Merle Haggard

There’s More to Life Than Jokes

steelmagnolia

Backtrack: Steel Magnolia, “Keep On Lovin’ You”

Review originally published at the late, great The 9513 in September 2009. The couple has since split up and parted ways creatively, but its female half - Meghan Linsey - is included in the batch of new, undiscovered (cough) talent competing on the current season of NBC's The Voice. Never mind that Linsey was previously Taylor Swift's labelmate and Blake Shelton's opening act. As past Nashville Star and American Idol contestants can attest, winning a television singing competition isn't the … [Read More...]

Blake Shelton - Startin Fires

Album Review: Blake Shelton – Startin’ Fires

This review was originally published at the late, great The 9513 in December 2008, before Shelton had joined the Opry, married Miranda Lambert, become a perennial CMA Male Vocalist winner, or found wider pop culture stardom as a personality on NBC's The Voice. Savvy observers of mainstream country recognize Blake Shelton as one of the format's finest interpreters of a song. On his fifth studio album, the Oklahoma native and beau of firecracker Miranda Lambert (a connection alluded to by the … [Read More...]

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...]