About FOCUS admin

Author Archive | FOCUS admin

Album Review: Coldwater Jane ‘Marionette’

Well, I admit that I had only heard the name, Coldwater Jane, but had not had the chance to hear their music until this past Saturday at Puckett’s in downtown Nashville.  In a word: AMAZING!

Coldwater Jane is comprised of sisters, Brandon Jane and Leah Crutchfield, from Lucedale, Miss.  A small town with a population of 2,990. They are incredibly talented, genuine, and artists that country music fans will love if they just have more of a chance to experience them. Again, another shocker for me because up until recently they were signed to Mercury Records until they parted ways. SOMEONE at another label snatch them up quick! More people need to hear their music and they just need the right promotion behind them. I’m convinced they would be a hit!

I was immediately impressed with the uptempo, optimistic and just plain catchy “Bring On The Love”.  It’s my favorite and what made me a fan of their music instantly, but there is so much more to love about this album!

Coldwater Jane’s 11-track release entitled ‘Marionette’ is another album FILLED with hits and songs that will just make you feel good. They have some of the best harmonies out there and their music will not only appeal to the contemporary country music lover, but also traditional country enthusiasts AND even bluegrass lovers since there is certainly a bluegrass feel in such songs as the title track “Marionette”.

“Rock My Soul” another uptempo is another favorite of mine. Followed by “Marionette” and traditionalists will love “Drifting Heart”. I’m having a very difficult time picking a favorite because this album is wonderful! It is FILLED with such beautiful music loaded with lyrical depth and sung wonderfully from the heart by this amazing duo. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll head over to iTunes right now and grab yourself a copy for just $9.99!

Be sure to check out Coldwater Jane and find out more about them at: www.coldwaterjane.com. You’ll be glad that you did!

Full track listing:


“Bring On The Love”

“You’re The Best Thing Since Jesus”

“If You Only Had A Heart”

“Devil Train”

“Rock My Soul”

“Drifting Heart”

“Mississippi Mud”

“Tough As Nails”

“What Now?”

“Old Black Ford”

Rated 5 out of 5 stars. Wonderful album and let me add a “plus” on to this rating, as well, since I can’t rate it any higher! 🙂

Comments { 0 }

Album Review: Jesse Lee ‘Come After Me’

Jesse LeeJesse Lee has GOT to be one of the most talented vocalists that I have come across in a long time.  She is what I would consider a vocal stylist with so much control and power in her voice.

Ever since I first heard her perform live a couple of years back, I’ve eagerly awaited her debut album from Atlantic Records and wondered why I hadn’t heard anything.  Come to find out she and Atlantic Records have recently parted ways, which I think is a terrible shame.  Somebody at a label with an ear for talent PLEASE pick up this artist.  Jesse Lee is incredible! I am shocked she’s not signed right this very moment.  Not only does she have this amazing voice, but she’s incredibly bubbly and fun.  I would think she would be a big hit with country music fans if they only get to be around her.  She’s very genuine, real, and her music needs to be heard by more people.

Luckily, her label let her keep her album to release herself.  This album is amazing and you can buy it right on her website for only $4.99, which is an absolute STEAL! This album is wonderfully-produced, great lyrics, track after track of hits sung by the incredibly talented Jesse Lee.  It is a MUST-HAVE for any country fan, in my opinion!

It’s very hard for me to pick a favorite because I absolutely love every song on this 9-track album entitled ‘Come After Me’! “Come After Me”, the title track sticks out to me especially.  This power ballad is filled with such emotion and just beautiful! “Cry Baby” is a fun, sassy, uptempo number.  “Ghost Of Us” is mid-tempo, powerful, and tugs right at your heart.  “Talk to Me” is another favorite.  This song will appeal to traditional country lovers, as well as, contemporary.  It’s simply beautiful and another power ballad filled with emotion. Really, I can go straight down the list of songs and from top to bottom tell you how much I love each.  Not a weak one in the bunch! There’s something here for everyone!

Buy it at www.jesseleemusic.com if you know what’s good for you and want to hear some amazing music!

Full track listing:

“Come After Me”

“Cry Baby”

“Ghost Of Us”

“Talk To Me”

“See A Little Difference”

“Just Like Yesterday”

“If I Were You”

“If I Could Anywhere”

Bonus track: “Love Chooses You”

You can, also, check out her video for “It’s A Girl Thing” right here, too: http://youtu.be/B36NaCTis14

Rated 5 out of 5 stars.  If I could give it higher than that, I would.  How about 5 stars plus? 🙂


Comments { 0 }

Song Review: “Wonders” By Steve Rutledge

“Wonders” is written and performed by Steve Rutledge.   Aside from being one of the most talented guitarist around (he was recently honored at 2011 NAMM’s All-Star Guitar Night), Steve is a talented singer and songwriter.  In fact, there’s not much Steve can’t do! He produces, plays guitar, bass, keyboard, sings, and writes.  He has played for audiences worldwide and shared the stage with artists like: Steve Holy, Trace Adkins, Reba, Emerson Drive, Jake Owen, Heidi Newfield, Trick Pony, Toby Keith, Monte Montgomery, Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, John Michael Montgomery, Montgomery Gentry, John Fogerty, The Eagles, Lonestar, Lee Ritenour, James Burton, Jack Pearse, Seymour Duncan, Rick Vito, Muriel Anderson, James Otto, Big and Rich, Gretchen Wilson, Keith Anderson, Mark Wills, Jo Dee Messina, Kelly Pickler, Taylor Swift, Michael English and many more.   Steve’s, also, a good friend of mine who has just released this new single to radio.

“Wonders” is an uptempo, optimistic song.  It’s the type of song that just builds and builds.  Ever since I first heard it 3 years ago, I have loved this song and hoped that more people could hear it.  Steve Holy did release it with has most recent album, but it’s good to hear Steve Rutledge‘s version.

This song is special to me for good reason.  It helped me through a very dark time in my life and gave me that little bit of hope that I needed at the time.  Honestly, I can’t help, but tear up each time I do hear it.  Not because it’s sad, it’s far from it, but because of what this song means to me. I’ve mentioned in the About section of this site that music has helped me through some difficult times in my life and why I do this music blog.  This is one of the reasons right here.  “Wonders” is a song that helped me through my darkest hour when I was diagnosed with MS back in May of 2009.  I’ll never forget when Steve performed at a benefit that was held for me and sang this song.  He and several other close friends came together to give me hope to get through that time by organizing a benefit for me.  So, it’s a very emotional and meaningful song to me.

Anyway, it’s well-done and I hope you’ll check it out. If you feel so inclined, be sure to check it out at radio!

To hear wonders, check it out right HERE!

Rated 5 out of 5 stars.


Comments { 0 }

Album Review: Kelly Lang’s ‘11.11’

Kelly LangOne thing that I appreciate most with an album is when the artist writes or co-writes their own songs.  Kelly Lang wrote or co-wrote 10 out of 11 songs on this album. That’s how you get a true feel of an artist.  Kelly, also, produced the album.  I do appreciate an artist that is this well-rounded.

I found this 11-track fully-produced album by Kelly Lang entitled ‘11.11’ to be enjoyable.  While I couldn’t see this release topping the country charts or garnering nominations for CMAs or ACMS because I don’t think it fits into what country radio is playing right now, I still found it enjoyable and I think traditional country fans would appreciate this album.  The songs flow and mostly traditional country.  Although, it is an eclectic mix of songs at times, it mostly leans towards traditional country.  The album as a whole is not going to “wow” you, but it’s still a nice listen.

“I Thought He’d Be here By Now” is a radio-friendly, uptempo song.   I wasn’t a big fan of the singing at the beginning of this song because it sounded a tiny bit flat to me, but as the song progressed, I really enjoyed it and the singing was good.   This song has a more contemporary feel and slight rock edge to it.  “On And On” is my favorite song from the album.  It is a ballad that flows musically, very traditional country, and soothing with great lyrics.  “I Was Wrong” is a mid-tempo, bluesy song that I enjoyed, but it didn’t quite fit with the rest of the album.  “If You Knew” is another mid-tempo, traditional country tune that I especially enjoyed the lyrics.  I, also, really enjoyed “If I’d Only Known”.  At the beginning, it had a very Irish feel to it.  Reminded me of  the score from ‘Lord Of The Dance’ and then flowed into being a traditional country, mid-tempo song about regrets with occasional rock guitar riffs.  “I’m done” was perhaps my least favorite of the album.  It was a mid-tempo song that had a little bit of a dated feel to me.  Not traditional country and classic, but more of a blend of 80s pop along the lines of Lionel Richie’s “Hello”.  It just didn’t quite fit with the rest of the album, either.  The last track on the album is “You Are My Sunshine”–the classic song that has been redone many times that Lang put a very bluesy twist on and I loved her voice on it.  I found this one to be a fun addition and nice way to end the album.

Rated 3 out of 5 stars.

Comments { 0 }