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Maurice Hope's Blog (1,354)

JOE ELY —DOWN ON THE DRAG / LIVE SHOTS (BGO Records)

www.bgo-records.com

Another two-offer from BGO featuring the music of Texan Joe Ely from his days with MCA and that feature a number of songs from fellow Flatlander Butch Hancock to go with a healthy portion of his own.

Down On The Drag and Live Shots were recorded in 1979 and 1980, respectively, and demonstrate a more rocky side of Ely’s music. Feature his road band in both cases (Lloyd… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on April 16, 2010 at 15:30 — No Comments

SARAH SISKIND —SAY IT LOUDER (Red Request Records)

www.sarahsiskind.com

Sarah Siskind’s music is new to me, although I am aware of her as a songwriter from having seen her accredited to writing songs for Alison Krauss, Randy Travis and Bon Iver among others. Her composition ‘Simple Love’ by Krauss was in fact a Grammy Nomination last year and, though it did not win it underlined how far she has come as a songwriter.



After hearing her guest on… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on April 16, 2010 at 15:00 — No Comments

SALLY SPRING —MADE OF STARS (Sniffinpup records)



www.sallyspring.com

Californian-born, but raised in North Carolina, Sally Spring has a distinctive and quite unique vocal style as she wonders between folk, blues and alt-country rock on this 11-track album. Made up of homespun songs, mainly. For apart from a sensitive cover of Johnny Cash’s classic cut ‘I Still Miss Someone’, blues man, Willie Dixon’s ‘It Don’t Make No Sense’ and Los Lobos’… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on April 10, 2010 at 17:00 — No Comments

KRISTIN CONNELL —DANCE OF LOVE (Exact Records)

www.kristinconnell.com

www.exactrecords.com

Washington State singer-songwriter Kristin Connell both has a pleasant singing voice and writes good songs and, despite her missing the mark on a couple of tracks where she diversifies into a less appealing brand of music Connell shows much promise. Enough so to suggest there is plenty of good music to come from… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on April 10, 2010 at 17:00 — No Comments

MERLE HAGGARD —OUT AMONG THE STARS/ A FRIEND IN CALIFORNIA (BGO)

www.bgo-records.com

Digitally re-mastered, two of Merle Haggard’s albums from 1986 from when he was on CBS (Sony) gain inclusion on this the latest of an on-going series of two-offers out on BGO featuring the proud member of Country Music’s Hall Of Fame.

The title-track of the first of the two albums, ‘Out Among The Stars’ —written by the little known Adam Mitchell is worth the admission fee alone and there are also others of a similar… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on April 6, 2010 at 7:35 — No Comments

CHRIS O’BRIEN —LITTLE RED (Self-released)

www.chrisobrienmusic.com

Western Massachusetts-raised singer-songwriter, Chris O’Brien has through befriending the likes of fellow musicians Ellis Paul, Antje Duvekot and Meg Hutchinson absorbed some of their styles and good habits hence, his second album, Little Red —following the 2007 recording, Lighthouse this Zachariah Hickman (Josh Ritter, Mark Erelli) production has sees his music elevated to… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on April 3, 2010 at 18:30 — No Comments

PAUL BRADY —HOOBA DOOBA (Proper Records)

www.properuk.com

www.paulbrady.com

When it comes to a workman like style to fuse folk and rock in an engaging fashion – Strabane, Northern Ireland-born Brady is someone who never fails to step up to the table and deliver music rich in melody, character and dignity. Don’t forget he has been doing this for over forty years and as a solo act since 1978 —his… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on April 2, 2010 at 18:00 — No Comments

MERLE HAGGARD —I AM WHAT I AM (Vanguard)

www.merlehaggard.com www.vanguardrecords.com

Merle Haggard may be 72 years-old, but when it comes to singing real country music there are few who come near filling his boots plying the trade today, and through making albums like this he shows he is still has much to offer real country music.



An old warhorse, some will say like Johnny Cash… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on April 2, 2010 at 7:30 — No Comments

Kevin Higgins —Find Your Smile (Little Train Records)

www.kevinjameshiggins.com

www.littletrainrecords.com

West Texas singer-songwriter Kevin Higgins paints pictures of life that are real and unlike those from a world spoilt through commercialism he is the real deal, no substitute given.



In the words of Austin, Texas resident and journalist, Rob Paterson who has written a few liner notes speaks of how producer,… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on March 30, 2010 at 20:30 — No Comments

BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE —SOLDIER BLUE THE BEST OF THE VANGUARD YEARS (Vanguard)

www.acerecords.com Singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte Marie made a name for herself through her songs ‘Universal Soldier’ —that has long been the envy of many a so-called protest singer and a host of others too and ‘Soldier Blue’ plus a bunch more. Donovan, Elvis Presley, Glen Campbell, Neil Diamond and Barbara Streisand all took to her work early on and a great many have since followed, and this trend will I am… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on March 30, 2010 at 10:00 — No Comments

GINNY HAWKER —AFTER IT’S GONE (Rounder)

www.rounder.com www.ginnyandtracy.com

When it comes to pure as a mountain stream vocalists, Ginny Hawker who was reared on traditional country music of Hank Williams, Ray Price and The Carter Family plus old fashioned Primitive Baptist hymn singing stands head and shoulders above most.



Ginny Hawker who has recorded albums with Kay Justice and her… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on March 30, 2010 at 9:30 — No Comments

CATIE CURTIS —HELLO STRANGER (Compass)

www.compassrecords.com www.catiecurtis.com

Oh, boy what a stunning title track! Not only do we have Curtis partnered by good ol’ gal, Mary Gauthier on the A.P Carter classic but the two ladies create a sound akin to Hazel (Dickens) and Alice (Gerrard) and who recorded the song back in the 1970s on Rounder. Praise does not come much higher than this and it is… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on March 29, 2010 at 12:00 — No Comments

CROSBY TYLER —LECTRIC PRAYER (Bohemia Music)

www.crosbytyler.com

Road musician, travel junkie Crosby Tyler over the years has absorbed music of everyone from Leadbelly and Big Bill Broonzy (among others) of the blues genre to the Beatles, Jim Morrison and the Doors to Johnny Cash by way of the folk singer-songwriters of the 1960s, Springsteen and as on the opening cut on his latest album ‘Lectric Prayer’ —is that a hint of Neil Young I… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on March 28, 2010 at 8:30 — No Comments

JOHN HIATT —THE OPEN ROAD (New West)

www.newwestrecords.com www.johnhiatt.com

Yet another strong set of songs from John Hiatt, one of music’s survivors both physically and creatively —The Open Road offers arguably his most pure and edgy music in some time.



Aided by his road band of Kenny Blevins (drums), Patrick O’Hearn (bass) and Doug Lancio (electric guitar) all eleven tracks are new… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on March 27, 2010 at 11:00 — No Comments

THE COTTARS —FEAST (Rounder)

www.rounder.com www.thecottars.ca

Cape Breton quartet, The Cottars have a splendid Celtic folk sound going for them as Scottish and Irish flavours combine alongside their native Nova Scotia Cape Breton roots on this fine package.



Their version of Mark Knopfler’s ‘Fare Thee Well Northumberland’ that couldn’t be better even has a smudging of bluegrass creep,… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on March 26, 2010 at 9:30 — No Comments

ERIC BIBB —BOOKER’S GUITAR (Telarc)

www.telarc.com www.ericbibb.com

It is about time Eric returned to the music he started out playing and ease away from the more commercial form of the blues he had let himself be sucked into. Music that lacked the soul of this record and those he did earlier in his career. The music that underline that simple is most often the best and how it is quite often what is left… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on March 22, 2010 at 7:30 — No Comments

BROOKS WILLIAMS —BABY O! (Red Guitar Blue Music)



www.brookswilliams.com

Blues Americana bottleneck slide-guitarist, singer-songwriter Brooks Williams is a true road musician and has put in the miles to prove it —as quoted in the liner notes he has travelled all points of the compass. Aided by friends David Goodier, (bass) PJ Wright (steel guitar, Dobro), Keith Warmington (harmonica) and Helen Watson (vocals) he recorded ‘Baby O’, his… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on March 22, 2010 at 7:00 — No Comments

LYNN MILES —BLACK FLOWERS Volume 1-2 (True North)

www.lynnmilesmusic.com www.truenorthrecords.com

Not too many artists are as generous as to record one album of their work solo and acoustic style, but stretch it to two this is something else! Canadian singer-songwriter, Lynn Miles like good whisky —she has become better with age and more melodic into the bargain. Relaxed and an easy listen, Miles wraps… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on March 20, 2010 at 14:30 — No Comments

BLUE HIGHWAY —SOME DAY: The Fifteenth Anniversary Collection (Rounder)

www.rounder.com www.rounderinternational.com

It is hard to imagine that Blue Highway have now been pounding the rhythm of the road for fifteen years and counting. As for qualifications and where they stand in the world of modern bluegrass music I would put them up there with Longview. A who’s who by way of bluegrass talent if ever there was.



Tim… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on March 20, 2010 at 9:00 — No Comments

WOODY PINES —COUNTING ALLIGATORS (Self-released)

www.woodypines.com Woody Pines are a fresh and relatively new ensemble. Counting Alligators is the third album from the Woody Pines fronted band (by the way that isn’t his real name) on guitar, harmonica and lead vocals with Zack Pozebanchuk on upright bass, Rennie Elliot and Andy Tubb on drums plus guests. Although noted as only a guest, fiddler Darin Gentry I understand like with drummer who is not… Continue

Added by Maurice Hope on March 19, 2010 at 8:00 — No Comments

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May 2018

1
John Prine
67 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
JJC,MB,SP,RM
2
Levi Parham
58 pts.
It's All Good
Continental Records
CRS,JB,TK
3
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
55 pts.
Texas, etc...
DollyRocker
HDB,CVL,DHO
4
Michael McDermott
54 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
JDO,LK,BK
5
Sam Morrow
48 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
MA,JBO,HB
6
Caleb Caudle
39 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
7
Western Centuries
36 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
MF
8
Carter Sampson
34 pts.
Lucky
Continental Song City
 
9
Charley Crockett
30 pts.
Lonesome as a Shadow
Son of Davy/30 Tigers
 
10
Courtney Marie Andrews
28 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
JV
11
Ed Romanoff
27 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
 
 
Joan Baez
27 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
HD
 
Pharis and Jason Romero
27 pts.
Sweet Old Religion
Lula Records
SZ,LM
14
Gretchen Peters
24 pts.
Dancing With The Beast
Proper Records
KG
 
Old Crow Medicine Show
24 pts.
Volunteer
Columbia Records
GF
 
Will Stewart
24 pts.
County Seat
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
17
Ben Reel
22 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
GC,FC
 
Birds Of Chicago
22 pts.
Love In Wartime
Signature Sounds
 
 
Emily Herring
22 pts.
Gliding
Eight 30 Records
RST,RH
20
Jenny van West
21 pts.
Happiness To Burn
Independent
PJ,FS,JJ
 
Mary Gauthier
21 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
 
22
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
20 pts.
Years
Bloodshot Records
FCE
23
David Starr
19 pts.
South And East
Independent
HM
24
Cold Tone Harvest
18 pts.
After You
Independent
 
25
Grant Peeples
17 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Continental

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