Wednesday, November 4, 2015

CD Review: New Releases From Top Singer/Songwriters In Country, Bluegrass And Americana Music

Country legend T.G. Sheppard is celebrating 40 years in country music with a new album "Legendary Friends & Country Duets." Sheppard invites some of the biggest names in country music to lend him a hand on this latest release. Sheppard himself has topped the country music charts 21 times and is looking to recapture that glory with this amazing new release. The new 14-song album begins with wonderful harmonies of The Oak Ridge Boys on the classic country swing of "Down On My Knees." Music icon Jerry Lee Lewis performs on Sheppard's tribute to "The Killer" as the song has a great rock vibe. Sheppard and Conway Twitty team up on the gospel standard "Why Me Lord" as their voices together can conquer all. The up-tempo "Fifteen Rounds With Jose Cuervo" has a Latin flair with Delbert McClinton & Steve Cropper joining in on the fun. Sheppard touches your heart with the gentle ballad "The Next One," featuring a duet with the lovely Lorrie Morgan. The late George Jones appears on the country-rocker "It's A Man Thing" and the ageless Willie Nelson helps Sheppard pay tribute to his home state with "In Texas." The album closes with the beautiful and emotional "If You Knew" with help from Ricky Skaggs & The Whites. To find out more about T.G. Sheppard and his latest release "Legendary Friends & Country Duets," please visit his website at

Country music's newest sensation is Texas singer/songwriter Madelyn Victoria. Her new single "He Only Loves Me On The Dance Floor" is quickly rising up the country music singles chart as she prepares to release her debut self-titled EP. The new five song release begins with the mature country swing of "Hold On" as her voice is so rich and smoothing. She takes a trip back to the early days of country with the Pasty Cline-like delivery of "Breaking My Heart Again." Her single "He Only Loves Me On The Dance Floor" is pure gold as it has the perfect rhythm to grab your favorite girl or guy and hold them in your arms as you sway to the music. She closes the short five-song release with more country magic with the slow country-blues sway of "Sand In A Bottle." Madelyn Victoria is in the process of lining up a tour for December. Check out her Facebook page at for more information on this rising country star.

From Chicago comes the self-titled debut album from singer/songwriter Jared Rabin. He is no stranger to the stage, being in and out of bands over the last ten years, but hearing him perform these nine new original tunes makes you take notice of this rising country artist. He starts off the album with the bluegrass appeal of "Something Left To Say" as his voice lays the groundwork for this up-tempo number. He plugs in for the country rocker "Eight Trips Around The Sun," before slowing down for the gentle acoustic delivery of "I Remember Last December." He tells us the story of "Old Man In The Rain," which showcases his talents for songwriting, before returning to the bluegrass romp of "Nothing I Can Do." The album closes with the exciting pop/rock mastery of "Riding The Wheel" as Jared shows his love for many different music genres. To find out more about Jared Rabin, please visit his Facebook page at

One of the top bluegrass bands today is the Steep Canyon Rangers. Their latest album "Radio" topped the bluegrass charts and they are currently opening for the legendary Steve Martin and Martin Short on the duo's current tour. The album was released back in August on Rounder Records and is almost a guarantee to be nominated for a Grammy award. The new twelve-song release begins with the title-song, "Radio" as they push the boundaries of traditional bluegrass music with this up-tempo gem. They deliver another hit with the country backdrop of "Diamonds In The Dust" and showcase the wonderful harmonizing vocals of "Blow Me Away." They sing their way into your heart with the soulful ballad "Blue Velvet Rain," before picking the pace up with the quick strumming instrumental "Looking Glass." The album's latest single "Break" is pure bluegrass gold with producer Jerry Douglas on dobro along with husband and wife, Woody Platt and Shannon Whitworth singing duet. The album finishes with the up-tempo country swing of "When The Well Runs Dry" and the deep meaning of "Monumental Fool." Steep Canyon Rangers will be performing next shows at The Ryan Center at the University of Rhode Island and at the Toyota Present the Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, CT. For a complete list of concert dates and to find out more about their new album "Radio," please visit

Singer/songwriter Joshua Radin is currently touring behind his latest album "Onward And Sideways" and he will be performing at Infinity Hall in Hartford, CT on November 5th. His album was released back in January where it cracked the top 50 on the Billboard Album chart and hit #3 on the indie album and folk album charts. His voice has an innocent quality to it as in the Americana rhythm of "Belong." Sheryl Crow lends a hand on the acoustic strumming of "Beautiful Day" as her voice harmonizes perfectly with Radin's. He touches your heart with the wonderfully gentle appeal of "Away We Go" and delivers a heartfelt tribute with "Old Friend," before closing with what is sure to be one of the top wedding songs for years to come, "My Baby." For a complete list of tour dates for Joshua Radin and for more information on his latest album "Onward And Sideways," please visit his website at

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