Country

Half a century ago CMAT could have been knocking ’em dead at the Grand Ol’ Opry with her big ballads – if only she’d been born in Nashville rather than Dublin. 

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It’s fair to say that Poco are mostly a forgotten name today, but here they are out-Eagling The Eagles with their country-fried vocal harmonies.

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Florida band The Outlaws brought the three-guitar line-up into country rock, blending three-part harmonies with their multiple guitar solos.

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Texan troubadour Vincent Neil Emerson is one of country music’s minority of Native American performers, coming from the Choctaw-Apache tribe.

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This week saw the 91st birthday of Willie Nelson, veteran pioneer of Outlaw Country and still turning out two or three albums a year without any notable loss of quality.

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Charley Crockett is a new name to me, though I feel I ought to have heard of a guy who’s made 14 albums in nine years. His hybrid of country, blues and soul taps into that sound forged at Muscle Shoals in the late Sixties and Seventies, with smouldering horns and searing blues guitar matched to a country twang.

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I’m not entirely sure what I think about these posthumous recordings, where a living artist duets with a dead one. Some work well; others defile the dead artist’s memory. I think this one settles the argument in their favour.

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When I first heard Roy Orbison I dismissed him as an old crooner singing overwrought ballads of no relevance to me with my cool musical tastes.

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I’m a sucker for most things to do with Louisiana – crawfish and alligators, bayous and paddleboats, zydeco and cajun music, gumbo and jambalaya, Dr John and Fats Domino, voodoo and Mardi Gras. So I’m loving this song by Waxahatchee.

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When I heard this infectious slice of Northern Soul on the radio I thought two things: first that it was by a black dude, and secondly that it was a reaction to the state of the world today. Wrong on both counts.

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