Country Music Reviews


That Girl, UMG (Jennifer Nettles) Jennifer Nettles, one-half of Sugarland, will be releasing her first solo album “That Girl” on January 14th. This much anticipated solo debut album is going to be worth the wait for the fans that have wanted to see the next step Nettles takes in her career.

Nettles has stated that this album is her “recreating” herself as a musician, which is the vibe you get from the very first track “Falling.” There’s definitely a different feel from the Sugarland sound that fans are use to hearing.

The album gives the fans a fresh and new experience into the person that Nettles has grown to be as an artist and musician. With the title track, “That Girl,” is the exact opposite of the Sugarland single “Stay.” “That Girl” is an up-tempo beat song that tells a story of a woman who, after hooking up with a spoke-for man, does what ever unfaithful guys dreads: She calls his lady to spill the beans and clear the air.

Nettles’ unique voice with the perfect amount of twang has no problem standing alone with this solo album. From beginning to end, you’ll find yourself along for the ride. With the feel good, foot-tapping beats of “Moneyball,” “Jealousy,” and “You Know You Wanna Know” the fans get to reconnect with the fun side of Nettles. If you’re looking for the smoother, slower tracks, you’ll find that with “Me Without You,” “This Angel,”
And “This One’s For You.”

“That Girl” is just the thing Nettles needed, as a solo artist to make her distinct from the vibe of Sugarland and the fans will not be disappointed. It’s a fun album that still has that southern twang that will suck you in. Purchase it on iTunes HERE.


Kuntry Livin', Warner Music Nashville (Big Smo) Big Smo brings something entirely new to the Country Music scene in his new album “Kuntry Livin’”. While Country music has recently been embarking on country/rap duos, Big Smo combines the two genres in one man. Although the traditional country fans may not pursue the new artist, Big Smo is going to be a hit in the upcoming Country music generations.

His passionate lyrics and rap vocals combined with rock and roll and country instrumentals present a backwoods party album in “Kuntry Livin’”. Each song has the perfect rap to harmony ratio between each verse and chorus. Every upbeat song on the album including “Hick Ross”, “Down in the Backwoods”, and “Workin’”, makes you want to put your hands in the air and party. The passion and head banging tempos make it more than enjoyable.
Raised on a farm, Big Smo relates all lyrics to his down in the backwoods, hard-working life experiences he grew up with. Another aspect of “Kuntry Livin’” that makes this album different from most country albums is there are no sappy love songs. “Cover My Eyes” is the only song that presents a relationship scenario; however it tells of a love story gone wrong, lessons learned and how the heartbreak made him stronger.

All tracks, majority being upbeat, stick to his country roots, appreciating what he has overcome to what he has now. With a Kid Rock mixed with some Big & Rich style, the whole album flowed together perfectly and although many tracks sounded similar, I highly enjoyed each song. Big Smo will definitely be an artist to catch in concert on tour.


Release date: 01/28/2014
Only Me, Upper Management Music (Rhonda Vincent) The question has been asked whether Rhonda Vincent’s voice is better Bluegrass or Country, and her new two disc project Only Me lets the listener decide for themselves. Only Me includes CD #1 consisting of six Bluegrass tunes and CD #2 consisting of six traditional Country songs.

Rhonda does an excellent job on both discs displaying her amazing vocals combined with stories of back woods traditions finding love and getting over heart break. Bluegrass tracks including “I’d rather hear I don’t love you”, “I need somebody bad tonight”, and Country tracks including self-written “Teardrops over you”, and “Beneath still waters” all tell the sad story of losing love and searching to regain strength.

She does, however, include several upbeat, faster tempo tracks such as “Only Me” featuring Willie Nelson from the Bluegrass album, and “Once a day” from the Country album that show the more positive side of finding and experiencing the joy of love.

Rhonda’s twangy sound vocally and instrumentally makes for a smooth transition from one album into the next. Overall, her soft yet powerful voice and songs that illustrate a story doesn’t leave us disappointed on either of the two albums.


When I Get My Pay, Mountain Home Music Company (The Grascals) While most bluegrass artists have a difficult time bringing diversity to each song on their album, The Grascals did just that. The three- time Grammy nominated Bluegrass group keep the traditional Bluegrass sound alive while incorporating a new, fresh feel to their music. The Nashville-based group is to release their 8th studio album “When I Get My Pay” on November the 19.

“When I Get My Pay” delivers music from your cozy, at home, front-porch sittin’ tunes that make you tap your toes, to those slower, twangy traditional songs. The album starts off with the title track ‘When I Get My Pay’ with a very upbeat tempo, excellent instrumentals, and nearly perfect harmonies to really draw the first time listeners in. More upbeat songs you can expect to hear are ‘Mister Fix It’ and ‘American Pickers’.

‘American Pickers’ is a more personal song to the band. The members, being fans of the History Channel program, “American Pickers”, actually got the change to meet the shows star, Mike Wolfe and presented him with a song for support of the show. Not only was this one of my favorite songs on the album, The Grascals got Country Music star Dierks Bentley to appear on the track adding a perfect mix of Country Music and Bluegrass for the listeners.

Although the album is full of upbeat, good-feel music, The Grascals do add diversity to the tempo of the album with a couple of slower, romantic, love songs. ‘When Your Rock Turns to Stone’ delivers a more traditional Country Music sound rather than the traditional Bluegrass feel, and showcases a beautiful sound of string instruments. Another slower song, ‘When I Fall In Love Again’, being probably my favorite, is really the first and only song where the female vocals are showcased.

The last song on the album ‘Five Miles to Milan’, although, missing vocals, really does seem to take you on a instrumental journey. The music feels like the end of a movie credits that tie together all of the missing pieces, yet leave you feeling that The Grascals are going to be back for more.


Feels Like Carolina, BBR (Parmalee)
Parmalee has released their much anticipated debut album, FEELS LIKE CAROLINA. The Stoney Creek Records’ chart-topping act consists of brothers Matt and Scott Thomas, cousin Barry Knox, and longtime friend Josh McSwain. They formed in the mid-‘00s and have finally reached their goal of releasing an album that will keep their fans wanting more.

FEELS LIKE CAROLINA is a country-rock album with a bluegrass feel. Parmalee makes sure that you’ll never get bored with their brand of power chord country. The opening track is their breakthrough single and Top 40 hit “Musta Had a Good Time,” which is the party song that kicks starts with that feel good vibe.

“Move” and “Dance” are just a couple more tracks that will keep you on your feet and moving to the beat with its infectious country-rock edge. While their current single “Carolina” and the sentimental “Another Day Gone” both strike personal notes. There’s even a soothing ballad with “Close Your Eyes.”

Throughout the album, Parmalee does not disappoint. Their album is solid from start to finish. Ranging from party anthems to power ballads, FEELS LIKE CAROLINA, takes you on a journey that you’ll find yourself putting on repeat.

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