Darryl Worley – Darryl Worley
When he released “Have You Forgotten” two years ago, Darryl Worley became a poster child for President Bush and the conservative, red-state values. But the Savannah, Tenn., native is proud of all of his music, political and apolitical alike.
This self-titled album starts with “Awful Beautiful Life,” the lead single from the disc. It’s a great feel-good, all-American song. The honky-tonk waltz pleasures of “I Love Her, She Hates Me” is well written. The murder tale, “If It Hadn’t Been For Love,” “Better Than I Deserve” and Worley’s self-penned closer “Whistle Dixie” round out a great collection, an awful beautiful collection. A
Lonely Runs Both Ways – Alison Krauss & Union Station
Southern Illinois native Alison Krauss keeps cranking out her melodic style of music, with the help of backup band Union Station. She’s come an awfully long way from her days as a teenage fiddle prodigy. With this disc, Krauss exchanges her bluegrass fiddle for the chamber strains of viola on much of the material, including four songs by Robert Lee Castleman (whose “The Lucky One,” “Let Me Touch You for Awhile,” and “Forget About It” were previously popularized by Krauss).
“Wouldn’t Be So Bad” and “Borderline” reinforce the album’s restless spirit of quiet desperation. Band member Dan Tyminski – of O Brother Where Art Thou? Fame – brings Del McCoury’s popular “Rain, Please Go Away” to life. Keep on fiddlin’ around, Alison. B-
Twice the Speed of Life – Sugarland
“We connected so well and the sound was so good, it was such a fun sound. There was a moment when we just said, ‘Wow,'” lead singer Jennifer Nettles reveals about this new band’s origination. Nettles is joined by Kristen Hall, who has released two solo albums, and Kristian Bush, one-half of Billy Pilgrim (a folk/rock act on Atlantic Records). The Atlanta-based trio has come a long way as a country band in a short amount of time.
Sugarland’s debut single, “Baby Girl,” is a terrific reflection on growing up and weaning away from Mom and Dad. “Something More” is a story of someone fed up with their life and job and ready to find out what else is in store in life, wanting to know if there is “something more.” A sassy and fun song of letting things go and having fun is “Down in Mississippi (Up to No Good).” B+
50 Years of Hits – George Jones
Some call him “No Show Jones,” some call him “The Possum,” but everyone agrees that George Jones is one of the greatest country music voices to ever hit. His longevity spans six decades, and he ain’t done yet.
50 Years of Hits is a nice 50-track collection of George’s career. The three-disc set starts with Disc One, which includes memorable smashes such as “White Lightning,” “She Thinks I Still Care” and “Race Is On.” Now to Disc Two, which is full of George’s ’60s and ’70s stuff, including “Grand Tour,” “Picture of Me Without You” and the greatest country song ever recorded, “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” The final disc of hits from recent years includes “High-Tech Redneck” and “Choices,” and the set closes with George bringing us to tears on “Amazing Grace.” A