Merle Haggard

There’s More to Life Than Jokes

McDonald, incarcerated for this song.

Backtrack: Richie McDonald, “How Do I Just Stop”

Originally published at The 9513 in November 2008, back when I was still young and spunky. McDonald has since rejoined Lonestar. Songwriters: Tommy Lee James and Richie McDonald. In an election year full of tough questions and partisan bickering, former Lonestar-frontman-gone-Christian-crooner Richie McDonald offers some much-needed common ground. "How Do I Just Stop" is so gloriously simple and unequivocally lackluster that people of every political persuasion should rejoice in the … [Read More...]

Cheaters Wine cover

Album Review: Cale Tyson – Cheater’s Wine

Sounding like a young graduate of the Gary Stewart School of Honky Tonk Heartache, Cale Tyson offers up a potent 21 minutes of the good stuff on his six-song Cheater's Wine EP. Texas-born and Nashville-based, the singer-songwriter - who also produces - easily masters the '70s country aesthetic suggested by his album cover, with a studio band highlighted by rising star Robert Ellis on guitar and liberal application of Brett Resnick's pedal steel. As a songwriter, Tyson favors emotional directness … [Read More...]

Ashley Ray

Album Review: Ashley Ray – Ashley Ray EP

Originally published at The 9513 in May 2010. As best I can tell, Ray is now without a record deal but still playing around town. She has yet to release a full album. Someday, someone will let Ashley Ray release a full album. The Kansas-bred singer-songwriter first appeared with a four-song digital EP on Capitol Nashville in 2007. At some point, she moved over to Universal South, then survived the merger with Show Dog to release this new five-song EP on Show Dog Universal. Soundwise, it's … [Read More...]