Category: Reviews

Single Review: ‘Friends Don’t’

Maddie and Tae are back and better than ever! Their new single ‘Friends Don’t’ shows their growth since ‘Start Here’ in their vocals and their songwriting. Their last album was released in 2015, so it’s amazing to hear them back again after so long away. At each live show I’ve been to since then, they have given a taste of their new music with a few different songs and so for them to finally be released is exciting.

Their new single ‘Friends Don’t’ is all about what friends don’t do, but a potential love interest might, for example “They don’t talk about the future and put each other in it, and get chills with every accidental touch”.  For me, Maddie and Tae’s songwriting is second to none in terms of connecting with their audience, ‘Girl in a Country Song’ is still up there in my ‘songs I wish I’d written’ list.

The duos have previously discussed writing songs based on their own experiences or those by people close to them. There’s something about those truths that mean they manage to write with such sincerity about an experience or a feeling, in a way that is relatable and familiar, something that all songwriters aim to do.

What I particularly love about this new single is that it showcases Tae’s harmonies as much as it does Maddie’s main vocals, which wasn’t necessarily true of all of the songs on their first album. When hearing them perform live, Tae’s harmonies are so perfect and I can’t wait to hopefully hear more of that on their soon-to-be announced album. The duo have mentioned in interviews that their new album will follow the story of a relationship from start to finish, so I’m excited to hear how ‘Friend’s Don’t’ falls into that.

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Single Review: Jackie D

It’s always a pleasure to review a single from a new UK country artist, but particularly when it’s a song that you can’t get out of your head. Perfect for the summer and for festival season, ‘Jackie D’ by rising pop-country artist Binky, is as wild and bubbly as the artist herself.

As country music in the UK is only growing, this seems the perfect time for a catchy pop-country song from London born talent. With a look of Miranda Lambert meets Kelsea Ballerini, and a sound like RaeLynn meets Continue reading “Single Review: Jackie D”

Album Review: Golden Hour

The wait is over! The Golden Hour has finally arrived in the form of a brand new Kacey Musgraves album. This album really embodies who Musgraves has become as an artist, lyrically and musically and it does so with an authenticity and enchantment.

Most of the songs on this album have a different sound to anything we’ve heard from Musgraves before, yet the lyrics hold the same real life feel that we know and love. Different from the majority of the country genre, Musgraves is still echoing the sentiments of ‘Follow Your Arrow’ in songs, just less Continue reading “Album Review: Golden Hour”

C2C Highlights

Bear with me while I recover from the weekend and cope with the fact C2C is over for another year. Before I post my reviews, here’s a list my Top 10 best things at C2C 2018, not necessarily in order.

1. Walker Hayes in the NY-LON Lounge Bar.

For those lucky enough to see anyone in the NY-LON Lounge Bar, you’ll know what an amazing, intimate venue it is. As a huge fan of Walker Hayes it was such a privilege to see him in such a setting and I only wish more gigs could be like that!

2. Lindsay Ell on the BBC Radio 2 stage.

The biggest disappointment for the initial C2C line up for me, was that Lindsay Ell only had a slot on the Spotlight Stage, when I feel that she is worthy of so much more. So, Continue reading “C2C Highlights”

Every Little Thing

The wait is over! Carly Pearce’s debut album is here and it is amazing. Such a bluesy feel to this album, I love it.

While women in country are having to contend against everyone for recognition, it’s exciting to see Pearce’s album being received so well on social media and by critics alike.  Some elements of Pearce’s album could be compared to Miranda Lambert or Maren Morris, like “Hide The Wine” and “Color”, but regardless of this, Pearce is smashing it all by herself, doing women in country proud.

While the album is true to her Kentucky roots, some songs ere more on the side of Continue reading Every Little Thing

Kris Kristofferson’s Glastonbury Debut

At 81 years old, Kris Kristofferson just played Glastonbury Festival for the first time. Appearing on the Pyramid Stage on Friday night, Kristofferson opened with my second personal favourite (the first being ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down’), ‘Me and Bobby McGee’.

Despite his age showing through each melancholy verse, each song was performed with such mournful delight and it was truly a pleasure to watch.

He changed the lyrics of ‘Help Me Make It Through the Night’ to sing ‘help me make it through tonight‘, as he had also done months ago at a show in Kansas. This bittersweet moment was one of many throughout his performance. Kristofferson repeatedly ended his songs with ‘I think it finishes there’ or words to that effect, showing that time takes its toll, sparing no one, not even the greats. Kristofferson delivered, though through a fading voice, a devastatingly wonderful set.

If you took nothing from his set today other than an old man in front of a under-appreciative crowd, take this: Kristofferson is the perfect example of why you should never stop striving, and should always do what you love.

Album Review: From A Room: Vol 1

Like the rest of the world, I fell in love with Chris Stapleton’s voice the first time I heard it. Willing to listen to anything new that’s classified as ‘country’, I listened to Traveler as soon as it was released, not knowing what to expect. We all know how that one turned out, so here I am to praise From A Room: Volume 1 to the highest degree.

The album pairs country and blues perfectly, as he tells a variety of stories through the harmonicas and instruments making up the country twang.  Search Stapleton’s name on Twitter and there is nothing but love for the album, the voice and the man himself. Despite his extraordinary talent, he remains humble, particularly when performing live – when we are most in awe. Also needing a shoutout is Stapleton’s wife, Morgane who in her own right is a brilliant singer/songwriter. She can be seen standing right there next to him on stage, singing those perfect harmonies. Continue reading “Album Review: From A Room: Vol 1”

Brad Paisley’s Eighties Inspired Video

Brad Paisley’s done it again! First came the touching music video for “Today”, the first single off new album Love and War, followed by a hilarious equivalent for the brilliant, “selfie#theinternetisforever”. Now, he has shared a similar video for new single, “Last Time For Everything”, this time in eighties throwback home-video style, with a title screen straight out of Stranger Things and David Hasselhoff reprising his role as Michael Knight from eighties classic Knight Rider. Continue reading “Brad Paisley’s Eighties Inspired Video”

Family Table Review

 

Zac Brown Band have released another single from their upcoming album Welcome Home, along with a lyric video. I love “My Old Man” and “Real Thing” but I think “Family Table” might be my favourite of the new album so far. The song is an ode to a piece of furniture, as well as a heartfelt metaphor for the comfort of family. The lyrics echo this sentiment as ZBB sing, “it’s the cornerstone that held us all up”. Continue reading “Family Table Review”

Willie Nelson’s Ode to Merle

Willie Nelson has revealed his tribute to friend Merle Haggard on the anniversary of his death. The new song will feature on his upcoming album God’s Problem Child.

Haggard passed away on April 6th 2016 – his 79th birthday. A year on, country stars came together in Nashville for a tribute concert, ‘Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard’. There were performances from artists such as Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen, Kacey Musgraves to name a few, to show appreciation of Haggards contribution to the world of country music, as Nelson sings ‘it wouldn’t be all it was without Merle‘. Continue reading “Willie Nelson’s Ode to Merle”