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Charlie Farley releases his sophomore record on April 8th and he’s giving us a deeper look into his life. With “Hog Heaven”, he was just getting his feet wet in the music industry and he was simply giving listeners a taste of music. With “All I’ve Been Through” he pushes it “all in” and shows his hand and he’s got a royal flush.

The record starts off with the title track and it sets the tone the rest of the way. “Yea I like to drink a few, but beer ain’t all that I can brew. You know I like the mud too, but mud ain’t all that I’ve been through”. To me, he’s pretty much saying, “Yea I talk about the mud and drinking, but that’s not what defines me as an artist, nor does it define me as a person.” This first track speaks to me as a listener and it pulls me in to want to learn more about who Charlie Farley really is.

Second track on the record is “Cashville” and this song has that “started from the bottom now I’m here.” feel to it. One of the lines that stuck out to me with this song is, “Maybe my lyrics will start saving ya’ll like they’ve  saved my life…” It stuck out because everyone who listens to music knows there’s that one line in every song that hits you like a ton of . It stops you dead in you dead in tracks and makes you say, “Whoa… that was pretty deep.” This was that line.

So the next three songs, “Country As This”, “Get It Girl” and “Going Going Gone”, all took me back to those mudbog days and wild nights. Now I’m not saying that they all sound the same because they definitely don’t, but what I am saying is they all have that party feel to them and they all flow together perfectly.

That brings us to the song, “Headlights” and this song describes every Friday or Saturday night for anyone who grew up in a one-light town. I sat down and closed my eyes when I listened to this and flashbacks of those years right after high school came to me. Those years where you begin to find yourself and it was almost as if it was a narrative of how we spent those nights “dancing in the headlights.”

“Love Harder” is a song that spoke volumes to me when I listened to it. The message behind the lyrics told me that no matter what happens in life, never forget the people and things that keep you grounded. “Work hard but love harder, get knocked down but you’ll get stronger…” Alex Hall and Charlie Farley nailed it with this one and for me, it’s one of those songs that motivates me and reminds me to keep pushing forward.

So now we come to the song on the record that punches you in the gut and gives you chills the second Farley begins. “Red Rose”, a song written about a time in his life that is still dear to him, the passing of his sister. This song is one of the best songs on the entire album and could easily be put up there with some of today’s “top” country artists.

When I first saw “Southern Comfort” on the track listing I knew it was one of the songs that I couldn’t wait to hear it. Assuming it was about the actual drink, when I got to the song, Charlie negated any thought of that with the first line, “It ain’t a bottle, they don’t make a drink that strong…” and it became apparent that he was expressing his love for his hometown in Arkansas. The song actually made me want to plan a road trip and see what this place that he was describing in the song.

“Southern Summertime”, the original “Backwoods Boys” team up and knock this one right out of park again. The chemistry  between Daniel Lee and Charlie Farley is real and you can really hear it with this song. By the time the chorus hits with this song you will be bobbing your and by the time the second verse is over you will be singing the words to the song. It’s really that catchy and probably one of my favorite songs on the record.

So I’m now towards the end of the record and I feel like I’ve gotten a good feel as to just who Charlie Farley is. The songs “Tomorrow” and “Concrete Dreams” both seem to drive the nail in deeper. The pure honesty with these two songs seem to bring me back to the realization that music shouldn’t be labeled to a specific genre. These people who put out records and record songs, they are called artists for a reason. They make musical art and that is what Charlie Farley has done here with “All I’ve Been Through”. The last song on the record is a remix to “Southern Summertime” featuring Colt Ford and when you add him to any song, it just makes it that much more enjoyable. I highly recommend anyone who follows Charlie Farley to get this CD as well as anyone who has never really listened to this type of music before. It’s not always about beers, girls and trucks and mud isn’t definitely not all that Farley has been through.

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In 2012, a singer by the name of RaeLynn auditioned for The Voice, her song choice, “Hell On Heels”, by Miranda Lambert. Needless to say, she killed it, and had two judges turn around, one of them being Lambert’s husband, Blake Shelton. RaeLynn went to the quarter finals where she was eliminated, but that hasn’t stopped her from pursuing her musical career. She was featured on Blake Shelton’s “Boys Round
Here” single and “Buzzin'”, another single by Shelton. Not only has she been featured on tracks, she just released her EP “Me” on January 13th, 2015. I didn’t come across her music until mid to late 2014 when “God Made Girls” was released, but after hearing that song, I did some digging, went on YouTube and found a “Bull Sessions in the Bing Lounge”, and it wasn’t until that I realized, “Wow, this girl has some amazing song writing and vocal talent.” Not only is “God Made Girls” a hit for RaeLynn, but so are her other songs, “Kissin’ Frogs” and “Boyfriend”. She has a voice that you will not hear on the radio, she almost reminds me of a modern-day Dolly Parton. If you get a chance, make sure you check her out. Below is a video from her YouTube page. Don’t forget to go to her Facebook page and give it a like, tell her Country Underground sent ya!!

So I was facebooking (is that even a word?) away one afternoon, when someone tagged me in a post referring to Canaan Smith’s new single, “Love You Like That”, and instantly, I was turned off. The sounds of the cliché lyrics and pop music burned into my brain. As I scrambled to find something that would put the fire out, I found “Virginia” by Whiskey Myers. Refreshing, not cliché, southern sound with lyrics as cool as a drink of grandma’s sweet tea. Then I got to thinking, “Ya know what, people need to listen to this band. They need to listen to them and a handful of other artists.” So, here I am, writing this blog, listing artists that are ORIGINAL. Artists that stick to what they believe in.

Corey Smith
Corey Smith
I found Corey Smith a few years ago, searching through the depths of YouTube, getting lost in endless amounts of indie artists that need to be heard but never will. “F**K The PoPo”, the ever so popular song about a night with the JPD. Corey isn’t your typical country artist, in fact, I wouldn’t even consider him country. He is his own genre and it’s amazing. Endless amounts of songs that he has come out with. From “21” to “Maybe Next Year” to “I’m Not Gonna Cry”, this guy is just flat-out awesome. Do yourself a favor and check him out. It will definitely be a breath of fresh air compared to what you are listening to now on the radio.

Whiskey Myers
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Someone introduced me to this band a while back, and their sound just stopped me dead in my tracks. “Ballad Of A Southern Man”, is probably my favorite song by them. The lyrics to that song are ones that hit home completely. “I still fly that southern flag, whistling Dixie loud enough to brag, and i know all the words to Simple Man, i guess that something you don understand. Pledge my allegiance the original way, saying Merry Christmas not Happy Holidays…” They aren’t afraid to tell you who they are. We need more of that in today’s music.

The Cadillac Three
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Originally known as Cadillac Black, the band is known for their southern rock roots. They are currently signed with Big Machine Label Group, but they haven’t had that push that most mainstream artists get from the big labels. Still, they produce their own sound, one that is not featured on the radio too often. They had singles out last year, both “The South” and “Party Like You” got a push on the radio, but didn’t get as high as you would think they would get. Both songs are fantastic, as well as some of their other songs. Do yourself a favor and check these guys out.

Daniel Lee
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After releasing his debut album last year, Daniel Lee has done nothing but go up. New single “Head Over Heels” is nothing but refreshing. Lyrics that aren’t cliché, but deliver the message. A sound that is something you are not hearing on the radio right now. Lee has been all over the place, performing at the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tennessee to being featured on Colt Ford’s latest title track, “Thanks For Listening”. The sky is the limit for this young Georgia native, and I don’t see him slowing down any time soon.

Charlie Farley
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This last artist isn’t like any other artist that I have come across. Now, before I continue, when I was introduced to his “style” of music, I had this feeling that I won’t going to like it. I won’t sold on the idea of “rap” in country music, granted I was a fan of rap music, and I loved Dirt Road Anthem, but one listen and I was sold, stick a fork in me. This guy has it, his rhymes are real, his lyrics are true, and his music comes from within, it’s not fabricated. I know that some people won’t like it, but as long as one person does, Farley has done his job.

So there you have it, five artists that I feel you SHOULD listen to. Feel free to add to the list in the comments below. Also don’t forget to like Country Underground on Facebook. Below are the artists’ Facebook pages, go like them and tell them Country Underground sent ya!!

Daniel Lee
Charlie Farley
Whiskey Myers
Corey Smith
The Cadillac Three

After releasing “Under The Influence”, I thought for sure Brian Davis was going to go mainstream. People were finally going to  hear what I have been screaming about for the last 3 years, but I was wrong, which I am okay with, because it seems that once you go mainstream you change a bit for the spotlight. Davis has released an EP with just six songs on it, a little short compared to his last full length record, but I am still excited to hear some new music from the North Carolina native. That being said, lets see why Brian Davis is, “All About That Life”.

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Hard Headed Heart – First track off of the EP and I am introduced to just Brian Davis, a guitar, and the sound of a record scratching as it’s being played. Soothing to say the least. I suddenly got taken back to looking the woman that I love in the eyes and telling her that while I may be stubborn, in the end, it’ll be worth it. This song is defines Brian Davis. All he needs is a guitar and a microphone.

Somethin’ About Us – Second song, slower paced just like the previous song, but not as slow. It’s got a different feel to anything I have heard from Brian Davis, lyrically it’s him, but this sound, it’s throwing me off. Not that it is a bad thing by any means, because change is a good thing. Only thing I can really say about this song is that it’s not one that I would put on repeat, but it’s one that I wouldn’t change if it came on my Spotify or Slacker Radio.

Party For Two – Lyrically this song is very stereotypical,  “I’m laying down, ain’t no body around, except you and me baby, the high that you got me on is some kinda strong, your whiskey kiss is all that I need, so give me one more. just like Im’a thirst for and I’ll hold you all night long girl. Come lay your head down on my chest, it’s a party for two in my truck bed.” Now, he just mentioned everything that is “Bro-Country”, in one chorus. Not what I am used to from BD, but it’s not a bad song. It’s what we did to get that girl we wanted in high school. Swoon her a little bit, show her this secluded spot where no one can find the two of ya’ll and give her all of your attention. This is one that I could keep on repeat, maybe try and sing it to her, get her to fall for me without the whiskey kisses.

I Earned This Beer – Now this is the hard hitting, up tempo, Brian Davis that I have been waiting for. Halfway through the EP and I am not disappointed one bit. This song has me flipping off my boss (just kidding David I don’t want to get fired), and saying “C’ya till Monday.”

Drink a Beer With Ya – Two songs back to back with the word “Beer” in the title. That makes me a little disappointed on the creativity side. Lyrically this song reminds me of the song that just listened to, just slightly different. I honestly didn’t even finish listening to it.

All About That Life – When I first listened to this song, I said to myself, “Ugh another song about him saying how country he is.” Then, I went back and listened to it again and said, “Oh, no it’s not, it’s him describing his perfect woman.” Realizing that, it changed my thought on this song entirely. I totally dig this song. One that I played three times over and over actually.

Coming to the end of the EP, I find myself wanting more. Six songs just isn’t enough considering that it’s been over two years since he released an album, but the EP is something fresh and new which is a good thing. It’s definitely worth the $5 to get off of iTunes. The EP itself started off slow, and it had me a little worried, but it ended up being very upbeat and true to BD’s form. I like it.

Rating – 6 out of 10 – It felt REALLY short compared to the last record he released which is understandable because this isn’t a full length record. The songs are not bad at all. A little repetitiveness, but that’s come to be expected in today’s country music. I still think that it is worth getting.

Favorite Song – Hard Headed Heart.

Don’t forget to “Like” Brian Davis on Facebook and also don’t forget to “Like” Country Underground as well. Also you can follow me on Twitter at @Brandon_Ish, where I just tweet random things.

Kane Brown took the internet by storm earlier this year with covers from Chris Young and Josh Turner. Now the twenty-one year old has released his first single on iTunes called, “Don’t Go City On Me”. I’ve listened to a lot of the covers that he has done and have ALWAYS said that I wish he would experiment with his range in his songs. It seemed like he was stuck in the same key for the most part. So hearing, “Don’t Go City On Me” for the first time I was pleasantly surprised to hear how he has improved since he started. With that being said, the overall sound of the song was done really well also, it doesn’t have that, “Bro-Country” sound, but the lyrics did have that feel to them. Now I know this is his first song that he has written and released so I shouldn’t critique it so hard, but with the direction that country music has gone over the last few years, I want to see something fresh. I’m not saying that he won’t make that happen in the long run, but this single didn’t give me that, “Finally something new” feeling. I DO look forward to hearing more from him, whether it be on YouTube or Facebook.

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Rating – 2.5/5 – I like the range in his voice, I like the MUSIC that goes with the song, it doesn’t have that pop country feel to it, but as I stated, lyrically I felt like it would have been better. I think as he improves on his vocabulary lyrically, his writing will get better.

So, every now and again, I like to switch things up and let other people tell me THEIR opinion on some of the music that has taken country music by storm, and for this review I have given Dave Brosseau, a friend and follower of this blog, the chance to give us his thoughts on the latest record by “Bro-Country” phenoms, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, also known as Florida Georgia Line. So, here is what he has to say about the latest record. 

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Well the time has come to give the new Florida Georgia Line album a spin. I knew I’d have to keep an open mind, as we’ve come to expect that they’re going to have a certain amount of autotune, and processed sounds in there. It just kinda is what it is. I will say that when the first single “Dirt” was released, I was fairly optimistic about this album, so let’s see what the rest has to offer.

Anything Goes- It’s the title track, so I was hoping it wouldn’t let me down, and you know… it didn’t. There aren’t a lot of crazy, over-processed sounds. It’s just FGL doing what they do, having fun. It’s a catchy song with a good beat. I do wish they didn’t add the autotune during BK’s break in the middle though, it would be nice to hear him get a little more real mic time. I could see this song doing well as a single.

Sun Daze- This track annoyed me in the first 3 seconds with the whistling, luckily it didn’t last long, but then it repeated after each chorus. The lyrics also bothered me, namely “Throw a 20 on a corn hole game, if I’m lucky yeah I might get laid” and “wear my favorite shades and get stoned”. The fact that this was chosen as the new single doesn’t sit well with me, especially considering the age of FGL’s main fanbase. Nothing about this track says country music to me, not the beat, not the lyrics, and stopping in the middle to say “Take ’em out to the sticks boys” followed by 20 seconds of banjo, isn’t going to fix it.

Good Good- There’s nothing special about this song. It’s just another song to a girl, about how much she turns him on, and how he wants to “not sleep” in the backseat of his Jeep. The beat isn’t bad, but the lyrical content does nothing for me.

Dirt- The first single from this album. This is the FGL I love, Tyler AND Brian sharing the spotlight. No unnecessary autotune or electronic fillers. It’s real instruments, real vocals, and a real story. It’s all about those memories we all have
of our old stomping grounds. Those things that no matter where you go, they always pull you right back. I could listen to this over and over, and I have.

Smile- Not much to say about this one. It’s another song about a girl, with all the “bro-country” key words. Radio dial, Blonde hair, midnight, river, etc. The fact that this track immediately follows “Dirt”, makes the lack of substance all the more obvious.

Sippin’ On Fire- They slow it down a bit with this one. I think just about everyone has been in that place after a break-up,
where that person is still all you know. You spend your time trying to convince yourselves it’s better this way, but you eventually give in again, even if it’s only for one night. This song does have a little autotune, but it doesn’t bother me. I actually like this one, but shhh, don’t tell anybody.

Smoke- A song about a Summer love that faded away, and how a smell brings all the memories rushing back. This song has a lot of the all too familiar lyrics, so it does have a bit of a generic feel to it, but not quite as much as some of the other tracks. I wouldn’t go out of my way to play this song, but if it came on, I could tolerate it.

Bumpin’ The Night- So here we have another “grab your girl and your drinks, and find a plce to park” song. I’m finding it difficult to find things to say about each track, when they all settle around the same story. The only thing that separates this one from the others, is that it’s slower. Ok, next.

Angel- Looking at the title I had hoped this might have some substance to it. Nope. Another song about drinking at night with your girl. The angel reference is that she’s a good girl, and saved him from his bad boy ways. If I want to hear that story done properly I’ll listen to “Hell On An Angel” by Brantley [Gilbert].

Confession- This one actually has a decent story, the lyrics are honestly pretty good. My problem is the music, it’s too upbeat for the story being told. If it was a little slower, and stripped down to a couple acoustic guitars and no autotune, it could be a good song.

Like You Ain’t Even Gone- Another song about driving around, wishing that girl was still with you. So anyway, moving on.

Every Night- Hey this song is different! Oh wait… no it isn’t. We get it, you like to pick her up so you can drink and listen to the radio. I can see why she likes to drink. I would too if I had to listen to his same stories over and over.

There are 3 more tracks on the Deluxe version. I won’t bother going over my thoughts, because unlike FGL I can’t come up with a dozen ways to say the same exact thing. When I went into this review I said to myself that I’d look past the autotune, because it’s become part of who they are. I almost had to approach them as their own genre, because let’s face it, there is little to nothing here that says Country music. Having heard their 2010 EP “Anything Like Me” it’s impossible to tell that these are the same two guys. I mean c’mon now, these are the guys who wrote and recorded “Black Tears” before Jason Aldean cut it. Deep down they are better than this, but I guess the industry’s pockets are even deeper. I give this album a fairly generous 5/10, mainly due to “Dirt” and a couple others I didn’t hate.

What’s sad is this album will still be successful, because of the huge flood of new “country” fans that just eat this stuff up.
If the genre continues in this direction of shallow redundancy, and they keep making huge money, we may never hear the real Brian Kelley, and Tyler Hubbard again.

Dave Brosseau is an avid country music listener and follower of this blog. Him and I have seemed to always see eye to eye when it comes to the music coming out a Nashville these days. After talking with him for quite some time I decided to let him give his thoughts on a review, I seem to agree with him, more so of the last statement. As always, follow me on twitter @Brandon_Ish, also like Country Underground on Facebook at facebook.com/country-underground

JARecord

Got a chance to listen to the new record by Jason Aldean before it was released. Having listened to “Burning It Down”, the first single off the record, I was iffy. So I went into listening to this CD with caution and trying to have an open mind. So, lets get into this review going track by track.

Just Gettin’ Started – Literally listened to this song three times when I first listened to it. That guitar riff, the beat, it has me bobbing my head. This is the Aldean that I am used to. I really dig this song.

Show You Off – So, judging by the title of this song, I felt like it was going to be another one of those, “Let me brag about my girl” songs, and that is exactly what it is. While, I’m not against it, it does sound like the industry has made the “girl in a country song” seem like a trophy. I don’t hate the song, I just wish that it would have more substance behind it rather than the obvious.

Burnin’ It Down – When I first heard this song, I couldn’t stand it. There’s nothing “country” about it. It reminds me of a Boys II Men song or something, and that one line, “Right here naked in my bed…”, I just can’t handle it. Definitely was not into this song.

Trying To Love Me – This song hit me pretty hard. Reminds me of “Why”, and it also takes me back to that “old school” Jason Aldean. It’s got that sound that drew me into him when he broke into the scene in 2005. I can hear this song on the radio for sure.

Sweet Little Something – This song picks up the tempo, starts off kind of weird, but after listening to the full song, I can say that I do like it. It has A LOT of sound effects in it, but you still can hear Aldean’s voice throughout the song. It’s a really good, up beat song.

Laid Back – Another song that gives me that old school Jason Aldean feel. You really can’t go wrong with this song either. It’s got a nice guitar solo in the middle. So far I am really digging this new CD, and just about halfway through and I am pleased at what I have heard so far.

Tonight Looks Good On You – I’m digging the lyrics to this song, but I’m not liking the music associated with it. It gives me that new “bro country” vibe that I’m just tired of hearing within country music now. It almost feels like the music doesn’t match the lyrics. I feel that if the music was slower, it’d be a pretty song. This one is so-so in my eyes.

Too Fast – I like this cut, eight songs in and I feel as if Jason has gone back to his original sound. Or at least that is the vibe that I am getting so far with this CD. It does remind me of some of his older songs, but given the stuff that he has put out before this, it’s not a bad thing.

If My Truck Could Talk – They say don’t judge a book by it’s cover. I think the same can be said about a title for a song as well. This song takes me back to riding around King William, Va. It puts me in the passenger seat with my best friend, kicking up dirt on Dunluce Road. It makes me feel invincible again.  This was just the second song that a repeated multiple times.

Old Boots, New Dirt – The title track to the new record, this song has to be on point and amazing right? Dead on, great song. It’s that, “You know what, I don’t need you, get your memory out of my head.” song and I absolutely love it.

I Took It With Me – Rocking guitar riffs, aggressive lyrics, up beat tempo, honestly, everything that I personally like. 11 tracks into this record and I can say that it still has me interested. That’s saying a lot because my attention span is awfully bad. I wish this song didn’t end as soon as it did though.

Don’t Change Gone – Given the circumstances that happened in his marriage, when I hear this song, I hear his emotion. Aldean has always been able to put his emotion into songs and turn good songs into great songs. That’s what he did with this one. This is classic Jason in my opinion.

Miss That Girl – Ok so my previous statement about “Don’t Change Gone”, yeah, this song brings me back to that same feeling.

Gonna Know We Were Here – Gave me that “Johnny and June” feel, almost like that’s what inspired the writing of this song. The names weren’t mentioned at all by that’s the feeling I got.

Two Night Town – This song reminded me of a song that I have heard before, not exactly the same, but to me, it had almost the same meaning. “I’m stuck in a place that I need to get out of.” This is a song that everyone can relate to, we’ve all “spent three nights in a two night town…”

I’ve decided not to do the bonus tracks simply because I feel like I have gotten the overall sound of the record within these fifteen songs. With that being said, I think this is one of the best CD’s  8/10 that Aldean has put out. It’s given me that old school Jason feel, with new songs. Only one song that I was not to fond of, and I honestly felt that, that was going to be the feel of this entire record. Thankfully it wasn’t and it was way better than what I expected. This is a CD that I will for sure keep around, its also one that I recommend getting. Of the newer artists and all the “bro country” going around in Nashville, I felt that this record didn’t have that sound.

Rating – 8/10, while it’s not a “must get” record, it’s one that I would urge someone to listen to.