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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Aug
20

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Lydia Loveless ‘Real’ – Album Review

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The first time I heard “Bilbao” from Lydia Loveless’ new album ‘Real,’ it was like I was hearing a voice repeating inside my head. As I felt the emotions swelling, I could hear the whispered line from 10cc’s great pop song “I’m Not In Love” repeating “Big boys don’t cry… big boys don’t cry.” The reverie puts you in a trance and when things come to a climactic bridge, her voice soars to majestic heights, wrapped around a wall of sound that feels like she’s reaching the pinnacle of her career. And when she comes back with a killer one-lite fade out, it just about does you in, in a few spectacular minutes that sum up all the attributes of the great expansiveness of ‘Real.’ I just cried inside – I admit it.

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Aug
20

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Dolly Parton @ Verizon Arena, Little Rock, AR | August 13, 2016 – Review

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Dolly Parton at the Verizon Arena in Little Rock, Arkansas on August 13th, 2016. Photo courtesy of Tracy Dardenne.

Written by Michelle Ivey

The first time I saw Dolly Parton in concert was 11 years ago at Dollywood. It was, in fact, my first concert ever. So when Dolly announced she was coming back to Arkansas (a place she hasn’t been since 2008), I immediately knew I wanted to be there.

I arrived and settled into my seat in the lower bowl of the arena, with a decent view of the stage. After a few minutes of making sure I had everything I needed, I ran to the front row before the show started, to ask some of the people who met Dolly some questions.

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Aug
16

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Dolly Parton ‘Pure and Simple’ – Album Review

Pure and Simple

Reviewing your all-time favorite artist can sometimes produce a crisis of confidence. On the one hand, you know you are biased to love everything that artist produces, while on the other, you know you have incredibly high standards for anything new that arrives. It can therefore be nerve-wracking when new music is released, leading to disappointment as often as automatic adoration. No artist can continue on an upward trend of quality because no artist is perfect, and such contemplation can also leave the reviewer tangled up in judging the validity of their own reactions.

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Jul
22

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FEATURED: Acoustic Journey ‘Get Back Up’ EP

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There are two sides to the UK country music scene. There are the acts that are signed to major labels, or at least close to it, touring substantially inside and outside the UK, playing festivals and even appearing on television. Such acts include The Shires, Ward Thomas, Jess and The Bandits and Sasha McVeigh. However, there is also a quickly growing scene of homegrown songwriters and musicians who are making a decent part-time living playing small local venues around the UK, releasing EPs to iTunes and to sell at shows, and engaging in a rough-and-ready DIY collective that puts them on the same level as their fans. One of these such acts is Acoustic Journey, an all-male three-piece from Northamptonshire. Between Andrew Jones (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Ben Gurney (songwriting, lead guitar, harmonies) and Andy Sammons (harmonies, cajon), the trio provide sparse, acoustic-orientated arrangements set to easy-rolling songs touching on love, heartbreak, and the realities of a simple working class lifestyle.

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Jul
8

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Stray Plectrums – July 8

As all you good folks know, For The Country Record is in a self-imposed hibernation. That doesn’t mean we’ve stopped posting entirely, however, as the occasional article will find its way to the homepage, and this is one of those times. If you’ve been craving the indiest of the indie, take a look (and a listen) through these undiscovered gems that landed in my inbox recently.

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Jun
2

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The Truth About The Criminal Wages Paid To Writers: An Expose

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Credit: LinkedIn

When I decided to put FTCR – my baby and the biggest success of my short 24 years – into hibernation, it was for two reasons. One, it had become too much work for me to deal with even in 60 hour weeks, and it had had a massive impact on my mental health. Two, it was criminally underpaid, and had been for four years.

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May
30

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Miranda Lambert @ Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA | May 21, 2016 – Review

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There was this moment during “All Kinds of Kinds” when Miranda Lambert was recalling standing up in geometry class and you wondered if the thought crossed her mind: am I really here? Lambert was singing in front of over 15,000 people headlining the Keeper of the Flame tour, on a cold rainy night at the Jiffy Lube Live amphitheater in Bristow, Virginia outside of Washington, D.C.

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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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