Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Best Damn Country Mix - February 2012

Holly Renee Allen: Miss Christine - A righteous revelation, Lucinda Williams mixed with Janis Joplin
Gretchen Peters: Matador - Fine cowboy poetry with a Bonnie Raitt voice
Family Reunion: Dulcita - A south of the border romance in 3/4 time
The Great Unknowns: Lexington - Melodic, guitar driven alt-country brilliance
Possum Jenkins: Copper Coin - Janglin' guitars and harmoica backing irresistably optimistic lyrics
Rae Rae: Drunk Drunk - Good, good country rock with Gretchen Wilson Attitude
The Washers: Everybody But Me - Crunchy southern rock that's impossible to sit still to
Southbound Lane: Southbound Lane - Uptempo, banjo-driven Texas troubadour number; so nice they named it twice
Darrell Scott: Hopkinsville - Dwight Yokam style honky tonk number
Lew Card: Watermelon Time - John Prine wrapped in a tasty rind
The Creak: Fool's Gold - Jazzy bluegrass or bluesy jazzgrass as good as gold
The James Low Western Front: Whiskey Farmer - LoFi country blues with feeling
Cory Morrow: Hold Us Together - A love song to the world

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Family Notes: We're on Pandora!

Hey y'all! We've just been added to the Pandora playlist! For those of you who listen to internet radio, just type in Family Reunion in the artist search box, and we'll respond by playing one of our songs right on your computer! Make sure you give us the big "thumbs up!" And if the mood strikes, consider adding us as a "seed" artist or song to your own personal Pandora station. Thanks so much for listening. We'll see you on the radio (and your computer!)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Album of the Week: EVERY ROAD IS DIFFERENT by Southbound Lane

Southbound Lane out of Dallas Texas is another great Lone Star treasure in the style of Mickey and the Motorcars and Jason Boland & the Stragglers. On Every Road is Different they show off their Texas musical stylings in grand form. Sounding a bit like Old 97s on their uptempo numbers and a bit like fellow Texan Robert Earl Keen on their ballads, the cummulative effect is like finding a lost "On the Border" era Eagles album. Of course, there's the obligatory song about Texas in "Waco" where they recount the simple joys of living on a shoestring budget in college. "All Your Fault" is a great uptempo, banjo driven tune that's lyrically reminiscent of the Eagles' "Already Gone." Both the lyrics and the music on this ablum show great diversity, exploring life's ups and downs with keen insight punctuated with irresistable rhythms perfeclty timed to suit the mood. The storytelling really shines in "Roger Dale" and "Hero." In "Roger Dale," they explore the lasting impact of seeking vengeance singing, "My mother raised him, but he wasn't her son, he was her brother and now she's got none." In "Hero," they pay heartfelt tribute to a fallen soldier. Without getting political or patriotic, they deal openly and honestly with the loss and grief, yet proud remembrance of a true hero: "He said fightin' for your country is something inside you, it's really not something you choose." And as life unfolds before us, we often wonder how much of it is based on our choices and how much is fate. And in the end the best we can do is just do our best, and enjoy all life has to offer as we cruise down that Southbound Lane.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sugarland memo to lawyers: "It Happens"

Where there's smoke, there's fire and where there is human tragedy there's blood-sucking lawyers to try to profit from it. CMT reports that Sugarland has been forced to hire an attorney to address claims that they were somehow responsible for the gail force winds that led to last August's stage collapse tragedy. It seems to me that if Sugarland could control the weather, they'd have better things to do with it than attack their own fans. I don't mean to make light of the suffering of those who lost family members. I can only hope that time helps dull the intensity of their pain. But launching frivolous lawsuits won't help the pain and it won't honor the memory of those who perished trying to watch a band they loved.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Album of the Week: Corry Morrow Live at Billy Bob's

Cory Morrow Live at Billy Bob's is one of the most ambitious live projects I've ever seen. First, he fills the CD with over an hour of rockin' Texas honky tonkin' country. Next, he includes a DVD of the show so you can feel like you were there (and by the way, if you haven't been to Billy Bob's, get yourself to Fort Worth and check it out ASAP!) Then, he's even released a second Live at Billy Bob's CD that just features his acoustic work - and he includes a free DVD with that one as well. But the best part of Corry Morrow Live at Billy Bob's isn't its quantity, it's the quality. Song after song of authentic Texas road house music. You want drinkin' songs, he's got 'em. You want songs about cheatin' hearts, they're right here. You want random shout outs to Austin, Houston, and other Texas points of interest, tell you what! But over the energy and excitement of this live performance, Cory's lyrics still stand out. He is a true Texas Troubadour. With lines like, "I was a good kid with good intentions.Did everything that they said I should.The road to hell knows me well, now I’m finding it ain’t no damn good." Cory ponders the choice between living good and living well. On love, Cory sings, "I've searched most of my life, Just to find myself thats what Ive tried to do, but Ive spent my soul searching for you." But Cory doesn't lose sight of the really important things as he demonstrates in the show stopping closing number: "Beer." So grab a Lonestar and drink in the excitement of this great live show captured on CD!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

We're an app!

You know you spend way too much time on your smart phone, so what's one more little app? We've set up a Family Reunion app on Android. Now you can keep up with us on the go. And it's free! (assuming you already have a smart phone) Let us know what you think!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Song of the Week: Love Finds Everyone

This week's featured song is a Valentine's gift from Cory Morrow called, "Love Finds Everyone." It is a beautiful ballad not just for those in love, but for those who hope to be. It is a song of encouragement even when we find ourselves between loves. Cory sings, "Right when you think you'll never find it, love finds everyone." Like our own song, "Hey Broken Hearted" (although with a much more uplifting title,) Cory sings a message of hope and faith from the heart of someone who has had to count on both. With a cheerful melody and some nice mandolin flourishes, "Love Finds Everyone," is a call for all of us to remember to keep our hearts open.
On behalf of Cory, and all of us at Family Reunion, we hope your hearts are filled with love this Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Album of the Week: RED DIRT SOUL by Holly Renee Allen

Holly Renee Allen is a fiery, country/blues siren. And she smokes and smolders through her new album, Red Dirt Soul. Sounding like a southern fried Susan Tedeschi, Holly moves effortlessly between country, blues and gospel like Bonnie Raitt in her prime. The album (brilliantly produced by Martin Kearns) features smokin' blues guitar and gospel background singers adding just the right emotional backdrop to her soulful, earnest vocals. This is an album that you feel before you hear it. She sings empassioned songs of sin ("First Time Love Kind of Thing", "Fresh Ink") and salvation ("Miss Christine", "The Way") and she dives headfirst into the deep end of both. In "Fresh Ink" she sings, "Fresh ink and whiskey kisses, cheap motels where lovers lie; call it what you want to - I can't stop thinking about you. And nothin's gonna keep me from lovin' you tonight." Then in "The Way" she sings, "The Lord spoke out in a voice of thunder, a light shone bright upon my face, He wrapped me up in the wings of angels. He said, 'Believe on me, I AM the Way.'" Between these polar opposites lies the essence of our human existence. Holly is in tune with her own essence, and shares with us the joys and heartaches, the longings and regrets, the hopes and memories of someone who has lived with open eyes and an open heart. While most of these songs reflect on her past(like the lost love of "Old Flames" or the departed family of "The Last One Standing," I, for one, get the sense that Holly Renee Allen's best days still lie ahead.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Little Love from the Family

Hey y'all, to help everyone get in the Valentine's spirit, we're offering our ballad, YES, for free on CDBaby. But you better hurry, unlike true love, this offer won't last!