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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

December 2017 Acoustic CD of the Month

WNRN is featuring the second release of 2017 by Chris Stapleton as its December 2017 Acoustic CD of the Month. The album was recorded during the same session as From A Room: Vol. 1, so it is aptly named, From A Room: Vol. 2.

Recently, I reviewed a January 2016 post on the morning show’s Facebook page where I displayed an article waxing philosophically about the impending impact of Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton on the world of Country Music. A comment in response stated they had “tried” to listen to country music but did not like the “good old boy” antics of driving trucks and excessive consumption of alcohol. This stereotype may describe some commercial Country, but not the work of these three gentlemen. A better description was a David Dye’s comment made on a recent World Cafe episode, stating that Chris Stapleton’s songs are “heart music.”

Stapleton does talk about drinking on the new album.“Tryin’ to Untangle My Mind” and “Drunkard’s Prayer” spelunk into those soul awakening moments of reconciliation between  how one lives life with consequences and uses drinking as a lens.

Country music’s sense of humor and ability to get to the “heart” of the matter is its biggest selling point for me. Flaunting Country Music songwriting’s “super-power” to get at the value of relationships, “Millionaire,” “A Simple Song” and “Friendship” soar.

This new album continues to showcase Chris Stapleton as one of the best singers alive today. The rolicking “Midnight Train to Memphis” is the loudest song on the album. His soulful singing is present there, and even more in the quieter moments of this recording.


If you want more information about the CD of the Month clubs at WNRN, go to wnrn.org

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

Acoustic CD of the Month, November 2017

The 11th solo album from Robert Plant, Carry Fire, is the November 2017 Acoustic CD of the Month.

Robert Plant wrote many of the lyrics for Led Zeppelin. It is not surprising that he dips into the same well of imagery to write a few of the new songs found on Carry Fire. The initial track, “The May Queen,” and “Every Season” have the most in common with those older songs that drew on Tolkien or British Isles mythology. This album is a continuation of Plant’s journey away from what made Led Zeppelin famous to the place where he regarded as the confident solo artist.

Carry Fire, the second album with the Sensational Shape Shifters, could be called Lullaby…and the Ceaseless Roar Part 2. There are Northern African tribal sounds, drums, and vibe picking up where the last album left off. Some of Plant’s solo material pays tribute to his love of American blues and folk. Band of Joy best fits this description, but there are other examples including the whole album with Alison Krauss, Raising Sand. The radio single, “Bones of Saints” brings all these ideas in focus.

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

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|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