Molly Tuttle: Rise

First the predictable joke: the opener is Good Enough but this mini-album is more than good enough. It’s marvellous. Though she plays bluegrass it doesn’t, on the surface, sound it. Bluegrass, the genre of American roots music that emerged from Appalachia but is shaped by Irish, Scottish and English traditional music, is often typified by […]

Blitzen Trapper: Wild and Reckless

A friend in the States introduced us to Blitzen Trapper’s debut album. We gave him Mumford and Sons’ debut in return and for some years we’ve thought he got the better end of the deal. Blitzen Trapper were worthy if not dull, and their second album did little to change our mind. But this is […]

Laura Oakes: Nashville Stole Your Girl (Acoustic EP)

The title says it all: Nashville, acoustic. It’s acoustic country pop that sounds like it’ll get played on Nashville easy-listenin’ day-time radio, except that Laura is from Liverpool. If you like pop country, you might have heard of her: this charted at No.2 in the iTunes album country chart on release day. It features four […]

Gill Landry: Love Rides A Dark Horse

This smacks of quality before you even press play. Love Rides A Dark Horse is a great title, and Landry was formerly in country/roots band Old Crow Medicine Show so he’s got the experience behind him, making this a confident collection. It’s nothing new but the music is well paced, and he has a deep […]

The Eagles: Hotel California

This is going to make some people feel old: it is 40 years since this album came out, celebrated with this two-CD package (the bonus CD is a live album). It’s clearly a classic, particularly for the title track, but it’s not quite as close to perfection as Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, which is well-nigh flawless. […]

Shane Richie: A Country Soul

We were expecting this to be a bit dire but it’s good. If you like soft pop/country, you’ll probably love it. We don’t know much about Ritchie, as we don’t watch Eastenders or game shows, but do know he’s done some musicals and that he likes country. It’s country in the sense that The Corrs […]

Sarah Darling: Winter Wonderland

Just as Shane Richie puts out a country album, genuine country music singer Darling puts out a Christmas album. They’re all well-known tunes done well, so the only question is how you feel about a set of slow but intimate covers delivered by Darling’s soft and sweet vocals. The album opens with an ok cover […]

Courtney Marie Andrews: On My Page

  There’s a couple of albums that have stayed on the Review Corner iPod for ages (Keri Noble’s 2004 album Fearless is the longest survivor); at heart country, they are also bluesy ballads sung by women with crystal clear voices. They don’t advance any genres or break new ground. They’re just strong albums of nice […]

Dolly Parton: I Believe In You

Dolly. It’s impossible to say anything bad about her: rose from nothing, written some classic tunes and knows the value of every single one, but not mean either — she gave the rights to I Will Always Love You (the best-selling single by a woman in music history) to her former manager Porter Wagoner, for […]

Neil Young: Hitchhiker

This is a rather magical album: Young rolls up to a studio in 1976, on a night of the full moon, and plays some songs, accompanied only by weed and beer. Some songs go on to be classics, two have not been released before. It’s a got a bit of Clint Eastwood Man With No […]