Brandi Carlile is a singer-songwriter who has cited influences as various as Elton John, Patsy Cline, and Queen's Freddie Mercury. Carlile has been releasing albums for the past 10 years, and Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says her new one, called The Firewatcher's Daughter, is her best yet.
The singer-songwriter has said, as he was writing his new album Still Fighting the War, that "a theme of perseverance through hard times revealed itself." Rock critic Ken Tucker says the record is no downer and that Cleaves finds complex sentiments and wittily phrased ideas in many of his new songs.
Dawes has just released its third album, Stories Don't End. The band has cited Neil Young and Crosby, Stills & Nash among its influences, but channels them with good humor and confidence that its own distinctiveness will shine through.
Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale just released a new album of duets. Critic Ken Tucker says Buddy and Jim recalls an earlier era of country music. The pair's voices, Tucker says, connect through "shared emotion in a song."