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Single Review: Taylor Swift, "Begin Again"

September 28, 2012 Kevin John Coyne 24

The title of Taylor Swift’s new single is oddly appropriate, as her label hits the reset button at country radio.

“We are Never Ever Getting Back Together” was apparently too pop for her genre home base, though it will certainly continue to dominate top forty for a good long while. Country radio is now getting its own single, and it’s quite the genre exercise.

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Single Review: Brad Paisley, "Southern Comfort Zone"

September 25, 2012 Ben Foster 33

At his best, Brad Paisley has at times demonstrated the rare ability to balance fresh and modern contemporary sounds with a nod toward traditional country genre conventions. On his tasteless new single “Southern Comfort Zone,” that strength sounds it’s been totally buried.

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CU Archives: Kathy Mattea

September 22, 2012 Kevin John Coyne 2

For those of you just discovering Country Universe because of Ben Foster’s stellar review of Calling Me Home, here are some other Kathy Mattea features from our archives:

A Conversation with Kathy Mattea

This interview from March 2009 covers Mattea’s musical legacy, with a special focus on her Grammy-nominated Coal.

100 Greatest Women: #27. Kathy Mattea

Mattea’s entry on our 2008 countdown of the genre’s greatest women.

Favorite Songs by Favorite Artists: Kathy Mattea

Twenty-five of her best, written shortly after the release of Coal.

Classic Country Singles: “Where’ve You Been”

A look back at the single that earned Mattea her first Grammy award and won its songwriters several major honors as well.

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Album Review: Kathy Mattea, <i>Calling Me Home</i>

September 20, 2012 Ben Foster 5

Kathy Mattea
Calling Me Home

On her exquisite new album Calling Me Home, Kathy Mattea shows herself to be an artist who fully understands music as a medium of art and self-expression. Following down a path similar to that of her stellar Grammy-nominated 2008 effort Coal, but expanding upon it by dealing with a wider range of topics, Calling Me Home finds Mattea turning to her own roots for inspiration, and producing what just might be the finest album of her illustrious career.

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Win a Signed Copy of Easton Corbin's <i>All Over the Road</i>

September 18, 2012 Ben Foster 28

UPDATE: The contest is now closed. Congratulations to winner Dustin Donahue!

I don’t know about you, but we sure do love us some Easton Corbin here at Country Universe. His second album All Over the Road drops today, and the current single – the catchy two-step-friendly “Lovin’ You Is Fun” – has already become Corbin’s third Top 10 hit. For all the Easton Corbin fans among our readers, Country Universe is pleased to offer one autographed copy of All Over the Road to one of our readers.

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2012 CMA Nominations

September 5, 2012 Ben Foster 60

The list of nominees for the 46th annual Country Music Association Awards has been released. Eric Church had a big breakthrough this past year, and such is reflected in the nominee list – Church leads the pack with five nominations. Current favorite power couple Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert follow with four each, including a shared Song of the Year nod for their co-write “Over You.”

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