Apr
1

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goodbye is all we have…

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On March 7, 2012, I started yet another blog that I thought for sure would be doomed to the same negligence and obscurity that befell the others. Instead, it totally and completely changed my life. I will be forever grateful.

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May
23

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Dierks Bentley ‘Black’ – Album Review

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After the personal emotional outpouring of ‘Riser’ that was the perfect mainstream album, I, and many others, were curious and cautious as to what Dierks Bentley would release as a follow up. Using the trendy tactic of promotional videos to tease new material, Dierks released ‘Somewhere On A Beach’ (the lead single), ‘I’ll Be The Moon (feat. Maren Morris)’, ‘What The Hell Did I Say’, ‘Pick Up’ and finally, ‘Black’ in the lead up to this week’s album release.

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May
21

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FTCR’s Recommended Tunes – Get New Music Here!

Hello! Long time, no speak (sort of).

I know by the outpouring of affection I received when I put FTCR on hiatus that the site was well-loved across the world, and it was incredibly heart-warming to hear how my little bedroom project had impacted so many lives and introduced so many people to great music they wouldn’t otherwise have discovered. I know that, alongside critical commentary on the likes of bro-country, music discovery was a huge part of the site’s appeal, and I have been wondering for the past couple of months about just how to continue sharing great music with you all without all the time and effort running the site requires.

I may choose to do something more literary (in addition) in the future, but for now the way you can discover new tunes from FTCR (ie me) is by subscribing to a Spotify playlist I’ve created. It’s called “Vickye’s Recommended”, and is my personally curated selection of hidden gems, obscure indie releases, the best new ones in the mainstream, and on occasion a couple of well-loved classics thrown in for good measure. It’s a broad mix of country and Americana with pretty much every corner catered for, although it does skew towards female voices because that’s what I naturally gravitate to.

As has been the case with the site, the tracks and artists included are ones I personally approve, but there is a difference. At times I would feature music that I could appreciate for its quality and artform, but perhaps wouldn’t listen to in my free time. Everything on the playlist, however, is and will be music that I jam out myself, on my own time. The vast majority of it hasn’t been pitched to me, I’ve just come across it on my musical journey, although occasionally there will be the odd track that turned up in my inbox that I just loved.

There I go again, writing a long-winded essay when all I needed to do was write one line: I have created a playlist of great music, and you should subscribe to it. That’s it really. I’ll be updating it every few weeks too, so you can guarantee that one day soon you’ll open up your Spotify and there’ll be 40 brand new songs to get your teeth into. So please go subscribe to it here, and I hope you enjoy! It’s also embedded below, and I’m going to pop it in the sidebar, so you can listen while you read, too.

Thanks for sticking with us even during our “hiatus” (bar the handful of select reviews we’ve been posting), and hopefully I’ll see you soon.

Much love,

Vickye xo

May
6

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Ryan Beaver ‘Rx’ – Album Review

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From the opening down-strum bar chords of empowerment anthem ‘Dark’, it’s clear that a special album is about to unfold. “Way out here, you can feel it coming,” Ryan sings in the record’s first line, his voice inflected with grit but beholding a strength that doesn’t truly unleash until the song’s climax. “I ain’t afraid of the dark,” he belts, setting out the soaring statement for an album that is defined by its highs and lows. On ‘Rx’, Ryan flirts with pain and darkness but ultimately arrives triumphant, stronger for the hardship endured.

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May
4

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Nikki Lane @ The Borderline, London, UK | May 2, 2016 – Review

Nikki Lane

Prior to going to see Nikki Lane at The Borderline on Monday, I had listened to her albums a couple of times through, but hadn’t devoted a huge amount of time to her music. I had heard good things about her overall, however, and so was excited to attend her first ever UK tour, of which London’s stop was the final date.

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Apr
25

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Garth Brooks @ Schottenstein Center, Columbus, OH | April 16, 2016 – Review

Written by Brandon Florkey

Being born in the late 80s and having parents that regularly listened to country radio in the car, I grew up on 90s country and Garth Brooks. When the Blame It All on My Roots: Five Decades of Influences box set was announced it immediately went on my Christmas list. So when Vickye asked if I could cover this show, there was no hesitation to say yes.

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Apr
25

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Nashville: Behind The Curtain (Sonya Jasinski, Kate York) – Book Review

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In May 2015, I sat down in an empty pub in West London to interview Kate York. I had been eagerly following the US TV drama Nashville since the pilot in October 2012, and was excited to talk to the songwriter who had penned some of my favourite songs from the show (‘Stronger Than Me’, ‘Nothing In This World Can Ever Break My Heart Again’, ‘Believing’). What I didn’t anticipate, however, was hearing about a fascinating project Kate was working on while in London. Together with friend Sonya Jasinski, Kate was putting together a coffee table photobook of Music City’s finest – intimate, candid, mostly black and white shots of the musicians, songwriters, producers and industry folk that keep the cogs in Nashville turning. It sounded like a fabulous project, and when I heard that it had finally been given a release date, I was thrilled.

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Apr
22

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Dixie Chicks Shine On New Vinyl Re-Issues – Review

dixie chicks albums

Shortly before I turned 14 years old, I asked a friend from California for suggestions of songs to download, to further my exploration of country music. I had discovered the genre earlier that year, and being British had no idea where to begin on my musical journey, having never heard of the vast majority of the artists who were part of the scene. The Dixie Chicks were unfamiliar to me, but when my friend suggested I download a song called ‘Travelin’ Soldier’, I went ahead and did so. That summer myself and my family went on holiday to Wales and, armed with a home-made mix CD of illegally downloaded Dixie Chicks songs (I did later buy the CDs – promise), and my 1990’s Sony Walkman, I began my journey.

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Apr
12

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Sturgill Simpson ‘A Sailor’s Guide To Earth’ – Album Review

sturgill-sailor-guide-earth-new-album

Sturgill Simpson hasn’t shown us what he’s about yet. His debut ‘High Top Mountain’ introduced him as a sincere writer with a voice to stretch the generations without taking a lot of risk. ‘Metamodern Sounds In Country Music’ took us down a different path, taking his traditional sound and warping it into something so much more interesting with his innovative writing and the ballsy production by Dave Cobb. For ‘A Sailor’s Guide To Earth’, Sturgill has taken over the reigns fully, writing and producing the whole album himself, and thus exposing much more about who he is as a musician. I’m always impressed by musicians producing their records because whilst writing is hugely important, the production quality can break a great poem, or lift an average lyric to different heights.

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