Category: Country

Merle Haggard "I Am What I Am"

Posted 06 Mar 2016 in 00s, Albums of the 00s, Country, Swing

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#959 in the Series) is Merle Haggard, I Am What I Am. I was REAL late coming to the Merle Haggard appreciation society.  I’ve loved traditional country for many years.  But for some reason Merle slid though the cracks for me. That changed due to his classic song, “Sing Me Back Home.”  About five years ago I started noticing all these artist I really respected had covered it. The Grateful Dead, Flying Burrito Brothers, Heartfield, Gram Parsons and Keith Richards together, The Everly Brothers, etc etc. I had to look in on it.  Then I started checking out all these old albums and wow.  I sure missed quite a bit. Instead of featuring...

Johnny Cash “American Recordings V: A Hundred Highways”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day is Johnny Cash, American Recordings V: A Hundred Highways The year was 1994, and it was not the best of times for Johnny Cash.  His health, starting to fail from a series of illnesses and decades of hard living, was seemingly bringing “The Man in Black” much closer to the end than he was ready to admit.  His latest major record label, Mercury Records had dropped him after one last commitment record, The Mystery of life, that was released in 1990 and included updated versions of “Hey Porter”, “Angel and the “Badman”, and “The Greatest Cowboy”, that were good simply because they are very good songs, but showed none of the outlaw grit...

Billy Joe Shaver ‘Long in the Tooth’- NEW MUSIC REVIEW

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#948 in the Series) is Billy Joe Shaver, Long in the Tooth On the Mount Rushmore of 70’s Highwayman Icons, a zip code that includes Willie Nelson,Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristoffersons, Billy Joe Shaver could very well be considered the fifth Beatle, the under the radar cowboy that jump-started the movement with Honky Tonk Heroes in 1973, and in the process put the outlaw in Outlaw Country, reshaped the image of Waylon Jennings, changed the landscape of Country music forever, and just might have laid the foundation for Roots Rock and the Americana movement that is in full force today. Having already used up most of his nine lives, he...

Lyle Lovett ‘Lyle Lovett’

Today’s Cool album of the Day (# 928 in the Series) is the self-titled debut from Lyle Lovett Lyle Lovett burst into national prominence with his Pontiac album in 1987. That was the release that gave us some of his best known tunes such as “If I Had a Boat” and “She’s No Lady.”  Some people never looked to see that he had another spectacular record the year prior. I’m referring to his debut, which was simply called Lyle Lovett. I’ve always been a fan of debut albums.  To me it seems that the one thing that many of them have it common is that they are rarely overproduced.  Why, because most of these new acts don’t have the budget...

Johnny Cash ‘Out Among The Stars’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#920 in the Series) is  Johnny Cash,  Out Among the Stars In the last years of his life, and currently with the multiple releases of the Rick Rubin produced American Recordings series of recordings, we have been treated to new music from Johnny Cash. The songs presented on these records were mostly scaled down un-plugged style versions of old classics along with deep in the vault songs from artists Cash admired. Every song in the series was a powerful reminder of the greatness of the past, and a sobering look into eyes and on to the soul of one of the greatest artists ever to walk the line. And now, courtesy of the...

Matraca Berg “Lying To The Moon”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#905 in the Series) is Matraca Berg, Lying to the Moon (RCA) So many perks, so many cool events, so many goodies and “what-nots.”  When I look back on my days in music distribution, you never knew from which angle the next cool thing was going to hit you.  One of the things I liked best was when one of the labels would bring in someone to perform at our conventions.  That was the way that this lovely songbird’s music would be introduced to me. Yes, it now has been over 20 years. How much did I love this record? Well, like I said, it’s 20 years  later and I’m still playing it,...

Rosanne Cash ‘The River & the Thread’

  Today’s Cool album of the Day (#901 in the Series) is Rosanne Cash,The River & The Thread.   Many people will to want to know – is this a country album, a folk album, an Americana / Alt-country album? Well – yes to all three but primarily I think it’s a Southern album. Each of the songs are finely crafted short stories in the great Southern tradition. They each work all by themselves telling a story that’s either from the Cash family history or a work of fiction. They also work together to paint a portrait of the South that is equal to the best Southern fiction writing. There are songs of family, a feeling of community or the...

Sturgill Simpson ‘High Top Mountain’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#886 in the Series) is Sturgill Simpson, High Top Mountain High Top Mountain, the impressive new album by Country Singer Sturgill Simpson, is the best Outlaw Country throwback album released in years, and would have fit right in with Willie’s Red Headed Stranger, Waylon’s Dreaming My Dreams, and the Mighty Merle Classic, Back to the Barrooms.  This guy is that old school, that true, and that damn good. The opening track “Life Ain’t Fair and the World is Mean” sets the template for 12 tracks of superb playing and true-life story lines, with Sturgill himself telling you what he thinks of all of the outlaw hoopla that is starting to envelop and mostly...

Shooter Jennings ‘The Other Life’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#883 in the Series) is Shooter Jennings, The Other Life Much like his old man, the venerable Waylon Jennings, Shooter Jennings wears the blaze your own trail outlaw crown to musical perfection on his latest release The Other Life. Showing a consistently cool and carefully crafted career path going back to his debut 2005 release, Put the O Back in Country, Shooter Jennings may lure you into the listening kiosk with his pedigree, and he does play the modern day outlaw role to perfection, it is actually his own unique blending of Country Roots Rock Americana with a peppering of good old fashioned Rock & Roll soul that brings you back to...

Waylon Jennings ‘Dreaming My Dreams’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#882 in the Series) is Waylon Jennings, Dreaming My Dreams Carved in granite, right there alongside Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Hank Williams on the country Music Mount Rushmore, and only two albums removed from virtually inventing the Outlaw Country movement with Honky Tonk Heroes, an album of stripped down honky tonk songs mostly penned by his friend Billy Joe Shaver, Waylon Jennings released Dreaming My Dream, which was to become his first number one record. Released in 1975, the record was in part a tribute album featuring “Are You Sure Hank Done it This Way?,” a tribute to Hank Williams which was to become Waylon’s signature song and one of the few...

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