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Coal Miner’s Daughter – Loretta Lynn

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Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter” is an iconic album that serves as both a musical masterpiece and a poignant memoir of her life’s journey. Released in 1970, this album is a testament to Lynn’s storytelling prowess, her genuine connection to her roots, and her extraordinary ability to bring the heart and soul of her experiences to life through song.

The album’s title track, “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” stands as one of country music’s most beloved and enduring songs. With its simple yet evocative storytelling, Lynn chronicles her upbringing with honesty and warmth, capturing the hardships and joys of growing up in a coal-mining family. Her voice carries the weight of nostalgia, and the song’s melody evokes a sense of timelessness that makes it resonate across generations.

Lynn’s songwriting on “Coal Miner’s Daughter” is a reflection of her authentic and unfiltered perspective. Tracks like “You’re Lookin’ at Country” and “Fist City” showcase her boldness, humor, and unwavering dedication to portraying real-life situations. Her lyrics offer a window into the lives of everyday people, and her ability to capture the essence of human emotions is unparalleled.

The album’s production captures the essence of traditional country music, with a blend of twangy guitars, fiddles, and Lynn’s distinctive voice at the forefront. The instrumentation complements the storytelling, creating a sonic backdrop that enhances the emotional impact of each song. The arrangements are both timeless and rooted in the sounds of the era, making the album a testament to the country music of its time.

While “Coal Miner’s Daughter” is known for its autobiographical elements, it also includes a mix of relatable stories and universal themes. Songs like “One’s on the Way” and “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)” offer insights into the challenges faced by women in a changing world, all while maintaining Loretta Lynn’s signature frankness and humor.

In addition to the album’s musical brilliance, it’s worth acknowledging the trailblazing impact Loretta Lynn had on the country music genre and on women in the industry. Her honesty, authenticity, and willingness to address taboo subjects helped pave the way for generations of female artists to come.

“Coal Miner’s Daughter” is a landmark album that encapsulates Loretta Lynn’s talent, personality, and unyielding spirit. It’s a musical memoir that transports listeners to a different time and place while remaining relevant in its emotional resonance. The album’s impact on country music is immeasurable, and its songs continue to touch the hearts of listeners around the world.

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Essential Listening This Weekend – “Say What You Mean” – Hana & Jessie-Lee’s Bad Habits

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Hana and Jessie-Lee’s Bad Habits have been a staple of the rising alt-country scene in Australia live since the release of their debut album “Southlands” in 2017. They have played at various festivals such as WOMADelaide, Out On The Weekend, Brunswick Music Festival, Adelaide Guitar Festival, Dashville Skyline & Queenscliff Music Festival, and Tamworth Country Music Festival, where they have tirelessly worked to perfect the band’s sound.

Eleven songs make up the album “Say What You Mean,” which was recorded at Alex O’Gorman’s Pakenham studio and features the lead singles “Arrowhead” and “Tallest Of Tales” (which have been added to high rotation on ABC Country) as well as “Paper Boats” and a variety of rock’n’roll swagger, country influences, and soul ballads. Hana and Jessie-Lee have been performing music together for nearly a decade. On this new album, they are accompanied by the Bad Habits rhythm section, which consists of two of Melbourne’s best musicians, Tommy Brooks (bass, slide, pedal steel) and Patrick Wilson (drums & percussion). Additionally, Norwood (backing vocals), Joe Cope (keys), Jordie Gilmour (drums), and Kate Alexander (backing vocals) make an appearance. With the exception of three tracks, Alex O’Gorman mixed the album at Phaedra Studios. John Lee mastered it, while Stephen Mowat (Wilsn) mixed the other tracks.

Love, awful first dates, insomnia, loss dread, longing home, and avoiding troublesome individuals are some of the lyrical topics covered. In the first track, “Misery Queen,” the band playfully points out the problems in a relationship while playing languid rock and roll in the style typical of the South. Without missing a beat, Jessie-Lee strides into one of her characteristic earworm guitar riffs on her distinctive green Gretsch, which harmonises perfectly with Hana’s brassy vocals. Title track “Say What You Mean” is a raucous rock anthem that implores people to be honest rather than silent in their relationships, while “Under The Vines” is a haunting tribute to homesickness in the vein of Bruce Springsteen.

“When we were picking songs to put on the album, it was a matter of what fit together, and what felt good playing as a band. I think I had about 25 songs and was still writing new material right up until we were going into the studio. We played a few at shows in their rawest form to see how they felt, how people reacted and that helped us make the final decision on the songs included.” – Hana

“These Shambles,” a cover of an older song with updated lyrics, is a bonus track on the CD and digital releases.

“We decided to record These Shambles again because it seemed to be a crowd favourite at shows” says Jessie-Lee Zubkevych of the re-record. “People sang along, and the song had changed shape into a bit more of an upbeat heavier version.”

In support of the new album, the band is taking to the road to play some new places and return to some old favourites all over Australia. For the first time, Tasmania, Bendigo, and Beechworth in Victoria are all on the list, as well as several features at the Cronulla Jazz & Blues Festival in Sydney on the last weekend in May.

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Spotlight On….Kim McCartin & Her New Single “Head Above Water”

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Dive into the soul-stirring melodies of alt-country sensation Kim McCartin. With lyrics that resonate like a heartfelt conversation and a voice that weaves tales of love, loss, and redemption, Kim’s music is a journey through the heartland of emotions. Experience the raw authenticity of her storytelling, where every note is a brushstroke painting the canvas of life on her latest single “Head Above Water“, out now on all streaming services.

Drawing from roots deeply embedded in the rich Australian soil, Kim’s music effortlessly weaves together the authenticity of country storytelling with the edgy allure of alternative sounds.

On her previous album, Two White Horses, Kim gained debut critical acclaim that left critics and fans longing for more, with songs written by Kim and co-written by the album’s producer, Kevin Bennett. The maturity of her writing at the time won her many fans and friends in the broader Australian music family. Further writing as part of a prestigious song club, Kim was able to collaborate with some of her great friends and notable names in the music industry.

Penning lyrics like pages from a well-worn novel, Kim has just finished recording at her studio on the Sunshine Coast, with a view to releasing a new album in 2024.

With her new single Head Above Water, Kim invites listeners into a world where raw emotions and untamed melodies collide, resonating with a soul-stirring honesty that is both refreshing and unforgettable.

Embrace the rich tapestry of alt-country of a genuine troubadour, whose music speaks directly to the core of the human experience. Don’t pass up the chance to lose yourself in Kim McCartin’s captivating sounds.

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Lucky – Megan Moroney

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Megan Moroney, a rising artist in Nashville, released her debut album, Lucky, in 2023. Kristian Bush of Sugarland fame produced the album, which features Megan’s signature voice and lyrics that are casual and honest. Ever since the video and song “Tennessee Orange” were released, Megan Moroney has been the centre of attention. Her impressive resume includes a number of accolades, including 2023 Female Breakout Video of the Year, “2023 Artist to Watch,” and recognition as one of CMT’s Next Women of Country for 2023, who described her as “a musical risktaker with powerhouse pipes.”

Obviously, the obvious family ties are evident upon listening to this album, but then again, that’s just how great music is created, isn’t it? Expressing your individuality through incorporating your upbringing’s influences into your work. After meeting fellow Georgia musician Kristian Bush of Sugarland in 2020, Moroney—a native of Savannah, Georgia—moved to Nashville. Following the release of her EP “Pistol Made of Roses” and allegations of an on-again, off-again relationship with Morgan Wallen, she finally found the spark that ignited her career with the success of “Tennessee Orange” last year.

There are thirteen songs here, and the lyrics are some of the sharpest you’ve heard recently. Wonderful melodies and strong messages of self-esteem accompany the classic Country melancholy and the cunning use of double meanings and word play. The first song, “I’m Not Pretty,” has all the elements I mentioned earlier. The music is soft and reminiscent of “Same Trailer,” but the lyrics are anything but. In her song “Queen of the Mean Girls,” Moroney tells a story of envy over her ex-girlfriend’s new partner, who she describes as “trolling” and “tearing her down” on Instagram. You realise Moroney isn’t scared or hurt by the song’s satisfying climax, and you can’t wait to hear what else she has to say.

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