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New Music Reviews: Stuff We Like

Keep On Walkin'-The Grascals

Bluegrass isn't a genre of country music easily mastered by just anyone. You have to draw the listener into the song with a decent storyline and tune. The Grascals do just that with the CD, "Keep On Walkin'".

Each of the songs on this album do have a clear bluegrass ring to them while touching your soul. Songs like "Choices" and "Indiana" talk about easily identifiable images of the past. You find yourself bouncing along to "Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms", then cruising into "Can't You Hear That Whistle Blow", letting the active, precise picking taking you down that path every single step of the way. An interesting look at recent American History comes through the song, "Remembering", as Grascals' vocalist Jamie Johnston talks about what his grandpa did for his country. The sobriety of this tune is followed by the title track and a jamming drive forward called, "Happy Go Lucky".

Each of the 12 tunes on this album will offer the newest convert to bluegrass, as well as dyed in the wool afficiando, something they'll definitely appreciate.


Patriotic Country 3-Various Artists

Right around this time every year a lot of us think back to the things that brought us this far as a nation, as well as the things that still hold us together. July the Fourth brings out the red, white and blue in most of us. It's with that in mind the folks at MusicSpace.com released Patriotic Country 3. It's a pretty good assortment of the recent country classics the average cowgirl and cowboy patriot. The 17 songs include Lonestar's, "My Front Porch Looking In", Sugarland's, "Everyday America", Waylon Jennings song, "America", and the recent Travis Tritt & John Mellencamp hit, "What Say You." The other artists featured on this CD include Kenny Chesney, John Michael Montgomery, Martina McBride, Gretchen Wilson, Tracy Byrd, Diamond Rio, Neal McCoy, Kenny Rogers, Merle Haggard and The Strangers, Keni Thomas, LeAnn Rimes, Tracy Lawrence and Randy Travis. While that's an impressive lineup of talent, one of the important things about this CD is part of the proceeds of this go to Our Miltary Kids. All in all a good CD benefitting a great cause.

The High Notes-Ricky Skaggs

No doubt about it, Ricky Skaggs is a bluegrass icon that comes to mind each time you hear songs like, "Highway 40 Blues" and "Heartbroke". Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores is sponsoring the release of "The High Notes-Ricky Skaggs: A Collection of Hits from a Bluegrass Perspective". From the first song, "Crying My Heart Out Over You", to, "Somebody's Prayin'", this great 12 song collection of songs does make you think of the best in bluegrass. Take a trip across the Bluegrass Parkway from E-town to Lexington with Ricky singing, "Country Boy" and you'll remember why you became a country music fan in the first place.

Becky Schlegel-For All The World To See

The first haunting notes of Becky Schlegel's voice really take you to a different place most country artists can visit with their talent. Songs like "For All The World To See" and "Bound For Tennessee" ease you into an woman making important changes in her life while not changing her outlook. She takes you through struggles as in the songs, "I Need Your Love", and, "Lonely", gently with her lilting voice leading you down the path. Becky wrote all 11 songs on this CD. I definitely encourage anyone wanting to hear a genuine sample of true heartfelt Americana country straight from the South Dakota heartland to give "For All The World To See" a listen.

April 17, 2008 - 2007 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) Winners Announced

The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is pleased to announce its 2007 winners in what can only be called one of the best contests since the contest began. To find out if your favorite nominee won follow this link.