The Barr Brothers: Queens Of The Breakers

The Review Corner are huge fans of The Barr Brothers (brothers Brad and Andrew, and harpist Sarah Page) and after their last album saw them at a small venue, Page’s massive harp squeezed onto a tiny stage. They’re a class act; slick songs expertly put together but with an appealing DIY / live feel, and […]

Steve Earle and The Dukes: So You Wannabe An Outlaw

Outlaw country had peaked by the time the Review Corner bought Steve Earle’s fantastic debut Guitar Town, but he was in the outlaw vein, both musically (blending rock and blues with country) and with his hell raisin’ lifestyle. With this new album, he reflects on the choices he made, now free from drugs and not […]

Sheryl Crow: Be Myself

After at least one album (the last one, anyway) of commercial country music designed to be played on a car radio on an open American highway, Sheryl Crow has gone back to the acoustic-based country pop-rock of yore. Also designed to be played on a car radio on an open American highway. It’s good, in […]

James House: Berwick Street

We thought House was a young up and coming singer, but it turns out he’s 62 and a veteran, writing both country and western: he co-wrote Grammy-nominated country song of the year Ain’t That Lonely Yet for Dwight Yoakum and A Broken Wing for Martina McBride, as well as Diamond Rio’s number one In a […]

Various: Music from The American Epic Sessions

We thought Old Crow Medicine Show doing Blonde on Blonde live in Nashville was pretty cool but this is even better. The backstory is that it’s a television documentary on the early days of music. In the 1920s, as radio took over the pop music business, record companies took to the road to find new […]

Old Crow Medicine Show: 50 Years of Blonde on Blonde

For fans of Bob Dylan, folk, bluegrass or country, this is going to be pretty close to a perfect record. In the sleeve notes, Old Crow’s Ketch Secor says Bob Dylan inspired him to go into music and that Dylan is “the greatest spinner of rhyme and couplet since Shakespeare”. You can take it that […]

Andrew Combs: Canyons Of My Mind

You could call this country — he’s a Texan based in Nashville — but much of the music leans towards the classic ballady pop of the likes of James Taylor, or the folk of Gordon Lightfoot, with “proper” country only cropping up in a couple of tracks. The classic/old-fashioned nature of his approach continues in […]

Jarrod Dickenson: Ready The Horses

Good as Laura Marling is, she’s beaten into second place by this superb album from Dickenson. From the moment it starts playing, it’s a joy. Hailing from Waco, now living in Brooklyn, Dickenson has a honeyed, soulful voice and writes semi-acoustic soulful blues and country tunes. Like Marling, the music is reflective and mature, and […]

Sarah Darling: Dream Country

This charming album has enraptured us in the Review Corner this week. The sleeve is simple, with a celestial, dream-like air about it; the Bandcamp (or Pledgemusic, whatever) donors are presented in a star map, each supporter a small place in heaven. Imagine fluffy pink and unicorns, and you get a feel of the general […]

Courtney Marie Andrews: Honest Life

Musician Courtney Marie Andrews has been on the road since she was 16, when she left home in Arizona for her first tour. She travelled up and down the West Coast, busking bars and cafés. Then for a decade or so she’s was a session and back-up singer and guitarist for nearly 40 artists, including […]