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Maurice Hope's Blog – August 2009 Archive (9)

JEFF & VIDA —SELMA CHALK (Rosebank Records)

Oh, how I love the bluegrass/ country sound of Jeff & Vida. With fine instrumental support given to the distinctive vocals of the multi-talented, Vida Wakeman and her partner Jeff Burke who plays mandolin and lends fine harmony vocal support (and sings some lead).

While she possesses a likeness to Rounder recording act Claire Lynch on the bluegrass cuts her approach to country music is… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on August 29, 2009 at 21:00 — 1 Comment


Retroworld part of record label Floating World has in this twin-cd set, that covers Texas singer-songwriter Katy Moffatt’s early/ mid-1990s albums The Evangeline… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on August 24, 2009 at 7:30 — No Comments


A honky tonker through and through, David Serby aided by Skip Edwards, Gabe Witcher and Rick Shea alongside his core band of Edward Tree, Taras Prodanuik and Gary Ferguson weaves together a string of easy on the ear barroom fare.

The work of producer Tree on lead guitar and the keyboards / accordion of Edwards on the infectious ‘For Cryin’ Out Loud’ —complete with a little Spanish styled acoustic guitar and the likewise, bright and… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on August 18, 2009 at 19:27 — No Comments

Madison Violet —No Fool For Trying (True North)

Canadian singer-songwriters, Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac from two small Scottish towns met up nine years ago and have since become an impressive vocal duo. With three albums to their name, the first two recorded in London and produced by John Reynolds (Sinead O’Connor, U2 and Damien Dempsey) it is now the time of new beginnings. For the girls have not only changed their name (they were… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on August 15, 2009 at 21:00 — No Comments

Alecia Nugent —Hillbilly Goddess (Rounder)

Modern-day bluegrass girl, Alecia Nugent makes the kind of music that makes you feel good. Backed by a set of hot pickers and a mixture of uptempo and slow, deliberate ballads that sketch evocative vignettes in one’s mind she is rather special.

Nugent who, like Rhonda Vincent to who’s style of music I find myself drawing comparisons sings like a bird, free and easy and it doesn’t stop there.… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on August 10, 2009 at 20:30 — No Comments

Ray Wylie Hubbard —Snake Farm (Bordello records)

Ray Wylie Hubbard makes feisty, full-blown booming Texas roots Americana music of the finest order. With his acoustic and slide guitar aided by producer and good friend, Gurf Morlix (electric guitar, vocals), Rick Richards (percussion, drums) and George Reiff (bass) with guests Ray Bonneville, Jeff Plankenhorn, Peter Rowan, Seth James and Jack Saunders —the… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on August 10, 2009 at 7:30 — No Comments

Ben Bullington —White Sulphur Springs (Independent)

Oh, how I love the relaxed tone of Ben Bullington’s music, and I am not the only one full of admiration for him, either. Since Texas singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell who guests on one cut, ‘Toe The Line’ playing resophonic guitar and lending superb vocal support to a song could just as easily have written and justifiably been proud of doing so!

Warm, vocally, the playing from Fats Kaplin… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on August 7, 2009 at 9:30 — No Comments

Jean Shepard —Beautiful Lies ; The Early Years (Jasmine)

When it comes to vintage, classic country music you would have to place traditional country music stalwart, Jean Shepard alongside the likes of Hank Williams, Ernest Tubb and Roy Acuff —her pure, clear as spring water vocals have few if any peers of the idiom.

Taken from her recordings of the 1950s, Beautiful Lies capture Shepard at her brilliant best. While, apart from ‘Satisfied Mind’ and ‘Beautiful Lie’s she saw little chart success the standard is… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on August 7, 2009 at 9:14 — No Comments

Todd Snider —The Excitement Plan (Continental Record Services)

East Nashville singer-songwriter Todd Snider conforms to little other than that of being a creative talent and a talent. Produced by Don Was he sounds as good if not better than ever before. His music is spare with Snider on guitar, harp and piano, Greg Leisz on steel guitar and dobro, Jim Keltner, drums and Was on upright bass as he eases out an evocative set of tunes. Snider’s work on the couple or so occasions he plays piano is likewise superb… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on August 7, 2009 at 9:00 — No Comments

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Levi Parham
90 pts.
These American Blues
Music Road Records
Martha Fields
86 pts.
Southern White Lies
Carter Sampson
75 pts.
Wilder Side
Anna Elizabeth Laube
65 pts.
Ahh...Pockets! Records
Michael McDermott
60 pts.
Willow Springs
Pauper Sky Records
Shovels & Rope
54 pts.
Little Seeds
New West
Robert Ellis
53 pts.
Robert Ellis
New West Records
Sturgill Simpson
52 pts.
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
Atlantic Records
Douglas Greer
50 pts.
Baja Louisiana
Zilker Park Records
Lucinda Williams
46 pts.
The Ghosts Of Highway 20
Highway 20 Records
Buddy Miller & Friends
44 pts.
Cayamo Sessions at Sea
New West Records
Wink Burcham
43 pts.
Cleveland Summer Nights
Continental Song City
Eric Brace & Peter Cooper
42 pts.
C&O Canal
Red Beet Records
Brent Cobb
41 pts.
Shine On A Rainy Day
Elektra Records
Daniel Romano
41 pts.
New West
Leonard Cohen
41 pts.
You Want it Darker
Sony Music
Christian Kjellvander
40 pts.
A Village: Natural Light
Tapete Records
Drive-By Truckers
39 pts.
American Band
ATO Records
Birds of Chicago
38 pts.
Real Midnight
Five Head Entertainment
John Prine
37 pts.
For Better, or Worse
Oh Boy Records
The Cactus Blossoms
36 pts.
You’re Dreaming
Red House Records
Richmond Fontaine
35 pts.
You Can’t Go Back
Décor Records
Gillian Welch
34 pts.
Boots No.1: The Official Revival Bootleg
Acony Records
Sarah Jarosz
33 pts.
Sugar Hill
Joe Purdy
32 pts.
Who Will Be Next?
Mudtown Crier Records
The Devil Makes Three
32 pts.
Redemption & Ruin
New West

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