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Tuesday 5 April 2016

April 2016

The biggest Country music release of the year, to date, is “Full Circle”, the first new album from LORETTA LYNN in 12 years. Now, Loretta has one of the most distinct female Country music voices, but this album has really taken her back to her Kentucky roots, with beautiful renditions of original and classic tunes, equally delivered in her unique style. Daughter Patsy has teamed up with John Carter Cash on production, to deliver an exceptionally strong album.
It all kicks off with a new recording of “Whispering Sea”, the very first song that Loretta wrote. By contrast, she follows it with the classic “Secret Love”.  Then she shines through “Who’s Gonna Miss Me”, and “Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven”, another couple of songs she wrote way back. She also refreshes her classic “Fist City”.
She covers “Always On My Mind” and also duets with Willie on “Lay Me Down” (you can just read the headlines if they were to win CMA Vocal Event Of The Year !). She also features Elvis Costello on “Everything It Takes, a song she wrote with Todd Snider. To be honest, there’s not much evidence of Costello on the recording. It’s stone Country, complete with some classy steel guitar, thanks to Robby Turner.
She also covers a couple of old traditional songs from her childhood with “In The Pines”, “I Will Never Marry” and “Black Jack David”. She sounds so “at home” with these songs, you have to ask why she hasn’t covered these type of song before.
The production is excellent. Musicians include Dennis Crouch, Randy Scruggs, Laura Weber Cash, Shawn Camp, Ronnie McCoury, Paul Franklin, and Sam Bush.
Not at all bad for a lady who will celebrate her 81st birthday this month.

VINCE GILL is well established as a bridge between traditional & modern Country music, having spent much of the past thirty odd years on the charts. “Down To My Last Bad Habit” (Humphead) is his first solo album since 2011, but it’s been worth the wait.
Of course he did release that wonderful “Bakersfield” album with Paul Franklin, as well as a Time Jumpers album since then.
Vince wrote, or co-wrote, all 12 tracks on the album, which he also co-produced with Justin Niebank.
The album has quite a variety of songs. He’s certainly not playing safe with an album of killer ballads.
It all kicks off with the rather upbeat number titled “Reasons For The Tears I Cry”.
The title track is one of these moody ballads that Vince really excels with. Other ballads include “Like My Daddy Did”, and “My Favourite Movie”, which he co-wrote with recent c2c visitor Ashley Monroe.
“Me & My Girl” is a jaunty little mid paced number that works really well, which has a real homespun feel to it.
He has three guest tracks. “One More Mistake I Made”, a rather bluesy ballad with some really effective trumpet from Chris Botti. Little Big Town join him on “Take Me Down”, one of two songs that he co-wrote with Richard Marx, and Cam harmonises on “I’ll Be Waiting For You”, a gorgeous ballad , co-written with Leslie Satcher.
But the best is left to last. “Sad One Comin’ On” is a knockout Country number, subtitled, “A Song For George Jones”.  It’s a great album, but that final song is really the cream on the cake. Paul Franklin’s wailing steel just says so much about the song.
Great to have a new album from Vince. The guy just never fails.

The ever Country GENE WATSON fans are well catered for this spring, with two new albums on the market. Both, in fact, were released on the same day.
His “new” album, “Real Country Music” (Fourteen Carat Music) features 13 superb Country songs from the past. But, instead of a bunch of songs that have been done to death, most of the songs included here are little gems, which never got the acclaim that they deserved.
The exception is “Rambling Rose”, which Gene turns in a stunning performance on.
Six of the songs are have been recorded by Gene before, including Nut Stuckey’s “All My Tomorrow’s”, which was apparently unfinished when it appeared on a TV album in 2009.  He also revisits “Couldn’t Love Have Picked A Better Place To Die”, a song that really stands out.
There’s a couple of songs written by Larry Gatlin, including “Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall”, previously recorded by Gene, as well as Elvis, Anne Murray and Amber Digby, amongst others.
The album kicks off with a cover of Kris Kristofferson’s “Enough For You”, with a rather lengthy orchestral intro, which leads into a typical Gene Watson traditional Country sound.
I really liked the strong “When A Man Cant Get a Woman Off His Mind”, and the softer “Old Loves Never Die”.
Other songs include David Ball’s “A Girl I Used To Know” and “A Bridge That Just Wont Burn”, originally recorded by Conway Twitty in 1980.
An interesting track to close the album is “I’ll Find It Where I Can”, previously recorded by Waylon & Jerry Lee Lewis. Don’t be alarmed by that. Gene does it true Country style.
It’s true Gene Watson. A real winner of an album.

Back in the 70’s & 80’s, it wasn’t too easy to get hold of Gene’s music. He was with Capitol Records, and just as they eventually released an album on him in the UK, he moved to MCA, and again it took a few albums before he got another release here.
If only Humphead Records were around back then! Gene is the subject of their latest catalogue collections. “Barrooms And Bedrooms : The Capitol And MCA Years”, is a 50 track , 2 CD, collection of classic Gene Watson hits from the 1975-1985 era. This was when he notched up 30 of his 48 Country chart hits, including his only Number One, “Fourteen Carat Mind”.
That track leads off this collection of great Country songs, which include “Paper Rosie”, “Nothing Sure Looks Good on You”, “Cowboys Don’t Get Lucky All The Time”, “Little By Little”, and of course, “Farewell Party”.
Country music at it’s very best.

Regular readers will be familiar with KINSEY ROSE. Ken MacLeod has been telling us a lot about her over the past few years in his page.  Now the Louisville, Kentucky native has released her first full album, “Fair Weather Love”.
The album, features 11 songs, which Kinsey wrote with the likes of Rick Tiger, Bobby James, Buddy Owens and Justin Schipper, who also produced the album.  It’s a modern sounding Country album, without getting lost in today’s Nashville pop country blandness.
The opening track, “Hole Where My Heart Should Be” is a catchy radio friendly song, which serves as a great appetizer for the rest of the album.  Other upbeat tracks include “Pickens Are Slim” which closes the album, and “Pennies From A Railroad Track” which is a catchy upbeat number, with a real downhome feel to it.
The title track is a beautifully sung ballad, with some nice harmonies from none other than Vince Gill. “Missin’ Kissin’ Me” is another superb Country ballad, and “Aren’t You Tired”, has quite a haunting feel to it.
But the stand out track for me is “Take My Picture Down”, a simple ballad, with a simple arrangements, that really show off Kinsey’s vocal talent.
I really enjoyed this album. Kinsey certainly has a modern sound, but, as I say, the arrangements are simple enough to keep it Country, which should help her stand out from the array of performers that Nashville pretend are Country.

Last month, we featured the new album from Evi Tausen, from The Faroe Islands. This time around, we have another Faroese artist, HALLUR JOENSEN.  Hallur has performed across Europe, and has made a couple of trips to Shetland to play. This is Hallur’s fifth album, and has released versions for both local and international markets.
The English language version, “Cosy Cowboy”, recorded in Nashville, features 12 songs, and a variety of styles from old school country to celtic influenced folk music and even ragtime.  As Hallur himself says, “I have tried to find a Celtic approach with no sound of steel, but with topographical details like rattling seashells to create the ambience of the North Atlantic currents”. Now that’s an interesting concept.
Many of the songs are locally written, many by producer Jakup Zachariassen , alongside Lena Anderssen , Christina Moretti  and Woody Wright, as well as Hallur himself, on a couple of tracks.
They range from the catchy opening track, “The Richest Man Alive” to stone country ballads like “Inevitable To Me”. In between, Sam Levine’s clarinet, really gives “Never Another You” a bit of a jazzy feel.
“Restless Heart” is the real folksy, Celtic influenced ballad, which features a children’s choir and the strings of the Macedonian Radio Symphonic Orchestra. It’s different to the rest of the album, but really fits in well. A song that really stands out.
I also enjoyed the catchy “Love After Life After All” and “Friday Ain’t The Same”.
There are a few covers, including Hank Snr’s “Why Should I Cry”, a duet with Deana Barry on Kris Kristofferson’s “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore” and Canadian Ray Griff’s “It Rains Just The Same In Missouri”.
The albums closes out on a rather different version of the Skeeter Davis classic’ “End Of The World”. The song is given quite a moody blues feel, and features Hallur’s daughter Jessica. What a great voice she has. I’m sure we’ll hear more from her in the future.
Hallur Joenson knows his Country music. He certainly knows how to catch the attention of Country fans. This album will surely increase his international reputation.
Real Country – the way they do in The Faroes!

The Osborne Brothers were one of the best known bluegrass duo’s who crossed over to mainstream Country music back in the 60’s & 70’s.  Now we have BROTHERS OSBORNE, but the familiar name is where the likeness ends.
Brothers Osborne are a duo from Maryland, composed of brothers T.J. and John Osborne. T.J. is the lead singer and John plays lead guitar. They’ve had just a couple of chart hits, and their debut album, “Pawn Shop” has just been given a UK release on Humphead.
It’s a rather strange album. T.J. has a good strong deep Country voice, but the presentation of the material really stretches Country music’s boundaries.
There are some really impressive tracks. “Greener Pastures” has a good Country upbeat feel to it, and “Loving Me Back”  is a strong ballad, which features some superb harmony from Lee Ann Womack. “Stay A Little Longer”, their first Top 10 single, starts off quite listenable, before losing itself in a rap beat. The title track is also pure rap music.
“21 Summer” is a mid tempo drum driven tracks, which just about works ok, but features some rather strange sounding backing.
“Down Home”, which the boys wrote with Jessi Alexander, had the potential to be a good song, but it’s delivered in a rather rocky over-produced style, which didn’t do anything for me at all.
The brothers co-wrote all eleven tracks, with established writers like Mac McAnally and Craig Wiseman.
It’s Country music, 2016 style, but it’s not Country as I know it.
This CD could just end up in the “Pawn Shop”.

Another legendary Country performer getting the Humphead “Definative Collection” treatment is HOYT AXTON, with “Joy To The World”.   Hoyt was a multi talented guy, a singer songwriter, record producer, label owner and actor. His acting credits included The Bionic Woman, McCloud, Gremlins & ET.
His music is really varied. He does good Country numbers, like “Evangelina” and “Flash Of Fire” to fun gulf coast, almost reggae, songs like “No No Song”, to covers of old hillbilly story songs like Carson Robinson’s “Left My Gal In The Mountains”. There’s Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya” and Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay”. But Hoyt Axton is best known for his own songs. The album takes it’s name from a song that a group called Three Dog Night had a No.1 pop hit on.
He was never the flavour of the month in Nashville – despite a string of highly acclaimed albums, he only notched up 14 Country chart hits, half of them on his own label, which aren’t covered by this album. His most successful period was in the mid 70’s, when he was signed to Herp Albert’s  A&M Records, not a label renowned for Country music – they were the home to The Carpenters and The Captain & Tennille.
Despite that, one of his most notable hits, included here, is “Nashville”, with some great plugs for Music City’s most tuneful attractions.
Hoyt’s deep Country vocals were often blended with sweet female Country voices. Linda Ronstadt provided the harmonies on “When The Morning Comes” and “Lion In The Winter”. Meanwhile his biggest hit was “Boney Fingers”, featuring Renee Armand, a female singer songwriter who also backed John Denver and The Jacksons. This was probably her biggest 3 minutes of fame. Great song.
One of the stand out tracks on this 50 track collection is a duet with a young Tanya Tucker on “You Taught Me How To Cry”.
Many of the songs are quite rocky fun numbers, like “Roll Your Own” and “Lightning Bar Blues”
Others are story songs with some interesting tales, like “Speed Trap”, “Snowblind Friend”, “The Devil” and “Idol Of The Band”.
I didn’t have very much Hoyt Axton material in my collection, so I’m really pleased to add this to my library. My only regret, is that my favourite Hoyt Axton song, and his only UK hit, “Della & The Dealer” isn’t featured on this collection.
Can’t have it all.  

DONNA WYLDE, from down Preston way, is one of the most popular solo singers on the UK Country scene. She’s been singing since she was a teenager and has several CD’s to her credit. Her latest, “Hillbilly Girl” has a good mix of Country songs, all well sung and well produced.
The title track was written by Aussie Kasey Chambers and get the album off to a great start.  Other upbeat tracks include the catchy “Till I Was Loved By You”, previously a hit for Chely Wright, whilst
she slows down the tempo on Miranda Lambert’s “Holding On To You”, Brandy Clark’s “What’ll Keep Me Out Of Heaven” and Little Big Town’s “Sober” and “Girl Crush”.  I really liked her version of “Places”, originally a hit for Mark Wills back in 1997.
There’s a handful of classics too, like Bobby Bare’s “The Breeze”, Connie Smith’s “Just One Time”, Tom T’s “That’s How I Got To Memphis”, and “New Shade Of Blue”, which I remember from a group called Southern Pacific, way back in the late 80’s.
I love how she adapts Kasey Musgraves’ “The Trailer Song”. Whilst keeping Kasey quirkiness, Donna really delivers it in a real traditional Country way. The song certainly stands out for me.
Indeed, I really like the way Donna has taken some of the more modern covers, and made them more Country than the originals.
I really enjoyed this album. A British act to match the Americans, for sure.

Next up, we have a duo from Gloucestershire consisting of husband & wife Sian Chandler and Ray Hughes. As THE BLACKFEATHERS, they have just released their first full album, “Soaked To The Bone”. They have been playing and touring for the past couple of years, from The Bedford in Balham, to The Bluebird Café in Nashville and building up an army of fans along the way.
Their sound has been likened to Gillian Welch or The Civil Wars.
They certainly have that Americana, close harmony, and simple instrumentation approach to their music.
“Take Me Back” is a catchy opener, with quite a celtic feel to it. “All For You”, the current radio single, is also an upbeat number, which works well for them. “Down By The River” is another that keeps the feet tapping.
“Goodbye Tomorrow” has of more a Country sound. It’s a lovely ballad, with harmonies standing out. “Blue Clear Sky”, which closes the 11 track album, is quite a stunning ballad.
Some of the other tracks are quite slow and dark, but quite atmospheric. Best examples of this are on “Blind”, “Homesick” and “Winter Moves In”.
All, but one, of the 11 tracks was written by the duo. The exception is a cover of Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love”.
The album was recorded in Oxford, and is available on CD and on 12” Vinyl.

Now for some homegrown music, and a new CD from newcomer HAZEL CUMMING.
The Coatbridge based singer went to Ireland to record “One Step at A Time”, and certainly has that happy Irish feel to her music.
The album kicks off with a couple of Dolly covers in “Coat Of Many Colours” and “Backwoods Barbie”. She then goes back to the old Ray Griff song, “Light In The Window”, and Isla Grant’s “Look Me Straight In The Eye”, both keeping up the beat.
After Billie Jo’s “Sing Me An Old Fashioned Song”, she slows it down a bit on the sentimental “Daddy’s Hands”, and the old Barbara Fairchild song, “Teddy Bear”. I really liked Hazel’s version of this song.
After “Let Me Be There”, she really lets rip with Loretta’s “You Aint Woman Enough”. She certainly delivers the message! Then she slows down, and goes way back to Kitty Wells days with “How Far Is Heaven”, before rounding off with “A Mothers Love’s a Blessing” and “Red Is The Rose”.
It’s an album of covers, but the song choice is varied, and will serve as a good introduction to Hazel. As the title says, “One Step at A Time”. She’s in fine voice, and the production is excellent.
Originally from Ayrshire, Hazel launched the album in Kilmarnock in late January, and has been getting some good reaction to it. I hope she gets the attention of the Irish fans with the album. They’ll love it. But I also hope she also gets the support of the fans here, and isn’t forced to follow the likes of Lisa McHugh, and move over there.

GEORGE L GOODFELLOW & THE GLG BAND have just released their sixth album. As before, “A Handful Of Diamonds” (Smallboy Records) is full of original songs, all penned by the Hawick based songwriter, and mainly recorded in Galashiels.
The songs are well crafted.
“My Time” is a catchy number which caught my attention.
“This Letter” also caught my attention. It’s a good upbeat number, with some neat fiddle and banjo, but some of the chords sound rather similar to a certain “Blowing In The Wind”. Hope Mr Dylan does read this.
He shares a little philosophy, on “In A Heartbeat”, with lines like “I’d Rather Die Now For Something (Then for Nothing Later On)”.
Slowing things down, “Make Every Moment Precious”, has some nice lyrics. Other ballads worth a listen include the title track and the opening track, “Sign On The Wall”.
 “Don’t Talk (No Conversation”) may seem a strange title for a song, but it works for George.
It’s an interesting album. All original, and one for the songwriter fans to check out.

Our next CD came to us via a promoter in Denmark. It’s a five track EP from ANGIE KING. All five of the tracks are originals, three from Angie’s own pen, and one written by dad John C.King.
“Hold Me” is a strong power ballad, whilst “I Believe In” is more of a mid-tempo Country number, which I really liked. “She Loves To Truck”, is an upbeat driving number whilst “That’s How Sure I Am” is more of a traditional ballad.
The final track, “First Dance”, another ballad, is a duet with Robert Mizzell. It was written by Justin Johnson and Hollie Barry, who also provide backing vocals.
Altogether, it’s a well produced sampler, which really shows off Angie’s versatile vocal talents.
Recorded in Liverpool, it’s a must for Angie’s legion of fans.

MAEVE FARRELL is another new name on the Irish scene. This Country Rose comes from County Down, and has just released her debut album, “Crossroads”.
It’s a bright & breezy mix of Country hits like “Down at The Twist & Shout”, “Truck Driving Woman” and “Mama He’s Crazy”, with some traditional Irish fayre in “Black Velvet Band” and “County Down”.
There’s also a pop oldie in “A Rose Has to Die”, and a gospel medley featuring “Amazing Grace”, “Swing Low,Sweet Chariot”, “Will The Circle Be Unbroken”, “I’ll Fly Away” and “I Saw The Light”.
The title track, “Crossroads” is a good paced number, which I really liked. But the stand out track for me, is the old Patty Loveless track, “Bramble And The Rose”. Maeve has given this one a really fresh upbeat Irish sound.
These songs should go down well with dance audiences in Ireland.  Maeve will fit in nicely, and another young star is born.

JOSH HARTY is a singer songwriter from North Dakota. He’s a third generation musician, son of a small town police chief and a preacher. He often muses that he’ll end up going to jail or going to hell!
Thankfully he’s keeping clean, and leading the life of a travelling musician. Buy the age of 12 he had recorded two cassettes which sold 10,000 copies.
In the last few years, he’s continued to record, either solo, or on duet projects, whilst his touring has taken him to 41 states and across Europe. He’s back this month with three Tayside dates, in Errol, Barry and Newport-on-Tay (April 15-17), and promoting his latest CD “Holding On”, which is certainly a good listen.
It all kicks off with the catchy title track. A nice flowing upbeat number, with some nice mandolin and harmony from Mississippi born Kelley McRae. It’s has a charming folksy feel to it.
“Wired” and “You And The Road” are good catchy upbeat numbers. Which I really liked, whilst “Shiver In The Dark” has a bit more of a rock beat to it.
“The Kind”, “English Rain” and “Learn To Fight” are well constructed ballads, which showed the contrast in the guy’s songs.
Josh wrote all, but one, of the ten songs on the album, which was recorded in Wisconsin.
A nice listen. He’s worth checking out if he’s playing in you’re part of the Country.  

Another Americana album worthy of a listen, comes in from Asheville, North Carolina. UNDERHILL ROSE, features Eleanor Underhill, Molly Rose and Salley Williamson. Their third album, “The Great Tomorrow” has already been in the Top 30 of the Americana Music Association Airplay Chart , and took hold at #1 on The Roots Music Report’s Progressive Bluegrass Album Chart for over nine weeks.
The album is certainly a good listen.
“Montana” stands out for me. It features some nice steel and fiddle (or violin, according to the credits) as well as superb vocals from Molly.  On other track’s Eleanor leads the vocals. I also liked the catchy “Rest Easy” and the harmony strong “Not Gonna Worry”.
Most of the tracks are quite upbeat, but they can slow things down nicely, as they demonstrate on “My Friend” and “Straight Up”. The title track is a particularly strong ballad,
“Love Looks Good On You” features some nice banjo and electric guitar. It’s quite an easy listening, slow paced number. Meanwhile, “Whispering Pines Motel” has a soft haunting feel to it.
It’s a really nice album. They are on tour in the UK this month. No dates in Scotland when writing this review, but check out their music.

Western swing music may sound dated to many, but to others, the sound of fiddle and double bass is just pure heaven. Ray Benson and Bobby Flores have kept Western swing alive over the years, and HOT CLUB OF COWTOWN are doing the same on their new album, “Midnight On The Trail”, which has just been released to coincide with a UK tour, which includes Glasgow this month.
The trio consists of Elana James, Whit Smith and Jake Erwin, and have been touring for the past two decades. This is their ninth studio album, which delivers an enchanting mix of Western swing and cowboy ballads. There’s old Bob Wills, Gene Autry, Cindy Walker and traditional tunes, which have been kept true to their original roots. How refreshing it is to hear “Cotton Eyed Joe”, the way it was intended !
Kicking off with “Take Me Back To Tulsa”, the tone is set, the feet are tapping and, every track is a joy to listen, right through to the closing chords of “Silver On The Sage”. In between, you’ll recognise “I’m An Old Cowhand”, “Right Or Wrong”, “Oh Mona” and “Blue Bonnett Lane”.
And I cant help pointing out the dancehall ballad, “I’ve Got The Wonder Where She’s Gone and When She’s Coming Back Again Blues”. A 14 word title and a 55 second intro. Or how about “There’s An Empty Cot In The Bunkhouse Tonight”. Great titles.
If you like modern Country music, this wont appeal to you. But, I have to say that, after listening to today’s hit Country music, this is such a breath of fresh air. I just loved it !

I remember seeing CORRINE WEST a few years back, and really enjoyed her bluegrass influenced acoustic music. Her latest album, “Starlight Highway” sees her aiming in her direction in more of a folksy direction. Corrine wrote all the tracks on the album, many with Kelly Joe Phelps, who also plays on the album, and lends some effecting harmonies to tracks like “Audrey Turn the Moon”.
The album’s opening track is a pleasant ballad, whilst “Cry Of The Echo Drifter” and “Night Falls Away Singing” both have quite a western feel to it, albeit Everly Brothers style. The title track is quite a quirky upbeat number which works well.
But it’s the haunting Clannad style folksy sound that is the hallmark of this album. It’s particularly evident on tracks like “Sweet Rains Of Amber” and “Find Me Here”.
She’s back in the UK this spring, but the only date in Scotland, is a house concert in Edinburgh on June 5th.

Finally, this time around, we’ll wrap up with another couple of Humphead compilations.
The first is “Bob Harris Country Sessions”, a 2CD , 34 track selections from live acoustic sessions from Bob’s Thursday night Radio 2 show.
The emphasis is certainly on the modern Nashville artists like Lady Antebellum, Maddie & Tae, Luke Bryan and Kip Moore.
Some suit the acoustic set up better than others. Kacey Musgraves and Brandy Clark really deliver well on “Merry Go Round” and “Stripes” respectively. You actually pick up more of the words’ meaning than you do when studio musicians haven’t distracted from the lyrics. Others sound rather lost without studio backing- Sugarland, Andrew Combs, Darius Rucker and Rascall Flatts amongst them.
Recent c2c visitor Sam Hunt came over a bit confused. He kept changing between spoken word and singing on his hit “Break Up In A Small Town”. Then again, the studio version sounds more  Rap than Country.
A few tracks, from big names, stand out. Dwight Yoakam on “Honky Tonk Man” and Emmylou’s “Pancho & Lefty” really showed their class. As did Rosanne Cash on “Etta’s Tune”.
Other tracks that stood out for me, were recent Celtic Connections visitors Jason Isbel on “Speed Trap Town”, and Gretchen Peters on “The Matador”. I also liked new Texan singer, Cale Tyson. Would love to hear the studio version of his song “Cant Feel Love”. And Ashley Monroe shined on “Dixie”.
Bob has never been great a great supporter of British Country music on his programme, but does include tracks by both The Shires and Ward Thomas on this collection.
I’m not sure how commercially successful these recordings will be, for the album, or indeed for the artists. Such compilations, like the one below, serve to introduce artists, with the intention that the listener will seek out more of an artists music. In this case, their studio recordings can be very different to what’s here.
It’s an interesting concept though, and a chance to hear just how good their voices are, without the photoshop effects of a recording studio.

Country2Country has come and gone. But “Country2Country- Volume 2” will keep the highlights fresh in the memory for months to come. This CD features 20 tracks, all but one, who appeared at this year’s c2c festivals, either on the main stages, or on the small venues at the London gig.
The exception is Dierks Bentley, who will be here this month, so has been included, as he’ll be keeping up the momentum kicked off by the events.
The album includes many recent US Country hits, like Carrie Underwood’s “Smoke Break”, Miranda Lambert’s “Automatic”, Luke Bryan’s “Kick The Dust Up”, Little Big Town’s “Pontoon”,   Frankie Ballard’s “Sunshine & Whiskey”, Chris Stapleton’s “Traveller” and Sam Hunt’s rapper “Break Up In A Small Town”.
One I hadn’t heard before, was “My Church”, from Maren Morris, from Texas. It’s a superb track from her EP, which has really been selling well stateside in recent months.
There’s also a track from Lori McKenna, best known as a folk singer songwriter, from Massachusetts. But Lori has had quite a bit of success with her songs being covered by Country acts recently. She was one of the writers of “Girl Crush”, so merits her inclusion at c2c and on this album.
Some recent UK singles have also been included, such as Ashley Monroe’s “On To Something Good”, David Nail’s “Nights On Fire”, and the fantastic “High Time” from Kasey Musgraves. I just love that tune.
There are a couple of UK tracks, including The Shires and Callaghan, who delivers a rather catchy, but poppy “Best Year”.
It’s a superb collection of current Country music artists, who after c2c, should have some following over here.

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