Lyric Of The Week: Garth Brooks, “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)”

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When he burst onto the Nashville music scene in 1989, Garth Brooks not only changed the direction of country music, but of American entertainment overall. He played sold-out shows and moved unheard-of numbers of country CDs for a few years, then became someone else for a minute (Chris Gaines), then retired, then came back for […]

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Review: Martin GPC-Aura GT Acoustic-Electric Guitar

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For many acoustic lead players, a cutaway is a must. So while Martin’s GPC-Aura GT Acoustic-Electric is a good guitar for a singer-songwriter, its cutaway also makes it a nice option for that lead player looking for a quality acoustic-electric. My favorite thing about the GPC-Aura GT I played was the fingerboard, which I had […]

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Review: Fender American Standard Telecaster Electric Guitar

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(Street: $1,249 and up, depending on color)  Fender Telecasters are part of a rich tradition of American music, guitars that have made history by changing – if not helping create – the sound of every genre of modern music. Country players like the Hag, blues giants like Muddy Waters, rockers like Keith Richards, even jazz […]

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Book Review: Nashville Songwriter

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Nashville Songwriter By Jake Brown (BenBella Books) Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars It’s always been hard for a songwriter of any genre to get a cut. And it’s tougher than ever today, unless a writer has outrageously good connections and/or a song that absolutely floors not only an artist, but his or her producer, […]

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Lyric Of The Week: Beck, “Loser”

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In the early 1990s Beck Hansen and co-writer Carl Stephenson spent a few hours recording a song called “Loser,” which fledgling label Bong Load Custom Records pressed 500 copies of. It surprisingly made some noise on FM radio in L.A., and Beck was signed to Geffen imprint DGC, which re-released “Loser” in 1994 and included […]

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Various Artists: The Buddy Holly Country Tribute, Remember Me

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Various Artists The Buddy Holly Country Tribute: Remember Me (Nashville America Records) 3.5 out of 5 stars More than half a century has passed since Buddy Holly’s plane went down in Iowa, and his once-pervasive rock ‘n’ roll influence has dwindled somewhat in the new century. But a group of old-school Nashville country stars has […]

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The Roys: The View

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The Roys The View (Rural Rhythm Records) 3.5 out of 5 stars Canadian brother and sister bluegrass duo The Roys have been steadily chipping away for years, recording and traveling relentlessly and winning consecutive Inspirational Country Music (ICM) Bluegrass Artist of the Year and Duo of the Year awards. On their new album The View, […]

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Joe Bonamassa Readies Different Shades of Blue with Nashville Cats

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For nearly two decades, Joe Bonamassa has been one of the top blues guitarist/vocalists of Generation Y, but also a favorite of preceding generations that just love a guitar hero. Openly acknowledging the influence of such 1960s British blues icons as Rory Gallagher and Paul Kossoff, Bonamassa has occasionally strayed from his roots, most notably […]

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Lyric Of The Week: Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit”

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Some songwriters write for an entire lifetime and never see much success, or never have their work publicly acknowledged, good as it may be. And then there are writers who seem to just be in the right place at the right time, who haven’t put all that much elbow grease into it but still hit […]

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Lyric Of The Week: The Righteous Brothers, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”

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It was 50 years ago that Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Phil Spector pitched a song to Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield, who had had some minor success as the first “blue-eyed soul” duo, the Righteous Brothers. The song was a piece about a faltering relationship called “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” and the duo […]

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Review: Martin 000-18E Retro Acoustic-Electric Guitar

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A new addition to Martin’s Retro series this year, the 000-18E Retro is the first short-scale (24.9 inches from nut to saddle) guitar in the line. It’s also a sweet-sounding guitar even when not using the revolutionary Fishman technology that makes the Retro series one of the great guitar innovations of this century so far. […]

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