Zoe Muth’s World of Strangers

I wrote about Zoe Muth, a singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas, and her excellent new album World of Strangers. See the piece here. Below, listen to “Mama Needs A Margarita,” one of the strongest traditional country songs of the year.

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Bruising Albums from Big Smo and Brantley Gilbert

I wrote a piece for Splice Today about two new country albums from Big Smo and Brantley Gilbert. Smo’s a rapper, Gilbert isn’t–but Gilbert co-wrote a country rap song back in 2008 with Colt Ford. Listen to the original version of that song, “Dirt Road Anthem,” below. As I write in my piece, one of the interesting things about the song is that it sounds like it could be on an album from the R&B singer Babyface or the southern rapper David Banner.

Bobby Bare Jr: Ready For The Big Time

I wrote about the new Bobby Bare Jr. album, Undefeated, over at Splice Today. Bare was kind enough to respond to some questions over email; you can read the answers at the end of the piece. Here’s the first Bare song I ever heard, his cover of the Smiths’ “What Difference Does It Make.”

Strong Chemical Feelings

I wrote about two new country-leaning albums from Doug Paisley (Strong Feelings) and Robert Ellis (Lights From The Chemical Plant) for Splice Today. See the piece here. For the Times‘ Jon Caramanica on Ellis, see here. Ellis performs his grim “Only Lies” below.

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