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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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

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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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Apr
11

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Sam Outlaw @ The Tunnels, Bristol, UK | April 10, 2016 – Review

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It was a wet and windy evening that brought me to Bristol to see Sam Outlaw, one of the more impressive finds of 2016. I really took to the non-Nashville-based sound on his ‘Angeleno’ record, belonging more in the West, and having some wonderful Mariachi influences, probably both coming from his background in California, where the Mexican population is particularly large. Whilst I didn’t expect to hear much of this in such a small venue, the acoustic music spoke for itself, and the result was still somewhat original and something that the small crowd definitely responded to.

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Apr
7

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Hayes Carll ‘Lovers & Leavers’ – Album Review

Hayes Carll, Lovers And Leavers (LabelTK/Thirty Tigers 2016)

(LabelTK/Thirty Tigers 2016)

I was first introduced to Hayes Carll through my great love of Lee Ann Womack. Being the writer of ‘Chances Are’, one of the real highlights of ‘The Way I’m Livin’’, Hayes immediately became one of my favourite songwriters, portraying an authenticity and beauty that great music should. It has taken me a while to delve into his own records, but I am pleased to say ‘Lovers & Leavers’ is a fantastic introduction into the sincere music of Hayes Carll.

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Apr
2

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In ‘Buck ‘Em,’ Buck Owens Tells His Life Story – Book Review

Buck Owens is Bakersfield. The city might have already been on the map but Buck Owens created the Bakersfield sound. He called the spare sound of pedal steel and twangy guitars “American Music” but it was an important counterpoint to the more slickly produced sides coming from Music Row in Nashville.

You can’t talk about one without the other.

Now a decade after his death, Buck Owens’ autobiography Buck ‘Em is out in trade paperback. And it’s a worthy read.

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Apr
1

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Stray Plectrums – April 1 [Bumper Edition]

dexeter ep

Since FTCR is taking a backseat going forward, I thought it was time to give you a bumper edition of Stray Plectrums. We went part-time at the beginning of the year, and this is a selection of some of the submissions we wanted to feature, but didn’t get a chance to write about in full. Submissions are now closed, so call this our parting gift to you of undiscovered gems. Enjoy!

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