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Monday, Aug. 4, 2008

Stardust: Legacy Edition (Columbia/Legacy)

Pop and country music were never entirely isolated from one another. Some of the material sung by the early generations of country recording artists originated on Tin Pan Alley before seeping into the folk traditions of the South. Later, Tony Bennett recorded Hank Williams’ “Cold Cold Heart” and, during the early. . .
Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More Dirty Laundry (Trikont)

Black country singers? It sounds as oxymoronic to some ears as Mexican polka, but then much Mexican music was influenced by polka and north of the Rio Grande, the cultural lines between black and white, blues and country, were often fluid. The pair of Dirty Laundry compilations is among the most enjoyable . . .
Monday, June 30, 2008

Today at Cascio Groove Garage

As usual, some of the best bands playing Summerfest today hail from right here in Milwaukee. Among the draws playing the all-local Cascio Groove Garage stage today is alternative-rockers Testa Rosa, country-rockers Juniper Tar and, at 8:30 p.m., The Celebrated Workingman, who throw down happy, hooky indie-rock.
Monday, June 30, 2008

Tonight @ the Marcus Amphitheater

Their regular-dude image may suggest otherwise, but Rascal Flatts really isn’t a country band anymore. Save for that rural drawl in their vocals, and the odd steel-guitar accent here and there, the group’s recent albums reside almost exclusively in the terrain of adult-contemporary pop...
Saturday, May 31, 2008

Tonight @ Shank Hall - 9 p.m.

John Sieger returned to Nashville, the city he lived in for much of the 1990s, to cut his latest solo album, The Shaming of the True. The album’s release arrives at a curious time, however. These days Sieger is devoting much of his energy to his new, Milwaukee-based soul/western-swing band The Subcontinentals, so . . .
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
The Nashville that John Sieger experienced during the mid-’90s was just as many music lovers picture the city, a friendly haven for songwriting talent where hungry up-and-comers intermingle with established legends. During his time there, Sieger performed with Lucinda Williams and rubbed shoulders with Shelby Lynn. His friend lived next door to Emmylou Harris. Sieger, who has written songs for Dwight Yoakam and The BoDeans, had some success in Nashville—he hosted a weekly night at the city’s renowned Pub of Love—but, he explains, “I wasn’t making enough money to really say I had a career in music.”
Tuesday, May 6, 2008

One Hell of a Ride (Columbia/Legacy)

The selections on Willie Nelson’s four-disc career retrospective support everything we suspected: With few exceptions, the material he recorded in Nashville in the 1960s was undistinguished, assembly-line work. It was only when he broke away from country conventions and headed south to Austin, Texas, with the ’70s . . .
Saturday, April 19, 2008

Tonight @ the Bradley Center - 7:30 p.m.

It’s not exactly shooting a man in Reno just to watch him die, but country singer Troy Gentry, of the hit-making country duo Montgomery Gentry, improperly tagged a bear he’d shot on a private reserve as if it’d been killed in the wild—a surprisingly serious crime that set him back $15,000 in fines. The mis-tagging debacle . . .
Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Tonight @ Shank Hall - 8:00 PM

Master American songwriter Tom Russell plays an 8 p.m. show at Shank Hall tonight. Over the past quarter century, Russell has recorded nearly 20 folk and country albums, many of them ambitious, most of them dark and haunting. His latest, Wounded Heart of America, is something of a concept album. It compiles . . .

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