong with relationships, that there's not enough communication."

6. "But Why" (Jason Sellers, Neil Thrasher)
"I love the melody. It's one of those love songs that I usually don't record. It's also a strong woman song: `I can do this by myself, but why would I want to when I can share it with you?' It's a real sweet love song. It's a very soft song."

7. "Pink Guitar" (Ed Hill, Jamie O'Neal, Shaye Smith)
"This is just a kick-ass fun song. I can see lots of little girls going, `Yeah, I want to play guitar.' When I was growing up, guitars were for boys; that was the men's instrument, especially an electric guitar. Girls could play an acoustic guitar. I remember the girl who played on one of the awards shows with Carrie Underwood. She got out there and played her butt off. That was when I found `Pink Guitar.' I said, `She's going to love this song.' I love the attitude of it. It's still country; it's almost like `Fancy.' This girl had this dream and she went on to survive and succeed. It's real cute and I love to sing it."

8. "She's Turning 50 Today" (Liz Hengber, Tommy Lee James, Reba McEntire)
"It's a song about a woman who found out that her husband left on Saturday for a woman who is half her age. She spent the day lying in bed, but then on Monday got up, loaded up her pickup truck and began a new chapter of her life. She went on with her life and didn't look back. I wrote the first two lines of `She's Turning 50 Today' and sent it to Liz Hengber. I said, `Why don't you work on this a little bit and email me back what you've got?' Two years went by, and I said, `Liz, what about that song?' She said, `Tommy Lee James and I are going to work on it. So by the time this album came around to start recording, they sent me an MP3 of it while I was in the studio. I rewrote the second verse to make it more personal and relate to me when I left Stringtown, Oklahoma, in 1987. So in a way it's about me leaving a relationship, but it was certainly years ago, but put the two together."

9. "Eight Crazy Hours (In the Story of Love)" (Leslie Satcher, Darrell Scott) "This is a song I was on the fence about because it was so deep that I just didn't know how to take it. And so I let Autumn McEntire Sizemore, my niece, listen to it. She started crying and said, `You've got to record this song.' I let more people listen to it and they were like, `Oh my gosh!' It didn't hit me as hard as it did a lot of other people. I guess I haven't had to get away. I think my music is my release. Whenever I am menopausal or whatever, I can release things in my music when I sing. That is my therapy. It touched so many people that I recorded it. When I sang it live it choked me up so much that I couldn't get through it. This woman has a meltdown and she is just putting sheets on the bed and winds up in a bunch of dirty clothes on the floor, crying her eyes out. She checks into a cheap motel and lets it all out, crying in the bathtub. It was just as simple as picking up the kids and she's back in life again. She just needed to go away and take time for herself. Eight hours later, they're sitting around table eating chicken and laughing. It's eight crazy hours and the story of love."

10. "Nothing To Lose" (Kim Fox)
"Nothing to Lose" was on Melonie Cannon's album. When I was working with (Melonie's father) Buddy Cannon years ago, he gave it to me. I love Melonie's voice. `Nothing to Lose' was one of those songs that I said, `Man, if I could ever record that...,' so I did. I told everybody, `I want to feature the band on this,' so we let the band play two or three times. Everybody had an instrumental. It's about a woman leaving on the bus going down to Georgia. She doesn't know where she's going and doesn't know what lies ahead, but she doesn't care. It's another strong woman song."

11. "Over You" (Michael Dulaney, Steven Dale Jones, Jason Sellers)
"Whew! That is a sad song, kind of like Anne Steele. It's a beautiful melody. (My husband) Narvel said he loved this song. He would play the demo over and over. It's just one of those about `I knew the day would come when we would see each other again. You look great and got on with your life, but I'm still not over you.' It's really sad."

12. "Maggie Creek Road" (Karen Rochelle, James Slater)
"We were in the studio and I was having trouble with my resonance; I wasn't getting my soft voice at all. During lunch I saw Dr. Richard Quisling, my throat doctor in Nashville, and he opened up my sinuses or resonances or something. I came back to the studio and started singing again and Tony Brown's mouth dropped open, `My gosh, what did he do to you?' `He lasered out a little infection.' I put Dr. Quisling on my album thanks-yous. He is just a miracle worker. I had been on the fence about this song, but Tony really wanted me to record it. While I was coming back in, I said, `Let's do `Maggie Creek Road' next,' and he said, `Yes!' It's about this woman who has a daughter that is almost déjà vu for this mother. The little girl is leaving with evidently an older man on a date. This is what happened to the mother 20 years ago. She isn't going to let history repeat itself, so she follows them. They are parked down by the river and she opens the door and takes care of the situation. As the song says, `You don't want to see Mama go to war.' Mama was protecting her daughter. It's one of those swampy Louisiana songs with that feel."

13. "I'll Have What She's Having" (Jimmy Melton, Georgia Middleman)
"This is a cute song. I loved it the first time I heard it. They had horns on it and I said, `Of course we'll change it to fiddle and steel guitar.' It's real sassy. A woman is walking into a bar and she's looking for a man. She sees a woman having a good time, dancing with a man. `I'll have what she's having... and by the way, that looks hot.' We'll have fun with it onstage."

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1 Strange - 3:00   
2 Just When I Thought I'd Stopped Loving You - 3:50   
3 I Keep on Lovin' You - 3:13   
4 I Want a Cowboy - 3:39   
5 Consider Me Gone - 3:38   
6 But Why - 3:28   
7 Pink Guitar - 2:53   
8 She's Turning 50 Today - 4:05   
9 Eight Crazy Hours (In the Story of Love) - 4:04   
10 Nothing to Lose - 4:47   
11 Over You - 3:56   
12 Maggie Creek Road - 4:50   
13 I'll Have What She's Having - 2:59

Art-Nr.: 6516
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Country
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 16,90

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Merritt, Tift - traveling alone [2012]
"I really wanted to make a record that was real and raw", sagt Tift Merritt über ihr neues Album "Traveling alone" - und das ist ihr geradezu herausragend gelungen. Aufgenommen in nur 8 Tagen in den Brooklyn Recording Studios von Brooklyn/New York und produziert von Tucker Martine (u. a. The Decemberists, My Morning Jacket), fängt sie mit ihrer grandiosen Studio-Band die vollkommene Schönheit ihrer faszinierenden Songs absolut rein, unverfälscht und auf natürlichste Art und Weise ein. Neben Tift Merritt (acoustic guitar, piano) waren das die New Yorker Gitarrenlegende Marc Ribot (u. a. Tom Waits), Eric Heywood (pedal steel, guitars, banjo - u. a. The Pretenders, The Jayhawks, Son Volt), John Convertino (drums, percussion - u. a. Calexico), sowie ihr langjähriger Weggefährte Jay Brown am Bass. Das wundervoller Material bewegt sich genüßlich an der Schnittstelle zwischen Roots, Americana und Alternate Country und besticht mit herrlichen Melodien und Tift's fantastischem, hinreissendem Gesang. Was hat diese Dame für eine Aura! Die Einflüsse reichen beispielsweise von Gram Parsons über Emmylou Harris bis zu The Band, von Buddy Miller bis zu The Jayhawks, und doch ist Tift Merritt einfach einzigartig, einfach unwiderstehlich. Songs wie das von einer wundervollen Kombination aus Pedal Steel und Baritone Gitarre bestimmte, zwischen einem Hauch von Nostalgie und staubigen Americana-Klängen hin und her balancierende "Sweet spot" (traumhaft schöne Melodie, toller Rhythmus), die exzellente "Broken Heart"-Ballade "Drifted apart (Duett-Partner Andrew Bird klingt hier wie ein heutiger Roy Orbison), der flotte, rootsige, durchaus traditionell verwurzelte Retro-Countryrocker "Still not home", der klingt als sei er während einer alten Emmylou Harris-Session zu Zeiten von "Elite hotel" oder "Luxury liner" entstanden (auch stimmlich ist Tift hier Emmylou durchaus ähnlich), die ruhige, sanftmütige, wunderschöne Ballade "Feeling of beauty", deren Schönheit man tatsächlich unmittelbar spürt (tolle Instrumentierung aus akustischer Gitarre, Klavier und herrlichen Pedal Steel-Klängen), oder das flockige, abermals wunderbar melodische, lockere "Too soon to go" sind nur einige wahllose Beispiele für das komplett grandiose Songmaterial dieses meiterhaften Albums. Tift Merritt festigt ihr ohnehin schon herausragendes Standing im Kreise solcher Kolleginnen wie Lucinda Williams, Kasey Chambers, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch und Patty Griffin mit dieser Vorstellung noch einmal deutlich. "Traveling alone" ist Meisterwerk, eine "Perle" des Americana-Genres!

Hier noch ein U.S.-Review im Original-Wortlaut:
If Tift Merritt's body of work so far has shown anything, it’s that she seems incapable of making an uninteresting or emotionally dishonest record, and she can work in a number of different ways and still sound like herself. Traveling Alone, Merritt's fifth studio album, was recorded in Brooklyn with producer Tucker Martine, and for these sessions, Merritt and her studio band cut the bulk of the material live in the studio, with a group of stellar accompanists including Marc Ribot on guitar, John Convertino on percussion, Eric Heywood on pedal steel, and Jay Brown on bass. The close interaction of the musicians is a large part of the sound of Traveling Alone -- hearing them kick into gear in the intro to "Still Not Home" is a thrill -- but despite having a band of top-flight players behind her, Merritt is very much the focus of Traveling Alone throughout, and she’s in typically excellent form. The title cut is a bittersweet meditation on the joys of solitude, and much of Traveling Alone concerns itself with freedom and following one’s own path, for better ("To Myself") or for worse ("Still Not Home"), and Merritt's lyrics are eloquent with an artful touch that doesn’t compromise their sincerity and direct focus, while her strong but elegant melodies are a fine match. As a vocalist, Merritt continues to go from strength to strength, and the purity of her instrument and the intelligence of herphrasing, as well her sure-footed musical instincts, suggest she’s maturing into the Emmylou Harris of her generation. And with guest vocalist Andrew Bird doing his best Roy Orbison impression alongside Merritt's lead, "Drifted Apart" is the best ballad of broken hearts to appear so far in 2012. Traveling Alone feels more spontaneous and immediate than most of Tift Merritt's previous work, but it’s no less beautiful or affecting for it, and it offers further evidence that Merritt is as good a singer/songwriter as anyone working the form these days. (Mark Deming, Rovi)

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. Traveling Alone - 4:44
2. Sweet Spot - 2:50
3. Drifted Apart - 3:34
4. Still Not Home - 3:48
5. Feeling of Beauty - 4:01
6. Too Soon to Go - 4:35
7. Small Talk Relations - 3:23
8. Spring - 4:21
9. To Myself - 3:34
10. In the Way - 3:35
11. Marks - 5:44

Art-Nr.: 7950
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Rock; Country
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 14,90

In folgende Titel können Sie reinhören:
Traveling alone
Sweet spot
Still not home
Feeling of beauty
Too soon to go
To myself

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Roberts, Julie - alive [2011]
Sie hat sich eine lange Auszeit genommen, doch jetzt ist sie wieder da. Die genauso bezaubernde wie talentierte Julie Roberts (viele werden sich noch an ihr tolles Debut von 2004 und das ebeso starke "Men & Mascara" aus dem Jahre 2006 erinnern) hat zwar inzwischen keinen Major-Deal mehr, aber das schadet ihr überhaupt nicht. Im Gegnteil! Frei von allen Zwängen, aufgenommen mit jeder Menge großartiger Begleitmusiker aus der 1A-Garde Nashville's, geliingt Julie mit "Alive" ein ganz hervorragendes, kraftvolles, frisches, neues Album, von dem sie sagt, dass es genau das beeinhaltet, was sie auch machen wollte. Niemand hat ihr in irgendeiner Weise dazwischen gefunkt. "This is the real Julie Roberts"! Die Musik, mit der sie ihre immer noch zahlreichen Fans und die, die es noch werden wollen, beglückt, ist absolut zeitgemässer, ungemein lebendiger New Country mit einer sehr ausgewogenen Balance zwischen knackigen, powernden Uptempo-Stücken, gepflegtem Midtempo-Country und ein paar feinen Balladen. Jawohl, dem Titel ihres großartigen, neuen Albums folgend, kann man ohne jeden Zewifel bestätigen: Julie Roberts ist "alive" - und zwar in vollster Blüte!

Hier im Original-Wortland Julie's Statements zu jedem einzelnen Song des Albums:

“Mama Said Don’t”
I always put at least one song on my albums for my Mama. This song is a fun one I wrote with Rachel Proctor & Victoria Banks. It has that rootsy, bluesy, down-home feel to it that I love to perform live! I think everyone can relate to these lyrics!!

I wrote this one with Don Schlitz just a few months before my album was finished. This song is the centerpiece for my entire record. It describes the road I have been on and the emotions I have felt during the 5 years since my last album was released. This is definitely a reflection into my life and into my faith of knowing that no matter how tough the road might appear to be, God never leaves my side and He makes me “Stronger”.

I heard this song about a year ago and I immediately thought “this sounds like part two to ‘Break Down Here’”. I knew I wanted to record it because I could see the story unfolding in my head of this visual lyric. I also knew I loved the title, “Alive”. I want my fans to know that I am still here! I am ‘alive’ and still making music. I’ve had a few stumbling blocks and a few years have gone by, but I’m back!

“You Got Me”
I heard and loved this song years ago and just held on to it like I do so many songs. I love that you really don’t have to think about these lyrics. It’s just a fun, happy, love song!!

“Yesterday’s Blue”
When I got together with Chris Roberts & Greg Biek to write this song, I told them I wanted to write a classic sounding song with attitude. I love the very last verse the most in this song because I almost sing what I’m sure so many people think sometimes when the one that they love leaves them. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you hear it!

“Aint No Thing”
This is another one of those songs I’ve held onto since the last record. I just LOVE the track and the lyrics in this one. I love to sing about real life stuff and I sing things I am not always so brave to say. I wish I could’ve told some of he guys that have left me “you know what, it aint no thang.” But, since I can’t say it, I’ll sing it!! ☺

“One For the Road”
Here’s another one that I probably wouldn’t say to someone in real life but have definitely lived. I love how blunt & straight-forward the lyric is. I like looking for and recording songs that I think would scare some people to sing…I AINT SKEERD, especially if it’s REAL to me!

“Let’s Fight”
I wrote this one with Jason Collum & Caitlin Smith. This one was the most fun to record because it was SO simple and just cool to me. I would actually love to make a record where all the tracks sound very similar to this one. I was inspired to write this one from a scene in one of my favorite movies, “Sweet Dreams” (the story of Patsy Cline).

“Whiskey and You”
I can see the video for this one in my head. I have loved this song for a really long time. I have known some people similar to the character singing in this song and I’ve seen how alcoholism can tear up a family/relationship. This song and lyric are so real to me. It’s such a sad song and the steel guitar makes it that much more sad. The sadder, the better for me!!

“Somebody Does”
I wrote this one long before the Nashville Flood in May 2010, but pulled it back out after we lost our home and I saw all of the people coming from everywhere to help my family. It took on an entirely different meaning for me when I listened to it then. I dedicate this one to everyone that reached out to help rebuild Nashville.

“Carolina From My Soul”
Marcus Hummon wrote and produced this track for my album. I’m from Lancaster, SC & this is a song about the feeling of comfort I get when I think about my life back there. When I sing this song, I see myself as I young girl in SC dreaming of singing country music. I always know that no matter where my music takes me in this world, Carolina will always be my home and in my soul.

“NASCAR Party”
I grew up watching NASCAR racing on television and going to dirt-track races so this is my tribute to the sport. When I wrote this song, I pictured myself and other NASCAR fans at the track and tried to put into words (in 2.5 minutes), how much fun it is to be there at the races. I had a blast writing, recording, and filming the video for it!

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. Mama Said Don't - 3:09
2. Stronger - 4:24
3. Alive - 3:51
4. You Got Me - 2:29
5. Yesterday's Blue - 2:53
6. Ain't No Thing - 3:41
7. One For the Road - 3:29
8. Let's Fight - 3:23
9. Whiskey and You - 3:50
10. Somebody Does - 3:25
11. Carolina From My Soul - 3:41
12. Nascar Party - 2:43

Art-Nr.: 7799
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Country
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 16,90

In folgende Titel können Sie reinhören:
Mama said don't
You got me
Ain't no thing
One for the road
Whiskey and you
Nascar party

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Rogers Band, Randy - same [2008]
Eine der texanischen Vorzeige-Bands in Sachen "Red Dirt"-rooted Countryrock meldet sich mit dem nächsten, großartigen Album! Die Randy Rogers Band in Bestform! Erneut produziert von Radney Foster! Die Randy Rogers Band ist ja seit geraumer Zeit über die Red-Dirt-Bewegung hinaus in der ersten Liga des Countryrocks angekommen, was letztendlich mit dem Erhalt eines Major-Deals auch verdientermaßen belohnt wurde. Der Befürchtung, dass ein gewisser "Nashvillefaktor" auf den Stil des Quintetts Einfluss nehmen könnte, wurde bereits mit dem starken Vorgängeralbum "A Matter Of Time" (immerhin Platz 8 in den Country Billboard Charts) und der so typischen Unbekümmertheit dieser texanischen Paradetruppe, erfolgreich getrotzt. Schön, dass ihr Label auch weiterhin keine Anstalten macht, auf ihr immer noch erhaltenes, ursprüngliches Flair einzuwirken. So konnte die Randy Rogers Band mit dem neuen, nach sich selbst benannten Silberling, konsequent ihren Weg weitergehen. Die nötige Rückendeckung wird vermutlich auch durch ihre stetig gewachsene Fanbasis gewährleistet, nicht zuletzt Dank des immer noch immensen jährlichen Konzertprogramms, das die Truppe abspult und ihr den Status als eines der Top 10- "Must-See Acts" in 2007 einbrachte, vergeben durch kein geringeres Magazin, als den Rolling Stone. Das neue Album knüpft nahtlos an den starken Vorgänger an. Wie bereits oben erwähnt, hat wieder Radney Foster am Sound der Band Hand angelegt, einige Gitarrenparts beigesteuert, sich diesmal beim Songwriting aber etwas im Hintergrund gehalten. Lediglich das recht fröhliche, flockige, auf positiver Energie basierende "Let It Go" wurde von ihm zusammen mit Randy komponiert. Rogers pflegte erneut die bewährte Zusammenarbeit mit den Komponisten des Vorgängers wie Gary Nicholsen, Stephony Smith, George Ducas und Clint Igersoll. Neu dabei als Partner ist Sean McConnell, der auch schon beim kürzlich erschienenen Klassewerk von Rogers-Spezi Wade Bowen involviert wurde. Etwas stärkeren Einfluss konnten auch seine Bandkollegen John Richardsen und Geoffrey Hill geltend machen, die sich immerhin für drei Tracks ("Wicked Ways" - mit dezentem Charlie Daniels-Flair, "When The Circus Leaves Town" - Southern E-Gitarren-Intro, E-Gitarren-Solo, Marshall Tucker-mäßiger Ausklang, "Break Even" - dezent psychedelisch, sehr atmosphärisch) verantwortlich zeigten und damit zusätzlich das vorhandene, großartige, bandinterne Potential untermauerten. Dass man sich in der Szene versteht, beweist die Tatsache, dass mit Micky Brown (Micky and The Motorcars) ein weiterer Frontmann der Red Dirt-Szene sich als Co-Writer zur Verfügung gestellt hat (bei "Didn’t Know I Could"). Am bewährten Mix aus Roots-, Country-/Southern-Rock, Red-Dirt- und dezent grassigen Zutaten (hervorragend Gastmusiker Eric Borash, der mit diversen Gitarren, incl. Steel, Mandoline und Dobro herrliche, auf den Punkt gebrachte Akzente setzt; grandios das grassige Instrumentalfinish bei "In My Arms Instead") in Verbindung mit wunderbaren Melodien und variablen Tempovariationen (sehr schön angeordnete Trackliste) wurde nur punktuell gefeilt. Im Vordergrund steht natürlich der trockene, beruhigende, leicht genäselte Gesang von Randy Rogers (oft in der Manier eines Storytellers). Manchmal entdeckt man sogar gewisse Ähnlichkeiten zu Tim McGraw ("One Woman", "Didn’t Know You Could", "When The Circus Leaves Town", "This Is Goodbye"). Hier bietet es sich für den Superstar fast an, auch einmal einen Rogers-Song zu covern, wie es vor geraumer Zeit Kollege Kenny Chesney auf einem seiner letzten Alben praktiziert hat. Der Countryfaktor wird, wie immer, besonders durch den Fiddlevirtuosen Brady Black gewahrt, der diesmal bei fast allen Stücken wohl dosiert und betont songdienlich agiert. Blendend natürlich auch E-Gitarrist Geoffrey Hill, der neben vielen Fills auch einige freche Soli hinzaubert. Als Stimmungsmacher dienen dann zwischendurch (immer sehr gut vom Timing platziert) Lieder wie "Better Than I Ought To Be", "Lonely Too Long", "By Myself A Chance" oder "Let It Go", die durch ihre Rhythmik, die klasse Instrumentierung und teilweise selbstironische, augenzwinkernde Texte zu gefallen wissen. Insgesamt gesehen wurde beim aktuellen Werk im Vergleich zum Vorgänger nur in Nuancen geändert, jedoch letztendlich wiederum qualitativ eine kleine Schüppe draufgelegt. Man braucht sich um den Erhalt des Status Quo (was in Major-Sphären ja nicht immer einfach ist) sicherlich keine Sorgen zu machen. Die Erfolgstory der Randy Rogers Band geht ohne Zweifel weiter! Klasse! (Daniel Daus)

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1 Wicked Ways - 4:20   
2 Better Than I Ought to Be - 2:51   
3 Lonely Too Long - 3:19   
4 One Woman - 4:05   
5 Never Be That High - 3:42   
6 Didn't Know You Could - 3:58   
7 In My Arms Instead - 5:18   
8 When the Circus Leaves Town - 4:22   
9 Buy Myself a Chance - 3:41   
10 Break Even - 4:58   
11 Let It Go - 3:31   
12 This Is Goodbye - 3:25

Art-Nr.: 6023
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Rock; Country
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 15,90

In folgende Titel können Sie reinhören:
Lonely too long
Never be that high
Didn't know you could
In my arms instead

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Williams, Alex - better than myself [2017]
Klasse Debüt des aus Indiana stammenden Alex Williams. In Zeiten, wo die traditionelle, handgemachte, selbstkreierte Countrymusik, auch bei jüngerer Klientel, wieder so etwas wie eine Renaissance erfährt, sind natürlich auch die großen Major-Labels wachsamen Auges unterwegs und zur Stelle, nicht erst seit dem unglaublichen Erfolg eines Chris Stapletons. Big Machine Records, ein Label, das so ungefähr alle Facetten von Country bis New Country, seien sie zum Teil auch noch so gegensätzlich, unter seinem Hut versammelt hat, hat die Gunst der Stunde genutzt und sich mit Alex Williams einen höchst talentierten, jungen Burschen geangelt, der sich einen Kehricht um die heutigen Notwendigkeiten zu scheren scheint, mit denen Kollegen wie Miss Swift, Thomas Rhett oder Georgia Florida Line in den Charts abräumen. Im Gegeteil! Er hält die Fahne des Country mit Outlaw-Ingredienzien in der Tradition berühmter Vertreter der Marke Waylon ennings, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson & Co. stolz in den Wind und harrt der Dinge, die da eventuell auf ihn zukommen könnten. Produziert hat sein ausnahmslos, mit einigen Co-Writern, eigens geschriebenes Werk Julian Raymond (Cheap Trick, Glen Campbell, Jennifer Nettles, Albert Lee, Fleetwood Mac), der ihm mit Leuten wie u.a. Dan Dugmore, Tom Bukovac, JT Corenflos, Mickey Raphael oder Matt Rollings erfahrene Hochkaräter als Musiker an die Seite gestellt hat. Von der ersten Minute des eröffnenden Titelstücks bis zu den letzte Akkorden von "The Last Cross" erhält man durch und durch traditionell instrumentierten Outlaw Country, wobei man angesichts seiner sonoren, Story-tellenden Bariton-Stimme fast verleitet wird, zu glauben, es mit einem alten Haudegen zu tun zu haben. Klare Akustikgitarren, knarzende Bariton-E-Gitarren der beiden o. a. Saitenartisten, Dugmores unverkennbares, omnipräsentes Steelguitar-Spiel, Rolligs' Piano-, und Orgel-Variationen, sowie Raphaels sporadisches Harp-Gepluster sorgen für den passenden, exzellent gespielten Rahmen zu jeder Tempolage der einzelnen Tracks, die meist mit einer kurzen Spielerei beendet werden und gleichzeitig als Übergang zum nächsten Song dienen. Gast übrigens bei "Little Too Stoned" ist Mike Eli (Eli Young Band) mit tollem Slide-Solo und Harmoniegesängen. Das überwiegend von einer Akustikgitarre dominierte Titelstück strotzt vor Selbsterkenntnis ("the songs are better than myself"), das folgende "Hellbent Hallelujah" ist so ein launiger Honky Tonk-"Schunkler" (herrlich typische E-Gitarren- und Pianofills, Steel- und E-Gitarren-Solo-Kombi), den man in eine Endlosschleife ausweiten könnte. Das grandiose "More Than Survival", bei dem die Gitarristen sliden und herrlich schwer in die Saiten greifen, ergänzt durch noch ein wenig Piano-Geklimper in Billy Powell-Manier, wird selbst hart gesottene Southern Rocker beeindrucken. Kräftig auch das bluesrockige "Strange Days"(unterschwelliges "After Midnight"-Flair). Das Ende mit "Few Short Miles (Bobby's Song)" und "Last Cross" wird dann voller Country-typischem Pathos und Melancholie im Erzähl-Stil zelebriert. Das Erstwerk von Alex Williams, "Better Than Myself", ist ein wunderbarer Beweis dafür, wie toll traditionelle Countrymusik klingen kann, wenn passenden Akteuren, zur richtigen Zeit, das adäquate Umfeld geboten wird. Big Machine Records könnte mit Williams jetzt das Pendant zu Chris Stapleton gefunden haben. Darüber hinaus ist das aber auch bester Stoff für Liebhaber von Interpreten wie Aaron Lewis, Sturgill Simpson, Cody Jinks, JP Harris & Co. Toll! Ein Einstand nach Maß! (Daniel Daus)

Das komplette Tracklisting:

1. Better Than Myself - 3:11
2. Hellbent Hallelujah - 3:58
3. More Than Survival - 4:06
4. Freak Flag - 4:16
5. Week Without A Drink - 3:34
6. Little Too Stoned - 4:37
7. Old Tattoo - 4:07
8. Strange Days - 3:43
9. Pay No Mind - 3:31
10. Can't Get Enough Of You - 4:19
11. Few Short Miles (Bobby's Song) - 5:12
12. Last Cross - 4:21

Art-Nr.: 9501
Gruppe: Musik || Sparte: Country
Status: Programm || Typ: CD || Preis: € 14,90

In folgende Titel können Sie reinhören:
Hellbent Hallelujah
Freak flag
Little too stoned
Old tattoo
Can't get enough of you

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