Saturday 21 March 2015

Weldon Henson - Honky Tonk Frontier

Weldon Henson - Honky Tonk Frontier (2015)      
Simple & True. Weldon Henson is to country music what an ice cold beer is on a “long, hard, hot, day” – refreshing. The first few notes out of his mouth and you know your witnessing the real deal. Henson’s shows are a throw-back to the vintage honky-tonk and Texas culture that brought your grandparents together combined with the rock ‘n roll attitude and approach of the more modern men of Texas country. You’re in good hands with Henson. Prepare to swing, 2-step, waltz, and even polka to authentic, brand new honky-tonk music. Then sit down for a few and take a deep breath of original and true country music.

Tuesday 17 February 2015

Country star Travis Collins releases his brand new album, 'Wired!'

Travis Collins - Wired (2015)
With three studio albums, multiple No. 1 hits and a string of accolades to his name already, Travis has always put his youthful inspirations to impressive use. That said, 'Wired' is the Hunter Valley artist's most assured release yet, coupling classic country sounds with Travis' unique ear for a captivating rock tune.

The album features the lead single, "Curves."

Claire Petrie - The One (2015)

Claire Petrie - The One (2015)
To say music comes naturally to Claire Petrie might require some degree of genetic or scientific proof. But to say it flows naturally from her is as tangible as a blazing fire on the hearth: One listen and you’ll want to cozy up for more.

Country music fans will soon have the chance to listen. Claire records for Playback Records and just put the finishing touches on a brand new CD that showcases the full spectrum of her vocal versatility. She’s on a musical mission to bring passion and purpose to the musical genre she loves.

Claire can’t remember a time when music didn’t play an integral part in her life. She was born to musical parents who instilled a love of melody, harmony, rhythm and rhyme deep within her. “My mom was a classical pianist and my dad was very bluesy on the piano,” she remembers fondly. “They passed down their love of music to us.” Claire’s mom was also an accomplished drummer.

When she was 15, her parents formed a family band and took all six of their children on tour. That trial by fire exposure helped Claire hone her on-stage persona that now makes her a must-see performer.

It was also during that time of touring with her family that Claire crafted what has become her signature sound. She boasts an impressive vocal range that pushes the boundaries of both ends of the musical scale. From her soaring upper register to the rich, bluesy undercurrent of her lower range, Claire Petrie punctuates every song she sings with personality. She can belt out an up-tempo tune with a rare combination of power and precision. But it’s her uncanny control when she pours her soul into a ballad that holds the listener spellbound and on the edge of their seat. “I LOVE ballads,” Claire says with conviction. “They’re a huge part of Country music. I’m a words person and I connect with the message – the story – of a good ballad.”

That love for words comes across convincingly in Claire’s songwriting, too. She writes about real topics that affect people of every imaginable circumstance. She manages to marry sharp, carefully crafted lyrics with memorable melodies that’ll make you want to sing along. Her songwriting approach cuts to the core of a subject, never glossing over a point she needs to make. That rare style of lyrical genius is generally rooted in the soul of someone who embraces life with gusto and who has learned to celebrate both its triumphs and tragedies.

When you consider all that encompasses Country music, Claire’s genuine charm, warm wit and passion for people only enhances the genre.

Sunday 1 February 2015

Tim Bradford - Drinking Alone (2015)

Tim Bradford - Drinking Alone (2015)
Tim Bradford is full of a forgotten brand of cowboy wisdom. And like certain proverbs of old, Bradford's wisdom isn't overly complicated but it is full of heart and easy to listen to. His full-length debut album, Drinking Alone, is an earnest account of many things, but primarily, as the title indicates, it concerns itself with failed romances and the consequences of heartbreak.

Bradford's pleasant croon is relatable for its endearing amicability and optimistic tone — a remarkable ability to sing the sad songs in a coltish fashion. Rural metaphors and sly storytelling make Bradford seem like a close friend confiding in you about the unfortunate events of the night before. Domestic dysfunction and mutual reliance is a topic often touched on for Bradford. Preaching on "Better Than Drinking Alone," Bradford discloses a Sabbath tradition wherein he and his lady "Bask in the glory of a church full of red neon lights, where the pulpits lined with bar stools, the organ is a jukebox, and the prayers are all led by George Jones." The portrait is clear: Bradford's lifestyle and women don't mix as well as rum and coke; that's a good thing for the listener, as his rural and city stories are entirely relatable.

As smooth as the whiskey sung about are Burke Carroll's lap steel on "Walk of Shame" and "Always Be Blue," John Showman's fiddle on "On the Line" and "Take You Back Again" and Will Meadows' mandolin break on "Run To the Pines." The music harmoniously connects with Bradford's themes by shadowing lonely and riotous conduct: sad sliding steel for dark ballroom lamentations and blistering Thorogood guitar for roadhouse brawls. Much like Merle Haggard's work (his song "The Bottle Let Me" is covered in this album), Drinking Alone will make you wish you could sing the country blues like a cowboy.

Sunday 25 January 2015

Erik Moll - Many Years To Go (2015)

Erik Moll - Many Years To Go (2015)
Texan NORWEGIAN American artist ERIK MOLL's evocative voice takes you traveling through a charming, rootsy and eclectic blend of Folk, COUNTRY, Gypsy, Swing, Blues, Tex-Mex, Bluegrass, Calypso and Rock.

ACTIVE since the early 70's in the US & Scandinavia, ERIK paints with his songs the colorful moods and feelings that move us through the twists and turns of the human experience. Transcending the traditional with upbeat rythmic trademarks and mysterious minor key melodies, his stories and pictures wander landscapes of the heart.

MOLL is a Norwegian Grammy Award winning songwriter and has opened for legends Willie Nelson, Jerry Garcia(Grateful Dead), New Riders Of The Purple Sage, Rick Danko(The Band), Taj Mahal, Louden Wainright, Peter Rowan, Hal Ketchum, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Butch Hancock, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and many more.

Larry Mangum - I Know Why The Hippie Girls Dance (2015)

Larry Mangum - I Know Why The Hippie Girls Dance (2015)
Jacksonville, FL singer/songwriter LARRY MANGUM has nearly 3000 performances over 4 decades as a folk, rock, country and Americana artist. For over 100 years somebody from Larry's North Carolina family has been PLAYING. Larry's Mom, Kate was Randy Travis' guitar teacher and Uncle Homer was a member of the legendary WBT Briarhoppers!

A Floridian since 1970, known for his butter smooth voice, Larry has released 7 albums of original music and 2 live albums since 1980. An award winning songwriter, Larry writes from a keen sense of observation and experience capturing the moments that reveal the human truths that bind us all together. An evening of Larry’s songs is an emotional ROLLER coaster touching the heart, the mind and the soul that stays with the listener long after the performance.

Larry makes regular appearances at the Florida Folk Festival (featured performer in 2010), the Will McLean Festival (featured performer 2010), the South Florida Folk Festival, the Sarasota Folk Festival, the Gamble Rogers Folk Festival, Barberville, the Lake County Folk Festival, Riverhawk and many more! He is also host and co-founder of THE SONGWRITERS’ CIRCLE in Jacksonville-a monthly PROGRAM featuring many of the best regional and national touring acts. Since 2006, Larry has hosted a monthly Songwriters' Circle in Jacksonville and around the state.

Larry's concert appearances with music legends include the late Waylon Jennings, Roger McGuinn, The Texas Playboys, Billy Joe Shaver, Vassar Clements, Ray Price, Martina McBride, Juice Newton, Steve Young, Gene Watson, T.G. Sheppard, T. Graham Brown, Alabama and many more.

Roo Arcus - Cowboys And Sunsets (2015)

Roo Arcus - Cowboys And Sunsets (2015)
“Cowboys And Sunsets” the latest from Roo Arcus  launched January 20 the 2015 Tamworth Country Music Festival 

Based near Goulburn, NSW, Roo shares his time on the family cattle property and writing/performing his distinctive brand of country music. “Cowboys And Sunsets” was produced by Jerry Salley (Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Joe Nichols) in the USA amongst the landscapes and people that inspired him as a child.

Roo spent the better part of two weeks back in June 2014 recording the new album in Gallatin, just outside of Nashville, Tennessee with three of the twelve tracks being self-penned and one co-write. After Roo recorded ‘If We Didn’t Know So Much’ written by Jerry Salley for his last album, Jerry invited Roo to record in the US and Roo gladly accepted the offer.

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Ben McPeak - Ben McPeak (2015)

Ben McPeak - Ben McPeak (2015) 
As one of the rising stars of the Texas country music scene, Ben McPeak’s versatility and crowd-pleasing appeal has landed him on the A-list of promoters across the state. His new self-titled album is set to release in early 2015, and contains hard rockin' country, traditional country stylings and delicate, emotive ballads. He has assembled a tight knit group of musicians who are poised to take him all over Texas and beyond. This is truly an exciting time for this Texas troubadour.

However, Ben nearly missed connecting with his musical destiny as a sports-loving teenager. On a dare from his classmates during prom night, Ben jumped on stage and sang to the packed house. Before he was done, the entire crowd was clapping and begging to hear more. Ben thought the crowd was pulling a prank on him, but people kept asking him weeks later when he was going to perform again. Ben’s future as a singer and entertainer seemed pre-destined from then on out.

Before he’d even graduated high school, Ben’s talents landed him in Fiesta Texas “Opryland” , where he became the youngest performer ever to join the show. Ben enjoyed five years with Opryland honing his voice and perfecting the art of entertaining a crowd. He moved on to become a player in the Texas and national country music venue circuit, and Ben says it was during his club days that he hit his stride musically.

“The best part of playing clubs night after night was finding my own voice,” the San Antonio-based McPeak says. “For so long, I tried to emulate other artists' songs, but once I found my own voice, I knew it immediately. From that point on, I knew I had something of my own that no one could take away from me.”

That “something” Ben says was not just finding his own voice, but also discovering his love and talent for being “a consummate performer.”

“All the years I spent doing seven shows a day in a theme park taught me how to grab hold of an audience and keep their attention,” he says.
The years he spent paying his dues in the concert circuit inspired Ben to create and write his own music.

“Music is in my soul,” he says, “and I love to create something that is new and has never been heard before.”

Ben has recently performed hundreds of shows on the corporate music and private concert circuit. While he has found loads of success in that musical realm, Ben knows his own original music is his true life’s calling.

Ben says that “Music keeps me balanced. The best thing is making good music and having a great time performing it. There is a certain synergy I feel with people in the crowd when I can help them forget their troubles—even if it’s only for one song. That feeling deep in my soul is what keeps me excited about being an entertainer.” 

Monday 19 January 2015

Chris Gill - Gone (2014)

Chris Gill - Gone (2014)
"Gone" is the highly anticipated new CD from award nominated singer/songwriter Chris Gill.

This 17 track CD of all original music is a passionate journey of life. From tears, to laughter, to toe tapping fun, the songs of "Gone" are woven together by masterful musicality that is only matched by the feelings from which the lyrics were inspired.

The emotions are real, the stories are heart felt, the music brings each and every feeling to life with honesty, while the songs are a true testament to the strength of a battered spirit trying to find it's wings.

In this eclectic musical journey of life & love, "Gone" will embrace the hearts of Country and mainstream listeners until the very last note.

With over 20 years of experience as a singer/songwriter Chris pulls from his greatest influences to ensure that every lyric, every note displays the truth of a sincerely passionate and devoted artist, who’s heart is born and welded into the honesty of his music & songwriting.

Khiana Meyer - Seventeen (2015)

Khiana Meyer - Seventeen (2015)
Khiana's love of music started at a very young age. She has been writing songs for the past several years, and finds great joy in both the writing and the performing. Now she strives to bring that enthusiasm to every show. Most recently Khiana was honored with the titles 2014 Best Female Country Artist, and Best Music Video of the year by Forsyth County Entertainment Awards.