Monday, February 17, 2020


Hey all

Just a quick note to let you know nothing is going to run this week.
This is Bob's last full week home and we have appointments and things to take care of left and right. I have a stack of CDs here waiting for review and Q & A to put together for several artists. I just have to be home more than half a day at a time to get everything done.

On that note, The Party List is not going to go live until February 27th, after Bob has gone back to work and I don't have to leave the house. That post for the month is an all-day job and I haven't been home but 2 full days since Bob got home. LOL  This is my life. I love my life, I love my husband. I'm just ready to get stuff done!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020


I have an album on the turntable this morning I can only describe as a fresh air. Even on the overcast, miserable day outside my window, the sun shines in my office as I write this review.

ALL MINE encompasses years of word-play. Sarah Morris is a multi-award winning songwriter that shows through on each of the eleven tracks. During our interview yesterday, Sarah told us the one key element that strings her songs together is '... a specific melodic and lyrical voice that you can hear in each record.'

Some of the tunes, such as Stir Me Up, have a free-form poetry style then others, such as Mendocino bring a storyline into the mix.

One of my absolute favorites on this CD is Don't Come Clean. As I listened I found a commonality amongst the songs. Unlike a lot of artists, where they just short of come out and tell you what their album is about, Sarah Morris has woven a fine gold thread from track to track. Her breathy style adds to the embroidery, drawing you in. The effect is  mesmerizing as you follow her from one tune to the next.

One of the things I've noticed through my many years of listening to music is that you could listen to a song and not only identify the artist but the songwriter as well. Somewhere through time, that indelible thumbprint has smeared. Sarah knows how to pen lyrics but more importantly she is able to put her trademark on them. Whether she records them, or someone else has the opportunity, you will know the song's origin.  This ability probably is the greatest tribute to that key element she spoke of.

Sarah Morris' music is playful, sassy with an undercurrent of reality.

The only twinge I found in this album was the reverbing on Mendocino. I'm tipping my hat:

ALL MINE drops February 21st. You can pre-order your copy through her website. Check out the following locations for your copy. 

                 Spotify         iTunes              SoundCloud           Amazon

You can catch up with Sarah Morris via the following social media streams: 

Website    Facebook    Twitter    IG   YouTube

Monday, February 10, 2020

OUT OF THE CHUTE - Sarah Morris

Today, we're talking with Sarah Morris. I'm in love with her playful style. Thanks to Adam Dawson at BrokenJukeboxMedia for bring her my way. 

Hi Sarah. Thank you for joining me in Kelly’s Country today. I’m looking forward to sharing a little about you with my readers.

Let’s kick this off, shall we?

1 – Just reading your bio on Instagram, I see a playful side of you. I’ll bet that comes in handy with kids. How many do you have?   I have 2! And yes - I believe in playful!!

2 – How do you juggle family, wifey stuff and your music as well as self-care?  :)  Not all that well sometimes!  And sometimes it all goes pretty smoothly.  I’m lucky that my husband and parents are extremely supportive!  Also, I have good friends who are juggling the same things and that is so helpful - I can bounce ideas off of them, share my challenges - it’s been a wonderful development over the last few years of my life.  I’m also SUPER routined - and practically speaking, I think that is the key to all the pieces fitting together.

3 – As I listened to the new CD, I heard a very melodic, breathy voice not normally associated with Americana. With that unusual quality to your voice for this genre, who do you think have been your biggest influences as you honed your craft?   Vocally - Alison Krauss is the single biggest influence.  Patty Griffin has always been an influence, and more recently,  Amanda Shires - I love love love her phrasing.

4 – You’ve earned some very prestigious awards for songwriting. What is the one thing you feel every song has to have?   Some truth to it.

5 – All Mine has a very romantic quality emphasized by not only the lyrics, but your voice. Are you a romantic at heart?  I have my moments!  But I could probably stand to be a little MORE romantic, actually!  I think that sometimes with all the busy-ness and making sure things WORK I lean much more toward the practical. 

6 – Prior to All Mine, you’ve released albums in 2011, 2015 and 2017. Is there a key element you’ve carried through from one to the next?  Yeah!  Some of my team has been the same for each record - Eric Blomquist on the production side, Thomas Nordlund on guitar.  Songwriting-wise - I think I have a specific melodic and lyrical voice that you can hear in each record.  Also, the last three are each designed to have the first song and last song work as a bit of a unit.  Brighter/Hope, Sweet Hope on Ordinary Things both use that phrase.  Hearts in Need/Confetti on Hearts in Need of Repair both refer to finding common threads among each other.  On the new one, All Mine/Higher both speak to owning your own journey and keeping on with keeping on.

7 – Lonely and Free was your debut album. How do you think you’ve grown from that CD to this one?  I’ve grown more sure of what I want to say and how I want to say it.  And also, my core instrumentalists play together all the time (Lonely or Free was tracked in a day with session players mostly) and I think you hear that togetherness - I certainly trust in and rely heavily on Thomas, Andrew, and Lars to bring these songs to life and to impart their own voices on them also!

8 – Self-care seems to be a big term these days. As women we need to make sure we’re not losing us in all of our many hats. With all the titles you carry, is there anything you do to make sure you’re able to juggle everything and still be able to breathe at the end of the day?   Yes!  I agree so much!  And I keep investigating for myself.  Currently - running is my biggest one, and consistent creative practice - which for me means 3 pages of free form writing every morning.  Also, of late I’ve been reading more - and specifically choosing reading that inspires in some way.  And laughter.  My family is hilarious - that’s the best!

You can catch up with Sarah Morris via the following social media streams: 

Website    Facebook    Twitter    IG   YouTube

ALL MINE drops February 21st. You can pre-order your copy through her website. Check out the following locations for your copy. 

                 Spotify         iTunes              SoundCloud           Amazon

Come back tomorrow for Turntable Tuesday where I will review All Mine.
In the mean time, here's a video clip for you!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020


Rise & Fly carries a depth like no other EP I've ever reviewed. There's a lot of power, soul and tradition packed into five tracks.

I think a lot of the magic comes from Noah Wall. She's the fiddle player and the base element for the group, playing since her teens. She wrote three of the tunes. In her Senior year, Noah teamed up with mandolin player, Tommy Norris. A music match in heaven? Possibly. Their individual college paths only strengthened their core, allowing them to bring in Alex Connerly on guitar (he wrote one track on this EP) then last but certainly not least, Katie Blomarz on base. Some people think there's nothing to playing a base but those who callus their fingers to hit just the right tone know better.

L-R: Alex, Katie, Tommy, Noah

Together, these talented four have found their destiny in the Americana, Folk, Bluegrass sound.

I've had this CD on loop this morning as I researched for this review. They set the foundation, kicking off with a traditional tune, Early In the Morning has the soulful tune right out of the cotton fields.
Doin' Alright has a tinge of psychedelic shows the powerful side of Noah. I heard a bit of Heart (that would be the rock legend). The bluegrass is evident in Every Little Thing blended with a bit of 70's harmony. Of all the songs on this EP, I think Lonely Mississippi Blues is my favorite. Maybe it's the river that I love, that speaks to me but the tune flows well, showing Alex's connection to a song. But At the End of the Day, (the final track) you'll be snapping your fingers as they travel down the road to you town. Catch them live but in the mean time, grab this CD. 

This band has been on a steady climb since those early days, building and growing as they should, at a pace predestined.

Rise & Fly only wets our appetite for more from this promising band.

I'm tipping my hat:

Since I'm writing this review at 6 a.m. this seems the appropriate video to leave you with:

You may pre-order or find your copy at the following links when the EP drops on February 7, 2020

Spotify      iTunes    CDbaby         Amazon

Catch up with the band via Social Media:

Website    Facebook    Twitter    IG   YouTube

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

WEDNESDAY REVIEW - Eric Brace & Last Train Home

I am always happy when I can feature a recurring artist. I first introduced you to Eric Brace last February both as an artist interview and of his album Riverland. In that interview, I asked Eric what his next project was going to be after Riverland.

I haven’t thought for a moment about the next album. I’ve been too busy trying to learn the chords to this one. And that’s the truth. Many of my songs seem to be about baseball, but Thomm doesn’t understand or appreciate baseball, so that’ll be a hard sell. Maybe we’ll do a Kickstarter campaign to send Thomm to some kind of baseball school, then do a really swell album of baseball songs.

In fact, according to a recent post on the website Eric wasn't looking to release another Last Train Home album. The last one was in 2009, a compilation of six songs. They were cover tunes he'd always loved. (I'll share a video with playlist at the end of this review). Follow that website link to get his thoughts on each of the tracks of this new CD.

As I listened, I heard a familiarity that can only come from someone who I would consider a connoisseur of not only Folk and Americana music, but every genre out there. He knows how to take what he enjoys from each of those and blend them into something magical and cohesive. Eric is also blessed with close friends who see his vision and bring their own unique traits to the mix.

When I listen to this album I hear so many different influences as well as a bit of wanderlust. Not since the late John Hartford have I heard so much emotion about movement and the romance of the transportation involved, whatever the vehicle. I think John would have been a huge fan of what Eric Brace creates.

My favorite track is probably Distance and Time. I'd love to have you comment below and tell me what you like once you get the album.

Eric Brace & Last Train Home: Daytime Highs & Overnight Lows releases January 31, 2020

I'm tipping my hat:

Connect with Eric Brace through the following links

Order your copy beginning Friday January 31, 2020

In the meantime, here's the video/ playlist for the original Last Train Home.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

TURNTABLE TUESDAY - Eric Brace & Last Train Home

Hey everyone!

This review will run tomorrow (Wednesday 1/28) as I'm having technical difficulties with dropbox. I thought I'd have them fixed by now. Will keep you posted.

Thank you for your patience!
Country Blessings

Monday, January 20, 2020


Hi everyone!

Welcome to another year in KellysCountry. Thanks for hanging with me while I got some life things in order. I'm almost there.

KellysCountry will return in full next week beginning with Turntable Tuesday. We'll be spinning a CD by Eric Brace & Last Train Home. I think you're going to love this CD.

What's new in 2020?

The Other Half... (or something to that affect)
We'll be talking with the 'better half'' of some of your favorite country artists as well as those who make the wheels turn. You're going to love our first guest coming in February!

Until then, keep listening and supporting Country Music!

Country Blessings!