Jason Boland & The Stragglers

A Tale of Two Tributes: Alabama

October 19, 2013 // 8 Comments


Various Artists
Alabama & Friends


To recognize the impact that Alabama has had on modern country music, you could consider their millions of albums sold, their hundreds of awards, their many #1 songs or their induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. You could also look at how the boys from Fort Payne, Ala. have the distinction of bringing something entirely new into country music.

Texas Country

March 26, 2009 // 15 Comments

Stuck in my car stereo over the last couple of weeks has been a CD loaded with tunes from some of my favorite Texas-affiliated artists.  I’m a big fan of the singer-songwriter, old school and raggedy rock styles of country music, and Texas excels at all three. So any time I need a break from the current “Nashville sound,” I like to check in with Texas and see what they’re up to. Invariably, it’s more colorful and interesting. I can’ t call myself an expert on Texas country by any stretch of the imagination and my education is nowhere remotely near complete (hint: feel free to recommend), but I do sense that it’s a style of music, or perhaps a musical sensibility, that is extremely important to maintain.  Texas artists exude a certain spirit of creativity and sense of individuality that is sorely lacking elsewhere in country music.  And in Read More

Leeann Ward’s Top Ten Albums of 2008

December 27, 2008 // 7 Comments

#10 The SteelDrivers, The SteelDrivers Chris Stapleton’s voice just blows me away. As Lee Ann Womack has recently observed, he sings like a real man. He takes Travis Tritt’s soulfulness to a whole new level. With incredible harmonies and terrific songs not limited to “Blue Side of the Mountain” and “Drinkin’ Dark Whiskey”, this is a strong project that certainly stood out in 2008. #9 Jason Boland & The Stragglers, Comal County Blue I love Boland’s folk-tinged country voice, which sings these memorable fiddle laden melodies to great affect. While the lyrics can be abstract at times, they still manage to feel meaningful. I’ve come to realize that what ultimately appeals to me about this album is the fact that it reminds me of good nineties country music, which is the era that drew me to this genre in the first place. #8 Darrell Scott, Modern Hymns My admiration for Read More

Jason Boland & The Stragglers, Comal County Blue

September 13, 2008 // 14 Comments

Jason Boland & The Stragglers Comal County Blue Jason Boland and the Stragglers are unaware of it, but we’ve spent a lot of quality car time together over the years. We’ve sung some amazing duets, ditched a few speeding tickets and generally had a fantastic time. So, of course, as soon as I received their latest album, Comal County Blue, I headed straight for the car and hit the highway. (Honestly, this review only took me this long to write, because I didn’t want to take the CD out of my car stereo. But, better late than never…) The first song on the album sets the tone of the album musically, if not lyrically. “Sons and Daughters of Dixie” is a gentle rocker with a definite groove and well-placed instrumental solos. The significance of the song’s lyrics, however, only reveals itself upon repeated listens. This is surprising given that Boland’s Read More