Following a path trod by many of his fellow Nashville songwriters, Sean McConnell – whose songs have been recorded by music greats Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Christina Aguilera, Buddy Miller, Rascal Flatts, Marc Broussard, Plain White T’s, Wade Bowen, the Brothers Osborne, Meatloaf, Martina McBride, the Eli Young Band, David Nail and others, and featured on the smash hit television show Nashville – has recently released his 7th album..self titled Sean McConnell.
McConnell was just 15 when he self-released his first album, Faces, in 2000. Followed by 2001’s Here In The Lost and Found, 2004’s 200 Orange Street, 2006’s Cold Black Sky, 2007’s Tell The Truth, 2008's The Walk Around EP, 2010's Saints, Thieves and Liars, 2012's Midland and the 2014 EP The B Side Session.
The album was recorded in McConnell’s adopted hometown of Nashville at Sound Emporium B and The Compound with producers Ian Fitchuk and Jason Lehning, who also contributed drums and keyboards, respectively. The album features McConnell on guitar, Tony Lucido on bass, Danny Rader on guitars, banjo, mandolin, and bouzouki, and background vocals by Alyssa Bonagura. The album was mixed by GRAMMY award-winning engineer, Ryan Hewitt.
Sean McConnell demonstrates exactly why McConnell has already won such a devoted audience. Especially in places like Texas, where he has been embraced by the homegrown “Red Dirt” community of singers & songwriters. Wade Bowen says “I don’t think there’s anyone better than Sean McConnell. Talented doesn’t even come close to describing the kind of artist that he is. I’m so glad that the rest of the world is finally catching on.” He writes vivid, forthright, effortlessly catchy songs whose incisive melodic craft is matched by their resonant emotional insight. Such instantly memorable tunes as "Holy Days," "Beautiful Rose," "Bottom of the Sea" and "Best We've Ever Been" are both catchy and personally charged, conveying an unmistakable sense of personal experience while exploring universal truths.
"This record's a bit of a step for me," McConnell asserts. "It's a real storyteller record, and it's pretty autobiographical. I'm learning how to be more honest and understated in my writing, and I wanted to match that sonically and vocally. When I look at this collection of songs, I see a lot of nostalgia, and looking back on sacred moments. I'm kind of nostalgic and reflective by nature."
The album opens up with 'Holy Days',a pop/anthemic opener. It certainly sets the tone for this great album, it talks of a nostalgic reflection of a long lost love.It is a great opening track and certainly gets you interested and wondering what is to come.
Track 2 is 'Ghost Town', another reflective song and the opening chords are very reminiscent of "Growing Up Round Here" by Will Hoge, and in fact comparisons can be made in McConnell's approach to this album. I love this track, very American, very country and very very good. This track was on 'Momentos & Fortunes' a free collection he released last year which contained two songs as new tracks and a few other re-releases.
'Bottom Of The Sea' is the 3rd track of this awesome album and opens up with a great banjo intro, this track is a proper country dancing theme and I could envisage a great sing along when played live.This was on his previous EP 'B side sessions', so although not a new track, very worthy of another outing.
Track 4 'Beautiful Rose' brings the tempo down with a stunning reminiscing track.
It has a more country instrumentation with the mandolin and simple acoustic guitars. The song deals with how life’s unexpected turn of events can be a blessing, even if it’s something that you never planned.
5th track 'Hey Mary' is a quick song about falling in love with Mary and how he let's her crash in his bedroom whilst he sleeps on the floor..what a gent..just his way of getting Mary to fall in love with him, a great upbeat track.
The "love" theme continues with 'Best We've Ever Been'. It tell us of an anniversary of a husband and wife who are recollecting their life through their photographs and celebrate by reliving their youth for a night.
Track 7 is my favourite track on this album 'Queen Of St Mary's Choir'.
I feel it is an autobiography of McConnell's journey from Massachusetts, where he was born, to Nashville. It has a buoyancy about it which reminds me of Springsteen and tells us a story of real people, and real situations, of his family roots in music and a journey to satisfy their needs.
'Running Under Water' is track 8 and McConnell is asking Jesus for help with his struggles and tells us about his bad dreams and silent screaming..like running under water.
It really is a beautifully written track and completely shows what a super song writer this fella is.
Track 9 is ' One Acre Of Land' is,to me, a true "Country" track.McConnell says that he doesn’t have a lot of money but “we could build a dream right where we stand on one acre of land.” It’s another one that speaks for itself with a listen.
The last track is 'Babylon' and what a brilliant song to finish on.This is another one like “Running Underwater,” where the songwriting paints wonderful pictures.It’s a track that can’t simply be discussed or described in a review: it’s one that needs to be heard.
Overall a superb album that gets you returning over and over again.
Country? Americana? Southern Rock? I feel it is all of these and much much more.
Award-winning country/Americana artist and songwriter Shantell Ogden will release her highly anticipated, 5th studio album 'The Road That Drives Me', on September 13th, and has released a single 'Devil Comes Knockin' to stream via Soundcloud. The album is an eight-song collection that follows on the heels of Shantell’s successful 'Ghosts In The Field'. The album is her debut as a producer, and has a live, open sound, with warm and authentic tones. “Already an award-winning artist, Shantell Ogden has just raised her own bar,” says Judy Rodman, writer/producer (LeAnn Rimes, Loretta Lynn). “Her vocals on her newest project have more subtlety and control than ever; the cool tracks perfectly carry her voice and her brilliantly crafted songs straight to the heart.”
In her own words: “I grew up on a farm in Utah and one of the lessons I learned is that the cows would always push on certain parts of the fence until it broke down. Even if we’d fix that part of the fence, they would continue to push on those parts of the fence until it was again broken. Devil Comes Knockin’ is a haunting story about how the devil pushes on us, our weaknesses and failures, hoping that we’ll break. It’s about being followed by your demons, and a voice of warning not to ‘open the door.’
A gritty song about the dark side in all of us. The message here is 'don't open the door when the devil comes knockin'. It has a deep rootsy feel, and I wrote it with Riley Anglen."
ABOUT SHANTELL OGDEN
Shantell's songs have received airplay on more than 800 country and Americana radio stations and shows internationally, reaching Top 2 chart positions both in the U.S. and Europe. Her songs have also appeared on the CW's TV series 'Hart of Dixie' and in several feature films. She's won honors for Songwriter of the Year and Americana Song of the Year for 'Ghosts in the Field' in the 2015 IMEA Awards, and Americana Album of the Year for 'Better At Goodbye' in the 2014 IMEA Awards.
This year Shantell has toured the UK & US and enjoyed extensive media appearances including Coffee, Country & Cody (WSM) and Good Day Utah (Fox).
The Road That Drives Me
The Nashville singer-songwriter's 5th
album is released via digital channels on 13th September 2016
Award-winning country/Americana artist and
songwriter Shantell Ogden will release her highly anticipated, 5th
studio album 'The Road That Drives Me', on September
13th. The album is an eight-song collection that follows on the heels
of Shantell’s successful 'Ghosts In The Field'. The album is her debut as
a producer, and has a live, open sound, with warm and authentic tones.
“Already an award-winning artist, Shantell Ogden has just raised her own
bar,” says Judy Rodman, writer/producer (LeAnn Rimes, Loretta Lynn). “Her
vocals on her newest project have more subtlety and control than ever;
the cool tracks perfectly carry her voice and her brilliantly crafted
songs straight to the heart.”
Shantell's songs have received airplay on more than
800 country and Americana radio stations and shows internationally,
reaching Top 2 chart positions both in the U.S. and Europe. Her songs
have also appeared on the CW's TV series 'Hart of Dixie' and in several
feature films. She's won honors for Songwriter of the
Year and Americana Song of the Year for 'Ghosts in the Field' in
the 2015 IMEA Awards, and Americana Album of the
Year for 'Better At Goodbye' in the 2014 IMEA Awards.
year Shantell has toured the UK & US and enjoyed extensive media
appearances including Coffee, Country & Cody (WSM) and Good Day Utah (Fox).
It is with great anticipation that I have been awaiting this 4th album release from Whiskey Myers and I was not disappointed. It was great to see a worldwide simultaneous release too
Grammy award winning producer Dave Cobb has certainly got the best out of this band without any of the bullshit you get from some bands.
The album opens with "On The River" a fiddling, toe tapping pure 'Southern' sound all about backwater life, and the end guitar riff is just awesome.
Track 2 is the title track and includes a superb Gospel choir..it gets us into the album big time with an anthemic sound...this will certainly get their fans going in the live version
Next up is 'Lightning Bugs and Rain' a song all about mountain life. This track introduces us to a horn section.The first 30 seconds of this song gives us everything this song has..horns..percussion..guitar..I just love it
'Deep Down In The South' is the next track which certainly hits us deep down, the vocals are the star of this track as the female backer certainly lifts the song to another level. The guitar intro is just sublime also and these boys can certainly play guitar.
The subtle female vocals are still prevalent in the next track 'Stone', which slows the tempo down, well at the beginning anyway. It sets off with just piano and a gentle drum beat before the vocals of led singer Cannon kicks in , but ends as it began but with keyboards.
'Trailer We Call Home' is up next, and it kinda gives us a more 'country' feel and it is a lovely acoustic number from lead vocals Cannon, you could just imaging him sat on his porch in the warm Texan evening singing away to friends and family. Gorgeous stuff.
The next track is 'Some Of Your Love'. Now if you're a fan of Bad Company you will compare this song to 'Can't Get Enough'..is that a bad thing?? For me, nope. I love it...comparisons are always made between records..and influences are always going to be prevalent in songs....the riffs in this track are superb and again the female backing vocals are brilliant..the ending is just 'Fuck Yeh'
'Frogman' is up next, co-written by Rich Robinson of Black Crowes and it certainly has a Led Zeppelin feel to it. It is certainly the heaviest track on this album and it sure is a 'bad motherfucker'.
Next up is 'Hank'.a plea to Hank Williams to help them as they are "lowdown singing the blues"
Once again the female vocals accompany Cannon and, I feel, really lift this song to another level.
We really get the pure Southern Rock feel on this track.
Last track on this brilliant album is 'Good Ole Days'. This track is pure Bluegrass and you can taste the dirt road dust throughout the song..a great finale to a great album.
Holloway Road recently appeared on the King Says Country Show (Keep it Country/Sky TV) to announce that their brand new single ‘Where We Are Tonight’ will be released via iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Bandcamp and other digital outlets on 23rd September 2016. The band will celebrate the launch of their single with a release party at Cargo, Hoxton on the same date. There will be a double celebration as the boys have just won 'UK Country duo of the year' at the prestigious UK Country Music Awards
'Where We Are Tonight' marks a turning point for the band, who wanted the song to capture the feel of a live set while retaining the pop sensibilities of their previous studio offering Roots. In their own words: “We're excited to get this single out there - we want to give people a taste of what we have up our sleeves for what's next to come…” You can purchase their new single HERE
The first thing you notice about UK duo Holloway Road’s live performance is that it doesn’t look like country music; they’re more baseball caps and trainers than Stetsons and boots. But the sound they make sits somewhere between the country-pop chart and the Nashville songwriting they both grew up listening to. The second thing you notice is the crowd’s response; Holloway Road have spent the last two years playing throughout the UK & Europe, honing their live show, and as a result they understand the importance of being both a standout name on any lineup and a high energy crowd-pleaser.
They haven’t been afraid to gain momentum while learning their craft - having played the Martin stage at CMA Fest 2015, performed for the Country to Country (C2C) crowds on two consecutive years, written with Jacob Bryant (John & Jacob), partied with Kacey Musgraves, and landed both their EPs in the iTunes country top ten thanks to radio play across the UK for their single ‘Little Harder’ - success in a growing international country scene is increasingly becoming part of the Holloway Road story.
The 4 piece rock band are in the process of making their much awaited debut album, and are giving their dedicated fans a track a month for 10 months. Then a full release, with hopefully, some added extras too. This is all part of their plan for world 'domination' The rationale behind the monthly release process is to give 'spotlight' to each track as it's released and perhaps giving their dedicated fan base a bit of time to indulge and divulge, thus giving each track it's own moment. As the boys say "albums get lost" and that is quite true.
August we had the 'anthemic' rock track 'Renegade', which was their introduction to the forthcoming debut album.
September we have 'Oh Daisy'
Oh Daisy is a more balladic rock track but certainly does not distract from the direction these lads want to go and is already a sure fire favourite of their 'Hunters' fan base.
I have heard this track live too, and believe me it is certainly ramped up onstage. Will Irvine's 'gravel-like' voice is accompanied 'choir like' by the other members of this superb band. These fellas are sculpturing a unique sound that is passionate, powerful and yet at the same time truly delicate and sensitive. Hunter & The Bear have everything they need to continue to sculpture their work . It is graceful, melancholy, exciting and at times incendiary. There is a true driven passion that continually runs through their presentation. Their present sound is attractive, and I am looking forward to more. THESE FELLAS ARE GOING TO BE BIG
Texas southern rockers Whiskey Myers have released the first single from their new album Mud
Whiskey Myers, the soulful Southern rockers, will release their latest / fourth studio album, Mud, on September 9th via Spinefarm Records, featuring the single ‘Lightning Bugs and Rain’. Helmed by Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Rival Sons, etc.), this record sees the East Texan outfit taking their easy style and sound to fresh levels, straddling a number of different genres – soul, country, classic rock, blues, etc. – in the process.
The follow-up to Early Morning Shakes (2014), Mud features ten new tracks packed with narrative vocals, emotive hooks and twin guitar strength, including ‘Frogman’ (a co-write with Rich Robinson previewed live at the Download Festival) and ‘Deep Down In The South’, a classic slice of Southern Rock celebrating a culture rich with tradition and solid values.
Through the quality of their song-writing, ability to straddle different genres, plus their undeniable power in concert and on record, the band has attracted a devoted army of home-grown fans who pack out venues, sing their praises online, and continue to make Whiskey Myers a word-of-mouth sensation… and that fervour is now spreading quickly overseas.
On the live front, Whiskey Myers (Cody Cannon – Lead Vocals, Guitar | Cody Tate – Guitar, Vocals | John Jeffers – Guitar, Vocals | Gary Brown – Bass | Jeff Hogg – Drums) will return to the UK for their debut headline UK tour in December; due to strong demand, the venues in Birmingham & Glasgow have already been upgraded.
Whiskey Myers were recently here for Ramblin’ Man Fair (July), Download (June), and prior to that they made their first visit to these shores Special Guesting with kindred spirits, The Cadillac Three (January / February 2016).
'Lightning Bugs And Rain'is the brand new single from Whiskey Myers, one of the USA's most exciting bands and pioneers of southern rock & roll. Whiskey Myers are a seven-piece whose combination of melodic sensibility with riff-laden tunes represents the very best of guitar-driven music today. While the biting tones and driving rhythms of ‘Lightning Bugs And Rain’ stay true to hard-edged origins, for Whiskey Myers the song is king. Intelligently overlaying well-crafted melodies over thunderous soundscapes, Whiskey Myers have reengineered and revitalised guitar-based music for the modern age. On top of their polished studio offerings, the band have a fierce reputation as a live act. Whiskey Myers live show is truly a spectacle to behold, each player captivating their audience with individual personality and total command of their instruments. The group reveal a range of surprises throughout each set, showcasing a wide spectrum of styles from driving southern rock to acoustic ballads.
I absolutely love this song, the first 30 seconds or so has everything you could ask for, it opens with acoustic guitar,clapping,drums, horns, female backing, the lot. Musically it's a cocktail of Springsteen,Skynyrd,St.Paul &The Broken Bones with a hint of fellow Texan Gary Clark Jnr.
What makes this song, in my opinion, is the fact that Whiskey Myers do not move from their 'southern'roots but just add to it with the horns...
I LOVE IT...
SKYNYRD YOUR SUCCESSORS AWAIT
The full list of headline UK dates is as follows:-