40+ Best Country Singles of 2022

From what I’ve read, 2022 is supposed to be the year that neo-traditionalism (i.e., singers trying to sound like Travis and Strait and McEntire trying to sound like Haggard and Jones and Wynette) returned to country radio while everybody showed how much they missed to the ’90s (i.e., Twain and Brooks and Brooks & Dunn.)… Continue reading 40+ Best Country Singles of 2022

Memory of the Dance

I feel there must be some cosmic significance in the fact that this lovely medieval-woodcut-looking graphic novel about Strasbourg’s dancing plague of 1518 (“Was this a mania, an illness, a case of divine judgement, food poisoning, a plant-induced hallucination, willful heresy, or a deliberate civic rebellion?”) was written by someone named GARETH BROOKES, but I… Continue reading Memory of the Dance

Country reviews, 2006-’13

Gary Allan, Set You Free Gary Allan has long been one of country’s most velvet-voiced beautiful losers. But on Set Me Free he lets the crazy out, howling psychobilly graveyard threats in “Bones,” interrupting a recovery meeting church organ to blame mental ghosts in “It Ain’t The Whiskey,” vegetating in his hotel room while college… Continue reading Country reviews, 2006-’13

Country Lady Licks, 2004

Fun Fact: The next Elizabeth McQueen and the FireBrands album was an all-pub-rock-covers record, partially inspired by this review! ELIZABETH MCQUEEN & THE FIREBRANDS The Fresh Up Club No confirmation that the two songs addressed to a former love interest no longer in the band concern Asleep at the Wheeler David Sanger, who produced the… Continue reading Country Lady Licks, 2004

John Cougar Mellencamp live review, 1987

Maybe the third best thing I’ve written about the Cougmeister (check my third and fourth books for the first and second best), and still not horrible I don’t think. Surprised I didn’t point out in the corporate sponsorship hypocrisy paragraph that his greatest song is free advertising for Tastee-Freez. My opinion of The Lonesome Jubilee… Continue reading John Cougar Mellencamp live review, 1987