George Strait just celebrated his 61st birthday last week, but it is his fans who got the present. George released his 40th studio album, Love is Everything on May 14. Fans will not find any surprises in this new album. All 13 songs give us George’s laid back, easy going, southern sound that we have found in his music since his first album back in 1981.
Like most of today’s country artists, George writes some of the music he sings. On this album, he wrote or co-wrote four of the 13 songs. The album starts off with “I Got A Car.” The song makes a point, without a lot of fanfare. It talks about what a simple introduction might lead. You see a pretty girl, walk over, and introduce yourself starting with the sentence ‘I got a car’. Listen to the song and you’ll find out exactly where that opening line might take you.
The second song is George’s current single, “Give It All We Got Tonight.” It’s simply George doing what George does best. It can’t be classified anything but a love song.
“Blue Melodies” could have been sung by Merle Haggard or George Jones, or anyone from our ‘older era of country music.’ But George Strait has his own way of making the song fit right in with the rest of today’s country music.
George originally recorded the fourth song back in 1995, and it was part of his Strait Out of the Box album. “I Just Can’t Go On Dyin’ Like This,” is more proof that George Strait can take a song that is nearly 20 years old, and make fans fall in love with it all over again.
” I Thought I Heard My Heart Sing” is a song you can expect to hear in a dance club in the southwest. I don’t think this one will ever be released as a radio single. And, I’m not so sure it would do well on the radio if he did release it. But, I am sure there will be a lot of Texans kicking up their heels to this great dance tune.
I found my ‘sing-a-long’ song with “That’s What Breaking Hearts Do.” There’s always one song on every album I review that I want to listen to more than once. And, that I find myself singing along with. ‘That’s what breaking hearts do, They cause you so much pain, Make you go insane, That’s what breaking hearts do’. Easy to remember lyrics added to a catchy melody definitely equals a sing-a-long with me song.
“When Love Comes Around Again” is just what you would expect. It’s a song about looking at an old love in a new way. Getting someone back, giving it another try.
I’ve already said that “I Thought I Heard My Heart Sing” is more of a dance tune than a ‘ready-for-radio’ song’. But, I did find one that I think George would do well to release to radio as his next single. The song is “the Night Is Young,” It’s uptempo, with almost a 1960’s rock and roll beat. He’s singing about a Friday night, a place to go, and big plans for what will be a fun-filled weekend. One of my favorites on the album.
“Sittin’ On the Fence” would probably also work as a single. The music is good, the message is simple – when you’re coming out of a bad relationship, you may have trouble getting into a new relationship – even if it has the makings of being a great one. He follows that one with “I Believe.” I’m sure all of his fans remember, “I Saw God Today,” and in this song – like that one – George doesn’t mind telling us that when he’s at a low point in his life there is someone watching over him.
The title track, “Love Is Everything,” would make you think of George Strait, even if someone else were singing it. The song is his style, his music, and the great harmony is an added bonus.
George is currently hoping for his 60th No. 1 single. I think he is the only artist about which I can truly say ‘He’s never done a song I don’t like.” However, I wasn’t really thrilled with the 11th song on the album. It’s called “You Don’t Know What You’re Missing.” I’m not really sure why it’s not one of my favorites, I just know it never will be. It’s a good song. It sounds a lot like something George would do. But maybe that’s the problem. Maybe it sounds a little too much like everything else George does. While it isn’t one of my favorites, and I don’t think it’s a bad song, I don’t expect him to eve release this one to radio,
That brings us to “When the Credits Roll.” It’s a little look back at what George has done over the past 40 years. It’s full of mistakes, choices, and wondering … what will the critics think about all this “When the Credits Roll.” I don’t know how it would do as a single. But it is definitely a well-written song that deserves to be heard.
George is currently on his final tour, The Cowboy Ride Again Tour, which will run through 2014. To check show dates, visit www.georgestrait.com. For the latest country music news, be sure to log on to www.countryschatter.com, and follow us on Twitter @countryschatter.
( www.MusicChartsMagazine.com – YOUR ONE STOP “Worldwide” ALL MUSIC – ALL THE TIME – )
Album = Time To Get Right
Every day it becomes more and more apparent that country music just isn’t what it used to be. Some people refer to these changes as part of the ‘new wave of country music.’ I don’t care what they call it, I will never be able to even consider some of the newer sounds to be country.
Jessta James hails from North Dakota. The sound he is bringing to country music isn’t really new. And, while I believe it is his gimmick, or way of being noticed. It is no longer original. It has been done by Cowboy Troy, Colt Ford, Nappy Roots, The Lacs – and even country music superstars such as Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton. The sound I am talking about is rap music. They call it country/rap. I don’t believe you change the fact that it is rap music by putting the word country in front of it.
His bio tells us that his earliest musical influences were Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams Jr., and Johnny Cash. Somehow, I find that very hard to believe. If those were his musical influences, I would really like to ask him why the music he is putting out music that sounds more like he was influenced by MC Hammer, Eminem, and Snoop Dog.
The first song I listened to from Jessta was titled “If That Ain’t Country.” I don’t mind telling him, but that definitely ‘ain’t country’. Rap music is rap music. Country music is country music. That is the way it is, and that is the way it will always be.
Jessta’s debut album will be released on May 21. It’s called “Time To Get Right.” Given the path country music is taking these days, I am sure that Jessta will find himself with a lot of devoted fans, and a lot of people will be out there buying his album. I, however, will not be one of them. He is a good looking kid, with what seems to be a good singing voice. The biggest problem I have with him is that he isn’t using that voice to sing.
The second Jessta song I heard was called “Cowgirl Boots”. This one still had far too much rap for me, but there were parts where you actually do get to hear him sing. So now that we can tell he actually does know how to sing, I guess the question that remains is, why doesn’t he? The rap is obviously what has been opening doors for him, but I keep wondering why something that has been done before is still being accepted as new or original. It is not new or original, and above all, it is not country music.
I listened to “Ride On,” hoping that maybe I would find some real music somewhere in Jessta’s repertoire’. I didn’t. Still rap music. And, while I am sure there are a lot of people out there who will not agree with me, I just can’t understand how rap music is finding a place on country radio.
The only pleasant surprise I found was “Rock ‘n’ Roll Angel.” I don’t know who he is singing with on that song, but he needs to keep her. It is really a great duet. And, it is all singing. No rapping. Great vocals by both Jessta and his female duet partner. It is a good song, a good story, and was the only bright spot in my listening experience. This is probably the only Jessta James song I will remember, and is certainly the only one that I will listen to again.
Anyone interested in checking Jessta out, can listen to the songs I mentioned, along with “Better Man” and “Back in the Day,” by visiting his web site, http://www.jesstajames.com/, and clicking on the word ‘music’ at the top. His songs are available for purchase at iTunes and Amazon.
I’m not sure how many people think the way I do. I am a fan of traditional country music. I always will be. However, for those of you who enjoy everything that is coming out of Nashville today – there is your introduction to Jessta James.
Author = Country
Artist: Easton Corbin
Album: “All Over the Road“
Genre: Country Music
Easton Corbin’s sophomore album, “All Over the Road,” was released back in September, 2012. By this time, all of his fans know the songs “Lovin’ You is Fun” and the album’s title track, “All Over the Road.” These two songs were released as singles, and both did well both on radio, and on the country charts.
But there are nine additional songs on this new CD that Easton’s fans are going to want to know about. As you will see from the list of song titles and the writers for each song, Easton does more than sing on this new album. He had a hand in writing two of the songs.
The first and second tracks are his the two he’s already released, All Over the Road (Carson Chamberlain, Ashley Gorley, Wade Kriby); and Lovin’ You is Fun (Jim Beavers, Bob DiPiero). The nine that follow are That’s Gonna Leave a Memory (Tony Martin, Mark Nesler, Roger Springer); Hearts Drawn in the Sand (Michael White, Jason Saenz); Dance Real Slow (Carson Chamberlain, Ashley Gorley, Wade Kriby); A Thing for You (Easton Corbin, Carson Chamberlain, Tony Lane); Are You With Me (Tommy Lee James, Terry McBride, Shane McAnally); This Feels A Lot Like Love (Easton Corbin, Carson Chamberlain, Mark D. Sanders); Only A Girl (Carson Chamberlain, Wade Kirby, Will Nance); Tulsa, Texas Tony Lane, Mike Lane, David Lee); and I Think of You (Thom Shepherd, Jeff Silvey).
Since Easton first released “A Little More Country Than That,” back in 2009, people have been comparing his voice to George Strait. In fact, when hearing his debut single for the first time, a lot of folks thought it was actually an old George Strait song, and that George was singing it. While that is an easy comparison to make, you will hear a lot this new CD that is unmistakably Easton. “Only A Girl,” however, is the one on the new album that instantly reminds the listener of George.
“A Thing for You,” is one Easton had a hand in writing. It is one of my favorites on this album, with the kind of lyrics that make you want to listen, and not miss even one word. ‘Farmers farm and painters paint, God is good, and the devil ain’t… Summers hot and sidewalks crack, don’t ask me why it goes like that…” You’ve made your point, Easton, it just doesn’t get any more country than that.
“Are You With Me,” the albums sixth track, does slow things way down for listeners. I know country music fans pay a lot of attention to lyrics. I go to concerts, I hear them singing along. This is one I am sure they will play close attention to, and they will remember the words.
Things speed back up with “This Feels A Lot Like Love.” When that song starts, you are probably going to want to get out of your seat, start clapping your hands, and you will most likely want to sing along. It is the kind of song that works for Easton, and I believe it would make a good single.
The Florida native has a lot to say in this album. He has a good mix of strong ballads and more than likeable mid-tempo music. Whoever put the songs in order for the CD ended with “I Think of You.” This slow song with its romantic lyrics definitely made it the right song for the final spot on the album.
Even though is first single made it to No. 1 on the country music charts, he seems to have a more confident sound now than when his career first began. He has definitely found his place in country music, and it looks like he will be part of the industry for many years to come.
If you haven’t had an opportunity to see Easton in concert, you can keep up with his show schedule on his web site www.eastoncorbin.com. His web site will also point you in the direction of his facebook and Twitter account. Whenever you have time to catch up on country music news, visit us at www.countryschatter.com.
Author: Country of Country’s Chatter – www.CountrysChatter.com
Music Charts Magazine Album & Artist Reviews 2013
Real country music in our own back yard
Great country music doesn’t only come out of Nashville. If you stop and look around, you just might find some of the best country music within an hour drive from home. Here in Northeast Tennessee, we didn’t have to go very far to find James Meadows. He recently released his second album, “Keepin’ It Real.” I first met James at the Washington County Fair, but never had the opportunity to see him perform until I caught one of his shows in Bristol, a few months ago.
The Abingdon, Va., resident is an ASCAP affiliated singer/songwriter and Nashville recording artist. While James was in college, he was involved with the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music program. He played in many bands, featuring top notch talent from all over the world. He also played in many different band combinations, performing both bluegrass and country.
This very talented local artist brings great country music to Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia with live shows just about every weekend. While his shows are often acoustic performances, he also works with his full band, The Country Mile Drifters. James is a fun performer. He has a lot of energy, and knows how to work with his audience, making it impossible for anyone not to have a good time.
His new CD, “Keepin’ It Real” is now available at amazon.com. The 11 songs on the new album paint a very good picture of who James is, and exactly what he does. Joining other very talented songwriters, James wrote or co-wrote several of the songs on the CD. In addition to the original music, listeners will also hear his version of the Randy Travis classic, “Forever and Ever Amen.”
His live shows offer a variety of music from many different genres. When you see James on on stage, you can expect to hear Classic Country, New Top 40 Country, a little Southern Rock and Bluegrass, and some of his original music as well. Oh his album, “Keepin’ It Real,” however, James does just that. He keeps his songs ‘real’ country. His voice is very versatile, and he uses his talent to create a unique sound on every song he sings. Many times when listening to a new song on the radio, you might find yourself trying to figure out exactly who the artist sounds like. There isn’t any comparison with James. James Meadows sounds like James Meadows. He is who he is, and there is no attempt at wanting to sound like anyone else. He doesn’t need to. After you hear him sing for the first time, you will remember where that voice is coming from when the next James Meadows song is played.
The songs you’ll get on this album are Like A Radio, Somebody Up There Likes Me, I Get to, Forever and Ever Amen, All I Ever Wanted, Knock Knock, They Walk On Your Heart, Keepin’ It Real, Feelin’ Good, Sad Songs Make Me Smile, and People Need People.
There is something for everyone on this CD. “All I Ever Wanted” is for the romantics; “They Walk on Your Heart” will touch every parent; “I Get To” will make each of us think about what is really important in our life; “People Need People” pretty much tells us what we already know, about getting through every day with someone close by to help us; and “Somebody Up There Likes Me” wins the prize for the ‘catchy melody, sing-along with this one’ song out of the 11 on the new CD.
The first single release from the new album, “Like A Radio,” made the Music Row Charts and charted in the Top 80 in February, with the help of the promotional team from ATP Records in Nashville. James is currently gearing up to release another single from this album and he is songwriting again in preparation for another album that will be in the works over the next few months.
James has shows scheduled for Davinci’s in Abingdon, Va.; Louie’s in Glade Spring, Va.; The Country Club and State Line Bar and Grill, both located in Bristol; and Sportsman Marina in Abingdon. You can find out more about James, check all of his show dates, and listen to his music at jamesmeadows.net.
Music Charts Magazine CD Reviews ( Country )