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ALBUM REVIEW: She Only Loves Me by Nick Verzosa

It's hard not to appreciate the rich country voice of new Red Dirt star Nick Verzosa on his debut album "She Only Loves Me" following his successful five-song effort "The Smoking Gun EP" (read review by clicking here). The aforementioned EP yielded two hit singles "Look Back To Texas" and "Back When Love Was Easy." Indeed, the themes of "love" and "Texas" are constantly at the forefront of this young artist's terrific new project.
The album begins with the current single and title track "She Only Loves Me," which was produced by Texas country legend Walt Wilkins. Neither Verzosa or Wilkins disappoint with this easy-going honky tonk song that mixes elements of classic rock n' roll with Red Dirt sensibilities. Texas country fans should drink this track up faster than Bud Light at a Kevin Fowler concert.

The next cut, "So Mean," is Nick Verzosa's melodic, slow-burning ode to the mean girl in …

SONG REVIEW: First Love by Pauline Reese

Following a recent win as Entertainer Of The Year at The Texas Music Awards, singer-songwriter Pauline Reese tops off a great year with the brand new single "First Love."

The beautiful songstress delivers an intense and introspective vocal performance with "First Love," which carefully blends Texas country with a cool Taylor Swift-esque sound that works on all levels. The first verse builds to a soaring chorus and shows Pauline Reese could easily find a home on the mainstream country music charts.

The lyrics of "First Love" share a love story from a female perspective while still being accessible to male listeners. And this is no easy feat. Justin Pollard's deft production skills also deserve special notice.

Reese made history as the first female Entertainer Of The Year, and "First Love" is a perfect song to capitalize on her new-found fame and give her a mainstream Top 10 hit on the country music charts.

Country radio program directors sho…

ALBUM REVIEW: Random As I Am (ranDDom As I Am) by Deryl Dodd

Music doesn't come much better than Deryl Dodd's stirring new album "Random As I Am." Indeed, the well-known country star has produced a project that will probably land on many Top 10 country album charts at the end of the year, and the unique cover art and title should not scare away traditional country fans. That's because Deryl Dodd has produced 13 uncompromising, Texas country tunes that will make both grandsons and grandfathers feel as happy as the Cowboys winning the Super Bowl.
The album is actually titled the misspelled and case-confused "ranDDom As I Am," but it starts off with a perfect grammar, slam dunk hit - the current single "Baby Where's My Bottle." Deryl Dodd's voice has never sounded better, and the production quality is stellar. However, it is the quiet and nuanced "Loveletters" that showcases Dodd's perfectly matured vocals. This is another radio-ready cut that will be especially pleasing to female fa…

ALBUM REVIEW: Vestibule Blues by Matt Stell

A "vestibule" is defined as the passage before an entrance, and that makes "Vestibule Blues" a fitting sophomore album title for singer-songwriter Matt Stell, who has traveled a long way since his fine debut album "The Sound & The Story." However, Stell is still on the cusp of widespread recognition, and "Vestibule Blues" proudly proclaims that the artist is ready for the big time - on his own terms.
The album begins with a story-in-song titled "Robert Tatum" and features Stell's deep, rich country voice. Indeed, "Robert Tatum" proves to be the perfect start to the Morrilton, Arkansas native's album, and Matt Stell's lyrics constantly highlight the viewpoint of  hardworking men and women.

The heartfelt "Memphis On The River" is a triumph of the highest order, and Stell's vocal performance has improved since his first album dropped in 2009. The song has a comfortable melody and features a confide…

SONG REVIEW: She's Cold As That Beer She's Drinking by Jamie Richards

In what might be the best song title of the year, Jamie Richards is back with his painfully honest song about a conniving seductress appropriately titled "She's Cold As That Beer She's Drinking." And it's a barnburner.

Back in 2008, we introduced you to Jamie Richards when reviewing his hard-to-find 2007 CD titled "Drive" (read full review by clicking here). Now, Richards is obviously searching his heart for past experiences when he sings: "She's out to prove she's so smart, no one is going to break her heart again" sings Richards. "Don't be fooled," he adds, because "she's cold as that beer she's drinking."

Fans of Red Dirt and traditional country stars will warm to Jamie Richards who sings songs about real life. "I think it was probably from personal experiences," Richards said of the song. "I love women probably too much."

Jamie Richards is a hard-working, traditional Texas coun…