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2005 In Retrospect
By Jim Moulton, CSO Contributing Journalist

For country music and it's outshoots, this was a very busy year for CD releases in every genre.

Deana Carter starts out her year with The Story Of My Life, a very alt/country departure for her, while Chely Wright comes back on Dualtone with a nice Nashville country disc , Metropolitan  Hotel which contained the hit single "Bumper Sticker On My SUV".

Bluegrass artists Rhonda Vincent, The Cherryholmes and The Greencards all release stellar works. Appalachion style singer Laura Cantrell produces her  best work yet on Humming By The Flowered Vine. Nancy Griffith releases a gem in Hearts In Mind.

Jessi Alexander debuts a great disc Honeysuckle Sweet, but it dies quickly.

Canadian alt/country diva Kathleen Edwards releases her second no non-sense CD Back To Me while Canadian compadre Alana Levandoski releases a nice debut Unsettled Down. Shelby Lynne releases a very nice recording in Suit Yourself with a great song called "When Johnny met June", about the death of Johnny Cash.

Nickel Creek go in a different direction with Why Should the Fire Die? , but it does very well.

LeAnn Rimes releases a very mature well rounded CD in This Woman. Lee Ann Womack goes back to her roots in  There's More Where that Came From , to me, the melodies are too familiar.

Erika Jo, Nashville Star winner, does pretty well on her first CD. The Wilkinson's Highway is an eclectic affair of pop and country.

New CDs from Craig Morgan, Trace Adkins, Billy Dean, Blaine Larsen and a special treat from Kenny Chesney with Be As You Are.

Brad Paisley with another gimmick CD Time Well Wasted, not so sure it was, this guy is so talented , oh well.

Patty Loveless releases probably the best CD of her career in Dreamin' My Dreams, half acoustic, half electric, but it goes nowhere, although it does very well in Europe.

Faith Hill goes a bit more country with Fireflies, but only a couple of real country tracks on the CD. Dierks Bentley , Hot Apple Pie and George Strait have new releases.

Cody Widner and Toby Keith have new releases, Dolly Parton does something special with Those Were The Days, a very interesting take.

Jo Dee Messina has a Delicious Surprise. New southern rocker Miranda Lambert has a hotty, Kerosene.

Martina releases Timeless, as nice collection of retro covers which does well, but seems out of her genre singing "I never Promised You A Rose Garden".

Meanwhile, Gretchen Wilson is All Jacked Up, releasing her second CD which is mostly old timey redneck country, an incredible work. Carrie Underwood (Idol Winner) storms the charts with "Some Hearts", a real very heavily produced country/pop CD that sells like crazy.

Meanwhile, more new CDs from Gary Allen and Lonestar.  Trisha Yearwood has a nice one with Jasper County and a new hubby, Garth Brooks. 

George Jones releases a very special treat, Ten Hits I Missed and One I Didn't. The Possum sounds great. 

Brooks and Dunn have a new disc, along with Trick Pony. On the Horizon, a new group "Cowboy Crush", an all girl band is creating lots of buzz.

Terri Clark has a new one Life Goes On, and Sara Evans came out with Real Fine Place, both good solid country pop releases.

Kenny Chesney releases another one The Road and The Radio. Joe Nichols goes for number 3.

Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon as Johnny Cash and June Carter put out a stunning soundtrack to their hit movie Walk The Line about Cash.

Finally, Big and Rich are Coming To Your City with some more whacky Zappa country music that they love.

In Closing, you can't argue this has been a stellar year and a busy one for country music.

They took the CMAs to NYC which doesn't even have a country music station, I missed Vince, but liked the new format with more live music. Oh yeah, Dwight Yoakam put out a new disc Blame The Vain (still country). The Chicks are busy in LA with Rick Rubin recording a new CD. So let's see what the new year has in store for us

To visit Jim Moulton's website click here

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