Tag Archives: Country Music

Louise Mandrell, “Playing Favorites”

What do you do when an accomplished country artist covers some of the finest musicians ever? It’s easy, you sit back, listen, and enjoy. I might be playing favorites but this little lady knows her stuff, and how to flaunt it. I guess “all those hours of practicing paid off.” She’s Louise Mandrell, and her killer new release, her first in over fifteen years, is Playing Favorites.

Louise opens with “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” an awesome country song with a bit of the blues flavor added. Ray has rubbed off on her. Covering Johnny Cash is difficult, but she nails it with “Ring of Fire.” “Tennessee Waltz” is another cool piece, you just need a rocker, a front porch, and lemonade. Vodka is optional. “Bye Bye Love,” is a rockabilly piece, but Louise doesn’t roll too far from country. “Hello Darlin” gets my heart beating when she sings, “Hello Darlin, let me kiss you.” But “Night Life” is my favorite. Louise shows us she is much more than a country artist providing us with bluesy jazz flavors. She closes with “You Don’t Know Me,” a perfect ending.

Covering fifteen tracks is strenuous, but Louise Mandrell keeps herself out of the box. Once you think you’ve figured her out, she will “rock” you back and forth with something different, and is having fun at the same time. I’m J.R. Miller with High Note Reviews, and this is Louise Mandrell Playing Favorites.

Hucks For Heroes AT&T Field, Chattanooga

2015-10-25 14.24.092015-10-25 14.40.11It was a great Sunday at AT&T Field in Chattanooga as onlookers in attendance watched the finale of the Hucks For Heroes fund raiser, organized by Derek Murray to cover medical costs for the victims of the July shootings. The event featured Lee University students as they broke the Guinness World Record time for the longest non-stop Frisbee throwing (90 hours). The evening was topped off with Smith & Wesley, and American Idol finalist Clark Beckham in performance. Sgt. Dennis Pedigo, one of the shooting victims, was in attendance to support the Hucks For Heroes event.

Smith & Wesley; Special Guests Bonnie Bramlett, Blue Miller, Greg Shirley & Brittany Bexton


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Blue Man with the Smith Brothers

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Scott Smith, Bonnie Bramlett, and Publicist Mark Pucci







An added treat backstage with brothers, Scott and Todd Smith, I was able to meet with Bonnie Bramlett of the famed Delaney & Bonnie. Also in the crowd the famous Blue man, Blue Miller. It would be easier to list the artists Blue has not worked with in the music industry. Blue shared with me an artist he recently co- wrote and produced, India Arie’s “Acoustic Soul” album nominated for seven Grammys. Greg Shirley was also part of the Smith & Wesley posse with his Garage Door Records debut release, Raised On The Run.  And  can’t leave out new artist, Brittany Bexton with her newly released single, “Free Fall.” After spending  time chatting with Brittany, I realized this little lady has all the “smarts”  with great talent to go along with it. It’s clear, she has  her heart, mind, and soul in her music.

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Todd and Scott Smith standing tall with Greg Shirley in the middle.

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New Artist, Brittany Bexton


McDonald’s & Ron Crites, “A Tribute To George Jones”

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Ron Crites

Being new  here, it seems I’m constantly surprised living in Nashville. Once I made a comment I wouldn’t be surprised if I walked into a Waffle House and found a stage and  mic stand. It seems I spoke too soon. Continue reading McDonald’s & Ron Crites, “A Tribute To George Jones”

Carl Jackson, Multiple Grammy Award Winner

Carl Jackson2015-05-28 18.31.00 is one of the greatest having his work appear on 650 albums, was in the Producer’s Chair with James Rey at Douglas Corner in Nashville. Carl’s work includes touring with Glen Campbell for twelve years, and has recorded with Brad Paisley, Linda Ronstadt, Blake Shelton, Emmylou Harris, Marty Stuart and many others. Carl’s latest album release, Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited, re-records a time period where Johnny Cash stated  was “the most significant period in country music.” The album represents a “Who’s Who” lists in country music. Presently, there is a documentary in works from the album and The Bristol Sessions that was recorded from July 25 to August 5, 1927, and is referred to the “big bang of country music.” To read more about Carl visit his website at www.carljackson.net. He is an awesome banjo player and great all around musician. He is also a very humble and super nice guy.

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The Stomp Concert Series Moves to Reality TV

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Lyndsey Highlander

The Stomp Concert series and brainchild Lyndsey Highlander has teamed with Producer Jeff Roberts and Director Hank Elliott to film a reality TV pilot that deals with the lives of up and coming artists.

For those unaware, The Stomp’s conception came from Lyndsey who “wants to turn the trend in Country Music to include women and their stories.” Mary Sarah, April Kry, and Lyndsey Highlander gave a performance at the Soulshine Pizza Factory that was sublime. All three artists were amazing as they performed in a trio number at the end of the show. The audience loved them plus being filmed in a reality show was an added bonus. By the way, the food at Soulshine Pizza Factory is excellent!

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Mary Sarah

April Kry
April Kry

The George Jones Museum

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George and Nancy


Had an awesome night in Nashville last night. I went to the GEORGE JONES MUSEUM . Its a very cool place, got to meet and chat with George’s wife NANCY, and took in some country music from Donna Phillips Schacher, formerly with Mustang Sally with her husband Jim Schacher, and Ric Wright. Jim and Ric currently play with TG SHEPPARD. An added bonus to the evening Billy Yates sat in on a few numbers who wrote “Choices” and “I Don’t Need Your Rockin Chair.” A great evening, Nancy is a diamond in the rough, a class act, and will carry on keeping country music alive and well. The museum is fantastic with so much to see and read, probably need to make a second trip. You need to put this on your “things to do list.”