Mar
1

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Dan + Shay ‘From The Ground Up’ – Single Review

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Dan + Shay have oft been compared to Rascal Flatts, and for good reason; their music and narrative themes practically mirror the popular noughties trio, and their voices are just as high and light at Gary LeVox’s. They dress similarly too, with perhaps the only distinction being that Dan + Shay are generally more attractive than the Flatts ever were (even when they were young, they always looked a bit too chubby and awkward to be a real hit with teen girls, and nowadays? The less said about that the better). As Rascal Flatts are now past their commercial peak and their singles are less and less successful, Dan + Shay are perfectly primed to take over that sweet, saccharine country pop love song style, with an image that primes them as attractive but also great boyfriend material (after all, they love puppies). It’s a slam dunk.

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Mar
1

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High Valley ‘Make You Mine’ – Single Review

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Canadian country duo High Valley has recently released a new single to US radio. The duo is composed of brothers Brad and Curtis Rempel who hail from Blumenort, Alberta, and grew up in a family-oriented Mennonite community. High Valley has released three studio albums. Their Broken Borders record won Album of the year at the 2007 GMA Canada Covenant Awards while their song “Back To You” was awarded Country Song of the Year. In 2011, the duo won five GMA Canada Covenant Awards, including Artist of the Year and Group of the Year. They’ve also had the privilege of opening for the likes of Shania Twain, Little Big Town, and Alan Jackson.

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Mar
1

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Randy Rogers Band ‘Neon Blues’ – Single Review

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Ah, there’s something so nostalgic, comforting, and pure about Texas Country music. It’s real and raw; it’s the barebones of country music. As soon as you start listening, you find yourself transported back to a simpler, seemingly happier time period, one when people still waltzed the night away on barroom and dancehall floors. The Randy Rogers Band is the embodiment of what Texas Country is all about. The Texas-based band consists of Randy Rogers, Geoffrey Hill, John Richardson, Brady Black, and Les Lawless. They have recorded four studio albums and two live albums, and have charted seven singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. And here they are now, back with a recently released record and a brand new single.

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Feb
29

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Chase Rice ‘Whisper’ – Single Review

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There’s been a bit of hubbub surrounding Chase Rice’s new single, not least because he released a letter essentially apologizing for how bad it was but promising there were more mature songs going on the upcoming record (his second). At a time when a hit song can make or break an album’s chances of being released, artists are now forced to release the most commercially viable (and often, most mind-numbing) offering they should dare to record/place on their album in order to make that happen. Often those artists just bat away criticism, vaguely admit that it’s not substantial but that they enjoy ‘fun songs’, and get on with their lives. But Chase, whether by his own admission or as part of a marketing ploy by the label, decided that wasn’t enough.

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Feb
29

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Tara Thompson ‘Someone To Take Your Place’ – Single Review

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Tara Thompson is one of the newest female acts to hit the scene, and the Dot Recording artist has recently released her debut single ‘Someone To Take Your Place’ to radio. A Tennessee native, last year she was crowned one of CMT’s Next Women of Country, and is currently on the program’s tour alongside Jennifer Nettles, Brandy Clark and Lindsay Ell. It remains very difficult to launch a female artist despite notions that the tide might be turning, with radio still requiring that an artist set herself apart whilst remaining commercially-orientated, and bringing fans to the medium from social media or TV. With the format now being flooded with fresh talent and growing sentiment that it needs to get behind more female acts, could Tara be one of those to take advantage of the surge?

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Feb
25

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Eric Church ‘Record Year’ – Single Review

Record-year-Cover

Eric Church, for a mainstream country artist, doesn’t follow rules. This was already apparent when he followed up his commercial breakthrough album ‘Chief’ with the polarizing ‘The Outsiders’, weaving harder rock sounds, commercial country, blues and even elements of psychedelia into a melting pot of interesting repertoire. He continued to surprise with single releases, and even with each song that didn’t reach top 10 status on radio, he carried on selling records and tickets and moved on to the next release, seemingly with little interest in whether they reached #1 or not.

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Feb
19

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Loretta Lynn ‘Everything It Takes’ (Ft. Elvis Costello) – Single Review

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Ah the sweet, sweet sound of a steel guitar, don’t you just love it? I don’t know about you, but when I hear the beautiful cry of the steel guitar, it acts as a time machine transporting me back to the golden age of country music, to a simpler time. I was lucky enough to have been exposed to classic country music at a young age, so I grew up listening to Miss Loretta Lynn, among others. My mother is a huge fan of Miss Loretta and passed down that love to me. One of the first albums I owned was one of Loretta’s greatest hits albums. I would fall asleep to the tunes of “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, “Here In Topeka”, and “Woman of the World”. So obviously I was excited when Loretta announced that she had a brand new album due out in March.

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Feb
18

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Cam ‘Mayday’ – Single Review

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Country newcomer Cam has been on fire lately. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Cam is a country music singer-songwriter who blazed onto the country scene in 2015. She began her career as a songwriter, composing songs for several artists including Miley Cyrus. In 2010, she released her debut studio album on an independent record label. Signed with Sony Music Nashville, Cam released her debut major label EP, Welcome to Cam Country, in March 2015. The album’s second track, “Burning House”, was played on the Bobby Bones Show and ended up receiving significant attention, and as a result, it became her breakout hit single. Cam launched her second studio album, Untamed in December 2015 on the success of the song. “Burning House” has since received widespread acclaim, including a Grammy nomination.

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