Wade Bowen/Randy Rogers – Hold My Beer Volume 2

The Hold My Beer Volume 1 release from Wade Bowen and Randy Rogers dropped five years ago. It was a rallying testament to the type of classic country music that they grew up on. Lloyd Maines punched all the right buttons and the songs selected made a statement from the opening single “Standards” to the infectious radio single worthiness of “Ladybug”. Five years later we now have Volume 2. Bowen and Rogers reconvened the same cast of characters and upped the fun quotient. This is the country music of the late 70s and 80s that evokes the best of Moe

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American Aquarium – Lamentations

BJ Barham has carved out a spot among modern songwriters with his a signature brand of hardscrabble songs that evoke the best parts of Springsteen and Isbell, but with enough Carolina grit to make them completely his own. As Barham’s band has grown and undergone changes, so has his recorded output. The changes are subtle and smooth. On the Aquarium’s latest release, Lamentations, producer Shooter Jennings works to smooth out the rough edges where necessary, yet also amplify them when mandatory. Barham’s not afraid to tackle any subject. Politics, addiction, abuse, desperation, elation, parenthood, economics. It’s all here. American Aquarium’s

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James Steinle – What I Came Here For

In my recap of Mile 0 Fest 2020, I remarked that James Steinle’s style falls somewhere around if John Prine maintained a residency at the Broken Spoke and worked at the Mean Eyed Cat in his off time.  That’s the vibe you’ll find on his sophomore effort, What I Came Here For.  Building on where he left off with 2018’s South Texas Homecoming, Steinle mines familiar musical terrain with sophisticated and witty lyrical observations.  This is observant honky-tonk.  Thinking man’s country music.  Steel guitars support the stories of seedy characters, seedier settings and the triumphs and tragedies of modern life on the south side. “Black and White

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Josh Weathers – Wild Ones

Josh Weathers career can be described in many ways, but mercurial may perhaps be the most fitting adjective. Never one to follow the herd, Weathers has found success on his own terms. The viral nature of modern social media brought him to the doorstep of major label and reality TV fame and fortune, but he walked away because it didn’t square with what’s in his heart. A man that has the type of self-confidence and belief in the Plan, is not one to be taken lightly. Weathers has always had more talent than just about anyone around him. He’s a

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Koe Wetzel – Harold Saul High

It is impossible to take the rocket ride that Koe Wetzel has over the past three years and not come out a changed man. But, upon listening to his new record Harold Saul High, it is apparent he can cling to what put him on that rocket in the first place pretty damn well. The follow-up to your breakthrough album is always the hardest one to make. The tracks still all have that rough edge and brash attitude that clicked with thousands of fans; yet there’s a street smart wisdom that permeates each lyric. When I detailed Koe’s rise two

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