Monday, January 6, 2014


Dierks Bentely - RISER

Nashville, TN – Jan. 6, 2014 – Each of singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley's six previous albums has a unique sound reflecting his creative state of mind at that particular moment in time.  The story continues on Feb. 25, 2014 when Bentley will release RISER, a country project grounded in lyrical substance with a new sonic power that spotlights Bentley's distinctive gravelly voice, one of the most original and recognizable in the genre. 

“I named the album RISER because the lyrics in that song perfectly articulate who I want to be, who I try to be,” Bentley explains. “There's a lot of really intense material on this record, but there's also a lighter side that is equally important in telling the story of the last two years of my life.  When I first started writing for this album, I was in a place of grief over the loss of my dad, but over the course of the next 18 months, my wife and I had our son Knox, and I ended in a place of real joy and gratefulness.  Both sides of that coin are what country music has always been about, and I hope that my fans can feel how much of myself I put into this project. It's all out on the table, for sure.” 

To assemble the new album, Bentley enlisted producer Ross Copperman and executive producer Arturo Buenahora, Jr.  Together, the trio mixed the immediacy of old-school live recording techniques with the experimental nature of new technologies.  Buenahora matched Bentley with the right co-writers and songs. The result is RISER – an album with a heightened depth, an increased vulnerability and a greater sense of purpose in every word.

Country Music News International January 6. 2014

Country Music News International January 6. 2014

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CD: Bo Porter – Try It You’ll Like It

    Bo Porter – Try It You’ll Like It

    Label: Holy Smoke, Inc, 14.09.2013
    Genre: Americana, Roots Country, Singer/Songwriter, Honky-Tonk, Rockabilly
  1. Ain’t I Been Good To You Baby
  2. Saddle Up And Ride
  3. Drinkin’ Money
  4. She Likes Living In Texas
  5. It Ain’t Like My Baby
  6. Mama Came To Texas
  7. I Was Born Like This
Bo Porter wuchs in einer kinderreichen musikalischen Familie in Niceville, zwischen Alabama und Florida. Bereits mit 14 Jahren spielte er Bluegrass und sang mit seinen Geschwistern. Er zog durch Amerika von Florida bis Alaska und auch durch Europa, immer die Gitarre in Griffweite.

In dieser CD fasst er die Facetten seines Musikerlebens zusammen. In Track 1) mit Akkordeon unterlegt, fragt er sein Mädchen, warum es gehen will, ob er nicht gut gewesen wäre. Track 2) beginnt mit einschmeichelndem Gitarrensolo, später Akkordeon, und wieder geht es ums Abschiednehmen und um nicht erwiderte Liebe. Ein schönes Lied, das mit etwas weniger Schlagzeug auch gut ausgekommen wäre. Track 3) ein flotter Rockabilly 5) und 7) sind gute Honky Tonks. Mir persönlich gefallen am besten Track 4), eine einschmeichelnde Melodie und er ist glücklich, dass sie bei ihm in Texas leben möchte. Und Track 6) mit Klavier und Slidegitarre, traurig und wehmütig, als seine Mutter ihn im Traum besucht.
Bo Porter hat für jedes Lied hier die richtige Stimme, eine empfehlenswerte Scheibe.

Text: Elisabeth Kölbl, für Country Music News International

CD: Rhonda Vincent Only Me ( Featuring Willie Nelson )

Rhonda Vincent
Only Me (Featuring Willie Nelson)

Busy City 2:30 I’d Rather Hear I Don’t Love You (Than Nothing at All) 3:50 Only Me (featuring Willie Nelson) 3:50 I Need Somebody Bad Tonight  4:10 We Must Have Been Out of Our Minds (featuring Daryle Singletary) 3:29 It’s Never Too Late 3:37 Teardrops Over You   3:14 Once a Day  2:35Beneath Still Waters 3:30 Bright Lights and Country Music  3:36 When the Grass Grows Over Me 4:00 Drivin’ Nails 3:21

The plucking banjo strums and the mountain’s twang reverb the treetops. The jug-band leaps from their rocking chairs, the straw flies from their mouths toward the balcony rails. The fiddle kicks in. Then, they tug at their overall straps and run ‘cross the dirt state road preparing to join in. The entire time they have to hold on to their tweed hats so they don’t fall off with all the hooting and hollering going on. That’s what I imagined anyway as Busy City began playing. But, I’m not here to guide you through my warped imagination. Rather, I’m here to listen for musical merit; whether it’s the writing, the singing, the musicians, or the production.
            Tell you the truth. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when Busy City began. The lyrics tell of a story that you’d think seemed familiar; the girls man left and she is upset about it. This song has a twist that seemed unfamiliar to me. She seems to just wonder why it was done with no real hard feelings. The incredible musicianship that accompanies it seems to drive that message. It isn’t that familiar “I hate” or “Girl Power Roar.” Lyrically, it is much more of a mature reflection. To me, it really shows professionalism that I rarely see anymore.
            I’d Rather Hear I Don’t Love You (Than Nothing at All) slows the album down. It opens with almost a weeping fiddle. As she begins to sing you can feel the words flow through your heart. Maybe, it’s just me. Being a bartender for so long I never really saw it from the other side. This song brings that other viewpoint to me that I never considered before. I know there are a lot of guys as well as girls that this song could mean a great deal to.
            Only Me (featuring Willie Nelson) comes up next. I’m not going to lie, when I saw that Willie Nelson was on this album. I leapt at the chance to review it. Who out there could blame me? The banjo kicks up the pace. Dueling banjos at one point and a fiddle along with some fabulous finger picking bring out this duet. It’s what you may expect to hear in Mexico, but with English lyrics. I really don’t know how to look at this objectively because I am a big fan of Willie, but this has to be the best song I have ever reviewed. All I can say is you must listen to it and make your own decision.
            I Need Somebody Bad Tonight is next. This is like the Cowboy drowning himself in a glass of Whiskey, except it’s a cowgirl drowning herself. We Must Have Been Out of Our Minds (featuring Daryle Singletary) is another great duet. I believe that Rhonda Vincent’s strongest songs are these duets over tops of the acoustic strumming and Mexican guitars. It’s Never Too Late reminds me a lot of Kenny Rogers “Gambler,” yet with a religious twist. A man sells his soul then looks for forgiveness from a preacher. Teardrops Over You is another one of those cry in your beer or drown in your whisky songs. I hope that the bar has flood insurance or has suicide counselors on hand.
            Overall, the musicians were incredible, lyrically it was good, and her voice perfectly matched it. The duets were amazing and I believe these were the strongest songs on the album. The album began in a very different light than when it ended. It almost fell into that “oh no, my man left me genre,” which it seems a lot of singers fall into. After the first few of these feeling sorry for myself songs it seemed to get old. I’m sure that she had songs that were better that were not put on this album just for sales purposes and audience targeting. I hope in the future she stays away from falling in these traps. 

Jeremy Frost for Country Music News International


Ramble On
Red Bird Stomp - Copper Coil Daydream - Take It Easy With My Heart - Wally The Hound Dog - Hippy Girl - Carp Skin Boots - Eliza Mae - Lost Weekend - Armadillo Shuffle - Equal Parts Pleasure
This is without a doubt one of our better acoustic old-time music maker bands in the upper Midwest.  I've heard these same musicians in other groups, not the least being the very good Southpaw Bluegrass Band.  Music, however, does not stay static very long especially in the hands of players who are not only unique, but original in their compositions.  All of these songs are written by the band members with Josh Krohn making the most contributions.  All of the songs, at least to my ear, are quite good, some mountain style sounding, some directly from the dance floor of western Nebraska, some from the very heart of early country music roots. Members include Josh Krohn on vocals, fiddle (exceptionally good on all songs), banjo  (even uses a frailing style occasionally, especially well done on the instrumental "Wally The Hound Dog") and acoustic guitar; Justin Kephart (from the very very famous Kephart Family of music makers originally from Iowa) on vocals and super good mandolin; Mace Hathaway on vocals, guitar, harmonica, and baritone Ukelele; Chris Hunke on acoustic bass.  I'm really picky when it comes to the 'mix' of acoustic music.  I didn't get to record six albums for the Smithsonian Institution without that 'ear' and I'd have to say this mix is as good as it gets.  I like the way the bass holds it's own throughout, but doesn't become isolated.  I like the way the mandolin comes in on heavy leads and then backs off into the accompaniment mode, and I like the way the vocals are blended with the instruments.  Two, very well written, 'romantic' songs are composed by M. Hathaway.  "Hippy Girl" and "Eliza Mae" are pure traditional country, plain and simple.  "Carp Skin Boots" is another voyage into instrumental expertise, tempo change and all.  Excellent acoustic guitar leads here.  The closing song "Equal Parts Pleasure" is a 'lost love romantic' song by Josh Krohn that includes his harmonica playing.  Recorded at Alaska House Studios, good job well done.  Josh Krohn, Dirty River Ramblers, 2719 N 65th St., Omaha, NE 68104  
Review by Bob Everhart
for Country Music News International 

CD: KEITH HIATT - Drifting Back To Dreamland

Drifting Back To Dreamland
When You And I Were Young Maggie - Supper Time - Drifting Back To Dream Land - Nobody Answered Me - Darling Nellie Gray - Red River Valley - Silver Thread Among The Gold - Wabash Cannonball - Sunny South By The Sea - Lamp Lighting Time In The Valley - When We All Get To Heaven - Whispering Hope - The Sinking Of The Titanic - Aunt Dinah's Quilting Party - Remember Me
"Now we are old and ragged Maggie, the trials of life nearly done."  I'm so glad this CD was the first one on my list to be reviewed today.  Especially since the death of Phil Everly has left me in a somewhat morose condition.  These very songs are the songs that Phil's dad would have sang to him when Phil and Don were little boys.  And here the songs all are back again, in the safe and secure voice and CD of Keith Hiatt.  Kind of sad I must say, but the 'feeling' these old songs have, the creativity in the writing of them, and the comfortable voice of Keith Hiatt to 'remember' them.  Keith lives in North Carolina, not so far from the Kentucky home of the Everly's.  Keith also plays a nice old-time mountain fiddle, which you can hear on "Nobody Answered Me" a song almost identical to "Rank Strangers." This entire CD is just jam-packed with incredible old-time songs I haven't heard in ages.  The fiddle once again takes center stage on "Darling Nellie Gray."  To my astonishment, the lead instrument in "Red River Valley" is the autoharp.  We hear it again on "Aunt Dinah's Quilting Party."  This too, is a 'sign' on my road called music.  We are going to have an autoharp gathering at our LeMars Festival (Aug 25-31 in LeMars, Iowa), for the very first time featuring some of the best autoharp players in America.  Keith's voice sounds sometimes like he is 'seeking' the way, but in the end it comes out just right.  Best song on the CD is Keith's amazing rendition of the "Wabash Cannonball."  Much like the original Roy Acuff version.  A thouroughly 'country' music CD, with all the innuendo and captured country feeling in everything you hear.  The fiddle is excellent throughout (sometimes it sounds like more than one fiddler playing), and the acoustic guitar is right on track.  All in all a CD that closes with an admonition. "Remember Me."  Keith Hiatt, 601 Barnes St., Reidsville, NC 27320  
Review by Bob Everhart 
for Country Music News International

PHIL EVERLY died January 3rd at the age of 74

PHIL EVERLY died January 3rd at the age of 74 

The younger brother of the Everly Brothers, died of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  From the very beginning of the 'Everly Brothers' fame, when the two small boys made their very first public performance in the old City Auditorium in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and more regularly on KMA Radio Station in Shenandoah, Iowa (they also sang on KFNF in Shenandoah frequently) with their dad Ike and their mom Margaret, the Everly Brothers created a harmony singing duet unbeatable by anyone's standards.  Phil was born on January 19, 1939, in Chicago, the son of a coal mining father, Ike Everly, an accomplished guitarist and singer, who managed to find his way out of the Kentucky coal mines to better his life, and his families life by playing old-time country music.  His guitar stylings were the precursor to both Chet Atkins and Merle Travis.  Once they found their way to Shenandoah, Iowa, both brothers were always very proud to say they 'grew up' in Iowa, and they did.  They would find themselves singing old-time mountain songs between radio commercials for rat poison and Foster's Corn & Callus removers.  Phil was 5 years old when he got to Shenandoah, and didn't leave there until he was 17.  When they finally left Shenandoah, 'live' radio music was already going out of style, and father Ike began working as a carpenter, hanging wall board.  Both Phil and Don helped him.  On a hiatus, just to see if there was any chance in music at all, the brothers saved up their meager dollars and decided to visit Nashville for a week.  They made their way through audition after audition, even standing outside the Ryman Auditorium to sing for anyone who would listen, to no avail.  They finally found their way to the office of Chet Atkins, then working for RCA records, who said later..."I found the Everly boys to be polite, without an accent, and of very high intelligence from those I normally interviewed.  I sent them to Cadence Records."  The Everly's huge hit "Bye Bye Love" written by Bordeaux Bryant who wrote the music and his wife Felice who wrote the words, had already been turned down by well over 30 other recording artists, including Elvis Presley.  They followed this hit song, almost immediately with "Wake Up Little Susie" which immediately rose to #1 on the music charts.  They followed the same road as all super-stars, performing, singing, interviewing, playing, traveling.  By 1962, the Everly's had earned 35-million dollars from record sales.  By the end of the 60's they released "Roots" a return to the music they loved, and the same music taught to them by their dad.  In 1973, with both suffering health and stress problems from those many years of touring, they broke up 'during' a concert at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California.  Phil threw his guitar down, which 'exploded' on the stage, and walked off in the middle of singing "Cathy's Clown," leaving a stunned Don to tell a stunned audience the duo was finished.  They re-united in 1983, for a show at the Royal Albert Hall in London, which was a fresh and new as they had ever been, but they never returned to the brilliance and remarkable 'never to hear again' brother harmony they created in Shenandoah, Iowa, when their father Ike was backing them on guitar. For two little boys that grew up in Iowa, Don Everly said it best in an interview today..."I was listening to one of my favorite songs, that Phil wrote, and had an extreme emotional moment just before I got news of his passing.  I took that as a special spiritual message frm Phil saying good bye.  Our love was and will always be deeper than any any earthly diffewrences we might have had.  I loved my brother very much.  I always thought I'd be the one to go first.  The world might be mourning for an Everly Brother, but I am mourning my brother, Phil Everly." We inducted the Everly Brothers into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame in 1976.  When we began placing photographs of inductees in the Pioneer Music Musem, their's was the very first one.  They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, and they were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville in 2001.
Bob Everhart for Country Music News International

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