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CSO Reviews & More 2008
20072006 - 2005 - 20042003 - 2002

Featured Artist / Band Of the Week Extra Reviews & Interviews

Toby Keith 
That Don’t Make Me a Bad Guy

By: Cheryl Harvey Hill


Big Bob Young
By: George Peden
The soundtrack to Big Bob Young’s life plays out like a well-lived song on a well-kicked corner jukebox. As revealed in his liner notes, the journey comes complete with lowlights and high times...

Patty Loveless - Sleepless Nights
By: George Peden
Charlie Daniels
By: Jim Moulton
On April 25th, 2005 from the Ford Theater in Nashville, Charlie Daniels and Friend's presented a great picture in time with his friends Mac Wiseman, The Whites, Earl and Gary and Randy Scruggs plus the Del McCoury family...

Kenny Chesney 
Lucky Old Sun

By: Cheryl Harvey Hill


Amanda Henkel
By: George Peden
Don’t let the looks fool you. Sure, Amanda Henkel is gorgeous, attractive for all the right reasons – a snow storm smile, a face you’d expect to see looking out from Vogue...

John Michael Montgomery
Time Flies

By: George Peden

Ralph Stanley II
By: George Peden
I’ve heard a lot of music and listened to many albums this year at CSO Central. As we approach year’s end I’m left with a question. Could Ralph Stanley II’s This One Is Two be one of the best I’ve heard for 2008?

The Road Hammers
Blood Sweat & Steel

By: George Peden


Lee Ann Womack
By: Jim Moulton
Lee Ann Womack has tried most formulas of country music, with arguably her best music being in her first couple of traditional country albums. "Never Again", "The Fool", "Little Past Little Rock"...

Mark Wills - Familiar Stranger

Album review by: Cheryl Harvey Hill


Billy Currington
By: Brianna Nightingale
Billy Currington recently released his third studio album, just one year after Doin’ Something Right went Platinum. Little Bit Of Everything was co-produced by Currington and Carson Chamberlin...

Martina McBride - Live In Concert
Review By: George Peden


Ten Questions With Dean Dillon
By Todd Sterling
Liner note junkies will be familiar with the name Dean Dillon. The Tennessee native has penned hits for George Jones, George Strait (who has cut more than fifty of Dillon’s songs), and Kenny Chesney, among many others...

Heidi Newfield - What Am I Waiting For

By Brianna Nightingale, CSO Staff Journalist


Melonie Cannon
By: Jim Moulton And The Wheels Turn is the second recording made by Melonie Cannon, daughter of Nashville Producer, Buddy Cannon. Her first CD opened up a lot of ears a couple of years ago...

Keith Anderson - C'MON!

By: Brianna Nightingale
Jessica Simpson
By: Brianna Nightingale
It has been a while since I have heard an album that, as a whole, was quite as inspirational as Jessica Simpson’s new release, Do You Know...

Sugarland - Love On the Inside

Album Review By: Brianna Nightingale


Deanne Moore
By: Jim Moulton
Deanne Moore is a very talented young lady who can do it all. I'm looking at her resume' and seriously, I do not think that I have seen a much more diversified one...
Ashton Shepherd 
Sounds So Good

Review By: George Peden
Ten Questions With Jeremy Spillman 
By Todd Sterling Every day in Nashville teams of songwriters assemble in offices all over town in hopes of writing the next big hit. The level of talent in Music City is jaw-dropping. While many have the gift to string words together and marry them to memorable melodies...

Jewel - Perfectly Clear

By: Brianna Nightingale


Scarlet Kings
By: Brianna Nightingale
Every song from the Scarlet Kings is a treat, especially for someone like myself who primarily listens to the melodies in songs. This is a group that is unique, but in such a way that they draw in listeners, leaving them feeling completely satisfied and impressed...

Mark Chesnutt  
Rollin’ With the Flow

By: Brianna Nightingale


Vince Gill
By: Jim Moulton Hmmm. Well, this disc can open several cans of worms. You have seen these grey best of collections for artists, now they have greatly cheapened the product, I think it's a couple of bucks cheaper too. Like a digipak with a Styrofoam disc tray. No liner notes, just a URL to go and download them...

Montgomery Gentry - Back When I Knew It All

By: Brianna Nightingale


Michael Thomas
By: George Peden 

You have to start somewhere. George Strait did it with Strait Country. Alan Jackson stoked the flame with Here In The Real World, while a shy wannabee from Oklahoma...

Ray Scott - Crazy Like Me
By: Penny Rondinella

Lost Trailers
By: Brianna Nightingale

The history of the Lost Trailers began years ago when Ryder Lee and Stokes Nielson met in a church band. Realizing that they each had their hearts set on making music...

Phil Vassar - Prayer of a Common Man
By: Brianna Nightingale

Lauren Adams
By: Jim Moulton
Lauren Adams has a CD titled Secret Heart that is infectious, the lyrics and melodies along with some sweet slide work make you want to keep listening...
Toby Keith  - 35 Biggest Hits 
By: Jolene Downs  

Brent and Randy Mason
By: Jim Moulton
Brent Mason is one of the most talented guitarists around, plus he is an "A" call Nashville studio musician which means he is in high demand for his talent as a hired gun...

James Otto - Sunset Man 
Review By: George Peden 
Ten Questions With Rivers Rutherford
By Todd Sterling
I had the pleasure of meeting Rivers Rutherford at a party late last year celebrating his number one hit "These Are My People," co-written with Dave Berg and recorded by Rodney Atkins...
George Strait - Troubadour 
By: Brianna Nightingale
Randy Travis
By: Jolene Downs
Randy Travis has one of the most distinctive voices in the industry and it is little wonder that you will find him among the top 10 selling solo country artists...
Jeff Bates - Jeff Bates 
By: Jolene Downs
Gaylynn Robinson
By: Cheryl Harvey Hill
Life got you down? Kids driving you crazy? Overwhelmed by the hectic pace required to simply survive these days...
Alan Jackson - Good Time
Album review by: Cheryl Harvey Hill
Honky Tonk Tailgate Party 08
By: Penny Rondinella

The first thing I'm going to say is: if you have the chance to catch this tour, do it! You are not going to want to miss it.  These four cowboys put on a heck of a good time...
Chris Cagle
My Life’s Been a Country Song

By: Brianna Nightingale
Mike Aiken
Hula Girl Highway

By: George Peden

When Mike Aiken needs musical inspiration, he doesn’t have to go far. There’s no struggling writer’s loft for him; there’s no pacing the floor, wringing his hands in desperation...
Willie Nelson  
Moment Of Forever 

By: Cheryl Harvey Hill  
Carrie Hassler and Hard Rain 2
By: Jim Moulton
Carrie Hassler and Hard Rain 2
is a bluegrass / acoustic country masterpiece that is one the best quality CDs that I have heard this year...
Sarah Johns  
Big Love In A Small Town 

By: Jolene Downs  
Katie Armiger
By: Brianna Nightingale

Although Katie Armiger is only seventeen years old, she has recently released her second album, which is overflowing with songs that portray her strong vocal ability as well as her incredible talent as a songwriter...
Chuck Wicks  
Starting Now 

By: Brianna Nightingale 
John Carter Cash
By: Brianna Nightingale
Although it seems as if it should be required to know a lot about Johnny Cash in order to be a music journalist, I will admit I didn’t know a whole lot about him when I started writing country music reviews...
Rhonda Vincent 
Good Thing Going

By: Jim Moulton  
The Grascals 
By: Jim Moulton
Keep On Walkin' is the Grascals first CD in a couple of years, the sound is real traditional with hardly any special effects. The harmonies on this CD are killer, with memorable hooks from a great selection of songs...
Rissi Palmer 
Self-Titled Debut CD
By: Jim Weaver
Tabatha & Southern Fry’d
By: Brianna Nightingale
One thing I love about the internet is that you can find independent artists from around the world that you would never have a chance of hearing on the radio. Many of them are so good you want to turn the radio off and turn MySpace on...
  Charlie Allen
By: George Peden 
He's more Tritt than Strait, more McGraw than Jackson, and more Otto than Keith. But more than a casual and easy pigeon-slot comparison, newcomer Charlie Allen is exciting and authentic. In essence: he is his own brand...
  April Taylor 
By: Jim Moulton
Ok, I want to apologize for putting this off so long, it is just too good. April Taylor is a special talent who has a remarkable CD with a great collection of songs. 
  Julianne Hough
By: Kevin Snyder

Most new artists share the same problem of trying to build their name to sell it to the public and radio. Julianne Hough has already built up a reputation for herself as a two time champion on the television series Dancing With the Stars...
  Patriotic Country 3
By: Jim Moulton
I reviewed the first installment of this series a while back and remembered it being very good, so I went for part 3. The 3rd compilation hits me in a different light...
  Phil Christie 
By: George Peden
If you like your music richly mellow, flavored just right with equal doses of Americana and Folk, then Phil Christie, a Neil Diamond similar-sounder, is worth a listen. Blessed with a smooth, easy and clear tone, this Canadian is out with his latest, Rearview Mirror...
  Carlene Carter
By: Jim Moulton
This CD is raw, spirited and just a masterpiece by one of the Carter Family Royalty, Carlene Carter. This has been quite a year for me, lots of great music, but this record really has moved me with its twelve original songs...
  Angel Band
By: George Peden
Start with three distinct voices. Voices rich, clear and full, add celebrated producer Lloyd Maines, include a pitch perfect band, then blend an assortment of meaningful and inspired tunes. The result is, if I dare play with the obvious, angelic...
  Mountain Heart
By: Jim Moulton
This refreshing, cutting edge bluegrass group really has put out a real masterpiece on this album. Recorded at "The Ark" in Ann Arbor, Michigan...
  Kathy Mattea
By: Jolene Downs Kathy Mattea is an extremely versatile artist who packs a very large emotional punch with her music. Her latest album, Coal, is an incredible musical journey...
  City Moon 
By: George Peden 

It would easily be ten years. It must be. Could it really be that long? Back then, I was doing a show on Melbourne (Australia) radio and a listener asked if I’d heard of City Moon...

Tift Merritt
By: Jim Moulton

Well, here I am back in the middle of the night reviewing a CD and listening on my headphones. I have listened to Tift Merritt before, but never reviewed anything by her...
  Trent Willmon  
By: Penny Rondinella 
Trent Willmon is here to prove with the release of his new CD, Broken In with Compadre Records, that he's not only the "Beer Man," or just another pretty face...
  Becky Schlegel 
By: George Peden 

What a deeply satisfying album For All The World To See is from Becky Schlegel. The voice, the songs, the artistry of the musicians, all adds to an album that, simply, is clear, melodic and easy on the senses...
  DeAnne Moore - Never Too Late
By: Jolene Downs  
DeAnne Moore is a newcomer who feels like a long-time friend almost immediately. Once you've listened to her, you come away with the feeling that she's just always been there. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Abilene...
  Royal Wade Kimes - How The West Was Sung 
By: George Peden
Let me get this out and upfront – I’m a Royal Wade Kimes fan. A big one. His music brings a gritty approval for those who rode the rough and lonely trails and lived the bedroll existence of bygone times...
  Country Compressor Pedal Shootout
By: Jim Moulton 
Greetings Friends, well I guess you wonder where I disappeared to, but I have been up to something different. After almost seven years of doing CD reviews, I decided to review another type of musical product that involves country music, guitar pedals, specifically, compressor pedals...
  Kelly Aspen 
By: Brianna Nightingale 
Kelly Aspen is the type of country singer who has big dreams and works hard to fulfill them. “I have wanted to be a singer for as far back as I remember,” she said...
  Randy Archer - I Can Hardly Wait  
By: George Peden 
I Can Hardly Wait
is the new release from Randy Archer. The former hit-seeker with country duo Archer Park has turned his hand and voice to a religious album. And before the wowsers turn their ears away, it’s wholesome, melodic and well crafted...
  Crystal Sands 
By: Brianna Nightingale 

Realizing the importance and thrill of writing her own songs, Crystal Sands began transforming her own poems into melodies at the age of thirteen. She has always loved to write...
  Jason Meadows  100% Cowboy 
Interview/Album Review By: Brianna Nightingale 

When asked to describe himself to interviewers on Nashville Star, Jason Meadows said he is “a cowboy, country as a dirt clod.” After talking with him and listening to his album, 100% Cowboy, I believe it...
  Josh Gracin  
We Weren’t Crazy

By: Brianna Nightingale 
 In the past I heard that Josh Gracin went in to Lyric Street, sang in front of a few staff members and ended up with a record deal. I knew it couldn’t be quite that simple...
  Zane Lewis 
By: George Peden
Turbo-tonkin’ Texan Zane Lewis is out and active with his second album, a self-titled sizzler. Lewis simply, and energetically, delivers with a power brand of hip country, all without hype or hoopla...
  Concert Review
Sawyer Brown, Phil Stacey, Rissi Palmer, Carolyn Dawn Johnson and Chris Young in Hoffman Estates, IL 
By: Brianna Nightingale  
  Mike Runnels 
Jukebox Boulevard 

By: George Peden 

Mike Runnels is country. The Austin, Texas singer songwriter knows how to twist and juice his lyrics, leaving you decidedly aware how life and love can leave you somewhere far from where it started...
  Allison Moorer 
By: Jim Moulton 
Allison Moorer has done a little bit of all types of music and different types of recordings. Her big sister Shelby Lynne just finished a very polished jazz sounding CD called Just a Little Lovin' that was sparse, but emotive and one of her best...
  Luke Bryan
I’ll Stay Me
By: Brianna Nightingale 
Luke Bryan learned all about hard work while he was growing up on his parents’ peanut farm in Leesburg, GA. His childhood was also the time when he acquired his love for country music...
  Shawna Russell
By: George Peden
Happy is the person who can find what truly makes them content. Country newcomer Shawna Russell seems to have found the answer...

Shelby Lynne  
Just A Little Lovin'

By: Jim Moulton 
Shelby Lynne has always sang and recorded music with passion and reason. Lynne's last CD was a very well done set of songs that she wrote called Suit Yourself...

  Craig Morgan brought in 2008 at Wildhorse Saloon 
By: Brianna Nightingale 
What is better than bringing in the New Year with a few good friends and Craig Morgan? I can’t think of anything off the top of my head; well, unless there were more friends and two Craig Morgans...

Randy Thompson 
Further On 
By: George Peden

The album rocks in part, slows to measure the mood on the slower cuts, and is generally a tight musical odyssey for a guy renowned for taking years between his album releases. But that’s okay – quality takes time, and this is a top-drawer effort...


Blue Highway  
Through The Window OF A Train

By: Jim Moulton

After many listens to this recording, I have just fallen in love with it. More than anything, the depth of the lyrics really struck me...

  Owen Temple 
Two Thousand Miles 

By: George Peden 

In a market flooded with wannabees and clones, once in a great while it happens. Someone comes along, someone with a voice and a message that makes you second take and draws you in
  BadBob & Jimmy
Posted Places 
By: George Peden 

Hmmm…it's a fine line, this comedy thing. I mean, what makes someone laugh often makes another cringe...

Marshall Tucker Band 
Carolina Dreams Tour '77 DVD/CD
By: Jim Moulton 
Like Surprises? I do. I have been reviewing lots of Shout Factory / Marshall Tucker Band re-releases recently...

  Megan Linville  Concert Review
By: Christina Struck 

I first heard Megan Linville when a friend suggested that I check out her Myspace page.
  Justin Honaman  Saturday In The South  
By: George Peden 
Good deeds never go unnoticed. Country newcomer Justin Honaman has a dual purpose in life. He wants to make country music. He also wants to assist less fortunate people, in particular kids...
  Doug Stone 
My Turn
By Jolene Downs
Doug Stone has released his latest studio album, My Turn, on his own TNT Records label. Stone is an artist that has dealt with more than his fair share of adversity...
  My Top Picks of 2007 - Predictions for 2008 
By Cheryl Harvey Hill
Would someone please slap the powers that be at Curb!?! Please...
  Jim Moulton Picks His Top 10 of 2007
Well, I thought doing the top ten CDs for this past year was going to be easy, but it turned out to be a lot of thought and work...

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