EVANGELINE ~ HARD WAY…evacd002
This 16 track follow up to “Beer Talking” continues where that CD left off and runs for over 55 minutes. Stephen Donnelly replaces Brian Thompson on lead guitar and also adds another mandolin to the bands line-up. This is a lovely country mixture of sounds, songs and tempos, following the traditional pattern with a modern feel. All the songs are combination co-writes from band members, with co-producer & band manager Willie Evans and John Naismith on 12 tracks, Billy Matthews on 4, George Adams on 3 more and Kris McEwan on another 3. Suzi Culbert guests on one song and the vocalists in the group share the songs. This is a great album that deserves great success with a load of radio friendly singles to keep the band on radio and at the forefront in their field for a long time to come. Its available from the band at www.evangeline.org.uk or at their gigs. SONGS :-A moment in time-Dirt track road-(Doing it the) Hard way-She's still a mystery-Hurtin' kind-You won't break me-Love ain't always pretty-Pictures of you-You (always on my mind)-If I could only have you-Heart of stone-Never saw it coming-Missing Mississippi-The Truth about us-Ain't coming back-Cowboy song.

BEST OF BRITISH COUNTRY 2004 --- VARIOUS ARTISTES ~ SILVER HEART RECORDS SH2004
Once again Silver Heart have released the Best Of British CD 2004, and include 21 songs that made the Country Hot Disc Chart during the last 12 months. All the artistes are currently part of the British Country Scene, some longer than they care to mention while some are new comers over the last year. Most of the songs are British compositions by the artistes themselves while some have chosen to cover older songs. The overall mix of songs shows the diversity still found in the music here and leaves one wondering why British Country is not fully supported by British Radio, but then that's another argument. This year the overall high quality is still maintained. Bernadette, Dave Sheriff and Rachael Warwick have 2 songs each while the remaining 15 artistes have one song each( and I am proud to be included with one song "Family Bible"). As a bonus you have the 4 nominated singles and 3 of the nominated songs of the year from the UK Radio Awards included (at no extra charge).The Cd is available from Silver Heart Records (www.hot disc.net) or from any of the artistes included at their gigs and all the usual outlets for British Country.
SONGS & ARTISTES :-Cindy's Breakdown (The Rosinators) - Patiently Waiting (Brett Buckland) -Mistake (Rachael Warwick)-Crazy (Graham Clark)-I'd Chose You Again (Bernadette)-Hello DJ (Henry Smith)-One of the best (Dave Sheriff) My Mistake (Dane Stevens)-Running Round in Circles (John Mc Cane)-Sweetheart Darling of Mine (Janey Kirk)-Family Bible (Gerry Ford)-Two Hearts (Blue Orchid )-Someone Loves You (Bernie Underwood)-Angel's Eyes (Tim Buppert)-You'll still be here Tomorrow (Bill Stewart)-Best of Friends (Dave Sheriff)-Highway 109 (Rachael Warwick)-Daddy Laid the Blues on me (Bernadette)-I think we've got it right (Clive John)-A Ways to go (Vanessa Barrett)She's on her way out (Dan Wesley).

KERR DONNELLY BAND ~ HOT OFF THE PRESSES..K.D.M.L RECORDS CD007
Country Rock-a-Billy is alive and well and safe in the hands of the UK's Kerr Donnelly Band. Acoustic, lead and bass guitars with drums and vocals recorded in a basic setting with a rawness not heard since the early 60's. All the songs have Kerr's name behind them and are written is the similar style to the era they represent. 5 of the songs are his own while another 5 are co-writes with Martin Holland and one with R. J. Hawkins. Kerr takes all the lead vocal and plays guitar while Martin plays lead & acoustic, Andy Purcell drums and percussion and they both add backing vocal and Lee Beddow plays bass and keyboards. If you like the rockabilly style (and quite a lot of country fans still do) then this is a must for you. You can check out their web pages at www.Kerr-Donnelly.countrymusic.co.uk where you can get all the details about all their recordings. SONGS :-Hot of the presses-I wonder if-Partying in the doghouse-Keeper of the key to my heart-Frightened -Darkness & shadows -That's the trouble with life - Valentine card - Spooky - Damage done-Pretty but deadly.

RATTLESNAKE ANNIE SINGS WILLIE NELSON RATTLESNAKE RECORDS RR1100
Here's a real country gem. The distinctive voice of Rattlesnake Annie McGowan cuts across this collection of Willie Nelson Classics like they were made for her to sing. One could record an album like this with overkill and include all the overworked songs like Crazy etc, but the thought-fullness of Annie saves the day. When did you last hear “Its not supposed to be that way” “My own peculiar way” “Shotgun Willie” “So Much to do” “I'm Falling in love” “Jimmy's Road” and “Healing hands of Time” on an album not by Willie Nelson. The backing runs from Annie on solo acoustic to the full band sound from an array of talented musicians. Willie joins Annie for their duet “Long Black Limousine” originally released on her “Country Livin album as a bonus track . This duet was recorded in Texas and features Willie on guitar along with Bobby Nelson on piano Lana Nelson on guitar, Johnny Gimble on fiddle and Roy Huskey bass. The bulk of the album was done in Nashville and includes Lloyd Green on steel & dobro on 2 songs, Mark Casstevens plays guitars and banjo and Mike Bub on bass. Annie produced the CD with great affection AND the approval of Willie. I wish that this was readily available to DJs in the UK as radio friendly is an understatement and maybe a UK visit should be on the cards for Annie if only to promote this outstanding tribute album. If you have any problems getting a copy, then just try her web site at www.rattlesnakeannie.com OTHER SONGS ;-Time of the Preacher- On the Road Again-Family Bible.

RUSTIE BLUE ~ CHIP CHIP CENTRE STAGE RECORDS…CSP0726
The single “Chip Chip” the duet with “Whispering” Bill Anderson and now the album title track, entered the Country Hot Disc chart in the top ten on the 5 th August last and reached No 4, staying on the charts until November. It was only prevented hitting Number 1 by heavy hitters Hank Jr, Redneck Woman and Troy Cook Jr. The album is 15 songs in the traditional country “steel-guitar and fiddles” mode and Rustie is certainly cooking on this outing. Whispering Bill gets a few more credits too, he co-writes the title track with Melba Montgomery “Tomorrow Night” with Deborah Allan, “When I remember You” with Sharon Vaughan and “Before I fall” with Kay Louvin. Becky Hobbs writes two songs with Don Goodman “The devil May Care” and “Do me a Favour” and the song “Down to the Letter” is a Billy Yates song. Judy Rodman writes “Clouds of Dust”, Bobby Adkins writes “Don't Come Crying” and Rustie co-writes “Honky Tonkin' Diva” with Mike Headrick who also writes one with Teri Headrick a tribute to Dolly Parton “Smokey Mountain Queen“. Can't say there's a bad song among the lot and they all suit the Rustie treatment. Mike Headrick leads the musicians playing steel, electric and acoustic guitars dobro and mandolin, engineers the sessions and produces the album apart from “Chip Chip” which was produced by Rex Schnelle. (This track will also featured in Bill Andersons forthcoming CD).The Cd closes with Rustie's version of the old Martha Carson gospel classic “Satisfied”. Overall a fine collection with great musicians, arrangements and production songs delivered with great sincerity. Connect with Rustie at www.rustieblue.com OTHER SONGS:- The same old who-Oh baby-Two left feet-

MARSHALL MADISON ~ REAL ROW RECORDS 8824-5-71801-2-8
If you are looking for a “pretty boy hat act” I am not your man said Marshall in a recent interview. “What I am is a realist who looks at life and translates the real emotions of real people in my song writing and singing”. Born in East Tennessee in Soddy Daisy, Marshall began writing songs before he entered his teens. To date he has more than 150 gongs added to his catalogue. This 12 song CD features 12 of his own songs, about life and love truckers, music and home. With his background in the trucking industry, Marshall has a special infinity with the big rig drivers that have already provided a fan base for his music. His tribute to the American trucker sells itself as a modem day national anthem for the trucker. The music is a stone country backing, fiddles, steel guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and guitars and the arrangements bring out the best of his voice which reminded me of Conway Twitty (his hero) at times. Well produced, the voice and songs are never covered and Marshall shines on the big ballads. Real is the album title and Marshall's songs are certainly about Real people and situations the are easily recognised by the everyday man. Totally enjoyable. He is on www.marshallmadison.com while the record company is at www.rownashville.com. SONGS;- Not pretty but real-Trucker's Anthem-Jackson, Mississippi-Lonely Home-Tear in my eye-She'll always be-Hairy Arm-Bill-Take me away-Why & How-Place of shattered dreams-Give up eternity

. LORRIE MORGAN ~ SHOW ME HOW IMAGE MUSIC GROUP…ID0609LO
One of the most outstanding voices in Country that seems to be there but never at the top and deserves to be at the top, is without doubt Lorrie Morgan. Fair to say she has had a chequered career in and out of country but when it comes to recording I don't think I have heard a bad album from her over the years. Once again she chooses songs the she delivers with great sincerity and an honesty not found too often. Its polished country with catchy songs like “Do you still wanna buy me that Drink (Frank)”, “Bombshell”, “Us Girls” and outstanding vocals on the great ballads like “Used” and “I can count on you”. There's an almost bluegrass backing to her own song “Charlie & Betty”. The 11 songs are an eclectic array of thoughts and feelings set to music and delivered by Lorrie with as much passion as she can muster. Musicians John Jarvis & Mitch Humphries guest on piano on one song, while guitarist Brent Mason guests on another. Producer Richard Landis plays el. piano, synthesizer percussion & bass on “The Wedding”. The band on the rest of the Cd includes Paul Leim drums/Dave Pomery bass/Larry Byrum acoustic guitar/Paul Franklin steel guitar/Aubrey Haney Fiddle & Mandolin and Chris Busjong bongos. Overall a great modern country album of 11 songs that includes her recent chart hit “Do you still wanna buy me that drink (Frank)”.Check out www.lorrie.com. OTHER SONGS:-Show me how-One less monkey-Another winter without you-Rocks

. RICOCHET ~ THE LIVE ALBUM COWTOWN RECORDS CT1118
This 5 piece was formed in 1995 and signed to Columbia Records and their 1 st self titled album went Gold following the successes of their 1 st two singles “What Do I Know” and “Daddy's Money”. They followed with two more successful albums in 1997 “Blink of an Eye” which included the hit single “Ease My Troubled Mind” and in 2000 “What You Leave behind”. Still touring and usually included as one of the top 5 Country bands annually they recorded this CD in Las Vegas over a 9 day stint there during December 2003 and produced by Van Mclain and the band. The show opens with “My Troubled Mind” and continues through "You Still Got It”,“What Do I Know”, “When Will I Be Loved” “Love Is Stronger Than Pride” “He Left a Lot to be Desired”, “Blink Of An Eye”, “Seven Bridges Road” “I Can't Dance”, “That's Love" and "Daddy's Money”. They add 3 new tracks for the enhanced CD “Feel like Falling” (their latest single), "That's Love" and "I Knew" and closes with their famous presentation of 'The Star Spangled Banner." This comes packaged with an enhanced CD showcasing the video of their new single "Feel like Falling” and up close interviews backstage with the band .There are no additional musicians included so what you hear is the band in a live setting and the final result is quite breath-taking. Great songs and I particularly liked their rocking version of the old Everley's Classic “When will be loved”. They present a slick polished performance that's modern country from a band that are still burning the road and I loved it all. Their web site address is www.ricochetonline.com OTHER SONGS :-Show me how-One less monkey-Another winter without you-Rocks.

BILLY DON BURNS HEROES, FRIENDS & OTHER TROUBLED SOULS…IndieMafiaRecords
.
Let me introduce this Cd to you using a quotation from the press release that came with it. It sums up the overall project in 2 sentences. Quote “…These are not your run of the mill, radio-friendly ditties written by some publisher-appointed committee in a cushy Nashville suite. Scan the titles: “Running drugs out of Mexico”, “Dark side of the spoon” “Full Blown Addict” - these are the often harrowing true-life experiences that have poured out on paper and on record, in a flood of nerve rattling, mind-bending emotion…”end quote. All the songs are written or co-written by Billy Don except “Give my Love to Rose” by Johnny Cash and his co-writers include Hank Cochran, Mack Vickery, Jeff Williams and Charlie Booth. As the CD was recorded at various times in different studios with a host of musicians and 6 producers including Billy Don, I'll not list them. Despite that the Cd has a flavour that runs through it, captured by the musicians and producers to give the whole album that quality sound. While Billy Don's voice is haunting the songs are the key on this one. Direct, no punches pulled and downright rude at times, the songs are from the heart and the depths of Billy's years. Tanya Tucker, Willie Nelson and Hank Cochran guest vocally, Don & Dale Reno guest on banjo & mandolin,& Willie also plays lead acoustic on one song.The bonus tracks are “Give my Love to Rose” and a radio edited version of Tired & Troubled Soldiers. Make no mistake this is an outstanding country album with great songs and like the PR says File under Americana/Roots Country Music. OTHER SONGS:-Mississippi (with Tanya)- I was there-Haggard & Hank-No Man's land-Sailin' down the Nile-Patsy (with Willie & Hank)-Keith Whitley Blues-Rock on.

CERRITO ~ LOVE ME FOREVER TODAY CHECO RECORDS CRD 34492
Here's another country star that was introduced to the European audiences via the Country Hot Disc back in August 2001.Since then he's had a string of singles that have all been great successes this side of the Atlantic. His last single “Stranger” with Janie Fricke made the top ten CHi Chart is September last and is included here as are the previous hits “Adios Mi Vida Adios” and “Table for Two”. This 12 song CD includes a Latin version of “Say that You Love Me” as a bonus track and there's also another duet with his sister Sally Ann as they alternate on “The Wild Side of Life”-“It wasn't God Who made Honky Tonk Angels” I liked the versions of the classic Eddy Arnold hit “I'll hold you in my heart” and the Hank Williams classic “I can't help it if I'm still in love with you”, in fact I liked the lot especially the use of trumpet to give that lovely Mexican sound. With the exception of “Say that you love me” and “Conga” (with a little Rock and Roll) the overall sound is best suited to a bottle of wine and late night relaxation. Most enjoyable fare from Cerrito who should seriously consider a visit if only for promotion as I'm sure he could have a great future in Europe. Lovely production and great musicianship from all involved in the 3 separate session and under 3 separate producers. Check out his web site at www.cerritoonline.com for more information and details. OTHER SONGS:-Love me forever today-Let's be lonely together-Johnny's Song (A House that stays lonesome everyday)

BUCKSWORTH ~ THE CAJON PASSAGES SILENT JOHN RECORDS…Silent 04-2
First off “The Cajon Pass” is a box canyon used by early settler's to gain entry through the mountains to California, before the railroads. Passages is about changes over the years and in the future, a movement, so Pass became passages and the Album Title was born. “Bucks worth” was originally a duo Mark Nemetz and Mark Cummings who came together in 1999 with a love of songs, music and friendship. Over the years they have expanded into various formations with additional players and made various recordings totalling 24 songs. Now in their latest formation its still the 2 Marks with Jason Schultz on drums and Kelly McGuire ( an artiste in her own right) on lap steel and guitars, percussion and producing this album. Mark Nemetz is also the songwriter who writes the package (except Crystal Chandeliers & Burgundy written by Jack Routh).It's a story in song of a mythical journey through the “Grapes Of Wrath”. They add lead guitar stand-up bass and harmonica and some vocal backing but its basically the band line-up you hear. it's a crafty recording,not too country but not too rocky either falling nicely into that slot Americana which embodies various styles of music never clearly defined. Its all about the songs and Nemetz's voice has a roughness I haven' heard since early Kristofferson. Its 30 minutes long with 8 tracks but worthy of a listen. Not for your fiddles and steel guitar country fan, more your alternate. Could do well on radio as the individual songs stand well alone. www.bucksworth.rwin.nl is their site while more info is via e-mail [email protected] OTHER SONGS:-Kick the rails-Thank you Las Vegas -How & where it all began-Where'd my town go-Nevada My Nevada-Drop me down-Haul Alone.

BUTCH MARTIN ~ WHITTLER'S CORNER BSW RECORDS CD 4320
Now first of the CD cover credits Butch as the artiste but the CD sleeve credits “Butch Martin & The Rogue River Valley Riders” with the additional title “The Drifter Poet Singing Country & Cowboy Old & New”. So there you have it, it's a cowboy country CD of 12 songs and to my mind one of the best I've heard for a while. Butch has performed alongside Waddie Mitchell, Red Stegall etc so you know what to expect. Lovely songs set in a traditional backing of fiddle, guitars, mandolin and bass. There's lovely narrations and Butch's voice is sincere and experienced. Songwriter David Mac Kechnie takes credit for 6 songs, Ian Tyson for 2 (one with Tom Russell) and there's Wayfaring Stranger, Long Black Veil and Restless Wind added along with the title track Whittler's Corner, a Kent Maxson / Kim Williams story song. In fact they all tell a story and the musical backing sets the whole piece.If you like your country with a western cowboy flavour this is a must and there seem to be a shortage of these Cd of late. Check out the web site at www.bsw-records.com OTHER SONGS;- Navajo Rug-Who's gonna want me now-Ten miles from Redbird-Whiskey Train-Last of the Good Old Boys-Fifty Years Ago-Firehouse Café-We Knew the book.

DONNIE DEAN WILLIAMS ~ SHEETS OF STONE BSW RECORDS.
Donnie Dean Williams, like so many other aspiring country music performing and recording artists, has experienced a difficult time when starting his quest for success. Several years' back Donnie had opened many doors and had gained a considerable amount of attention from the music industry executives. At the peak of all this attention some family issues came up and Donnie, an individual with a strong personal character, set his priories and left Nashville to assist his family. With the release of his "Sheets of Stone" album, he has started his way back looking for the break he once had.His smooth baritone voice rolls over the 10 songs with little effort and he is best at home on the ballads. The songs are all written by a combination of writers that includes Michael B. Ware, Clifford Garrow, Jeff Walikangas, Bill Myers, Jim Vest and others and all the songs are good ones. Basically love songs, lost love, old love, new found love, the various tempos give the album a lift just at the right time. Overall this is another good quality country fiddles and steel collection and while not outstanding and full of hit singles this will place Donnie back on the path to success. Not letting any time slip by he is back in the studio again working on a new album to follow "Sheets of Stone" with the country music legend producer Jim Vest. SONGS;-Are you still in Love-Live Live Live-The hardest part-True blue love-Sheets of stone-Like it or not-Throwing stones-Ran outta money-If you think you're lonely-Standing invitation. Check out the web site at www.bsw-records.com

© 2004 Country Music & Dance Scotland