Youtube Thursday: Heybale

Holy cow. Heybale is Redd Volkaert, Earl Poole Ball, Kevin Smith, Tom Lewis, and Gary Claxton (singing in this clip). "Wine Me Up" is an old Faron Young classic. Where the two meet, it's a small slice of honky tonk heaven. Thanks to those The 9513 guys for bringing The Last Country Album to my attention last year. Website: Myspace: … [Read more...]

Album Review: Chris Young – The Man I Want to Be

chris young

RCA Nashville did wrong in 2006 when they saddled twentysomething Chris Young, whose fine original “Drinkin' Me Lonely” had essentially clinched his Nashville Star victory, with such a fluffy set of material for his major label debut that even Hazel Smith was heard to say "This boy really needs some better material." (Okay, that didn't really happen... but it should have.)  But RCA should be commended for keeping Young around through three poorly-performing singles, until “Gettin' You Home” … [Read more...]

Blake Shelton Says Bruises From Rough Game of Hoops


The bruises visible on Blake Shelton's arms and face in recent public appearances were the result of a particularly rough game of hoops with his road crew, reports the lanky Oklahoman singer, who is currently dating country-rock firecracker Miranda Lambert. Asked to comment on the game that resulted in the singer's injuries, roadie Travis Burns said: "Basketball? Is that what he said? We don't play basketball. Blake spends a lot of time on his bus drinking and tweeting. Oh, and he visits … [Read more...]

Album Review: Dixie Whiskey – Dixie Whiskey

dixie whiskey

This blog has never really been about California, so it was to my great satisfaction that my recent call for new contributors turned up a hot lead in the United Kingdom - namely, longtime reader/commenter David Jones. David will be helping me make more of a dent in the review workload around here, so please enjoy his first piece (don't miss the free download at the bottom!) and give him a warm welcome. Southern rock has always seemed like country music's reckless cousin - by definition, … [Read more...]

Quotable Country – 08/31/09 Edition

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the original source. However, I do have a question for Pastorek: Why the hell did you give him a "B" grade? "B" is average -- and Twang isn't an average record. He earned an "A." And with 155,000 copies sold the first week, the Strait-man's brand new album zoomed to No. 1 on Billboard's country chart and knocked Michael Jackson's Number Ones from the top of the Billboard 200. That's an "A-plus" achievement for sure. Yeah, big George! ● - - Hazel … [Read more...]

Rank a Discography: Patty Loveless

mountain soul

With a classic country voice and one of the strongest catalogs in the business, Patty Loveless has been inspiring fierce loyalty among fans for more than two decades. So much so, in fact, that I would personally shy away from even attempting to rank her discography, on the suspicion that there are many among my readers better suited to the task. Thankfully, I've managed to coerce one such reader into doing the ranking job for me. Enter twenty-plus years of Loveless albums, as lovingly considered … [Read more...]

Shania Twain Records Racy “Party for Four” with Love & Theft


Well-positioned sources in Shania Twain's camp have given us the inside track on the mysterious announcement due Friday, August 28. Word of the announcement began circulating last week, and some suspected that it might concern a video diary of Twain's life since her split from husband and producer Mutt Lange in 2008. Not so, say our sources. In fact, the truth is much stranger: In an apparent attempt to recapture the magic of her last big hit, Twain will repeat the formula of pairing up … [Read more...]