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Album Review: Craig Campbell, Craig Campbell

April 18, 2011 Leeann Ward 16

Craig Campbell
Craig Campbell


The slightly perceptible shift to more traditional sounding music on mainstream country radio carries on with Craig Campbell’s debut self-titled album, which was produced by the venerable Keith Stegall. Campbell may not be a household name just yet, but his album’s lead single is being warmly received so far and will likely continue to do so at least for the near future.

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Classic Country Singles: Randy Travis, “Three Wooden Crosses”

April 17, 2011 Kevin John Coyne 8

Three Wooden Crosses
Randy Travis
2002

Written by Doug Johnson and Kim Williams

During the first decade of the twenty-first century, the antiseptic depictions of faith that have dominated contemporary Christian music began to seep in to country music.

This perception created records both good (“Jesus, Take the Wheel”) and bad (“The Little Girl”), but most of them were bland, adding going to church on Sunday or praying as just one of the token traits of southern life, no more or less significant than the fried chicken or football game that followed the morning services.

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Single Review: Sunny Sweeney, “Staying’s Worse Than Leaving”

April 15, 2011 Kevin John Coyne 19

This is going to be an unfair criticism, but here it goes.

“Staying’s Worse Than Leaving” is an awesome song. As good as anything I’ve heard lately in terms of lyrics. Mature, realistic, insightful. It’s good stuff.

The production is effective in that “stay out of the way of the song” kind of way, as it is on so many great country records.

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Single Review: Jason Aldean, “Dirt Road Anthem”

April 11, 2011 Kevin John Coyne 92

Few songs have come along that serve such a valid sociological purpose as “Dirt Road Anthem.”

With this single, Jason Aldean pulls back the curtain on the mysterious ways of rural southern society. How fearless of Aldean to allow outsiders this rare glimpse into the social mores and recreational activities of southern youth.

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Toxic People

April 8, 2011 Kevin John Coyne 13

This post, originally written on September 19, 2005, seems to have disappeared from the Country Universe archives when we switched over to self-hosting. I’m reposting it today for the sake of posterity.

I’m starting to wonder if the people I like and can get along with all fall into one category and the people I can’t stand to be around or have a conversation with fall into another. The categories?
1 – You believe that you have a moral obligation to other people, and live your life accordingly.
2 – You look out for yourself primarily, and what you feel is best for you informs any obligation you feel to other people.

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Single Review: Emmylou Harris, “The Road”

April 7, 2011 Kevin John Coyne 9

The story of Emmylou Harris is well established, the stuff of legend at this point.

She could’ve been Gram Parsons’ harmony singer for the rest of her career and been happy, but she ended up carrying on his legacy instead, becoming a Hall of Famer with the most consistently excellent catalog in country music history.

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