Very Mary Indeed

Unquestionably the top new Christmas release of 2013, A MARY CHRISTMAS, the DAVID FOSTER-produced holiday long player from MARY J. BLIGE, is an instant soul Christmas classic.
 

The Game of Love

By David McGee BEFORE THE WORLD WAS MADE Brennen Leigh & Noel McKay B&N In a world festering with male-female duos, Austin’s Brennen Leigh & Noel McKay have some clear advantages over the competition. For starters...

 

And Lo, She Flies

Violinist, guitarist and master of the cwrth, EMERALD RAE emerges as a serious singer-songwriter on IF ONLY I COULD FLY.
 

And A Proud Mama She Would Be

AUTUMN IN AUGUSTA, the blues-jazz-folk combo led by the wondrous LUCY SMITH, has a winner in SONGS MY MAMA WOULD LIKE. It's Ms. Smith's tribute to the music her mother loved. Mama, Ms. Smith writes, 'had awesome taste.' We agree.

 

AJ Being AJ

For more than a decade ALAN JACKSON has been musing about making a bluegrass album. Well, he finally did it, and produced a certified AJ classic in THE BLUEGRASS ALBUM.
 

Exquisite

Jazz pianist THOMAS SNOW goes Americana on his memorable new album, FRIENDS, and gets a major assist in his efforts from singer-songwriter JONATHAN EDWARDS and mandolin master JOE WALSH. This is one of 2013's major roots finds.

 

Steffani’s ‘Stabat Mater’: Sophistication, Beauty & Originality

A new recording of Steffai's STABAT MATER is a triumph not only for CECILIA BARTOLI and conductor DIEGO FASOLIS but for the entire surrounding cast of stellar vocalists
 

Angels and Demons

Angels and Demons: TOO SLIM AND THE TAILDRAGGERS are back with vengeance on BLUE HEART. Nothing much is at stake her, other than Slim's soul.

 

Godfather II, Eric Brace & Peter Cooper & Me

ERIC BRACE & PETER COOPER have come up with a rootsy gem on their third duo effort, THE COMEBACK ALBUM. Stellar in all respects, it's one of 2013's finest long players.
 

Hope, Redemption and a Sky Big as God

Having conquered his demons, MIKE ZITO explains how it all happened and what brought him back from the abyss on his powerful new album, GONE TO TEXAS

 

Musical Echoes of Days Long Past

Musical echoes of days long past abound in THE BEAUTIFUL OLD and MIKE SCOTT & FRIENDS' HOME SWEET HOME: CIVIL WAR ERA SONGS. Plus: a James Cagney VIDEO MOMENT OF THE WEEK.
 

Of Secret Smiles and Unfinished Symphonies

RED RIVER DRIFTER may be MICHAEL MARTIN MURPHEY'S best yet. He's singing love songs again, but love songs of a different stripe, examining the emotion in all its complexity.