New Music Monday: Judah & the Lion- Sweet Tennessee EP

If you know me personally or you’ve seen anything I’ve posted on Twitter for the past, oh, two months or so, you know that I’m living in Nashville, Tennessee for the summer. I don’t care if this sounds cheesy– living in Music City, even for just a few months, has literally been one of my biggest dreams come true. Why? I’m surrounded by music. Good music. AWESOME music. All the time. I can honestly say that every single day I discover a new sound or new artists that I fall in love with.

One of those artists is Judah & the Lion. A few weeks ago, my friend Kate convinced me and a few other friends to go and see them play at an event hosted by Nashville’s independent radio station, Lightning 100. The band was INCREDIBLE. Seriously, the place was packed, and I couldn’t even see the stage from where I was sitting on top of the back of a booth at the Tin Roof. Their live performance was this super-energetic mix of folk and old-fashioned bluegrass jam.

JATL

Earlier this year, Judah & the Lion released a six-song EP, Sweet Tennessee. I bought the EP after hearing their set at Tin Roof, and it’s been on repeat everywhere I go ever since. Maybe their EP isn’t necessarily a “brand new” release, but for the purposes of blogging, it’s new to me, and completely worth attention. My favorite two tracks on the EP are “Hesitate” and “Southern Ground,” but truly, every song has its undeniably wonderful moments.

Here’s a video of Judah & the Lion playing “Southern Ground” live at Nashville’s 12th and Porter in April. Be prepared to tap your feet uncontrollably as soon as you hit play…

And as if their sound isn’t enough to have going for them, their attitudes are in the right place as well. The band was hanging out after the show, so I got the chance to chat with a few of them and they were very friendly, and humble despite their obvious talent. So here’s to hoping that these guys get all the attention they deserve in the awesome future they have ahead of them. And here’s also to hoping they come to Athens, Georgia to play a show in the near future… (pretty please!)

Find Sweet Tennessee on iTunes and stream it on Spotify. You won’t regret it.

-Allie

If you liked this post, follow Talk Twangy to Me on Twitter here!

 

Advertisements

New Music Monday: Jenn Bostic- Jealous

I have to tell you a bit of a story in order for this post to be complete, so just bear with me on the change of format…

So, I went to the Grand Ole Opry on Friday night with my family while they were here in Nashville. We celebrated my birthday at the Opry, how cool is that?! Here’s an obligatory picture to show you how I felt about my Opry birthday swag, and the fact that they wished me a happy 20th birthday from the stage:

Opry Birthday SwagAt any rate, it was a great show. There were a few names I did know, and a few I didn’t. One of the ones I’d never heard was Jenn Bostic. When she came out to perform her set, she was wearing a formal dress, and she sang this really upbeat song and was all over the stage. I was almost overwhelmed by the amount of energy she had, and I wasn’t really sold on the music.

She sat down to play her second song on the piano, and she began by telling the crowd that she started writing music after she lost her father to a car accident when she was ten. The song, “Jealous of the Angels,” was about her dad, and from the first note she played, I felt so much emotion in her performance, it was unreal. By the end of the song, Jenn was choking up, and tears were streaming down my face. I’m not sure if this video will do justice to the incredible moment I experienced when I saw Jenn perform it live, but it’s a fantastic song nonetheless.


She received a standing ovation from about half the crowd in the Opry house that night, and with good reason. I was just… moved. Lately I’ve been questioning if I’m cut out to be a songwriter– I don’t want to smoosh my writing into a mold to create a country (or whatever genre) hit song. I realize more and more that I want to write what’s on my heart, and I want it to resonate in someone else’s soul and help them to cope with situations similar to what I go through in my own life. I think part of the reason Jenn’s performance touched me so much is because she did just that. She sang exactly what had been on her heart since losing her father, and it was very obvious that it resonated with people in that room.

So, Jenn, thanks for re-inspiring me to write music with that one song. Country music needs more writers like Jenn Bostic and more songs like “Jealous of the Angels,” and I hope she gets all of the attention she deserves in the country genre (and any genre, for that matter). I hope one day I’ll meet her and join her journey toward more raw honesty and less cliché in songwriting.

Last week, Jenn released an album, Jealous. I’ve listened to several songs from the album already, and I can tell I’m really going to like this girl. Her music is definitely piano-driven on this album, and her voice can be both powerful and delicate. But don’t take my word for it– stream the album on Spotify here and find it on iTunes here.

Keep talkin’ twangy!

-Allie

If you liked this post, follow Talk Twangy to Me on Twitter here!

New Music Monday: Keith Urban- Little Bit of Everything

Happy Monday from Music City, y’all!

One night last week I was conversing with a friend about spotting famous people in Nashville, and she mentioned that she saw Keith Urban pretty often in the area she lives in. And in completely perfect timing, Keith sang his brand new single “Little Bit of Everything” on the American Idol finale the very next night.

It feels very summery, and it’s definitely catchy. I mean, I’m not really sure if Keith can ever go wrong, so I’m not surprised. Click here to watch the video of the performance on the American Idol Season 12 finale Thursday night.

Here’s to hoping this post will bring me a little good luck, and I’ll run into Keith and Nicole next time I’m in Green Hills… now wouldn’t THAT be great timing? 🙂

You can download “Little Bit of Everything” on iTunes here or stream it on Spotify here. Enjoy!

Keep talkin’ twangy!

-Allie

If you liked this post, follow Talk Twangy to Me on Twitter here!

New Music Monday: The Pistol Annies- Hush Hush

It’s somewhat of a Southern tradition to keep quiet about your problems and make everyone believe your family is perfectly wonderful, especially at church. The Pistol Annies nailed that notion in their newest single, “Hush Hush.”

The Annies’ new album was released on May 7th, and this is the first single from it. As I sat in my room last night in Nashville (yes indeed, I live here now!), I saw the music video and just smiled. It’s hilariously accurate… enjoy!

 

Happy Monday! You can stream the Pistol Annies’ new album, Annie Up, on Spotify here and find it on iTunes here.

Keep talkin’ twangy!

-Allie

If you liked this post, follow Talk Twangy to Me on Twitter here!

Album Review: Kacey Musgraves’ Same Trailer Different Park

The first time I heard Kacey Musgraves’ name, my supervisor at 106.1 WNGC was adding it to the night playlist. I didn’t have a clue who she was, and I’d never heard her debut single, “Merry Go ‘Round.” But, as soon as I did hear that first single of hers, I was hooked.

Her first album was released on March 19th, and I’ve had it on repeat ever since. Lately I’ve been using Spotify quite often, and it took me probably only one stream all the way through the album to recognize that it was definitely worth the buy on iTunes.

“Merry Go ‘Round” is a new perspective on small-town life, and boy is it honest and true. One-horse towns tend to be romanticized often in country music, but Kacey tells it like it is– teenage pregnancy, drugs, and trailer parks. The album title comes from a line in this song: “Same hurt in every heart; same trailer, different park.” The music video is also worth a watch:

But that first single isn’t the only gem on this record– in fact, they’re all wonderful. Kacey herself has a writing credit on every song on the album, and though she shares credit with other big names in country songwriting, her honesty is the common thread of this album.

“It Is What It Is” is an obvious continuation of the raw statement of fact she gave in “Merry Go ‘Round,” and the rest of the album continues with its realizations and messages about life, sans any semblance of a sugar coating. “Blowin’ Smoke” and “Stupid” are particularly catchy and upbeat songs about talking smack over cigarettes and looking like a fool because of love, respectively. “Follow Your Arrow” is a peppy song with a positive message encouraging the listener to do what their heart desires and not care what people think of your actions.

“My House” follows suit with a picture of a life on the road where happiness is the people you’re with. She makes it obvious that friends and relationships are far more important than a fancy house: “No matter where we go, we’ll never be alone. Anywhere beside you is the place that I’ll call home.”

One song I can’t get enough of is “Step Off.” The sound of the song is relaxed and content, but the music itself almost has some sass to it. I almost don’t want to say this for fear of putting Taylor Swift and Kacey Musgraves on the same plane when they’re very different artists… but this song is almost a more direct version of Taylor’s “Mean.” It’s a song for those people who can’t stand to see you succeed, and as a college kid trying to figure out how to make a name for myself in a highly competitive world, I can completely relate to “Step Off” and its warning to eternal pessimists who want nothing more than to undermine everyone but themselves.

“Silver Lining” speaks to the fact that rewards don’t come without risk and hard work, and “I Miss You” is a testament of exactly what can come of risking comfort for success. “I Miss You” is a nostalgic tune about someone who was left behind in a rise to success. Even though leaving a familiar life to chase a dream can be incredibly rewarding, especially for someone as talented Kacey Musgraves, it still requires sacrificing, and sometimes that brings the bittersweet reality of a fading friendship or relationship.

“Keep It to Yourself,” “Back on the Map,” and “Dandelion” are the more personal tracks on this album. “Dandelion” is a sad comparison between a weedy flower and a relationship that always leaves a painful mark. “Keep It to Yourself” tells the story of someone who’s ready to move on after a love broke their heart, but its tune has just enough of a mellow sadness to still carry a little bit of sadness toward that ended relationship. “Back on the Map” first looks back on a past mistake, then has a hopeful tone to it as Kacey sings about looking for someone to pull her out of a low period and help her get back on her feet emotionally.  Overall, I love this album. As a songwriter myself, I respect Kacey’s ability to be honest and still write something that sticks in a listener’s mind. She’s previously written for other artists, and in fact, she penned “Mama’s Broken Heart,” which is on Miranda Lambert’s album Four the Record, and it’s at the top of the charts at the time of this post. Kacey’s version of the song is a little less “in-your-face” than Miranda’s, but it definitely deserves to be heard, even though it isn’t on Same Trailer Different Park.

The honesty of these songs is a big draw for me personally, as is the acoustic-driven, occasionally folk-rock influenced sound sprinkled throughout Same Trailer Different Park. With a debut album as humble and excellent as this, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Kacey Musgraves.

You can stream “Same Trailer, Different Park” on Spotify here, or buy the album on iTunes here. You can also find Kacey on Twitter or Facebook to keep up with what she’s doing.

Keep talkin’ twangy!

-Allie

If you liked this post, follow Talk Twangy to Me on Twitter here!

Throwback Thursday: 3.14.13

Luke Bryan came out with a new album this week, but I’m deliberately choosing to cling to his older material. Don’t get me wrong, Luke’s a great performer and I still enjoy some of his newer stuff, but I think in the midst of his “country girl shaking” and spring break shenanigans, he’s wandered away from heartfelt lyrics and a sincere country sound.

I love this song of Luke’s, released five years ago in 2007, because of the picture it paints about growing up with your friends. I don’t tend to miss high school itself, but this song makes me just a bit nostalgic for spending every waking moment with high school friends. It also reminds me of home, and seeing as how I’m home for spring break this week, I felt it was only appropriate for this week’s post.

Keep talkin’ twangy!

-Allie

If you liked this post, follow Talk Twangy to Me on Twitter here!

 

New Music Monday- Ashley Monroe’s New Album

To continue on my little “traditional country” kick, I looked into Ashley Monroe’s new album, Like a Rose.

Ashley is a member of The Pistol Annie’s, and her voice contributes wonderfully to the group’s sound, but her solo music has a fantastic sound as well. I am SO in love with her sound. It’s old-timey, but not outdated. She uses a perfect amount of musical elements to add some old-fashioned flair.

Here’s the video for the title track:

 

If you enjoy this song, you can find Ashley’s new album Like a Rose on iTunes here.

Keep talkin’ twangy!

-Allie

If you liked this post, follow Talk Twangy to Me on Twitter here!

Keeping tradition alive

This week, one of my roommates made the comment that “a lot of the country on the radio right now isn’t all that country.” I’d have to agree that country music these days is influenced by different genres, such as pop, rock, and even rap (who would’ve seen that one coming?). Some people argue that those influences are taking the country out of country music, but I personally enjoy the variety of styles. I’ll jam out to Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem,” but I’ll also crank up the Patsy Cline, Alan Jackson, and Diamond Rio, believe me.

There are some current artists out there who haven’t strayed from a more traditional country sound. One of my favorite traditional artists in today’s scene is Easton Corbin. I love hearing his latest single, “All Over the Road” on the radio. I think part of the reason I like Easton’s music so much is because his songs paint a picture of a life lived straightforward. He’s honest and down-to-earth, and he sings about appreciating the small things, like riding around town and goofing off with the one you love in “All Over the Road.”

The video for the song is actually quite hilarious…

His sound really reminds me of George Strait. In fact, the first time I heard Easton’s song “Roll With It,” on the radio, I was convinced that George Strait’s voice had changed and that’s who was actually singing.

So, no matter what changes may come, I hope the welcoming, lively, honest, historically-rooted culture of the country music world sticks around. As long as they keep the music as heartfelt as I’ve always known it to be, I’ll certainly keep listening.

What kind of twang tickles your fancy– traditional country, modern, or a mix of both?

Keep talkin’ twangy!

-Allie

If you liked this post, follow Talk Twangy to Me on Twitter here!

Throwback Thursday: 2.7.13

The Band Perry’s “Better Dig Two” has been tearing up the airwaves lately. It seems every time I turn on the radio, it’s playing on one of the three country stations I listen to. Even before their newest hit, they were making an impact with “Postcard to Paris” and “If I Die Young,” among others.

So, in honor of their continuous rise up the charts, I thought we could look back on one of their earlier releases. I love the innocent, bubbly sound of this song. It definitely shows how much their sound has changed and matured in just two short years or so, but their energy certainly hasn’t faded away!

You can find the Band Perry’s debut album on iTunes here, and you can also find their latest single, “Better Dig Two,” here.

Keep talkin’ twangy!

-Allie

If you liked this post, follow Talk Twangy to Me on Twitter here!

 

New Music Monday- Gary Allan’s New Album

I’ve never been a huge Gary Allan fan, but when his latest single, “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain” hit the radio airwaves, I was immediately a little obsessed. The message of the song is an uplifting one, and combined with the raw sound of the song, it’s a song almost anyone can relate to.

As for the rest of Gary’s new album, I sure hope it lives up to the standard that “Every Storm” has set! In the past, I don’t mind his rock-influenced twang sound. As soon as I get the chance to listen through the rest of his album, I’m hoping I’ll find the same good sound tied to some more positive messages.

Here’s the video for “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain).” Enjoy!

If you like this song, you can find Gary Allan’s new album Set You Free on iTunes here.

Keep talkin’ twangy!

-Allie

If you liked this post, follow Talk Twangy to Me on Twitter here!