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Country CDs for
Summer 2001

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Country and Western

    POSTED 26 JULY 2001

    "Mountain Soul" Patty Loveless
    ...available here.
    Those who have followed Patty Loveless's career know that the Kentucky-born singer has always had a soft spot for bluegrass. Not only has she collaborated with the likes of Ralph Stanley and Ricky Skaggs, but she's also dropped a bluegrass tune on her own records here and there. Now she delivers a full album's worth of acoustic "roots country" that stands as one of the best albums of her career, not to mention one of the year's best in the genre.

    Listen to "Someone I Used to Know."
    ...available here.

    "I'm Already There" Lonestar
    ...available here.
    Thanks to 1999's "Lonely Grill" and its megahit power ballad "Amazed," this foursome became one of the biggest names on the current country landscape. Their new effort is again packed to the gills with catchy hooks, but this time out, the sound has even more of a soft-rock feel to it. With a mix of energetic ditties and big ballads, Lonestar don't break much new ground, which should please the faithful. But please explain again how this is a country album?
    Listen to "Unusually Unusual."
    ...available here.

    "This is BR549" BR549
    ...available here.
    They may have heaved the hyphen, but the neo-traditionalist quintet BR549 still offer an infectious mix of honky-tonk, hillbilly swing, and twangy rock. Their first album for Sony's Lucky Dog imprint builds on previous efforts with a bit more diversity and nuance, but for the most part it's still just straight-up classic country performed by a band who truly loves to play it. It won't win any awards for ingenuity, but it does make for rather enjoyable listening.

    Listen to "The Price of Love."
    ...available here.

    More new releases: * Lila McCann, "Complete"
    ...available here.
    * The Del McCoury Band, "Del and the Boys"
    ...available here.
    * Lee Roy Parnell, "Tell the Truth"
    ...available here.

    See more new releases
    ... here.

    TWO FROM TEXAS

    Ray Wylie Hubbard, "Eternal and Lowdown" The veteran singer-songwriter continues his impressive resurgence with "Eternal and Lowdown," an album that looks to the blues for its inspiration and offers another sterling set of thoughtful original songs.
    ...available here.

    Radney Foster, "Are You Ready for the Big Show?" Recorded live at Austin's Continental Club, "Are You Ready for the Big Show?" mixes old Foster favorites with a handful of new songs.
    ...available here.

    FROM THE VAULTS

    Bob Wills, "Boot Heel Drag: The MGM Years" When Western swing wizard Bob Wills left Columbia for MGM in 1947, his peak years may have been behind him, but as this double-disc collection proves, Wills and crew still had plenty of exciting music left in 'em.
    ...available here.

    More recent reissues: * Marty Robbins, "Live Classics"
    ...available here.
    * The Monroe Brothers, "Just a Song of Old Kentucky"
    ...available here.
    * "Truck Driver's Boogie: Big Rig Hits, 1939-1969"
    ...available here.

    DOWN THE ROAD APIECE

    Welch returns with her much-anticipated follow-up to 1998's "Hell Among the Yearlings"; once again she delivers a subdued but sublime effort.
    ...available here.
    "Down From the Mountain: Live Concert Performances by the Artists & Musicians of O Brother, Where Art Thou?" Various Artists
    ...available here.
    Capitalizing on the amazing and unlikely success of the "O Brother" soundtrack, this disc of live performances by some of the "O Brother" artists, recorded at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, is the companion soundtrack for D.A. Pennebaker's concert documentary.

    POSTED 1 JULY 2001

    "Essence" Lucinda Williams
    ...available here.
    Williams's poignant and personal new album is mellower and more introspective than 1998's "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road," but even more affecting. She turns her gaze inward and delivers a mesmerizing, emotion-rich vocal performance that is simultaneously beautiful and haunting. Listen to "Lonely Girls."
    ...available here.
    Read more
    ...available here.

    "Rainbow Connection" Willie Nelson
    ...available here.
    Originally intended to be a children's CD, "Rainbow Connection" wound up being a "family CD" with songs ranging from kiddie play-time favorites to country boogies to deep blues. The recordings have a pared-down, rather informal nature, which, in the case of Nelson, isn't a bad thing at all. Listen to "Rainbow Connection."
    ...here.
    Read more
    ...here.

    "Inside Out" Trisha Yearwood
    ...available here.
    The Georgia-born belter delivers another antidote to the increasingly youth-focused Nashville pipeline. Guests here range from Vince Gill to Don Henley to Rosanne Cash as Yearwood straddles the line between country and adult-contemporary music. Listen to "I Would've Loved You Anyway."
    ...here.
    Read more
    ...here.

    "Part II" Brad Paisley
    ...available here.
    Brad Paisley's sophomore effort is another triumph for the West Virginia traditionalist. With a mix of lively honky-tonk and touching balladry, Paisley proves again that he's one of the most talented and tradition-minded mainstreamers around. Listen to "Two Feet of Topsoil."
    ...here.
    Read more
    ...here.

    "Time* Sex* Love*" Mary Chapin Carpenter
    ...available here.
    After a considerable songwriting hiatus, Mary Chapin Carpenter ventured to London to record her first album of new material in five years. Once again, the Jersey girl shows an affinity for classic pop melodies and an ability to marry those melodies to lyrical substance. Listen to "Simple Life."
    ...here.
    Read more
    ...here.

    O SISTER, WHERE ART THOU?

    "Songcatcher" Soundtrack An impressive array of female country artists--including Rosanne Cash, Iris DeMent, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, Sara Evans, Allison Moorer, and Patty Loveless--look to traditional mountain music for inspiration. Read more
    ...here.

    BLUEGRASS BEAUTY

    Rhonda Vincent, "Storm Still Rages" The International Bluegrass Music Association's reigning Female Vocalist of the Year returns with a superb collection of new songs and covers of classic country and bluegrass material. Read more
    ...here.

    WELCOME BACK

    K.T. Oslin, "Live Close By, Visit Often" Produced by the Mavericks' Raul Malo, Oslin's first record in five years is a stylish blend of new Oslin originals and pop standards. Read more
    ...here.

    HARD-COUNTRY HEART

    Jim Lauderdale, "The Other Sessions" Jim Lauderdale returns to his beloved hard-core honky-tonk on another solid set of Bakersfield-style Lauderdale originals drenched in fiddle and pedal steel. Read more
    ...available here.

    COUNTRY COMEDY

    "Roy D. Mercer vs. Yankees" The one and only Roy "Dadgum" Mercer sets his sights on those pesky Northerners on his brand-new collection of crank-call craziness. Read more
    ...here.

    DOWN THE ROAD APIECE

    "I'm Already There" Lonestar
    ...available here.
    The title ballad to Lonestar's forthcoming album has already pierced the country Top 5.

    "Mountain Soul" Patty Loveless
    ...available here.
    This time, the Kentucky girl delivers a wonderful all-bluegrass album.

    IN MEMORIAM

    John Hartford Most obituaries included the words "Gentle on My Mind" in the first paragraph--if not the first sentence--but it would be a shame if John Hartford was merely remembered for writing Glen Campbell's classic country hit. Hartford, who succumbed to cancer on June 4 at age 63, was a talented banjo player and fiddler who brought a unique vision to his beloved bluegrass and old-time music, deftly blending sincerity with silliness and sardonicism like few others could.
    See all John Hartford recordings
    ...available here.

Editor, Marc Greilsamer, © 2001, amazon.com and ncdn associate...
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    Listen to "Blood Is Thicker Than Water."
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    "Fast Girl"
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    Steve Ripley's Oklahoma country-boogie band resurfaces on Audium with their first new album in nearly three years. Though the band has become more of a Ripley and friends affair rather than a constant quintet, the Tulsa-style tunes will sound awfully familiar. Leon Russell, James Burton, and Sam Bush are among the many musicians who add to the fun.

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    ...more here.

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    Read more

    ...more here.

    DOWN THE ROAD APIECE

    "Anthology: The Warner-Reprise Years"
    Emmylou Harris
    ...more here.

    This two-disc retrospective follows the revered artist from her early country-rock stylings through her many various incarnations.

    "Sacred Hearts And Fallen Angels: The..."
    Gram Parsons
    ...more here.

    The work of Harris's mentor and alt-country's forefather is explored on his own double-disc collection.

    "Carrying on"
    Montgomery Gentry
    ...more here.

    The rocking country twosome return with their second release, one of the most anticipated of the spring.

    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

    Jessica Andrews
    Young Jessica Andrews is fast on her way to country stardom, propelled largely by her self-confident "Who I Am" from her sophomore CD of the same title. At Amazon.com, you can download two versions for free, including an exclusive nonalbum acoustic reading.
    "Who I Am" (CD version) download
    ...more here.

    "Who I Am" (exclusive acoustic version) download
    ...more here.

    Go to all Country downloads
    ...more here.

    Amazon.com Music now features used and collectible CDs on detail pages for new items. You'll find a box on the detail page for any CD offered by a Marketplace seller. With each listing, we offer the name and a rating for each seller to help you make informed purchasing decisions, and all these items are Amazon.com Payments enabled, so you can safely and securely purchase them with a credit card. Our used inventory has grown dramatically, so visit Amazon.com Music and explore.
    ...more here.

    You'll find more great music, articles, and interviews in Amazon.com's Country Music section.
    ...more here.


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Marc Greilsamer, Editor; reviews excerpted are © 2001 amazon.com & associate ncdn and CDnow, TowerRecords, Barnes & Nobel associates