During one of his many tours in Europe, Dave was playing an acoustic set at a Country Festival in Holland when he was approached by Starsound Records to record for them in Holland using musicians, studio and a production team there. He returned to the UK, wrote 13 songs, returned to Oss, Holland and this is the result. Its country through and through, with a lovely country sound featuring fiddle, steel guitar, mandolin and guitars. Dutch session singer Doreen is the female voice included and she also shares the song “End in tears” as a bonus duet. That song is also included as a solo song from Dave with a punchier tempo and different mix. The songs cover a wide spectrum of emotions, broken hearts, lost love, loneliness and even death, but its not all doom and gloom. The Cd opens with the bright up-tempo song about the merits of “My Friend Jack (Daniels)” and follows with a shuffle “Take me for who I am” with great fiddle, steel and walking bass. “From Where I Stand” and “Mama Said” add a touch of western swing, while the lovely “Perfume and Roses” is a waltz. The mix of these tempos and lovely well written ballads give the Cd a great variety is country styling. Dave’s voice shines across the album and gives the songs more credence. Should be among the awards this year as this is one of his best Cds to date. It is only available by mail order from Dave, at his gigs or on his web site www.davesheriff.com
OTHER SONGS:-All alone in Limburg-Keep it country-Kristina’s smile-Song for the everyday man-One of the best-You can do better than that-

Endlessly - Merv & Maria / Stubby / Darren Busby / Speed Limit RAYMOND THE TRIBUTE M J Music Records MJMCD0402
If you are a Raymond Frogatt fan you have the man himself singing these 14 songs. But then this is a sincere tribute to Raymond from these 4 artistes. They each sing 3 songs, then all sing “Always Goodbye” while producer Wayne Golden plays an instrumental version of “Charlie” to close (nice touch). “I Ride a Horse” “Wings on my Heels” and “White Pearl Handled Gun” are sung by Stubby, Speed Limit perform “All because of you” “Charlie” and “Roly”, Darren Busby sings “Belle of the ball” “Somewhere Under the Sun” and “Maybe the Angels” and Merv & Maria take on “Everybody Falls in Love” “You’re a million miles away” and “Don’t let me Cry again”. The song arrangements here are slightly different from the originals, giving all the songs a fresh new appeal that never overshadows the song. All the artistes give of their vocal best and with the musicianship and production of the highest standard the album blows new life into some of Raymond’s best and more popular songs. Wayne Golden produces, plays all guitars, synths and programming as well as arranging the music and even singing harmony. Scott Newstead plays piano & keyboards, David Duffy fiddle and Jimmy Martin steel guitar while Merv and Maria also sing vocal harmony. This is a worthy addition to any collection, even if you have all the originals, and if you haven’t then this is a must. Its available from each of the artistes at their gigs, or direct on the web from www.mjmusicshop.co.uk or by telephone from 01553 617 546 between 9am and 4.30pm priced £10.00 plus £1.00 p&p.

Perthshire based Bob and the band Branded Country release their first CD which was recorded in Perth. It’s a collection of songs written by band members with some covers added to give the CD 16 tracks (52 minutes plus). Dealing with the 7 covers first, they include John Prine’s “The Broken Speed of the Sound of Loneliness”, Newbury’s “Why You Been gone so Long” Lefty’s “That’s the way love goes” Carl Jackson’s “Flower in the desert”, “One night at a time” (Roger Cook), Tom Russell’s “Walking on the moon” and Haggard’s “Mama Tried”. All the covers stay true to the originals except in tempo at times. The 9 new songs come mainly from the band members. Les Barr writes the title track (and sings the last verse & chorus), as well as “This feeling in my heart” “You Loving me” “More that a goodnight kiss” and also plays acoustic guitar and sings, while his brother Alex Barr writes one song “Sweet and Tender Love”. John Ford writes 3 songs, “Doubled up my Heartbeat” “Some Hearts get all the breaks” and “Hurt Keeps coming Back” as well as playing acoustic, lead and bass guitars, dobro, mandolin and singing harmony. Drummer Donny Coutts also sings harmony and Davie Stewart plays piano and accordion while Diane Mearns plays keyboards and engineers the sessions. The final song “Don’t Cry Big Girl” is a co-write by Bob with wife Barbara and Alex Birnie. There’s great variety across the 16 songs with a good mix of popular songs and new material. Its radio friendly and should receive plenty of air-play on local stations. Obviously they perform most, if not all, of these songs “live” and on the strength of their popularity rests their sales. Their web addresses for more details and sales are:-www.brandedcountry.com

Johnny Horton

Johnny started singing in 1950 and signed his first recording contract in 1951, became a member on the Louisiana Hayride in 52, joined Mercury Records in 1954 and Columbia in 1955.His first hit “Honky Tonk Man” was in 1956 (yes the same one later done by Dwight Yokham), then “Springtime in Alaska” & “Battle of New Orleans” in 59, “Sink the Bismarck” and “North to Alaska” in 1960. Both New Orleans and North to Alaska were million sellers and assured Johnny international success. However his death in a car smash in November 1960, at the age of 35, ended his 10 year career. This CD does not hold any of the above songs, as it features his early recordings during 51, 52 and 53. The 1951 recordings were for Abbott and recorded in California. The 1952 songs come from sessions in Nashville, Dallas and Fort Worth for Mercury . 17 of the 25 songs ( which runs for over an hour) were written by him and “Done Rovin” and “Shadows of the Old Bayou” are a sample of the honky-tonk style he was to make his own in later years on Columbia. Before his hits, he did delve into rockabilly with songs like “Two Red Lips” and “Warm Red Wine” “Broken Hearted Gypsy” “Move Down the Line” and “Tennessee Jive”. He displays his song writing skill and ballad delivery best on “Words” “All for the Love of a Girl” and “The Mansion You Stole” and you should note “The Child’s Side of Life” from 1952. This is for the country music fan who likes his / her country with that 50’s country sound that was to sadly disappear at the turn of that decade. Certainly a joy to listen to again and relive the sound and songs from the early 50’s, from one of the better singers and hitmakers from that period. Check www.bacm.users.btopenworld.com for this, their catalogue and more of the same, or you can order direct by telephone at 01304 205000
.OTHER SONGS:- Plaid & calico-Coal Smoke valve oil and steam-Mean mean son of a gun-Devilish love light-Talk Gobbler talk-In my home in Shelby County-Barefoot boy blues-On the banks of the beautiful Nile-It’s a long rocky road-Bawlin’Baby-Someone’s rockin my broken heat-Rhythm in my baby’s walk-First train headin south-S.S.Lureline-I won’t forget.

.In September 2003 Sheb Wooley died aged 82 and his passing was hardly noted out-with country music circles. A prolific songwriter, singer, performer and actor, he left many memorable songs, recordings andmovies behind. Best remembered for his pop hit “Purple People Eater” (1959) and his country No 1 “That’s my Pa”(1962) he is also remembered with great fondest as his alter ego “Ben Colder”, the comedy performer. He also appeared in many movies, his most notable being Giant, Distant Drums, Johnny Guitar, High Noon and 30 more. (He was the lone cowboy in the opening long shot in “High Noon” where he played drunken gunfighter Ben Miller). He also appeared in 105 episodes of “Rawhide”. He started recording in 1945 for Bullet Records (one track included here) and signed to MGM Records in 1948 (2 songs from his first session included). The remaining 23 songs come from sessions for MGM recorded in Hollywood, California during 1950, 51 52 , 53 and 54. (Sadly no other recording details are available, production, musicians etc.). All the songs are written by Sheb (except “Mule Boogie”) and include such novelty titles as “You’re the cat’s meow” “Hoot Owl Boogie” “Down in the Toolies” “Panama Pete” “38-24-35” “Rover Scoot Over “ and “Freight Train Cinders in my Eyes” He sings well throughout but shines on the ballads like “Air Castles” “I’ll return the letters” “Knew I Had lost” “A Fool about You” and “Blue Guitar”. Another trip down memory lane with 26 songs and you should check www.bacm.users.btopenworld.com for this, their catalogue and more of the same, or you can order direct by telephone at 01304 205000
.OTHER SONGS:-Oklahoma Honky Tonk Girl-Wha’ happen to me baby-Over the barrel-Country Kisses-You never can tell-A cowboy ought to be single-Don’t stop kissing me tonight-Texas Tango-Love is just another merry-go-round-White Lightning - I go outa my mind -I flipped - Hillbilly Mambo.

When you speak of Mary Chapin Carpenter you are talking talent, quality, perfection, and other outstanding adjectives that conjure up a singer songwriter at the top of her profession and then some. Her acoustic, almost folksy based, country music lends itself to the modern sound. However when she adds the fiddle, bass and steel guitar along with piano and guitars, even a synth here and there, it all fits along side the best of what country radio is playing in the USA today. Co-producer with Mary is Matt Rollings who also plays keyboards, while Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Dean Parks on electric guitar, Chad Crowell on drums, Glenn Worf on bass ( guest bassist on 2 songs Victor Krauss), dobro from Rob Ickes, mandolin from Tim O’Brien, and the ever present John Jennings on acoustic guitar make up the fine array of musicians on this great CD. Background vocalists throughout are Garrison Starr and Mac Macanally. The songs have a graceful feel and her voice is even wistful at times with a gentle sway that envelops you and draws you in. It has a melancholic theme in the songs “Goodnight America”, “Between here & gone” “Elysium” and “the Shelter of storms”. You will enjoy this one late night with a mellow feel about you, don’t expect Down at the Twist & Shout, Passionate Kisses et al, this is not for dancing, just enjoying at a leisurely pace. Outstanding, as one expects from Mary
.OTHER SONGS:-What would you say to me-Luna’s gone-My Heaven- One small heart-Beautiful racket-Girls like me-River-Grand Central Station.

Texan singer songwriter Trent Willmon writes and co-writes 8 of the 11 songs on this his debut on Columbia. Already he’s scored with 2 hit singles “Beer Man” and “Dixie Rose Deluxe’s Honky Tonk, Feed Store, Gun Shop, Used Car, Beer, Bait, BBQ, Barber Shop, Laundromat” ( both included here). This is solid stoned country and reminds me of early Mel McDaniel, Moe Bandy, Randy Travis and Ricky Skaggs around the early 80’s, when country sounded like it should and did for a while back then, when singers with good voices sang songs with real lyrics and were heard and not drowned out. This must surely lead the return to that era, and most welcome too, and it has the edge needed for today’s US radio. The songs have an autobiographical feel to them and some are even true, while the rest are believable. The musicians hold a tight sound with fiddle, steel, dobro, piano, bass, drums and guitars. Frank Rogers produces the whole deal with great feeling for the artiste and his songs. There’s ballads, rockers, shuffles, Texas two-step in fact all you would expect from a Saturday night out in a Texas dance hall. But most of all great songs from a singer with a great voice that must surely be with us for many years to come. Let’s hope this style doesn’t get swallowed up in the Nashville machine. An outstanding debut.
OTHER SONGS:-home sweet holiday inn-She don’t love me-The good stuff-Population 81-Medina Daydreaming-The wishing well-All day long-Every now and then-Here.

Crea has appeared at the Kentucky Opry, Jennifer’s American Theatre Branson, Silver City Opera House USA Theatre Branson, Louise Mandrell’s Theatre and Country Tonight Shows at Pigeon Forge and notched up over 200 performances ………….and she’s only 12 this year. She has a voice that’s sounds more mature than her years and remember others became stars at that age. The choice of songs are all winners with a “live” audience across America, and round the world, should Crea venture overseas. Let’s face it any 12 year-old girl in a cute outfit and pigtails singing “Stand By Your Man“, “Crazy“, “Sweet Dreams” and “Your Cheating Heart” would bring the roof down at any club or theatre. She does have a potential that could “do the business” in the years to come and should be encouraged. So in that vein the CD is well produced, musically faultless with good musicians giving their all. Crea need to rethink the songs, and sing only the comfortable ones she can carry with her voice. Look out for Crea in a few years time and I’ll bet you’ll notice the difference. Visit www.bsw-records.com for details.
OTHER SONGS:-Blue-Faded Love-Blame it on your heart-Walking after midnight-Heartaches-Love sick blues-I fall to pieces-You ain’t woman enough to take my man-She’s got you-Leaving on your mind

Mark has notched up a lot of platinum and gold since “Too Cold at Home” in 1989, 4 Platinum albums, 5 gold albums, 14 No. 1 Hit singles, an Horizon Award from the CMA and more. His career is on-going and while not with a major label, he shows the Nashville Bosses that he can still deliver the goods, in fact this is where “COUNTRY” is moving as far as I can see. His traditional country style places great reliance on the honky tonk feel, just like his earlier country albums, and if anyone can save the honky tonk it must be Mark. Top session players include Brent Mason, James Lowry and Jimmy Richey on guitars, Glen Worf on bass, Eddie Beyer drums, Paul Franklin steel and dobro, Larry Franklin fiddle, John Jarvis piano while Wes Hightower and John Wesley Ryles sing backup. Lee-Ann Womack guests on a revival of the Vern Gosdin hit “Would These Arms Be In Your Way”, one of the best ballads on this 15 song collection. Jimmy Richey produces the CD and co-write 5 of the songs, Kevin Fowler writes 2 “The Lord Loves The Drinkin Man” and “Beer Bait & Ammo” and top songwriters Jim McBride, Dean Miller (Roger’s son) Neal Coty, Ken Mellons, Shawn Colvin , Jim Collins, Bob Regan, Tony Martin and others add their names behind the great songs of drinking, heartbreak, cheating, broken love, and life in middle America. Mark also revives Roger Millers “You can’t do me this way”, and the classic Billy Joe Shaver theme “Honky Tonk Heroes” closes the CD, with Mark and an acoustic guitar. I’ve already played this Cd through twice, so excuse me while I have another listen to one of my favourite Cds this year. Check out www.viatonrecords.com for details & wwwmarkchesnut.com just for the hell of it.
OTHER SONGS:-Somebody save the honky tonk-I’m a saint-A hard secret to keep-What are we doing in love-Don’t ruin it for the rest of us-Mama’s house-Since you ain’t home-Think like a woman-Then we can all go home-My best drinkin.

Very impressive is how this Cd hit me, a four piece band from Norway singing 11 country songs with great style and commitment, (runs for 43 minutes). The 4 piece consists of Jorn Ronning the lead singer, and Oddbjorn Holla sings on 2 songs and between them they play the guitars. Halvor Hovden plays bass and Borgar Rouland drums and percussion. They have added steel guitar, banjo piano and other vocals, but the basic band sound remains. The songs are all top quality and the overall sound is enjoyable, with Jorn’s voice one of a few highlights on this CD. Ann Tayler writes five of the songs, two with Marc Sorrone. Christian Antblad and Tommy Denander co-write another three, the Darren Brown/Radney Foster ballad “Raining on Sunday” gets an airing and is the only ballad on the CD. I also liked their version of the Adam Ryan song “You didn’t hear it from me”. The catchy “Lean On Love” is from Thomas Enochsson and Odd Jarle Holm wrote “Indian Girl”. Many of their songs could appeal across the Atlantic and they reminded me at times of an early Poco or Eagles, with very close harmonies and instrumental arrangements particularly on “Indian Girl” “Out in the Country” and “Promise Me”. As I said it is an impressive album and should do well for the band. Its radio friendly songs should garner them much airplay and the Euro Charts are calling I’d say. Its available on the web at wwwcountrymusic.no or e-mail [email protected] for UK details
.OTHER SONGS:-Cadillac drive-Rock you-Sugar & pai-Light of my life-All again-I’m on my way.

After listening to the 5 songs written by Ann for the Boots Band (above) and being suitably impressed, I was looking forward to hearing more of the same on this CD, and I was not disappointed. 5 more self penned song, plus 1 co-write from Ann with OJ Holm who also wrote “Runaway Train”, and Christian Antblad (who also wrote for the Boots Band CD) writes the title “Home to Louisiana”. Patrik Ahim contributes “Walk the Line”. 4 covers are included to make up the 13 songs that run 41 minutes in total. The CD opens with 2 good time up tempo dance songs, and eases back with “Runaway Train” but the infectious Kasey Chambers and the fast paced “Home to Louisianna” bring back that good time feel. Great to hear the Wayne Kemp hit“Feelin’ Single Seein’ Double” again also the Keith Harling/Melba Montgomery song “Right in the Middle”. The album closes with the only ballad “Somewhere in my Broken Heart” the Billy Dean/Richard Leigh hit. Overall the production is tight, musicians excellent, and the arrangements carefully arranged to encase Ann’s lovely voice. Again it’s a country through and through album with a lovely leaning towards the easy-listening market.Its available on the web at wwwcountrymusic.no or email [email protected] for UK details.
OTHER SONGS:- Shining Star-1.2.3- We’re all gonna die someday-Another lovesong --I wonder-When tomorrow comes-Everything will be ok.

Ricky Dean first came to notice on the Country Hot Disc when his single “You Think You know Someone” charted back in 2003, his 2nd chart hit then (included here). Kentucky born Ricky now lives in Indiana and after meeting steel guitarist and producer Jim Vest, who recorded one song with him then, he landed a deal for this album. Vocally he reminds me of Vern Gosdin-Max D. Barnes and vocal talents in that vein. Like the title this 13 track 42 minute Cd has loads of country * country throughout. Its fiddle (David Russell) and steel guitar (Jim Vest & Tommy White) country produced by Jim who produced the album in Hendersonville, Tennessee, with a session band including the above plus guitars, bass, drums and piano, and a great tight country band sound throughout. The songs are from a list of top song writers including the afore-mentioned Gosdin, and Max D Barnes plus son Max Troy, Harlan Howard, Red Lane, David Chamberlain, Hank Cochran, Tom T Hall, Wayne Kemp, Buddy Cannon and others. There’s a great mix of ballads and up-tempo good- time country like “Muscle Car Man” “Hard to keep your head above water” “ Money talks” and the last tracks Me & Jesus. I liked his singles and love this album and can recommend it to any country fan. Visit www.bsw-records.com for details or E-mail [email protected]
.OTHER SONGS;-Can’t swim if you ain’t in the water-My one and only love-Afraid-Something sexy bout a southern drawl- How can I believe in you-I don’t take to pain-You’ll never hear the end of it.

I first heard the single “Circus Leaving Town” from this album on the Country Hot Disc when it arrived back in September and on 10th the single entered the chart AT No 1 and it’s still there on 5th November. That’s a measure of the songs on this album, although that song is from 1995 along with “Monkey Around” a bluesy classic written by Gary Nicholson, Benmont Tench and Delbert McClinton an ideal Tritt song. Travis reflecting about his youth on “I see me” and again on “We’ve had it all” co- written with Marty Stuart, are some of the best ballad performances I’ve heard him sing. “Small doses” is the nearest you’ll get to softly-softly waltz tempo on a Tritt album. Gretchen Wilson joins him vocally on “Too Far To Turn Around” singing backup on one of her songs while John Mellencamp duets on “What you say” a Frank Myers song with a thumping bass line. “Honky Tonk History”, “The Girls Gone Wild” “When Good Ol’ Boys Go bad” “ It’s all about the Money” and “When in Rome” are all Tritt “tear ‘em up rocking country” that Travis does so well and has made all his own. The 18 musicians, co- produced by Billy Jo Walker & Travis, reads like a who’s who of Nashville’s finest and I’m sure they all enjoyed the experience of contributing to this fine album as much as you will enjoy listening to it. Not for the faint-hearted, it comes with a kick as one expects from Travis

Mark Holt and Kimberlee Holt Tully do not really fit neatly into any specific label, and that is exactly how they want it to be. However, they do have a very western and bluegrass sound to their music. This brother and sister team recently released their debut album, produced by Bil Vorn Dick, who has also worked with Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton & others. It’s unusual in many ways, like did you every think you would hear a bluegrass version of the Marty Robbins song “El Paso City” or an acoustic nearly bluegrass version of Charlie Rich’s “Rollin with the Flow” or even “Why Me Lord” the Kristofferson classic? Well they are all here and yes they do work on a CD that pleasing to the ear. Musically its different, exciting, outstanding and original in more ways than one. Stuart Duncan plays fiddle & mandolin, Mark Fain bass, Randy Kohrs dobro, Scott Vestal banjo, Pete Huttinger acoustic guitars and Tim Tappan piano, BUT NOT ON ALL THE TRACKS. Kathy Chiavoli sings harmony vocal. Mark writes too and contributes “One last dance” “You’re in my arms to stay” and “All over now”. Their version of “Cattle Call” includes the yodelling, and Gregg Allman’s “Midnight Rider” sounds like a new song with outstanding banjo. The closing 2-song medley “Cowboy Up/Riding for America” was written by Mark & Kimberlee and features as an addition bonus track not recorded with the rest of the album, featuring acoustic guitars with lead from Bodie Dominguez who recorded this piece “raw & real”. The Sinatra Tribute of two Johnny Mercer songs “One more for the road” and “The way you look tonight” suggests a future album with possible great potential. Most enjoyable . You can contact dark [email protected] or [email protected] for more details

Steeped in the tradition of Texas singers songwriters Craig Dillingham is a country purist who has played with Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Wynn Stewart and Bob Wills. After hearing his rich baritone voice you will easily recognize his musical influences. Craig writes four songs himself plus four co-writes with Hank Cochran & Sonny Throckmorton and others. His first top 30 single "Just One More," is included here, a song written by country music legend George Jones which gave George a top 5 back in 1956. Then it was a Texas waltz, now a Texas shuffle. The 10th song is a 1963 Jack Clement classic “Not exactly what I had in mind” Craig sounds remarkable like his mentor Ray Price particularly on the opening song “She’ll be breaking someone’s heart in San Antonio”, and the Nelson styling comes across on “I wonder who’s missing you now”. This album also features the exquisite guitar playing of Joe Manuel who co-produces with Frank Liddle and Mike McCarthy. Hank Singer and Joe Spivey play fiddles, Steve Hinson steel guitar, Glenn Worf bass and Chad Crowell drums, with Joe & Craig on guitars, recorded in Nashville. Its alive with Texas styling and a great debut album, also the first release on Carnival Records. You can visit his web site www.craigdillingham.com for more details.
OTHER SONGS:-My hear is in the highway-Thirty years and a thousand miles away-Magic in the band-Call me sometime when you’ve been drinking-Somewhere between my heart and guitar strings-second time sun

DUALTONE RECORDS 80302-01192-215

The songs on this 12 tracks CD is exactly what the title says and it contains the music the Gatlin Brothers grew up on back in West Texas long before four decades of million selling songs and White House performances were still in the future for Larry and younger brothers Steve and Rudy. As they skilfully mastered the art of perfect family harmony on Sundays at the little home church back in Abilene, seeds were forever instilled in their music. Their early roots in gospel harmonies were evident no matter how often their hits crossed and into pop and country charts and it was obvious that this collection would join their catalogue at some point. They run the gamut vocally from acappella to the full orchestra arrangement with lovely musical arrangements throughout, featuring organ, piano, steel guitar, fiddle and other collectives of instruments, even a near bluegrass arrangement in a 2 song medley to close the CD. While the musical arrangements are wonderful, the voices soar above everything to bring the songs to life. As they say on the sleeves notes“…Our first heroes were Gospel singers…Yes, we have a great career singing country music and we’re truly thankful. But we are now, and always will be Gospel singers at heart.” www.dualtone.com/b2b is the place for details.NOTE:-Larry has recently been named a creative director for the new Gospel Music Channel, which launched in the US in October. He will host his own weekly program on the new channel.
SONGS:- Swing Down Sweet Chariot,-Sweet hour of prayer-Love lifted me-Amazing Grace-Do Lord-Rock Of Ages-It Is Well With My Soul-I'll Fly Away-In The Garden-Just A Closer Walk With Thee/What A Friend We Have In Jesus-Peace In The Valley/Whispering Hope-Victory In Jesus /Power In the Blood.