25 Best Albums of 2013

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Country music absolutely thrived this year, and that doesn't include what the mainstream regurgitated out to the masses. No, there will be no Bro-Country records in this "Best Of" piece. In fact, what many of this list's artists are doing is what the mainstream should be doing. When it comes to remarkable storytellers and vocalists, you have to look a lot further than corporate-held radio to get a firm grip on compelling stories of love, loss, heartache and even happiness.

While I enjoy plenty of what the mainstream has to offer, I find myself peering deeper within the genre's roots to fulfill my musical appetite. You probably won't recognize most of the names on this list, but I assure you, this collection has truly moved me (sometimes, to tears) over the past 12 months. I strongly urge you to take a listen, if you haven't already.

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Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton score a Grammy nomination

Dolly and Kenny

On Friday night, the Grammy nominees for 2014 were announced, and you know who got nominated?

Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton that's who! 

I know who I will be rooting for this year. 

The pair were nominated for their duet of You Can't Make Old Friends from Kenny's album by the same name. According to Wikipedia, this makes Dolly's 46th nomination. If she and Kenny win, this will be her 8th Grammy.  Wikipedia doesn't have any fancy list of awards he's won like they do for Dolly, but his page does say that he's won three Grammys over the years. 

The Grammy Awards will air on CBS January 26, 2014. 

If you missed the Grammy Nomination Concert that aired on Friday, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban both performed. You can check out Taylor's performance here and Keith's here

Full nominations list after the jump …

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The Civil Wars ‘The One That Got Away’ – Single Review

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The Civil Wars do dark very well, and they supply that in abundance on
their latest single, 'The One That Got Away'. After a mini-hiatus and
cancelled tour dates last year citing ‘irreconcilable differences’, luckily
that didn’t stop the duo making new music. With haunting, gently strummed
electric guitar, suspense-filled mandolin, and a subtle, unassuming yet catchy
guitar hook, this song toes the line between heavy and the ‘less is more’
approach.

However, it isn’t until you really listen to the song that
you really class parts of it as heavy. The duo has largely stuck to their
stripped-back, folky roots, and Joy’s light, wavery vocals are always the icing
on the cake. Juxtaposing the sweet twang of a dobro with a chorus melody worthy
of a big rock song, it subverts what we expect, yet builds with each repetition
of the refrain. Finally, in the third chorus, we are treated to more of a rock
out, but they still hold back. I suspect they do not want to move from their
current musical positioning, although I can imagine they’d do rockier songs
exceptionally well, and I hope to hear more of that from the new album.

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