Backtrack: Bradley Gaskin, “Mr. Bartender”

Bradley Gaskin

Originally published at The 9513 in March 2011. Gaskin's only release to date is the digital Bradley Gaskin EP featuring this and three other songs. He was dropped by his label in 2012. Here's the backstory as I imagine it. Sensing radio's inborn prejudice against gray hair, Travis Tritt hires some kid from Alabama to be the face of his new music in a homegrown Milli Vanilli-style stunt. The details of this arrangement aren't revealed until several months (or years!) later, by which time … [Read more...]

Five Questions with Gerry House

Gerry House (Small)

One of the best-loved and most acclaimed radio personalities in country music history, Gerry House held court on Nashville's WSIX-FM for 25 years with his Gerry House and the House Foundation morning show. He also found success as a songwriter in that time, with major hits such as "Little Rock" (Reba McEntire), "The Big One" (George Strait), and "The River and the Highway" (Pam Tillis). As if that weren't enough, House has also brought his distinctive comic sensibilities to television, … [Read more...]

Five Questions with Heider Tunarrosa

Heider Tunarrosa

When I posted about a strangely-quite-good comedic web series focused on one Colombian guy's obsession with Taylor Swift, there wasn't much information to go on outside of the episodes themselves. Where did "Searching for Taylor Swift" come from? Why is it any good? Would there be episodes beyond the four posted to YouTube last year? Does that guy playing the main part really even like Taylor Swift, or this all just a viral come-on using Swift's name because she happens to be the ubiquitous star … [Read more...]

Album Review: Peter Cooper – Opening Day

Peter Cooper album cover

Since he has already conditioned us to expect exquisite Lloyd Green steel and a Tom T. Hall cover, the surprise on music-writer-gone-musician (or is it the other way around?) Peter Cooper's third solo LP is how often his own compositions ascend to similarly lofty heights. Everything we've come to love about Cooper the journalist is translated into musical form more subtly and convincingly than ever here, from the deft intermingling of humor and personal autobiography in album opener "Much Better … [Read more...]

Album Review: Erin Enderlin – I Let Her Talk

Erin Enderlin I Let Her Talk

Even though I Let Her Talk comes in one track longer than Erin Enderlin's 2011 EP, there's actually less new material here: the songwriter offers updated takes on "Monday Morning Church," "Last Call," and "You Don't Know Jack" (repeated from the earlier effort) to fill out the second half. Fortunately, those are all great songs. Of the new stuff, the title track - written with Leslie Satcher and sung with Joey Martin Feek - and "Get That at Home" are the indisputable highlights. Classic country … [Read more...]

Five Questions with Reckless Kelly’s Willy Braun

RK_0351-black (Small)

As mentioned a couple days ago (in a post that has now been updated with ticket winners), Red Dirt institution Reckless Kelly is bringing its Livers of Steel Tour with Micky & the Motorcars and Wade Bowen down the west coast this week. We caught up with frontman Willy Braun by email from somewhere in Oregon, as the tour blazes toward its first California stop in Sacramento on Wednesday. The rest of the Livers of Steel tour dates can be found here. Tell us about Long Night Moon, the new … [Read more...]

Best Country Albums of 2013: Midway Report


A tentative ranking of Country California's best country albums of January through June 2013, ordered roughly from top to bottom but not numbered because I am a quivering pool of indecision. Ashley Monroe - Like a Rose Kacey Musgraves - Same Trailer, Different Park Jason Isbell - Southeastern Slaid Cleaves - Still Fighting the War Pistol Annies - Annie Up Chris Wall - El Western Motel Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis - Cheater's Game The … [Read more...]