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October 2013

Steve Wariner "It Ain't All Bad"

This is his first non-instrumental album in more than eight years, and he produced the album and wrote or co-wrote all 12 songs. Wariner will release the album on his own label, SelecTone Records, and it will be distributed by Allegro Distribution, a division of the Allegro Media Group.

"I am excited to introduce these new songs to my fans", said Wariner. "My friends and I have written these songs over the last few years, and I ve been saving them for this project. I've had fans come up and ask me when I was going to do another album with vocals on it. I didn t mean to take an eight-year break from singing on an album. I just had such a blast making my guitar tribute to Chet Atkins, so I followed it up with another instrumental album. Now I ve got to remind folks that I still sing," he said with a laugh.

Wariner's co-writers on this album are Al Anderson, Bill Anderson, Kent Blazy, Rick Carnes, Rockie Lynne, Rob McNelley, Karyn Rochelle, Jim Rushing, Mike Severs, Allen Shamblin and Tom Shapiro.

Wariner has won four GRAMMY Awards, four CMA Awards, and one ACM Award, among other honors. He is a member of the Grand Ole Opry and has been inducted into the Music City Walkway of Stars, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, and the National Thumbpickers Hall of Fame.

Wariner has placed 14 songs at No. 1 on the country charts: Holes in the Floor of Heaven (which won both the CMA Single and Song of the Year Awards and the ACM Song of the Year Award), Tips of My Fingers, The Weekend, Life s Highway, I Got Dreams, The Domino Theory, Some Fools Never Learn, You Can Dream of Me, Small Town Girl, Lynda, Where Did I Go Wrong, All Roads Lead to You, I Should Be with You, and What If I Said (Duet with Anita Cochran). Wariner has written hits for other artists including Garth Brooks ( Longneck Bottle ), Keith Urban ( Where the Blacktop Ends ), Clint Black ( Nothin But the Taillights ), Bryan White ( One Small Miracle ), and more.

The Rides "Can't Get Enough"

Two time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Stephen Stills and five-time Grammy nominated guitarist, songwriter and singer Kenny Wayne Shepherd may be separated by a musical generation, but they are bonded by a mutual love of the blues. When they joined forces with famed Chicago rock/blues keyboardist Barry Goldberg and formed The Rides, their extraordinary collective histories proved to be unparalleled - blazing a 21st Century trail for the historical American art form.

Launching an exciting new chapter in each of their storied careers, the trio's new band is further powered by the explosive rhythm section of bassist Kevin McCormick and Shepherd's longtime drummer Chris Layton (also a veteran of the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble). Their 429 Records debut, Can't Get Enough features the new single Don't Want Lies and showcases a hard hitting mix of Stills-Goldberg-Shepherd penned blues/rock originals as well as some classic blues tunes. Also included are brilliant interpretations of Muddy Waters, Honey Bee, Elmore James and blistering twists on Stills' favorite Neil Young anthem & Rockin' In The Free World as well as the Iggy Pop & The Stooges early 70s classic Search and Destroy.

Houston "II"

Houston II is the follow-up to the highly acclaimed 2010 debut by the Swedish AOR outfit Houston. The band has been working on the new songs since the last tour of the UK in 2011, and the result shows that it was not chance that got their first album to 1st place of Classic Rock Magazine's top AOR albums of 2010.

Producer/keyboard player Ricky Delin has for this album become a full member of the band, together with Hank Erix (vocals) and Freddie Allen (drums). The trio has once again used Sweden's finest melodic rock musicians, such as the great Tommy Denander for most guitar parts and long-time band associate Soufian Ma'Aoui for the bass parts. The album's ten tracks were carefully chosen among a ton of material. "Only the really good tunes make the cut. We wouldn't release an album with "ok" songs" states Freddie Allen, founding member and main song writer together with Ricky Delin.

Together, the duo wrote some of the most notable tracks off the first album, such as Pride, Hold On and Truth Slips - which made 17th place of Classic Rock Magazine's best songs of 2010.

Starship "Loveless Fascination"


Starship is one of the most iconic rock bands from the eighties, recording several of the decade’s biggest anthems, including “We Built This City”, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” and “Sara”. While the band’s history goes back to the sixties, the incarnation still performing these hits today was started in 1979 when Mickey Thomas joined Paul Kantner to resurrect Jefferson Starship. Mickey’s voice had become legendary after recording “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” with the Elvin Bishop Band and he was planning to pursue a solo career, but Jefferson Starship quickly proved to be the right decision as they recorded their first hit, “Jane”, almost immediately after getting together.

Grace Slick rejoined the band in 1981, and when Paul Kantner left in 1984 it inspired Mickey and Grace to change the band’s name to just Starship. In 1985, Starship released the album that would come to define the eighties, Knee Deep in the Hoopla. Featuring two #1 hits – the Grammy-nominated “We Built this City” and “Sara” – the album reached #7 on Billboard and went platinum. Starship followed-up their initial success with their third #1 single in 18 months, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.” The song was featured on the soundtrack for Mannequin and nominated for an Academy Award.

As Starship continued to reach the top of the charts, MTV infiltrated pop culture and the band released videos for all of their hits that are still popular today. In 1988, Grace Slick left the band and Starship was temporarily disbanded. But Mickey Thomas took the reins in 1992 and has been touring relentlessly since. The current Starship features the longest running line-up in the history of the band.

Starship 2013 release, the first studio album in over 20 years by the AOR/Melodic Rock band lead by vocalist Mickey Thomas. Loveless Fascination was produced by longtime Foreigner bassist Jeff Pilson, who also was a member of Dio and Dokken. Pilson was the main songwriter on the new Starship album, and helped contribute a harder edge to the band's sound. Frontman Mickey Thomas says ''It's been a long time coming. With each passing year, the bar was raised higher and higher for this album. I'd be lying if I didn't tell you the expectations caused me a few sleepless nights.''.

You can listen to their brand new single "Loveless Fascination"

Brett Walker "Straight Jacket Vacation"

Of course, the release of „Straight Jacket Vacation“ is completely overshadowed by the surprising passing of Brett Walker. The more difficult it is under these circumstances, to write a review about his new album, as you can not listen to it completely free of sorrow and dismay. While Brett Walker’s first solo album „Nevertheless,“ was one of the best Melodic Rock albums released in the 1990s, his later albums were more in a slightly softer singer/ songwriter-oriented direction.

„Straight Jacket Vacation“ returns to the sound of „Nevertheless,“ even if it does not quite match its energy and insouciance. However, there are new songs like „Reaching For The Stars“, „Better Than Goodbye“, „More Than I“ or „Unlucky At Love“ which follow the stylistic waters of the debut and feature the classic Brett Walker songwriting style that easily gets his influences from Bryan Adams, Tom Petty and Paul McCartney under a hat.

Special highlights of the album in my ears are the beautiful ballad „So Happy I‘m Cryin ‚“ and the remake of „Waiting For Love“. The early 1990s Brett Walker and Jeff Paris penned track was a hit at that time to the AOR cult band ALIAS and due to its great chorus still stands a bit far out on „Straight Jacket Vacation“.


Jimmy Webb "Still Within the Sound of My Voice"

The new Album again unites Jimmy Webb with some of todays biggest selling and enduring artists for once-in-a-lifetime performances, including the iconic MacArthur Park. In celebration of its 45th Anniversary, Jimmy reached out to Brian Wilson for his inspirational vocal harmonies which take this American Classic soaring to new heights. The Album is full of inspirational vocal performances from the breathless seduction of Carly Simon on Easy For Yoy To Say to the joyful contemporary styling of Keith Urban on Where's The Playground, Susie.

In celebration of Jimmy Webb's Career as a singer, songwriter and performer it is easy to see why so many Artists have joined together for this amazing collection of duets from the Jimmy Webb Great American Songbook. Besides the Artists already mentioned other Special Guests featured include Lyle Lovett, David Crosby & Graham Nash, Marc Cohn, Amy Grant, Joe Cocker, Kris Kristofferson, Art Garfunkel and Rumer.


Restless Heart "A Restless Heart Christmas"

Regarding one country blog by Phyllis Stark, October 29 is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The date is a popular one this year for the release of new Christmas albums. In addition to previously announced sets from Kelly Clarkson and the cast of "Duck Dynasty," there’s a new entry as well. Country band Restless Heart will release "A Restless Heart Christmas," a 10-track set featuring a mix of holiday classics and new material. The band's Greg Jennings produced the project, the first holiday album in the band’s 30-year career.

"Christmas is my favorite holiday," says the band's Larry Stewart in a prepared statement. "It's hard to believe that we didn't do this album earlier in our career. But it's pretty cool that we can release our first Christmas album on our 30th anniversary!"  

Restless Heart’s John Dittrich says of the project, "We recorded some of our favorite Christmas standards like 'O Holy Night,' 'Jingle Bell Rock,' and 'Angels We Have Heard On High.' We also included 'Silent Night' which we recorded a cappella with a 'Take 6' style arrangement."  

The set’s two previously unreleased songs are "Season Of Harmony" and "Santa's Prayer."   Restless Heart recorded for RCA Records from 1985 through 1999, and enjoyed a string of hits in that time including six consecutive No. 1 singles.

Due West "Move Like That"

The word harmony may be defined in a dictionary as: multiple musical notes sounding simultaneously to form a chord.  But for three guys collectively known as Due West, harmony is defined as  a way of thinking, a way of doing business, even a way of life.

Harmony happened the first time they ever sang together when old friends Matt Lopez and Brad Hull met Tim Gates at a party. The three Westerners (Wyoming, Arizona and Utah respectively)started harmonizing and the other attendees—Music Row stars, newcomers, and friends—kept asking how long they'd been a group. It’s been happening ever since as they've toured the country, visiting radio stations and playing for appreciative audiences along the way.

Now, after having been singing together for almost 10 years, this concept of perfect harmony is something they constantly strive for, and consider to be their recipe for success.  Lopez notes “We always try to be in harmony, not only in our singing, but in our actions and group decisions.”  “We are 3 guys with 3 different voices, but one common goal,” Gates adds.

Due West is no stranger to accolades and recognition of their music.  But, while they have seen Billboard, Mediabase and Music Row chart success and have watched their videos hang for weeks in the GAC Top 20, they are still working toward major breakout single success that will catapult them to the next level.

“Wherever this road leads, we are grateful every day to do what we love,” says Hull.  And with harmony as the fuel in their engine,  Due West is poised to go down in country music history as a three-lane road to magic

Sheryl Crow "Feels Like Home"

Nine-time Grammy award-winner Sheryl Crow presents her highly anticipated 2013 album, Feels Like Home, the first country record of her career and features her hit single, "Easy." Each track on the album was co-written with another songwriter, which is a first for Crow, including Grammy award-winner Brad Paisley.

"It wasn't until I moved here that I realized what an amazing community it is, " said Crow of working on Feels Like Home in Nashville, Tenn." It's the thing I've been missing my whole career, the feeling of being able to sit around with a guitar and have people know each other's songs and know songs from people who've influenced all of us. When I moved here pretty early on Vince Gill started calling me to do guitar pulls, and I thought, gosh, this is just like heaven on earth down here. "