Feb 022018


It’s not often that a great record slips under my radar, but when it does I make sure to acknowledge it and spread the word.  Bryan James’s new album Between the Devil and the Angel is just such a record.  It released late last year on Christmas day and as a result, likely fell under the radar for most people, but I’m here to tell you, this is not an album to sleep on.  Bryan James reminds me a lot of Jamey Johnson and if that is your wheelhouse, this album is for you.

This album clocks in at a hefty 19 tracks and runs at almost an hour and ten minutes.  However, there is not much filler here.  Every track feels like it belongs.  It kicks off with a title track that sets the tone perfectly setting up a good vs evil or angel vs devil theme that runs through the album.  The next one,  “Story Of Your Life” slows things down a bit while “If It Ain’t Broke” pokes fun at the state of country radio while respecting what came before.

One of my favorites on the album is the ballad “Best Of Your Memories”.  This song would be a radio hit if radio were playing this kind of country music these days.  Another favorite is the track “Maybe I Am” which is a good rocking country tune that may be a bit tongue in cheek.  Then you have tracks like “Bible On The Table” which continue the previously mentioned angel vs devil theme.  “Miles On My Soul” kicks off a trio of ballads that closes out the record on a somber note.

I will echo how I started here: this album isn’t one to sleep on.  If you’re a fan of modern traditional country or outlaw country, this will be for you.  Bryan James has put together a record that is heavy, but can stand up with records from the heavy hitters in the genre.  You can expect to hear his name a bit more as the buzz on this album gets around.  Between the Devil and the Angel is available everywhere digitally and hard copies are for sale at Bryan James’s Website.

Favorite Tracks : Drink A While, Best Of Your Memories, Maybe I Am, If It Ain’t Broke, Bible On the Table, Miles On My Soul

Bryan James – Between the Devil and the Angel (2017)

  1. Between the Devil and the Angel

  2. Story Of Your Life

  3. Drink A While

  4. If It Ain’t Broke

  5. Best Of Your Memories

  6. Back To Being Stoned

  7. Old Fishing Pole

  8. Like They Used To

  9. Maybe I Am

  10. The Truth

  11. More To Life

  12. Bible on the Table

  13. In Stone

  14. If You Don’t Want To

  15. The Gift

  16. Kiss Our Ass

  17. Miles On My Soul

  18. Every Now And Then

  19. I’m Not Lost

Joshua Wallace
Chief Staff Writer

Gary Hayes County


Feb 022018


Album Feature : Mike and The Moonpies – Steak Night at the Prairie Rose

By Joshua Wallace

Mike and the Moonpies are one of those bands you can always count on for a good honky tonk album.  Steak Night at the Prairie Rose is no exception.  This album picks up right where 2015’s Mockingbird left off with solid songwriting and great Texas honky tonk.  This band just continues to get better with every release.

The opening track and first single from Steak Night at the Prairie Rose is “Road Crew”.  It starts the album off with a barn burner of a track and it will immediately be one of your favorites.  “Might Be Wrong” keeps the pace up with a track that will be sure to get couples on the dance floor.

Steak Night at the Prairie Rose picks up where Mockingbird left off and we get another piece of Mike Harmeier’s life in the title track.  This time on “Steak Night at the Prairie Rose” we get a look at Mike as a kid where he got some of his earliest inspirations and first gigs.  I love these kind of  autobiographical songs and especially how Mike peels back more layers with each album.

Another favorite track is “The Worst Thing” which is a waltz that features Mickey Raphael on harmonica in the only guest spot on the album.  Mike had a hand in writing every song on the record except for the exceptional “The Last Time” which was written by Jonathan Terrell who also wrote a track on the band’s 2012 release The Hard Way.  Finally, I really enjoy the track “Beaches Of Biloxi” as it highlights the strong storytelling in the album with a tale of a gambler on hard times.

If you’re looking for a good country album to start your year off right, this one has it all.  Good songwriting, a great band and a good honky tonk sound.  You can’t ask for more.  Mike and the Moonpies continue to get better and 4 studio albums in, this record is their best yet.  I highly recommend picking this album up and it is available everywhere on February 2nd, 2018.

 Favorite tracks : Road Crew, Steak Night at the Prairie Rose, The Last Time, The Worst Thing, Getting High At Home & Wedding Band

Mike and the Moonpies – Steak Night at the Prairie Rose (2018)

  1. Road Crew

  2. Might Be Wrong

  3. Steak Night at the Prairie Rose

  4. Getting High at Home

  5. The Last TIme

  6. Beaches Of Biloxi

  7. Things Ain’t Like They Used To Be

  8. The Worst Thing

  9. Wedding Band

  10. We’re Gone

Joshua Wallace

Chief Staff Writer

Gary Hayes County