Author Archives: Kevin John Coyne

Daily Top Five: Emmylou Harris

"All For The Hall" Benefit / 2010Tomorrow, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell release their second collaborative album, The Travelin’ Kind.   They waited almost four decades to finally do their first album together, 2013’s Grammy-winning Old Yellow Moon.   Kinda cool that we’re getting another album already.

Today, we’re picking our Top Five Albums and Singles of Emmylou Harris.  Check back tomorrow for the Rodney Crowell edition!

Here are my top fives:

Albums

  1. Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town
  2. Roses in the Snow
  3. Cowgirl’s Prayer
  4. Wrecking Ball
  5. Stumble Into Grace

Singles

  1. Beneath Still Waters
  2. Easy From Now On
  3. To Daddy
  4. The Boxer
  5. I Don’t Have to Crawl

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The Best of 1993: The Ballot

Shania Twain Toby Keith John Brannen Triple PlayLast winter, we counted down the best albums and singles of 1994.   Now, we’re getting ready to share with you what we think were the best albums of the year before that.

1993 is the year that longtime writer Leeann Ward fell in love with country music, and a lot of sentimental favorites from all of our staff were sent to radio or retail that year.  (It’s also the year that Mercury launched its Triple Play tour of three new artists – Toby Keith, Shania Twain, and John Brannen.)

We had a lot of great music to choose from!  As we did last time around, we’re sharing the full ballot with you. That’s 89 albums and 265 singles!

Share your favorite albums and singles in the comments!

Check out the ballot below the fold.

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Daily Top Five (by Five): Fan Favorites

We haven’t done a Daily Top Five for a few days, so the original post is going to be lengthier than usual.

Loyal fans of an artist usually love album cuts and rarities as much as they do the singles, if not more.   Today we ask, what are your five favorite lesser-known tracks Trisha Yearwood Everybody Knowsby your five favorite artists?

You don’t have to to pick five artists in the comments, of course.  But for the artists you pick, try to avoid singles!

I’m cheating and using my iPod play counts to help me out here.

Here are my five favorite fan favorites from five of my favorite artists:

Trisha Yearwood

  1. Dreaming Fields
  2. Woman Walk the Line
  3. Standing Out in a Crowd
  4. Little Hercules
  5. Harmless Heart

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Single Review: Chris Janson, “Buy Me a Boat”

Chris Janson Buy Me a Boat

“Buy Me a Boat”
Chris Janson

Written by Chris DuBois and Chris Janson

It’s about time that Eric Church’s sound started showing up on other people’s records.

Chris Janson’s “Buy Me a Boat” is lyrically something you would’ve expected from Alan Jackson back in the day. He’d have done it with a goofy smile. Janson does it with the same amount of twang, but it sounds like he’s grimacing instead of grinning.

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Daily Top Five: Recommend a Track

Rodney Crowell Tarpaper SkyToday, we combine a classic feature with our latest one.

What are your Top Five Track Recommendations?

They don’t have to be that recent, but should be something that wasn’t a single.

Here are my Top Five:

  1. Reba McEntire, “She Got Drunk Last Night”
  2. Punch Brothers, “Magnet”
  3. Tim McGraw, “Overrated”
  4. Nickel Creek, “You Don’t Know What’s Going On”
  5. Rodney Crowell, “God I’m Missing You”

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Daily Top Five: Country Convert Albums

Dixie Chicks Home high qualityToday’s Daily Top Five asks you to pick the five albums you would use to make a case for country music to the unconverted listener.

Here are the five albums I would lend/rip/share in a .zip to someone willing to give country music a chance:

  1. Dixie Chicks, Home
  2. Tim McGraw, Live Like You Were Dying
  3. Reba McEntire, For My Broken Heart
  4. Alan Jackson, A Lot About Livin’ (and a Little ‘Bout Love)
  5. Shania Twain, The Woman in Me

What are your Top Five Country Convert Albums?

 

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Daily Double Top Five: Best & Worst Cover Songs

Johnny Cash American RecordingsAgain, we play catch up with a daily double top five, and this one focuses on cover songs.

So many great songs have been re-recorded over time.  Sometimes the new versions are so good that you discover something new about the original.  Other times, the new takes are so bad that you just wish they’d left well enough alone.

So today we ask: What do you think are the best and the worst cover songs?

For my five best, I’m picking versions that I enjoyed so much more than the originals that I rarely listen to the first versions anymore.  But you don’t have to do that!

Original artists are in parentheses after each pick.

Five Best Cover Songs

  1. Emmylou Harris, “The Boxer” (Simon & Garfunkel)
  2. Johnny Cash, “Why Me Lord”  (Kris Kristofferson)
  3. Reba McEntire, “Sweet Music Man” (Kenny Rogers)
  4. Alison Krauss, “Ghost in This House” (Shenandoah)
  5. Dwight Yoakam, “Wichita Lineman” (Glen Campbell)

Five Worst Cover Songs

  1. David Kersh, “Wonderful Tonight” (Eric Clapton)
  2. Brooks & Dunn, “Missing You” (John Waite)
  3. Rascal Flatts, “Revolution” (The Beatles)
  4. Gretchen Peters, “Sunday Morning Coming Down” (Johnny Cash)
  5. Willie Nelson, “Time After Time” (Cyndi Lauper)

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Single Review: Zac Brown Band, “Loving You Easy”

Zac Brown Band Loving You Easy

“Loving You Easy”
Zac Brown Band

Written by Al Anderson, Zac Brown, and Niko Moon

Zac Brown Band’s groove was in danger of becoming a rut, and their new album, Jekyll + Hyde, is their game attempt to expand their sound. You know, mix it up a bit.

I almost feel guilty for faulting them for “Loving You Easy.” They’re really trying to do something new.

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Daily Double Top Five: Best Duets and Harmony Vocals

Porter Dolly Just Between You and MeOnce again, technical difficulties derailed yesterday’s Daily Top Five.  So we’re doubling down today.

Ever notice how the Vocal Event categories at country award shows honor harmony vocals as much as they do real, full-fledged duets?  The spiritual godfather of all of this is “You and I”, the not quite duet by Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle, “You and I.”  But the modern trend goes back to the award-sweeping “It’s Your Love”, the not quite duet by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

So for today’s Daily Double Top Fives, we’re asking you to make the distinction that the award shows don’t.  What are your favorite five duets, which feature two artists actually trading off lines, and what are your favorite five “all-star” harmony vocals?

Here are mine:

Top Five Duets

  1. Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton, “The Last Thing on My Mind”
  2. Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty, “After the Fire is Gone”
  3. Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton, “You Can’t Make Old Friends”
  4. Suzy Bogguss & Billy Dean, “Something Up My Sleeve”
  5. Brad Paisley & Alison Krauss, “Whiskey Lullaby”

Top Five Harmony Vocals

  1. Linda Ronstadt with Emmylou Harris, “I Can’t Help it (If I’m Still in Love with You)”
  2. Tim McGraw with Faith Hill, “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s”
  3. Patty Loveless with George Jones, “You Don’t Seem to Miss Me”
  4. Vince Gill with Patty Loveless, “When I Call Your Name”
  5. Trisha Yearwood with Emmylou Harris, “Woman Walk the Line”

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Single Review: Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, “It’s all Going to Pot”

Willie Nelson Merle Haggard It's all Going to Pot

“It’s all Going to Pot”
Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard

Written by Buddy Cannon, Jamey Johnson, and Larry Shell

Let’s answer all of the burning questions right away.

1. Do these two legends still sound great?  Yes.

2. Is it a real duet where they alternate verses and play off of each other?  Yes.

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