sat 24/08/2019

country

CD: Taylor Swift - Lover

If there's a central motif to the sprawling, 18-track opus that is Taylor Swift’s seventh release - and it’s an album that references both Drake and Springsteen, so it's hard to pin down - it first emerges in track three, the title track. Stripped...

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CD: Tanya Tucker - While I'm Livin'

When Johnny Cash and Rick Rubin released the former’s stripped back, soul-bearing American Recordings in 1994 the impact was massive. Not only did it show a way that country music could cross over to a much wider audience, the alt-rock crowd, for...

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CD: Daughter of Swords - Dawnbreaker

With shifts from the crepuscular to the distinct, Dawnbreaker is the aural equivalent of a stygian day periodically lightened when banks of cloud break to allow knife-like sunlight through.The album begins with “Fellows”, where an unadorned acoustic...

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Carrie Underwood, SSE Hydro, Glasgow review - country cliches brought to life

“We didn’t come all the way from Nashville, Tennessee with just one fiddle,” says Carrie Underwood, halfway through her Glasgow show. The onetime American Idol turned multiple Grammy award-winning country superstar isn’t one for doing things by...

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CD: Willie Nelson – Ride Me Back Home

Willie’s new album opens with the singer calling out to all the tired old horses saved from the knackers and put out to pasture. It’s not just something he does in song, but in life. It’s co-written with Sonny Throckmorton, an old mucker of the Zen...

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CD: Calexico and Iron & Wine - Years to Burn

Anyone familiar with Calexico and Iron & Wine will be unsurprised by Years to Burn. The 32-minute album (one track of which is a short instrumental) showcases lilting, mid-paced, reflective, country tinged and acoustic-bedded songs fleshed...

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theartsdesk at Red Rooster Festival 2019 - bustling Suffolk stately home hoedown

Only those who’ve just popped in from an early 20th century Tennessee cotton field will have recently observed more pairs of dungarees in one place than at Red Rooster. It’s a festival that prides itself on a rich diet of Americana alongside a...

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CD: Vampire Weekend - Father of the Bride

Three albums in, and Vampire Weekend were due a shake-up. Enter Father of the Bride, by far their most ambitious record to date. It’s an 18-track behemoth featuring 14 musicians and six different producers, spanning from folk to jazz. It may be a...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Terry Allen

Torso Hell tells the story of an American soldier whose limbs were blown off in Vietnam. Amazingly, he and his buddies survived, and in the ensuing medical chaos his arms and legs were re-attached to them rather than him. The narrator says “At the...

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Wild Rose review - how country music can set you free

It was the fabled Nashville songwriter Harlan Howard who commented that country music is “three chords and the truth”. Rose-Lynn, the protagonist of Wild Rose, just happens to have the surname Harlan, and she has the “three chords” motto tattooed on...

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CD: Jessie Buckley - Wild Rose OST

Reviewing the soundtrack for a film you’ve not seen is a tricky act. It’s like reviewing a book based on its pictures – you’re missing the context of the music’s purpose. But then, not all soundtracks are created equal, and Wild Rose is one designed...

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CD: Norah Jones - Begin Again

There's a remarkable lightness to the way Norah Jones has glid through her career. She once told theartsdesk that even in her early 20s, faced with the global hyper success of Come Away With Me, “I think I was smart enough to know at the...

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