BlueSky Bullet Points: November 5, 2023

This week,: New albums from Colin Cutler, Grant Gilbert, Joshua Ray Walker, and Josiah and the Bonnevilles, as well as a tribute album to the Judds.


Colin Cutler


The audacity to say, “inspired by the work of Flannery O’Connor,” and the talent to live up to that statement in both form and content. Another latecomer for the year’s finest album.


Grant Gilbert

Between the Highways

A less sleazy Bailey Zimmerman, with a far better voice. Not great on his own merits here, but I’d for sure do a one-for-one swap between this guy and Zimmerman on radio playlists, at least.


Various Artists

A Tribute to the Judds

Fantastic more often than not, but the three tracks that fail (Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton, Megan Moroney, Jelly Roll and K Michelle) are absolute horrors. Skip those, and you’ve got a set of some all-time and current greats who get why the Judds’ music endures and who rise to the occasion.


Joshua Ray Walker

I Opened For the Killers and All I Got was Appendicitis

Disappointing mostly for its brevity, some dodgy sound mixing, and lack of songs from the covers album, this is a live set that captures JRW as a star in ascent, rather than capturing a star at peak shine. Worth listening, sure, but his less-essential 2023 record.


Josiah and the Bonnevilles


Lesser iterations of Childers’ Appalachian songwriting and POV, but about the same iterations of Bryan’s low-budget production aesthetic and marginal singing. A couple of the songs really do hit, though, so still an act to watch in the long haul.


    • I’ll check out Dasher’s EP! It honestly wasn’t even on my radar.

      I’m very, very “pro” EP– I’ve already reviewed a bunch just since kicking off this feature. Historically, it’s an underused format, and I’ll take a well-curated, focused EP over a sprawling hour-plus album that’s bloated with filler pretty well any day.

  1. Just want to say I’ve really been enjoying these short-form takes. It still takes a lot of time to cycle through every release like this, I know – so kudos for maintaining a consistent pace thus far and making sure your takes are still as sharp and entertaining as ever!

    • Zack! Happy to see TMD back up, pal.

      As the world’s most long-winded human, I like the challenge of trying to capture what works or doesn’t work about an album– or why that album is important or forgettable– within the confines of a triple-digit character count. That’s definitely what keeps me engaged with it! I’m still hopeful that BlueSky continues to pick up, since what used to be Twitter is now beyond repair.

  2. I thought JRW was an interesting choice for an opening act for TK. Performing with appendicitis sounds… less than pleasant. But at least he (presumably) got to meet Brandon Flowers.

    • A surprising choice on the part of both the headliner and the opener, for sure. But I don’t know how anyone could listen to this JRW set and not come away charmed.

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