Author Archives: Vickye

About Vickye

I run this joint. Country music blogger extraordinaire, fangirl, coffee drinker, Twitterer, bunny lover and rather too opinionated for her own good. Feminist and equal rights advocate. Has a laugh that you can hear for miles.


FTCR has shut down permanently

Hey guys. As some of you know by now, FTCR has officially shut down permanently. The domain and hosting and my FTCR email address is paid for until 2019, so everything will remain live until then but there will be no new posts.

Otherwise, you can follow me @vickyefisher. Please do not pitch me anything for posting, I will be annoyed.

That said, thank you all for your understanding and the memories. It’s been a blast.




The Ostrich Flies Away: A Tribute To Devarati Ghosh


Credit: Billboard Country Update

Tuesday felt like a bad dream. I woke up earlier than usual, glancing at my phone to check my notifications. I logged onto Twitter, and found myself tagged in a thread that suggested one of my friends, and a wonderful human being, had mysteriously passed away.

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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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FEATURED: Acoustic Journey ‘Get Back Up’ EP


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


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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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



Ryan Beaver ‘Rx’ – Album Review


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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