Friday, May 13, 2016

CD Review: Roots Music Comes Alive With Handful Of New Releases

American bluegrass artist Del McCoury has been performing music for over five decades and his band will be celebrating their 50th anniversary together next year. Their latest release features a dozen songs written by the late-great Woody Guthrie, with a bluegrass spin added to the music. The new album titled "Del And Woody" was released last month through McCoury Music/RED label. Beginning with "The New York Trains," Del's vocals are the perfect fit for Woody Guthrie's magical lyrics as the band provides the ideal setting on this opening track. The banjo gets a workout on the up-tempo swing of "Ain't A Gonna Do," before the nostalgic appeal of "Left In This World Alone" takes over. The harmonies of "The Government Road"give the song a classic, western feel, while "Dirty Overhalls" is pure fun, played at a quick-pace. The album finishes with the lyrical fun of "Hoecake Fritters," which sound delicious in this classic bluegrass sound. To find out more about "Del And Woody," please visit

From Ontario, Canada comes the new self-titled debut album from The Redhill Valleys. This trio create some exciting new music for country fans to absorb with this new twelve-song release. Beginning with the acoustic strumming of "Falling For You," The Redhill Valleys slowly introduce you to their great harmonies and modern country flair. They pick-up the tempo with the southern rock backdrop of "Can't Be Alone" before return to the gentle acoustics of "Wrong Way Turns Out Right," which is one of the band's earliest songs, while "When You're Gone" is about lost love. They pick the energy back up with the country blues/rock groove of "Ragged And Run Down" and "Mean Old Sally," before closing with the country-boogie guitar driven rocker "Burn It Down." To find out more about The Redhill Valleys and their latest self-titled release, please visit

Later this summer, we will see the debut album from California country band Dear County. The new release titled "Low Country" is the brainchild of singer/guitarists Mark W. Lynn and Arrica Rose. The two met while finding themselves performing live on the same night as a long distance relationship developed. Fast forward to this year and we get the new nine-song release from Dear County. The album builds with the slow country sway of "On And On" and the quiet soulful delivery of "Oh My Darlin." They pick up the tempo with the country-blues rocker "Spun" and follow with their swinging cover of Neil Young's "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere." The album wraps up with the gentle country/folk of "Ellenae." To find out more about Dear County and their latest release "Low Country," please visit

Next, from Seattle comes the debut album from Western Centuries titled "Weight Of The World." It will be released on June 3rd through Free Dirt Records and revisits the roots of country music. Beginning with the title song, you are introduced to this fine group of musicians that remind us of the foundation of modern country music. The tempo picks up with the two-step shuffle of "Double Or Nothing" and the classic, authentic feel of "Knocking'em Down." Their love for honky-tonk comes shining through on "Philosophers And Fools" and "In My Cups," before slowing down for the sing-along chorus of "Off The Shelf." The album finishes with the guitar-boogie of "The Long Game" and the country rocker "Rock Salt." To find out more about Western Centuries and their latest release "Weight Of The World," please visit their Facebook page at

From Asheville, NC comes the new release from country-roots-Americana band The Honeycutters titled "On The Ropes." It will be released on May 20 through Organic Records and continues their climb to nationwide stardom. The new album features thirteen tracks, beginning with the modern country swing of "On The Ropes" as lead singer Amanda Anne Platt demands your attention with her strong, smooth vocals as shown in "Blue Besides." The laid back tempo of "Golden Child" and "The Only Eyes" showcases the power in their lyrics as they paint the perfect picture with the combination of music and words. They pick the tempo up for the guitar-driven country rocker "Back Row" and the fun, bluegrass rhythm of "Let's Get Drunk." The album finishes up with the gentle, quiet touch of "Ache," an eight-minute countrified version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and the slow build of "Barmaid's Blues." To find out more about The Honeycutters and their latest release "On The Ropes," please visit

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