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CD of the Month Club

Every month, WNRN picks the best of what’s new. You can join WNRN’s Acoustic or Electric CD of the month. All CD of the Month Club members will receive a new CD in the mail every month.

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CD of the Month Club News & Updates

Acoustic CD of the Month, October 2017

The Acoustic CD of the Month for October is the newest from North Carolina’s Hiss Golden Messenger, Hallelujah Anyhow.

This album is about darkness and light, good and bad, all set to this band infectious groove. In a recent conversation that I had with MC Taylor he stated his relationship with the Cook Brothers, and Phil Cook in particular allows his songwriting to come alive because of Cook’s ability to translate Taylor’s ideas into reality. Taylor notes that the musicians he admires are people that have this same sense of musicality.

Lyrically that are pictures of the difficulties of life with the recommendation of “Hallelujah Anyhow.” There are the images of war in “Jenny of the Roses.” The song that captures the songwriter zeitgeist of the day “When The Wall Comes Down” as well as the love song “Caledonia My Love.” You are already familiar with the first single, “Domino (Time Will Tell)” that reminds us that being surrounded by good people can turn your luck around.

By |October 1st, 2017|Categories: Anne Williams, CD of the Month, Featured|0 Comments

Acoustic CD of the Month, September 2017

The September 2017 Acoustic CD of the Month is Iron & Wine’s Beast Epic.

Shortly after purchasing Iron & Wine’s Ghost on Ghost in 2013, Aoife O’Donovan came to WNRN to promote her own Fossils CD. As we were setting up for the instudio session, she state plainly that the Iron & Wine album “was not what she was expecting.” Maybe what she was looking for then is now out in this new release, Beast Epic. Unlike Ghost on Ghost’s full band sound, this Iron and Wine effort is stripped down, with haunting melodies, sharp lyrics, and Sam Beam’s breathy singing.

The lead single, “Call it Dreaming” expands with keys, drums and cello. The lyrics stand out in “About a Bruise,” (“tenderness to you was only talk about a bruise”) “Thomas County Law,” (“every traffic light is red when it tells the truth/the church bell isn’t kidding when it cries for you”) and “Bitter Truth.” Sam Beam has returned to his root sound all while moving forward.

It is an album to be enjoyed on repeat.

By |September 1st, 2017|Categories: Anne Williams, CD of the Month|0 Comments

August 2017 Acoustic CD of the Month

The new album from Fleet Foxes, Crack-Up, is the August 2017 Acoustic CD of the Month.

Laurel Canyon sounding with lush harmonies and orchestrated fanfare, Crack-Up recaptures the sound of Fleet Foxes after a six year hiatus. After touring with Helplessness Blues, Robin Pecknold shut down Fleet Foxes and enrolled at Columbia University.

The new insular tone to the album is summed up by the opening lines, “I am all that I need and I’ll be till I’m through.” These ideas maybe reflected through the lyrics, but the sound continues on the Fleet Foxes trajectory of ‘it takes a village.’ One other notable evolution is the expansive tracks with multiple songs. The lead single, “Third of May/Odaighara” Pecknold sings of fellow producer and band member’s Skyler Skjelset’ birthday. Several of the tracks clock in at six to eight minutes.

WNRN continues supporting the new album with airplay of the recent single, “Fool’s Errand.” There are many noteworthy songs on Crack-Up. It is the kind of album where the listener is expected to go all the way through (or on a loop). Beautiful, melancholy tunes, thoughtful and well crafted lyrics gives us a compelling journey through some of life’s lessons.

By |August 1st, 2017|Categories: Anne Williams, CD of the Month|0 Comments

Acoustic CD of the Month, July 2017

WNRN joins with the Americana world celebrating the release of the new album from Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, The Nashville Sound. It is the July 2017 Acoustic CD of the Month.

The Nashville Sound debuted at the top of the Americana Charts, came in on Billboard charts on the Rock and Country charts in the top 4, and was generally met with high praise and critical acclaim. Rolling Stone has posted a track by track review. Saving Country Music tells its readers to get over any objections to any overtly politically message Jason Isbell has in the songs and just bask in the glory of it, plus gave it a rare “Two Guns Up.”

Isbell replied to Trevor Noah of the Daily Show that he is a folk musician since he writes songs that preserve the stories of our times. Some of  these stories are: the coal miner’s children of today, a man’s post-election concern for his toddler daughter’s future, a look at love in marriage, previous romance’s demise, dealing with anxiety, then ending with a sweet tribute a family that makes music together.

By |July 1st, 2017|Categories: Anne Williams, CD of the Month, Miscellaneous|0 Comments

June Acoustic CD of the Month: Chris Stapleton’s From A Room: Vol. 1

Chris Stapleton will release two CDs this year. The first installment is From A Room, Volume 1, and is WNRN’s June 2017 Acoustic CD of the Month.

“A Room” refers to the classic recording studio in Nashville, RCA Studio A where Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson recorded some of their classic recordings. Traveller’s producer, Dave Cobb,  is back helping Stapleton create the sound of this masterpiece.

At no point during this new recording by Chris Stapleton do I have any other thought but to listen and enjoy. Why? First, his voice. To quote my favorite country music blogger on Saving Country Music, “One of the biggest challenges for any singer is to write songs in a way that showcases their vocal talent and challenges their range. For Stapleton, this is his greatest asset…. you may never hear a more better sung record in all of country music than From A Room: Volume 1.”

Second, the songs. One of the reasons I became an instant fan of the Steeldrivers bluegrass band was the songs. Former bandmates of the Steeldrivers, Mike Henderson and Chris Stapleton, still write songs together. Two of these co-writes ended up on the new CD, “Broken Halos” and the single, “Second One to Know.”  The lyrics on the whole album are easy to quote, fun, and embody the dry ironic humor that draws me back to country music, including the one cover, “Last Thing I Needed, First Thing in the Morning.” “Up To No Good Livin’” will be a song that critics and songwriters will look to as an iconic country song for years to come. Just brilliant. You may not instantly fall in love with “Death Row” but with each listen you will plumb the depths of the lyrics and performance.  Other stand outs include “Either Way,” and “Them Stems.”

By |June 1st, 2017|Categories: Anne Williams, CD of the Month, Miscellaneous|0 Comments

May’s Electric CD of the Month

It’s May when flowers bloom, graduations are eminent and plans for all the summer fun to come swirl in your head. To get you ready for the season is Whiteout Conditions from The New Pornographers, WNRN’s Electric CD of the Month for May.

Beginning with the uptempo romp, “Play Money” brings all sorts of synthesized effects and  Neko Case’s voice. What a welcome return of The New Pornographers.   The album continues with“Whiteout Conditions” the frenetic energy builds as the band sings ‘forget the mission just get out alive.” A.C. Newman’s words get stuck in your head and then you find their complexity. Newman described The New Pornographers move toward a bigger bolder sound on Whiteout Conditions saying, “… we wanted it to be like Krautrock Fifth Dimension.” You can feel that on “High Ticket Attractions” which you’ve heard on WNRN. Go deeper and you’ll find Neko Case’s voice soaring on “This is the World of the Theater” and “We’ve Been Here Before” that sets to life a choir of reverb that could be celebratory or contemplative.

The New Pornographers will be touring this summer and make their way to Charlottesvile with Spoon on Wednesday, July 19 playing at Sprint Pavilion.

By |May 9th, 2017|Categories: CD of the Month|0 Comments