Tuesday, December 22, 2020


 Good morning, everyone!

I intended to run  Christmas music all this week but just couldn't get up to speed after a 'sister weekend' in Springfield. 

I'm kicking off the remainder of this week with a special treat.

Christmas is all about family, even if this year is going to be a bit different (PLEASE practice social distancing and be safe!), we can still include family.

THE LAST CHRISTMAS stems from a story Terry's wife's grandmother told about a Christmas she experienced in 1917. Marion Norswing Phillps passsed away in 1992 but thanks to Terry and his wife, families everywhere can see how Christmas was in 1917.

Like a lot of us in this crazy year, Terry began viewing 'family' in a new way, one mirroring the trials and tribulations of our ancestors. 2020 will be the first year since Marion's passing that the family has not been all in a room together to read her story aloud on Christmas Eve. While the world has changed dramatically in the last 100 years, core themes that make this story ring  true to all of us are still very strong. 


I'm sharing the YouTube video below. Take some family time of your own to enjoy this amazing Christmas story. 

To learn more about Terry Klein, you can visit the following social media streams:

Country Christmas Blessings

Friday, December 11, 2020

FRIDAY FUNNIES - Christmas On Cable


Good  morning, everyone!

For Friday Funny I thought I'd close out the week with Matt. 

Actually, when he sent me the SoundCloud LINK for this, I knew I just needed to run him all week. He also isnpired my new line-up for 2021 so stay tuned!

Click the link below the picture to hear today's tune!

As I stated earlier in the week, this is my last official post for 2020.

I will be sharing Christmas videos from some of my favorite artists the rest of this month, including Christmas Funnies. 

Thank you for being a part of my life. I look forward to an awesome 2021~

Country Blessings

~ Kelly

Thursday, December 10, 2020

MATT ECKSTINE - Influence #2 - Townes Van Zandt

 We are back with Matt Eckstine today, showcasing another influence on his music. 

Townes Van Zandt was one of the greatest songwriters to ever come out of Texas. He influenced a lot of people in his time on earth. 

If I Needed Yo, written by Townes, was a bit hit for another Texas artist, Emmy Lou Harris. 
Here is his recording:

I'm bringing Matt back tomorrow for Friday Funny. You're going to love this Christmas treat!

Country Blessings
~ Kelly

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

WEDNESDAY REVIEW - Matt Eckstine Influence #1

 Abit of different post today and tomorrow. 

In my interview on Monday, Matt told us he'd love to have a sit down with John Prine. I thought I'd share one of John's videos today. Who knows.. maybe here at KellysCountry, we could create a bit of Christmas magic. 

Country Blessings!
~ Kelly

Tuesday, December 8, 2020



Welcome to Turntable Tuesday!

This will be the last spin of 2020 and we are closing out with an amazing album.

Li'l Blue is the sophomore album of Georgia artis, Matt Eckstine. Yesterday, I asked Matt about his growth from his first album to this one and he shared that he has honed his songwriting skills as well as finding his own identity (he'd previously been a band member).  If you go back and listen to his self-titled album from 2017 (you can check out an older tune HERE)  then slip this one back in the player, you won't hear the growth. Instead, you will feel the metamorphasis he has gone through.

When I first heard Hear They Stand, something in my brain clicked. I'd heard that tone somewhere many years ago. Neil Young (Out of the Blue). The same bluesy swing carries in to Honey Dew.

Just when you think you're going to drift off, the title track, Li'l Blue,  picks up the pace. The Young tone is still there, but you're tapping your toes along the way.

Matt loves the beach, and while there's a great distance from the gulf coast of Georgia to Hawaii, Matt's creativity blends his own rhythmic style with the island groove in Mahi Mahi Rice.

I introduced you to Old Guitar, yesterday. This track flows a bit differently, as do Part of the Ride and This Heaven. They have a bit more tempo without losing the Eckstine signature. 

You feel Matt's love for the beach again in Uku Mama. His ability to change up the style a bit without losing his core is what makes Matt Eckstine music uique. 

Li'l Blue is eight tracks of soul-penetrating elixir. Take a shot then sit back and let Matt Eckstine's tunes carry you away on his magic carpet to an island of peace and joy. 

I'm not sure hat-tips are appropriate here, but they're my signature. So, like Matt, I'm changing it up a bit - just for him. ;-)

I'm giving Li'l Blue:

Check out Matt's links below to see what he's up to and download your copy of Li'l Blue today!

You'll find Matt Eckstine on the following social media locations:

Matt is here all week so come back to check out more of this album!

Country Blessings!

Monday, December 7, 2020

OUT OF THE CHUTE - Matt Eckstine

 I love it when an artist I've connected with previously reaches out to me. That means I've done something right.

Matt Eckstine contacted me back in late October about his sophomore album but I was prepping for a trip to IA and things just got pushed back. He's been kind enough to work with me and be my guest this entire week.

One thing I didn't get with Matt last time was an interview. In spite of my sluggishness, he has answered the questions in record time. ;-)

Thanks for contacting me about this new album and for sharing time with us here in KellysCountry!

 Let’s open the chute ~

1 - I’m sharing a couple things from you this week so first, let’s talk about the new album. Li’l Blue is your sophomore album. What makes this one different from your self-titled album in 2017?

My sophomore album "Lil' Blue" is different from my first self-titled album in quite a few ways actually.

"Lil' Blue" was recorded with a full band sound and had several musicians who contributed parts. This record was also a new batch of songs.

My first record titled under my name "Matt Eckstine" was completely acoustic takes in the studio of songs I planned to move forward with under my solo career. The band that I was the primary songwriter for "The Accomplices" had disbanded unexpectedly. I decided to cut some of my favorite tunes from that period and start from scratch.

 2 - You have an impressive background with The Accomplices. The band was voted Best Band in Savannah two years in a row. Since we didn’t get to talk the last time I reviewed your music, this is as good a time as any to ask - what was the moment when you knew it was time to step out on your own?

The Accomplices decided to disband when two members of the band made the decision to move across the country. I decided to go into a studio a month after that decision and cut some acoustic songs to get started on the next page of my career.


3 - In what ways do you think you’ve grown since that first album?

In regard to how I’ve grown since my first solo record....  I believe I have honed my songwriting craft and have found my own identity in the solo career. It definitely took me a few years to learn how to work as a solo artist rather than being a band member. They are very different worlds, and now I feel like I know how to navigate both of those roles.

4 - On your airplay direct page for the first album you attribute your influences to Townes Van Zandt, Kris Kristofferson and John Prine. All great songwriters. Can you tell what your take-away was from each of those?  What did you key in to specifically with each?

I'm not sure who set up the airplay direct actually.....but....good choices on those writers!

I was first introduced to John Prine from a friend who burned me a CD with a compilation of his catalog. I was just blown away by the lyrics and the feel of the music. I remember thinking "this guy had already done exactly what I think I'm going for!". That really provided me with a teacher to keep me grounded. I like to keep my songs fairly simple with concept, music, and character. Prine, Kristofferson, and Townes all had that quality. I equally spent a lot of time listening to Townes and studying his guitar and lyrical work. I went through a period of personal despair that I found a kindred spirit in Townes music. All of these guys mentioned are masters of their craft and I think it is important to study the masters and pay homage.

5 - I know what I hear when I listen to your music. Everyone is going to hear something different. What do you hear and want people to experience when they listen?

I hear the result of the process. Which is usually rewarding. I like to hear how an idea turns into a completed piece of music and then goes into a production mind frame. After that happens and a song is completed, I enjoy listening to the completed piece on a sunset drive out to the beach. Then I am on to the next tune!

For others: If the music brings you some form of joy that would make me happy. I know that musical taste is completely individual to the person. I think the people that get it will get it and that is wonderful!

 6 – Business coach Amber McCue says that wherever we are in our career, we are ‘right on time’. You’ve made great strides in the past four years. Do you feel you are ‘right on time’?

I am not familiar with Amber McCue and the philosophy. However, I think I understand what that means.... I definitely feel like I am growing in the direction that I intended to move toward from 4 years back!

7 - Alive or dead, who would you love to sit and talk music with?

Alive --- I think I would enjoy talking about music and life with Todd Snider. I think he would be a good hang and definitely bridges the gap between my folk heroes of the past and present.

8 - We’ve all been locked down, shut in, whatever term you want to use. Many people are using this time to step out of their comfort zone and do that thing they’ve always dreamed of. For those thinking this is the time to kick off their music career, what advice would you give someone just starting out?

 Three words..... Do The Work

That is all it really takes. As easy as that is to say, it is a lot harder to actually do!

Great advice, Matt!

You'll find Matt Eckstine on the following social media locations:

 I'll be putting Li'l Blue on the turntable tomorrow so be sure to come back for that review. 

In the mean time, here's a sample video for you:

Tuesday, December 1, 2020


 Before I go any further, I want to thank everyone for their patience. I'm trying really hard to get things uploaded on a regular basis. Sadly, I didn't get this blog covered as much as I'd have liked the past several weeks. 

Most of the month of November was taken up with a road trip to IL then on to IA to visit extended family. The youngest girl (like a daughter to me) was expecting her first child(ren) - twins girls. I wasn't missing out on helping her prep for this milestone in her life. I've missed a lot with her the past several years. Even in the midst of COVID, I needed to remedy that.  As of 11/ 28 I am officially a Mimi when Kassie delivered two beautiful little girls. 

To add to the journey, her oldest sister recently became a foster mom to an infant. She brought the now 12- week old little girl home from the hospital at 5 weeks old.

So as you can tell, I've been a bit pre-occupied. 

Today, I'm introducing you to a newcomer on the scene. Last Year's Man ( (Tyler's pseudonym) comes to us from Eugene Oregon. While y'all know I'm a Texas girl at heart, I have to tell you that the music coming out of the PNW is creative and deep. 

Brave the Storm takes you deep inside yourself. The overall melancholy tone of the album is masterfully delivered with vocals (shared with his wife Erin) and acoustic guitar the stars of the show. His experience as a producer brings something I rarely hear in albums... a true ear. Brave the Storm isn't just an album, it's an experience.

I normally walk you through track by track but I'm not going to do that here. Why? Because the overall album goes deep into your soul, making the tracks a personal journey for everyone who listens. What I feel is going to be totally different for each of you. This isn't just an album, it's a meditation. The dream-like effect transcends this crazy world we are in right now - something I think we all need. 

There are tunes on here that move me almost to tears... they go that deep for me. 

Here's what I want each of you to do.
Check out video for the title track then click one of the buy links provided and download your copy.  
After you've listened, I'd love to hear your thoughts either in the comments below or by tagging me on Twitter and IG - @kellyscountry

One additional note. Aside from a masterful songwriter, Tyler is a fabulous artist. Check out  his website then click the ART tab to be transported to another side of this talented soul.
I'm giving this album:

You'll find Last Year's Man on the following social media channels:

Friday, November 27, 2020

FRIDAY FUNNIES - Deer in my Garden

 Good   morning, friends!

As hunting season launches across the country, I thought I'd share one of my favorites from an old friend, Kevin Weldon. I've not heard from Kevin in a few years. I hope he's still writing the crazy parodies.

Be safe out there! Bag a big one!

Country Blessings!

Friday, November 20, 2020


 Jerry Reed was a true country comic and he put it all in song. I met Jerry not long before he left us. He was a genuine gentleman and funny as hell even when he wasn't performing. 

Here's a classic! You can almost smell the stale beer and feel the gritty floor.

Country Blessings

Friday, November 13, 2020

FRIDAY FUNNIES - Girl on the Billboard

 Good morning, friends!

Happy Friday the 13th!

I come from a looonnnng line of truckers. My daddy drove, two of my brothers, my older sister and my brother-in-law. My daughter owns her own permitting company. I keep a truckin' hits cd in my rig (pick up). 

I thought this week, I'd share one of my favorite Trucking songs. A classic Del Reeves courtesy of Coutry Road TV

Country Blessings!

Friday, November 6, 2020

FRIDAY FUNNY - Funky Ole Hen

 I thought since I reviewed The Dillards' new album this week, I'd share this fun track from the CD.

Thanks to Larry's Country Dinner and Country Road TV for showcasing this video from their show.

Country Blessings!

Wednesday, November 4, 2020


 Good morning, country fans... Okay - so it's early after noon. I've been cleaning the house while I listened to the newest release by The Dillards.

Yes THOSE Dillards. 

You may remember them as The Darlings on Andy Griffith. I have to admit I am partial to these folks. See, they are originally right up the road from me about fifteen miles, in Salem Missouri.

I couldn't continue with this review without paying a momentary tribute to Mitch Jayne.

 I was thrilled when we moved down here but became irritated with myself when I failed to take time to meet the late Mitch Jayne (remember the upright base player). He was also a talented newspaper columnist. Sadly, he passed away in August of 2010. (obituary

A few months ago, Bob and I watched The Dillards on a PBS program. These folks really put on a production. The presentation isn't just about the music. When you have the chance to see them, go! You will be entertained.

Imagine my surprise when I opened an envelope from Kyle at Pinecastle Records. While I've not covered a lot of Kyle's clients in a couple of years, he always keeps me on his review list. I'm really glad he does! This is the Dillards' first album since 1991.

OLD ROAD NEW AGAIN is a perfect compilation of classics with a heavy shot of Bluegrass as well as new tunes, including one written long ago by Rodney Dillard and Mitch Jayne (Take Me Along for the Ride) and a couple Rodney co-wrote with his wife Beverly. Beverly also provides lead vocals and clawhammer banjo.

Rodney and Beverly Dillard

There is a lot to like about this album, eleven of them to be exact. Each one a perfect track blending the simple life of Mayberry with traditional bluegrass. 

The Dillards brought in some of the best in Bluegrass to pull this album together. Classic bluegrass wouldn't be complete without Sharon & Cheryl White or Ricky Skaggs. Herb Pedersen (joined by Sam Bush on The Whole World Round)is featured on five tunes (including the title track). Bernie Leadon lends his vocals on two tracks and the great Don Henley three outstanding numbers. 

With folks like that in your corner, you have to hit #1... it's a given.

OLD ROAD NEW AGAIN will take you back when life was simpler, you knew your neighbors and wouldn't trade a plug nickle for your life. 

I'm giving this album...

Here's a video for you:

You can keep up to date with The Dillards on the following social media locations:


Copies of this and other albums are available to listen and/ or for purchase:

Friday, October 16, 2020


Scott Mac Davis
Rest In Peace

Normaly, I would leave you with a funny video this week but since I'm honoring the great Mac Davis, I wanted to close this week out with the same way he closed out all of his shows. 

Country Blessings!
~ Kelly 

Thursday, October 15, 2020


 White Limozeen was featured in the documentary Hollywood to Dollywood (2011). The song, co-written with Dolly Parton was one of many songs written with or by Mac Davis that became trademarks for another artist.

White Limozeen was released as the fifth single from Dolly Parton's WHITE LIMOZEEN album. 

Country Blessings!
~ Kelly

Tuesday, October 13, 2020



Good morning, Country Fans!

Scotty Mac Davis

I'm dedicating this entire week to the late Mac Davis. In case you missed the news or didn't see Monday's post, Mac passed away September 29th due to complications following heart surgery. 

I'm not going to 'review' Mac's music. The songs he wrote were pure magic for so many artists. Today, I thought I'd share a couple of those videos.

Don't Cry Daddy was a big hit for Elvis Presley

Something's Burning from Kenny Rogers and the First Edition :

Most recently, Wait 'Til I Get You Home -  this duet with Dolly Parton:

Country Blessings!
~ Kelly

Monday, October 12, 2020

OUT OF THE CHUTE - Mac Davis Remembered



One of the most talented songwriters of all time left us on September 29th due to complications following a recent heart surgery. 

As a writer who focuses on Texas artists, I'd been thinking of Mac in recent weeks, wondering what he was up to, or even still with us. I decided once Bob went back to work and I got this baby shower behind me, I would do some research. Two days later I saw the tweet from Dolly Parton that he was gone. 

For a guy who sang a song called It's Hard to Be Humble, Mac was just the opposite. he wass a good ole boy from Lubbock Texas lucky enough to have spent more than fifty years doing something he loved.

His career began in the 1960's when Elvis recorded several of Mac's songs. He continued into the 1970s, writing Something's Burning for Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. While Gallery recorded I Believe In Music, the tune became Mac's signature closing song for his own shows. One of my favorites he wrote was Watching Scotty Grow, a big hit for Bobby Goldsboro (1971)

While he continued to write great hits (his  most recent recordings in 2014), Mac Davis also had his share of on-screen time with his own television show for two years and in North Dallas Forty (as a quarterback), with Nick Nolte. He was also a favorite musical guest on The Tonight Show.

Tomorrow, I'll drop in a video of one of my favorite Mac Davis tunes. Please share in the comments below what your favorite is. 

Country Blessings
~ Kelly


Monday, October 5, 2020


 Now there's a title for you!

Not a lot going on this week. This is Bob's final week home and fall has arrived. We have a lot to get done outside before he leaves a week from tomorrow. Please bear with me as I spend this time with him and get things done while I have his help. 

I hope you'll get outside and enjoy this beautiful weather. According to some sources Winter will come early and be unseasonably cold/ wet in most parts of the country. 

Country Blessings!

~ Kelly

Friday, October 2, 2020


 In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness month I thought I'd share this piece from The Bellamy Brothers. This song was part of the Susan G. Komen program a few years back!


Thursday, October 1, 2020


 In the wee hours of Tuesday morning I dreamed I was spending final hours with the great Merle Haggard. In the dream, he counted me as a friend he'd known for many years.

Sadly, that isn't true. I never had the opportunity to meet Merle Haggard or to interview him. I don't regret having not had the chance because I believe that all things happen for a reason. Someday, I'll have the opportunity to talk to a lot of great artists in country music's Grand Palace. Until then, I can only share their music with my readers.

In the dream, this song was playing in the background and thought it was perfect for today's Throwback Thursday video.

We miss you Merle Haggard!

Country Blessings
~ Kelly

Tuesday, September 29, 2020



Good morning, Country Fans!

Quick note before we get into today's post. Thanks to the sinus infection taking me out of commission last week, I didn't get to announce the winner to the Marble CD. There were no comments on the post so no free CD going out to anyone. That's a shame because y'all are missing out on some great music! Takes only a moment to leave a comment. If you're unable to leave a comment, drop me a note in Twitter DM so I can fix any issues. ~Thank you!

Today, we're talking about another cool album. totally different from D.L. Marble's cd. This one is from 'newcomer' Kristian Montgomery and the Winterkill Band.

I say 'newcomer' because I've not seen anything from this guy before (though his YouTube channel goes back 8 months). I try to give back to artists who take time to reach out to me. They don't have to contact me, or any other reviewer out there. When they do reach out to us we know the artist has done their research. Kristian Montgomer took the time to find out whose hands he needed to get his music to. I'm glad he found me.

THE GRAVEL CHURCH is a unique collection of songs from a man who truly has lived a Haggard kind of life... right down to the jail time. I had a brief chat with Kristian via Twitter direct message yesterday and learned some pretty cool things about a man who seemingly has come from out of nowhere.

Born in Floriday, his father was a Danish immigrant and his mother the all-American girl. You'll here some of those influences in his muisc on this album. Like many artists, he grew up singing in church. He's also sang Celtic/Scandinavian music and was, at one point,  even nominated for Best Male Vocalist at the Boston Music Awards while performing in a metal band! To say the least, his talents have a wide range.

In our conversation, Kristian told me some of his musical influences included 'Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Chuck Berry, Chris Whitley, Roy Orbison, Larry Gatlin and Elvis Presley.' Peter Gabriel was the first concert he ever attended. 

The Gravel Church very well could have been the 25'x25' yard he was allowed to breathe in every day for the six months he spent in jail.  The Gravel Church could also be the road each of us walks every day, learning tough lessons with each step on life's path. 

What began as a 5-track EP collaborated with producer Joe Clapp (ultrasound productions) has turned in to a full album of 16 songs written deep from his gut and soul. You hear the Gabriel influences in a lot of the tracks. 

While I won't break down all sixteen tracks, there were a few highlights for me. One is Your New.  A smooth 80s style that has you swaying along. She's No Cadillac has a hard-hitting John Cash feel that you just want to get up and hit the dance floor. 

One of my favorite tunes on this album is Hjertebygger .  Haunting. The perfect sound for the opening scene of a dark movie. The intro monologue grabs you, pulling you in like the skeletal hand from the grave. Maybe that's just the witch in me :).  The Tracks has a Pink Floyd undertone that is unexpected yet fits the cohesiveness of this album beautifully. Finally, for some reason I can't define, Auld Lang Syne seems to fit the overall nostalgia of THE GRAVEL CHURCH.

I have no doubt this is a guy that could easily been a Highway Man. Every song on this album shows the true mastery of a songwriter who only has greater things in his future. 

I'm tipping my hat:


You will find Kristian Montgomery and the Winterkill Band as well as purchase your album through the following Social Media locations:


Monday, September 28, 2020

OUT OF THE CHUTE - Winterkill Band

 Good morning, country fans!

Normally, Monday would be a Q & A ... and I'd planned to do one. However, I've been battling a sinus infection for over a week and fell behind on getting sheets out to folks. 

This week, I'd meant to do a proper introduction to a new Alternative Country artist who contacted me via Twitter.  Kristian Montgomery and the Winterkill Band.

I lieu of Q & A, I'm introducing to their newest release - AMERICAN FIRE

I'll be back tomorrow with a full review of their most recent album The Gravel Church as well as social media and purchase links.

In the meantime - check out their Facebook Page

Country Blessings

Friday, September 25, 2020

FRIDAY FUNNY - from Little Jimmy Dickens

 As I opened up YouTube to do a video search, this song popped into my head.  


Friday, September 18, 2020

FRIDAY FUNNIES - Spiders and Snakes

 Hey all!

In honor of David Bellamy's 70th birthday yesterday, I thought I'd post a funny he wrote.

Head on over to FB and Twitter to wish him a belated Happy Birthday! He'd love to hear from his fans! We blew up his social media yesterday!

Thursday, September 17, 2020


Yesterday's post had to run today as I had to get confirmation on the release date. Throwback Thursday will be here next week!

The latest from D. L. Marble dropped yesterday - September 16th.  While, his music has a harder edge for me personally, there was a lot to like about this album overall.

Produced by  Eric “Roscoe” Ambel, ONE LINE AT A TIME features 10 tracks of well-written stories. They are lyrics written from experience. Through the tunes I get a feeling 'what you see is what you get' with D.L.

With the first chords of Same Damn Thing, I heard a familiar sound... influence of Steve Earle. D. L.'s tunes have that same edginess that is Americana with a rocker undercurrent, like an animal begging to be let free.

One Line At A Time gives us a unique view of life on the road. Only a master songwriter like D. L. could bring so many connotations to 'one line' into one cohesive piece.

For all of us who've still had questions after losing someone, California Memory  is that tune you want to play over and over as you search for answers.

D. L. doesn't leave us melancholy for long as he jumps into the harder track of Better Than Me. The tune carries a 60s psychedelic rock that draws you in, whether it's your style or not. 

Overall, D.L has crafted a perfect blend of styles to form the perfect 'house party' album. Pour yourself a tumbler of your favorite (skip the branch), sit back and let him take you on a  journey, that while you may have taken before, you'll see with new eyes. 

I'm tipping my hat:


WIN!   WIN!   WIN!   WIN!
I will be giving away a FREE copy of this CD to one lucky commenter. You have until midnight CST September 21st to register.  All you have to do is:

1 - Follow me on Twitter - https://KellysCountry
2 - Leave a comment down below that you are a new follower and include your twitter handle.

I will announce the winner on Turntable Tuesday September 29th.

You'll find D. L. on the various Social Media streams: