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

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, Featured|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, Featured, 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

April 2017 Electric CD of the Month

Hot Thoughts  from Spoon is WNRN’s April Electric CD of the Month. Beginning with the charged up “Hot Thoughts” the new Spoon album brings a sexy, sci-fi meets dance vibe that immediately draws you in. “WhisperI’llHearIt” stays low until it is ready to explode into tambourines and guitar solos. The instruments slowly layering atop each other in as a psychedelic storm of synthesizers evolve on “Do I Have to Talk You Into It”.

The focused disco jam of “First Caress” and “Can I Sit Next To You” are some of the tightest songs that Spoon has ever written.  Some lovely piano work throughout Hot Thoughts, but I like the emotional and tonal shift found from “I Ain’t The One” to “Tear It Down”.

Hot Thoughts reminds me why I like Spoon so much, they create a world within an album that I want to exist in.

Spoon will be at Sprint Pavilion in Charlottesville on Wednesday, July 19 with The New Pornographers opening.

By |April 20th, 2017|Categories: CD of the Month|0 Comments

April 2017 Acoustic CD of the Month

Drew Holcomb and the Neighbor’s newest, Souvenir, is WNRN’s April 2017 Acoustic CD of the Month.

After returning from University of St. Andrew in Scotland with a Masters in Divinity, with a thesis titled “Bruce Springsteen and the American Redemptive Imagination,” Drew Holcomb settled in Nashville, recruited folks from his zip code to form the Neighbors, and started releasing music along with providing tour support to folks like Ryan Adams and the Avett Brothers.  Since 2005, they have released a series of full length CDs.

WNRN has championed Holcomb’s music including the recent Medicine, welcomed him to the Red Wing Roots Music Festival, hosted him in the WNRN studio, and placed a version of “Here We Go” on In Studio at WNRN Volume 4.

Souvenir shows Holcomb’s knack for melody, including the sweet “Mama’s Sunshine, Daddy’s Rain” as well as the stompers, “California,” and “Fight for Love.” This recording’s theme is live your life with love and depth through intimate ballads, stadium size anthems, or more conversational songs asking you to love your neighbors. The urgency and exhilaration of the whole album are worth treasuring and will probably end up on many critics “Best of 2017.”

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