Randy Travis

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”

Daily Top Five: Least Essential Albums

May 27, 2015 // 25 Comments

We’ve all got ’em. What are the five albums from artist you love that you try to pretend didn’t happen? (Or at least just don’t copy over to your iPod) Here’s my list: Sugarland, The Incredible Machine Tim McGraw, Emotional Traffic Trisha Yearwood, Where Your Road Leads Dolly Parton, Rainbow Randy Travis, Full Circle

Daily Top Five: Story Songs

May 14, 2015 // 20 Comments

Today’s Daily Top Five was suggested by reader caj: What are your favorite story songs? Here are mine: The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia  (Vicki Lawrence, Reba McEntire) Independence Day (Martina McBride) He Stopped Loving Her Today (George Jones) Three Wooden Crosses (Randy Travis) Lucille (Kenny Rogers)

Daily Top Five: Favorite Debut Albums

April 26, 2015 // 32 Comments

As we’re prepping our 1993 lists, there have been many debut albums in consideration.   That year brought the first studio sets from big stars  like Tracy Byrd, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw,  Shania Twain, and Clay Walker.    Also, sentimental favorites of attentive listeners, like Brother Phelps. Shawn Camp, Bobbie Cryner, Lisa Stewart,  and Lari White also released their first discs. Debut albums aren’t always great. Sometimes the artistic voice just isn’t there yet.   But some new artists knock it out of the park the first time out. Today we ask:  What are your Top Five Debut Albums? Here’s my list: Kim Richey, Kim Richey Clint Black, Killin’ Time Randy Travis, Storms of Life Bobbie Cryner, Bobbie Cryner Emmylou Harris, Pieces of the Sky  

Daily Top Five: Randy Travis

April 20, 2015 // 15 Comments

Y’all know why. Here are my picks: Albums Storms of Life Always & Forever This is Me High Lonesome You and You Alone Tracks Three Wooden Crosses Promises Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart On the Other Hand Dig Two Graves  

Album Review: Carrie Underwood, Greatest Hits: Decade #1

January 27, 2015 // 17 Comments

Carrie Underwood Greatest Hits: Decade #1 Hits compilations have become an odd thing in the digital age, as they give both hardcore and casual fans little reason to purchase. The new tracks can be downloaded if you’re interested. The hits that you would’ve wanted, you’ve probably downloaded anyway. So kudos to Carrie Underwood for putting together a collection that’s worth purchasing in physical form, with beautiful artwork and liner notes, and for putting together a track listing that doesn’t cut corners in any way. Every single hit is included, and she’s had a ton of them so far, all consistently good and quite a few that have been great.

The Twenty Best Albums of 1994

December 26, 2014 // 5 Comments

As 2014 comes to a close, the Country Universe staff has been collectively impressed by the number of quality albums that were released this year.  How many of those albums, however, will we still be listening to in twenty years? We have that benefit of hindsight for the year 1994, and we’ve compiled our twenty favorite studio sets from that year.  At their time of release, some of our favorites were comeback albums from veteran artists, some were from current artists reaching new artistic and commercial peaks, and some were debut sets from artists that went on to become mainstays on country radio or in the Americana music scene that was just coming together twenty years ago. What they all have in common is that each and every one of them still sounds great today, and they collectively show the wide breadth that the country music landscape was transforming into Read More

100 Greatest Men: #1. Merle Haggard

August 15, 2014 // 14 Comments

100 Greatest Men: The Complete List The Poet of the Common Man.  Merle Haggard emerged from the Bakersfield music scene in the mid-sixties, and over the course of time, became the greatest man in the history of country music. Born during the height of the Great Depression, the son of a honky tonk fiddler and a church-going mother, Haggard’s life was a hard one from early on.  When he lost his father at age nine, he rebelled to the point that much of his youth was spent in juvenile detention centers.  His only positive outlet was country music, and he listened to and studied obsessively the work of his heroes Bob Willis, Hank Williams, and Lefty Frizzell, all of whom would shape his singing and his songwriting.

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