Album Feature – Carson McHone – Carousel

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Nov 062018

By Joshua Wallace

Carson McHone embodies the spirit of Americana.  She draws a lot from roots and country music, but there are still other influences present.  She doesn’t try to pigeonhole herself into any one genre and floats from the honky tonk sound to Dylan-esque folk and elsewhere on the spectrum with ease.  Let’s take a deeper dive into the sound of this record.

“Drugs” is a great ballad on this record that compares the need you can have for a lover with the need you can have for drugs.  I love the pedal steel that cloaks this track in a sadness that amplifies the intensity of the need. Contrast that with the faster more honky tonk inspired “Good Time Daddy Blues”.  I love the kind of call and response format of the verses here. It really gives the track a honky tonk blues kind of vibe.

I also really dig the country ballad “Gentle”.  This track is paired with an intro which kind of feels like the band is trying to find the track before it finally kicks in.  It’s a class country post break-up tune heavily draped in fiddle and pedal steel that is bound to break the heart of any one in their own neon cell.  “Goodluck Man” is slower ballad that starts out as a sparse guitar track and the rest of the band kicks in as the track goes on to reveal a slower almost mournful soundscape on a track that is on the mournful side of heartbreak.

I dig the tapestry of sounds Carson Mchone has put together here.  At times, it is very country, but it also delves into other influences to create a sound that is her own.  I hope to be able to see her live sometime down the road with this album. Carousel is out everywhere as of October 26th, 2018.

Favorite Tracks : Drugs, Good Time Daddy Blues, Gentle, Maybe They’re Just Really Good Friends, Goodluck Man

Carson McHone – Carousel (2018)

  1. Sad
  2. Drugs
  3. Lucky
  4. Good Time Daddy Blues
  5. Dram Shop Gal
  6. Intro [Gentle]
  7. Gentle
  8. Maybe They’re Just Really Good Friends
  9. How Bout’ It
  10. Goodluck Man
  11. Spider Song

Album Feature – Pistol Annies – Interstate Gospel

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Nov 062018

By Joshua Wallace

The Pistol Annies have returned with a new album after each having successful solo of their own.  They have lived a lot since 2013’s Annie Up album and this record shows it. They have also tuned their sound into a more traditional country set-up that is certainly nothing like you hear on mainstream radio these days.  We here at Gary Hayes Country have been looking forward to this release since May.  Let’s find out if it lives up to our expectations.

I really dig the track “When I Was His Wife” which some can take as Miranda Lambert taking a shot at Blake Shelton, but it is vague enough that it could be applied to anyone’s ex.  Another favorite along those lines is the fun track “Got My Name Changed Back”. It’s another track that is vague, but could also be personal. One of the taglines for the record proclaims that the Pistol Annies came unleashed and told a bunch of truth.  Any songwriter can bring the truth to their music, it’s the mark of a good songwriter that can turn it into a hit and apply it to the masses.

“Levers Lullaby” is a slower track that takes the typical guy leaving the woman song and turns it around making the song from the woman’s perspective of the situation.  “Masterpiece” is a brilliantly written track comparing a relationship to a work of art or an 8 second ride or a good country song. I particularly love the pedal steel on this ballad.  You don’t get songs like this on country radio. Finally, I have to props to the title track “Interstate Gospel” and the opener “interstate Prelude”. The prelude pairs perfectly with the title track which is a barn burner sure to fit in alongside Pistol Annies classics like “I Feel A Sin Comin’ On” and “Hell On Heels”.

This new record from the Pistol Annies is exactly what you would expect from these women at this high point in their careers.  It takes the great sound and songwriting of the first two albums and just improves on it in every way. They have taken what they have learned from their solo outings and applied it here.  This record is a tour de force and one not to be missed. Be sure to pick up this album wherever you buy good music as it came out on November 2nd, 2018.

Favorite Tracks : When I Was His Wife, Got My Name Changed Back, Leavers Lullaby,  Commissary, Masterpiece, Interstate Gospel

Pistol Annies – Interstate Gospel (2018)

  1. Interstate Prelude
  2. Stop Drop and Roll One
  3. Best Years Of My Life
  4. 5 Acres Of Turnips
  5. When I Was His Wife
  6. Cheyenne
  7. Got My Name Changed Back
  8. Sugar Daddy
  9. Leavers Lullaby
  10. Milkman
  11. Commissary
  12. Masterpiece
  13. Interstate Gospel
  14. This Too Shall Pass