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John Wayne's Holster: Chicks of Country Music
John Wayne's Holster
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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Chicks of Country Music

Here are a few reviews of some albums by alt-country chicks I recently picked up (the albums that is). I did not review albums by well-known artists like k.d.lang, Lucinda Williams or Gillian Welch. Rather, I reviewed albums by artists who need to be exposed more (I am speaking the music, although I wouldn't mind seeing a bit more of Allison Moorer).

Please leave comments if you have any. Blogger may ask you to register to comment. You can simply scroll down and click "Anonymous comment" to speak without registering. Anyway, here goes.

Allison Moorer - The Duel. Allison Moorer has a powerul soulful voice with great dynamic range - a notch above sissy Shelby Lynne. Both sisters would give k.d. lang a good run for her money. The lyrics touch upon the darker side of life, but are not depressing. The guitar-work is pretty intense – a nice mix of acoustic and driving electric sounds. In my opinion, this is the best album of 2004. If you have a few extra bucks, pick up her live album, “Show”.

Mindy Smith – One More Moment. I was attracted to this album by her rendition of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”. Mindy Smith does a good cover of that song, but for my money, Dolly does it better. The rest of the album is pretty good, although a tad mellow. The lyrics are a bit lofty at times – sort of, but not quite like, Patty Griffin. Good CD to entertain you at work, but not good in the car.

Tift Merritt – Tambourine.

I have been waiting for two years for this album. It is a mix of rich soulful tunes with country overtones. Overall, the album is really good, but overproduced in places. It fell a little short of my expectations – not quite as good as “Bramble Rose” or her work with the Two-Dollar Pistols.

Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose.

Immortal Country Legends Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson scored big successes in their collaborations with slick producers Rick Rubin and Daniel Lanois, respectively. Loretta Lynn looks to follow the same path with producer Jack White at the controls. Unfortunatly, this album falls flat. Although the album does have its moments, overall it doesn’t come off well. It still sounds like the “Coal-miners daughter” singing to the White Stripes. Reminds me of the heavy metal album Pat Boone put out. Save your $$$ or buy one of the albums below.

Other albums worth listening to

Beth Hart – Screamin’ For My Supper. Nice mix of Janis Joplin and Eva Cassidy. Or perhaps Courtney Love with some twang.

Kasey Chamber – Wayward Angel. Excellent guitar work. Voice a bit like Iris Dement but better. Also pick up Barricades & Brickwalls.

Cailin Carey – I’m Staying Out. Former Whiskeytown vocalist Caitlin Carey. The CD is good, a step above here previous album “While You Weren’t Looking”. The songs are a bit more upbeat than Whiskeytown. Reminiscent of the Jayhawks.


At 8:25 AM, Anonymous rainah said...

Just a quick note on Kasey Chambers...
I think she's fantastic. I got an advanced
promo copy of Barricades & Brickwalls as a
music store manager, way back when.

Anywho, she's great, glad you commented on her.


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