Articles by Leeann Ward

Single Review: Jake Owen, “Real Life”

June 9, 2015 // 5 Comments

“Real Life” Jake Owen Written by Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley, Shane McAnally, and Josh Osborne Everclear is one of the few pop bands that I liked in the late 90s/early 2000s. While a lot of their music sounded similar, their grooves were addictive and their tunes were memorable (“A.M. Radio”, Anyone?). As a result of enjoying Everclear, I’ll admit that I actually guiltily enjoy Jake Owen’s “Real Life.”

Daily Top Five: Better With Time

June 9, 2015 // 9 Comments

As we grow older, our tastes change and some would even say that they mature. Such is the case with me, as you’ll see in the list below. There was a time when I did not like these artists (gasp!) and a time when I didn’t like these songs. However, something made them grow on me to the point that I absolutely love them now. Which artists and songs have grown on you over time? Here are my lists: Artists: Willie Nelson Dwight Yoakam Emmylou Harris Miranda Lambert Sturgill Simpson Songs: Josh Turner, “Another Try” Vince Gill, “Go Rest High on that Mountain” Dierks Bentley, “What Was I Thinking”  George Strait, “Troubadour Randy Travis, “Before You Kill Us All”

Album Review: Kristian Bush, Southern Gravity

May 23, 2015 // 3 Comments

Kristian Bush Southern Gravity Although there is already a long list of great albums that have been released this year, Southern Gravity, Kristian Bush’s first solo album apart from Sugarland, just may end up being the most pleasant surprise of 2015. First of all, lets address some of the elephants in the room. Frankly, the biggest surprise of the album is the discovery that Kristian Bush can actually sing. Without the long shadow of the Powerhouse Jennifer Nettles, Bush has a chance to find his literal and figurative voice and it’s a good one. Additionally, whether it was deserved or not, Bush had developed the reputation of being the intense, mysterious half of Sugarland. So, another surprise is that the album is relaxed and accessible and avoids drowning in over thinking or overproduction. With that said, the final surprise is that the album is more country than we had heard Read More

Single Review: Chris Stapleton, “Traveller”

May 3, 2015 // 8 Comments

“Traveller” Chris Stapleton Written by Chris Stapleton With all of the lamenting that many of us do regarding mainstream country music, those of us who are practical are aware of the conflict of knowing that the songs that we would choose to be played on radio must at least maintain a balance of quality songwriting and sounding country while still being accessible to a mainstream audience, which is what much of nineties country music did so well.

Daily Top Five: Favorites from your Least Favorites

April 25, 2015 // 57 Comments

If we’re honest with ourselves, we don’t like every single music choice that even our very favorite artists make, which  is what inspired  us to share our least favorite albums from our favorite artists. In that same spirit, there are also times when we catch ourselves enjoying a  stray song or two from artists by whom we’re  typically  not impressed. So, what are five songs that you like from artists that you normally don’t enjoy? Here are mine. I should note that I actually enjoy more than one song from most of these artists, but will only list one for the purpose of this exercise. Jason Aldean, “Two Night Town” Rascal Flatts, “What Hurts the Most” Taylor Swift (feat. The Civil Wars), “Safe and Sound” Scotty McCreery, ” Carolina Moon” Thomas Rhett, “Beer with Jesus”

Daily Top Five: Favorite Songs by Your Favorite Songwriter

April 21, 2015 // 19 Comments

There’s a cool Guy Clark documentary Kickstarter campaign happening right now that I encourage country music lovers to check out and, perhaps, make a pledge toward. Long time publicist, biographer and Guy Clark champion, Tamara Saviano, is in the process of producing and directing a documentary on Clark, a revered songwriter in country music. The campaign is already almost fully funded, which is a testament to the wide and strong impact of Clark. However, while they’ve almost raised the initial funds, any extra money on top of that modest goal will only allow the documentary to be even better than it already promises to be, not to mention the opportunities for various perks that are offered to backers of the project. After reading about and pledging to this campaign, I’ve been going down a Guy Clark Rabbit hole for the last couple of days, which has included listening to songs Read More

Daily Top Five: Albums You’re Most Looking Forward to Purchasing

April 15, 2015 // 26 Comments

I’ve listened to this phenomenal Chris Stapleton performance from last night’s Late Night with David Letterman at least 8 times so far today. As I watched it last night, I was extremely proud to be a country music fan. If Stapleton represented what mainstream country music predominantly sounded like these days, I could proudly declare that I was a country music fan without all of the clarifications that I currently have to make. Stapleton’s new album, Traveler, will finally be released on May 5, which can’t come fast enough. So, as a Part 2 to last night’s Daily Top Five discussion of our five most recent music purchases, tonight we’ll ask you what you hope or expect your next five music purchases will be. Since I’ve already preordered the Stapleton album, these are the top five albums that I’m looking forward to purchasing (in release date order). 1. Alabama Shakes, Read More

Daily Top Five: First Favorite Songs by Your Favorite Artist

April 12, 2015 // 35 Comments

Today, let’s list our first favorite songs by our favorite artist. Vince Gill is my favorite artist and the first song that I had heard of his is “Trying to Get Over You”, which started the beginning of my love for his voice and music. However, the songs that cemented my love for Vince were “Don’t Let Our Love Start Slipping Away” and “I Still Believe in You.” This list isn’t necessarily my  top five favorite Vince Gill songs now, but rather, they’re the first five songs that turned me into a serious Vince Gill fan: “Trying to Get Over You” “I Still Believe in You” “Don’t Let Our Love Start Slipping Away” “When I Call Your Name” “The Heart Won’t Lie” (with Reba McEntire) What are your top five songs that made you a fan of your favorite artist?

Single Review: Gary Allan, “Hangover Tonight”

March 21, 2015 // 57 Comments

“Hangover Tonight” Gary Allan Written by Gary Allan, Cary Barlowe, Jesse Frasure, and Chris Stapleton With its play on the word “hangover” and its playful production, Allan’s latest single has a happy and silly vibe with an infectious swampy groove. “Hangover Tonight” is carefree and treads the old topic of partying, but it still stands above and apart from the loud raucous party anthems of his mainstream peers.

Single Review: Tim McGraw with Catherine Dunn, “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools”

March 1, 2015 // 11 Comments

“Diamond Rings and Old Barstools” Tim McGraw with Catherine Dunn Written by Barry Dean, Luke Laird, and Jonathan Singleton Tim McGraw should be applauded for finally meeting the potential that many of us had hoped for after he left the oppressive Curb Records. His most recent album, particularly his last couple singles, have dialed back the loudness, embraced a more traditional and organic sound, reconnected him with the warm vocals with which he had all but lost, and the last two singles have even presented more thoughtful lyrics than he’d been singing in the last few years.

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