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Kevan James "yeskev"
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615 to Fame
615 to Fame
Price: £15.11

5.0 out of 5 stars West & Bryant for the 21st Century!, 18 Sep 2014
This review is from: 615 to Fame (Audio CD)
Brilliant! Steelism is formed of guitarist Jeremy Fetzer and pedal steel player Spencer Cullum, backed by top Nashville session musicians. They remind me of a modern version of guitar/steel combo Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant.

11 top notch, mostly funky instrumentals - think Booker T & the MGs and you'll have some idea of the sound. Lots of different sounds to enjoy, I'm particularly taken by "China Plate" with a Rick Wakeman-style synth solo thrown into the mix half way through.

Highly recommends!!


Band Of Brothers
Band Of Brothers
Price: £12.86

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard To Be An Outlaw? Just Watch This Guy!, 26 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Band Of Brothers (Audio CD)
This is Willie's fourth album in a little over two years, and after a couple of less than inspiring releases, including last year's very patchy "To All the Girls", here we have the Willie Nelson I really want to hear!

When it comes to Willie Nelson I have to admit I'm biased - there are lots of great country singers, but Willie has it all: the voice that sounds like it's been through the wars, a distinctive guitar style, a great band, and a swaggering `don't care' attitude that should be the envy of any teenager. I wonder how many of the bro-country pretty boys of today will still be recording and touring as extensively as Willie does at 81?

There's so much to enjoy on this album over its' 48 minutes: it's ballsy, it's twangy (listen to the start of "Guitar in the Corner, makes me smile everytime I hear those two notes!), and the instrumentation is fantastic (Willie's old pal Mickey Raphael parps along, the steel guitar slides in and out, and the organ swirls around).

Unusually on this collection we're not treated to lots of guest vocalists as with recent releases, with just Jamey Johnson joining Willie on "The Git Go". That said, with classy songs written (or co-written) by the likes of Bill Anderson, Vince Gill, and Billy Joe Shaver, it feels like more than just another Willie Nelson album!

So, Willie tries to tell us "It's Hard To Be An Outlaw" ..... don't listen to him, it just seems to come naturally to him!! Best album of the year!


My Heroes Have Always Been Country
My Heroes Have Always Been Country
Price: £17.03

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classics by a Classic, 26 Jun 2014
Although you could look at the track list for this CD and think to yourself, "Oh no, not another country artist releasing a covers album!", and I admit that I groaned to myself when I read the list, having now listened to it a few times I can only think, "Nice one Gene!"

There are a few songs on here that I seem to have heard hundreds of times by dozens of different artists - "Long Black Veil", "Make The World Go Away", and "It's not Love", for example - but Mr Watson's rich voice adds enough class to lift them above the run of the mill. And the playing throughout is excellent, his band do a great job of sounding up-to-date but just like a country combo from the 60s or 70s.

My favourite on the album is Gene's take on the George Jones' classic, "Walk Through This World With Me". I know it seems a bit trite these days to say "He made it his own" but in this case I think it's very apt. It's a masterful cover, harking back to the original enough to make you think of Jones but adding enough to be classic Watson. Wonderful stuff!

So, whilst I'd rather have had a collection of original material, there's lots to enjoy here. Recommended!


A Million Ways to Die [Explicit]
A Million Ways to Die [Explicit]
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Did Mr Jackson Swear??, 2 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great little song, but having seen the trailer I'm not so sure about the film! Hearing this makes me think an album of Alan Jackson western style songs might be a good idea .....


Save Me The Waltz
Save Me The Waltz
Price: £14.58

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 3/4 Hank? Couldn't Be Better!, 11 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Save Me The Waltz (Audio CD)
Any new release from Hank Wangford is a treat and this one is as sweet as can be! 25 waltz tracks across 2 CDs might seem a bit daunting but there's so much variety on offer you'll be swept along by the 3/4 time. And don't think it's all country - listen to "Les Feuilles Mortes" and you'd think you were hearing Jacques Brel; or try "Walzting With Sin", featuring Rev Larry Love of Alabama 3, possibly the Goth-ish country track you'll ever hear!

If you like the songs of Willie Nelson, you won't be disappointed: there are four corkers here, including "Half A Man" that Hank's been including in his live appearances for years. Also worth a mention is "Permanently Lonely" - great stuff!

Hank's backed as ever by a fine group of UK musicians, including the great twang of Martin Belmont and the very classy steel playing of B J Cole.

It's a mix of new tracks and choice oldies, and even features a couple of ancient duets with Billy Bragg. One of these, a great version of "Sin City", was the first time I heard Mr Wangford - so thank you Billy for the introduction, and thank you Hank for my favourite album of the year so far!!

One of Willie's songs says "Sad Songs and Waltzes aren't selling this year". Well, these waltzes certainly do deserve to sell! Excellent stuff!


HOW ABOUT NOW
HOW ABOUT NOW
Price: £12.33

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent UK Country!, 11 Mar 2014
This review is from: HOW ABOUT NOW (Audio CD)
I saw Ags performing on the outside stages at the 02 C2C festival last year and having been waiting for this album ever since. Country Music People have raved about it, it's got 5 star reviews all over the place, and I really can't disagree with any of the nice things that have been said about it. Great songs, great voice, excellent playing throughout!

Recommended!


The Outsiders
The Outsiders
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £12.78

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 26 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Outsiders (Audio CD)
Not really sure what to say about Eric Church - I loved his first album but then thought the two subsequent albums, although both of a very high quality, didn't really match the inventiveness of the debut.

So here he is with album number four. I'd heard the title track and, although I'd rather have rock mixed with my country than the current obsession with rap, thought (on first hearing) that it was a bit TOO heavy. Even the imagery associated with the album says RAWK!!! to me more than Country but I was happy to give the whole thing a try. And I'm glad I did!

Mr Church manages to mix those rocky moments nicely with a handful of more country sounding tracks that make for a very satisfying collection. Highlights for me are "A Man Who Was Gonna To Die Young", "Cold One", and "Like A Wrecking Ball" (love that organ!), but mention should also be made of ""That's Damn Rock & Roll" for it's sheer balls-iness (even given it's rap middle eight), and album closer "The Joint" for it's sheer strangeness - I love the trombone! The only low point for me is "Broke Record", a fairly generic new country track with an irritating stuttering effect.

And I can't finish without mentioning the 8 minute "Devil, Devil" with it's opening spoken section subtitled "Princess of Darkness". The 'lyrics' for this part aren't included in the booklet but you can find them on his website. It doesn't take long to realise that the Princess he's referring to is Nashville: take the time to listen to this carefully, "If you make it she's your savior, if you don't she's a whore". Stirring stuff!

Excellent album!


Every Which-A-Way
Every Which-A-Way
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £19.62

5.0 out of 5 stars Three Fiddles! Great Harmonies! The Quebes Are Back!!, 14 Feb 2014
This review is from: Every Which-A-Way (Audio CD)
It's great to have some new music from the Quebe Sisters - OK, it's actually old music but it's new from them .... if you understand where I'm coming from!! If you've heard the Sisters in the past, you'll know what to expect - classic western swing, tight harmonies, and wonderful triple fiddles.

There's much to enjoy in the 12 track collection: it's difficult to choose favourite tracks. But if you like the songs of Hank Williams, Cindy Walker, or Moon Mullican, you won't be disappointed. Ironically, much as I love to hear those combined fiddles and harmonies (and really I can't fault them) but there are a few moments on this album that shine even more brightly - the solo vocal at the start of "Green Light" (sorry, I can't credit it to a particular Sister as, once again, no details as this was a download), and the fantastic instrumental finish to "How High The Moon" with the three fiddles playing different lines, Marvellous!!


The First 10 Years 1956-66
The First 10 Years 1956-66
Price: £78.71

5.0 out of 5 stars First 10 Years of a Wonderful Singer-Songwriter, 12 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Five and a half hours of Bill Anderson crammed onto 4 CDs, all presented in an LP size box with a fascinating hard back book. What more could you want?

OK, these Bear Family box sets are expensive but given the price of individual copies of the albums included here I think this one is really good value (and that doesn't take into account the songs here that don't appear elsewhere). All of Bill's early classic hits are here, plus many others he wrote that became big hits for others - my favourites of these are "Once A Day", a massive hit for Connie Smith, and "The Lord Knows I'm Drinking", recorded by many people but a huge, huge hit for Cal Smith in 1972, which I love for the line, "Goodbye, Mrs. Johnson, You self-righteous biddy". Makes me smile every time I hear it!

Another reviewer makes mention of the inclusion of quite a few cover versions and whilst I agree that there are better versions of these songs availalbe elsewhere, I'm happy to have then here as they formed part of the original albums.

I've bought a few of these box sets over the years but I think this one is my favourite. I look forward to a follow-up collection!!


Only Me
Only Me
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.79

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bluegrass or Country?? Who Cares!! The Voice Carries it!, 12 Feb 2014
This review is from: Only Me (Audio CD)
Excellent! Not sure that the two CDs release of 6 tracks each was particularly necessary, one each of country and bluegrass, but it's difficult to fault the music. To be honest the split of the two genres of music doesn't make a lot of difference to my ears, it's Rhonda's crystal clear vocals that carry the project.

There's a lot to enjoy - the title track is a cover of the Billy Yates song "Me Marie" with the title and chorus changed tweaked to accommodate the female view point, and as well as featuring Willie Nelson on vocals, he also contributes a great solo as part of a very tasteful instrumental section. I also enjoyed the brace of Bill Anderson songs on the 'country' disc: "Once A Day", best known for Connie Smith's version, is a great song and deserves to be re-aired here, and "Bright Lights, Country Music" always sounds good to me! The album closes off with a superb take on the classic "Drivin' Nails (in my coffin)".

The playing throughout is superb. Rhonda's band The Rage are heavily featured and I think the featured steel guitar player is Mike Johnson, maybe not a well known name but google him and you'll be amazed at his list of credits!

Great collection!


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