Sunday, October 07, 2007

Cacthing up on some new releases

New CDs arrive at the Bus every week. Most are sent by independent artists looking for a little exposure and I am happy to help out in my small way if I feel the music is something the riders on the Bus will be interested in.

Lately, the major labels have been using small promotional companies to get their new releases mentioned on audio blogs such as the Old Blue Bus and other fine blogs listed in the panel on the right side of this page. I have a few problems with this arrangement. First, it is the RIAA and its music conglomerate membership that is raising such Hell and stalking people who post and download music via the internet. Second, there is very little contemporary commercial music that I like and I would venture that the riders on the Bus have a similar taste in music, or you wouldn’t be here. Third, thanks to a cozy arrangement with the massive conglomerates that have taken control of our airwaves, only the music of the major labels gets heard on the radio in 99% of the markets in the U.S. And lastly, I make arrangements with each artist about posting their music here on the Bus. I have never been granted permission to post any music from a major label release and seeing how courtroom-happy their RIAA is, I wouldn’t even consider asking.

Recently, I have gotten a couple of emails asking why I have not posted a review of the CDs that were sent to me weeks ago. So, here goes. The following are CDs that have arrived at the Bus in the past few weeks and my thoughts on each. No mp3 files will accompany these reviews since I was not given permission to post any. Of course, if you want to hear any of these new releases, just turn on your radio and spin the dial, they are sure to be playing on every other station you come across.

Reba McEntire - Reba Duets (MCA Nashville)
Pop-country veteran, Reba McEntire has released a new CD of duets with a somewhat odd assortment of collaborators including LeAnn Rimes, Trisha Yearwood, Carole King, Faith Hill, Vince Gill, Rascal Flats, Ronnie Dunn, Kelly Clarkson, Kenny Chesney, Don Henley, and Justin Timberlake. The result is what you would expect of a contemporary commercial country record with soaring strings, driving guitars and tear-jerking lyrics. There is one song on the album that sounds like a real country song (before the CMA blended country with pop to suit a wider audience) and it is the only song written by Reba (with Ronnie Dunn). “Does The Wind Still Blow In Oklahoma” is a beautiful song that harkens back to when country was ‘Country & Western’ music. With such a powerful voice, Reba would do well to return to her roots. Reba Duets is current #1 on the Billboard Country charts.

Crystal Gayle – Greatest Hits (Capitol)
The small record label, Curb Records, released a CD entitled “Crystal Galye’s All-Time Greatest Hits in 1990. Of the twelve songs included on the album, I recognized one, “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”. Now Capitol Records has found 25 songs to include on this new release, and yes, “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” is on this one too.

Gene Watson – In A Perfect World (Shanachie Records)
Another country veteran, Gene Watson is best known for his ballads. He had a string of top 40 hits in the 1970s and early ‘80s. His music was classic ‘70s country until the folks at Capitol, then Epic and finally, Warner Brothers molded his sound to suit the more modern country sound. Now signed with Ireland’s independent Shanachie Records, Gene Watson once again has control of his music. This album of '70s style country ballads is a pleasing alternative to the other CDs reviewed here today.


Blogger Black Dog said...

Well ED no comment. I've been working my way up the page since the sound cut out. From Fiddlin' J. Powers through Whittier, Grayson and the Old Roanoke Jug Band, the Liberty Label mystery. I think I prefer the jug on the floor version. THe new sounds of the New Roanoke Band turn the page for me. Good musiciens though.
Which leads us to the latest and silent article if you will. That is sound downed by law. Just as well. Render to Cesar and all but the Bus and the star system ? G. Watson may have found a way around it. Like you said once again he has control of his music. Is this possible ?

It's late,I do not have control of my music so thought I'd take a detour by the Bus. Otherwise no riders this evening.

all thoughts fly... k.

October 08, 2007 5:04 PM  
Blogger lynne said...

Your heart wasn't in this one Ed. Played Bob Devlin again the other day mm mm.

October 08, 2007 9:09 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Hiya Ed,
I know trackbacks don't typically work with Blogger, but I sent one to you and commented on your post here.

always enjoy the Old Blue Bus. Keep on blogging.


October 09, 2007 8:12 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

I might take the Gene Watson, if someone slipped me a fin along with the CD. The others, well, I wouldn't taint my CD player with. It's not because they're female, and it's not because they're country. It's because they pitifully exemplify how Country has gone wrong. It's the NashVegas sound, and that ain't Country.

October 09, 2007 5:48 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Hi Jen,
Thanks for the trackback and words of solidarity.

October 09, 2007 6:49 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Well said, Dan.

October 09, 2007 6:50 PM  
Blogger Joel @ Postmodern Sounds said...

Maybe I'm skating on thin legal ice, but I've always felt that sending me a CD solely based on the fact that I have an audioblog is an implied permission to post. I know having explicit permission would be safer legally, but I really don't know why they would send me a review CD if they didn't want me to feature it on my audioblog.

October 09, 2007 11:55 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

I agree with your logic when it comes to small, independant artists and labels, although I aways secure permission prior to posting.
My problem is with the major labels (Sony, EMI, Universal, & Warner.) As Jen pointed out in her post, these are the same companies that bitch about the proliferation of mp3s on the internet, and threaten to sue college students with big lawsuits.
I don't have a staff of million dollar lawyers, so when it comes to the big boys, I want it all in writing.
Maybe I am being overly cautious, but I have been broke and homeless before, and it is not something I will risk.

btw - the morning following this post I recieved an email granting me permission to post some of Gene Watson's CD. Of course, he is not on a major label. My appologies to Gene Watson and Nicole for including them in this rant.

October 10, 2007 10:53 AM  

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