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Four Up-and-Coming Women Country Singers

Rock critic Ken Tucker says that, with the rise of bad boys and neo-traditionalists in country music, fans and critics have overlooked several accomplished women artists. He reviews new albums by four singers worth checking out.


Country Star Lyle Lovett

Lovett plays country music, but he's heavily influenced by rock and roll and jazz. His newest album, Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, takes its cue from the big band era.


Time Again for the Tucker Top Five

Rock critic Ken Tucker once more looks at the best and worst songs currently hitting the airwaves. Represented artists include Matthew Sweet, Bunny Wailer, Violent Femmes, Tone Loc, and Emmylou Harris.


Former Hee-Haw Guitarist Makes a Comeback

Country musician Buck Owens is back and as corny as ever. Rock critic Ken Tucker says his new album, Hot Dog!, successfully incorporates the sound and spirit of early rock and roll. A reissue of live recordings is also worth checking out.


The Best Music of 1988

Rock critic Ken Tucker talks with Fresh Air host Terry Gross about the year in music. He says 1988 had an eclectic array of hits, with folk and hard rock albums both reaching the top of the charts.


Two Great Country Songwriters Return with New Albums

Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews recent releases by Jesse Winchester and Guy Clark, two country songwriters who are popular with critics, but who haven't yet found mainstream success. Tucker says Winchester's album leans toward new age, while Guy Clark's work may have more in common with folk than country.


Introducing the Tucker Top Five

Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews his favorite songs of the moment, performed by Annie Lennox and Al Green, Lucinda Williams, Shinehead, Billy Bragg, and Fairground Attraction


Country Singer and Songwriter Willie Nelson

Nelson grew up picking cotton, and got his start as a musician playing in local Texas bars. Before finding fame as a singer, he sold songs he wrote to other performers, which later became hits. Nelson has a new memoir, called Willie, and an album of standards titled What a Wonderful World.


Country Singers Move to the Mainstream

Last year, Ken Tucker reviewed albums by Randy Travis and Dwight Yoakum, whom he thought had the power to shake up the country music establishment. Now they are the establishment, both with new albums. Tucker says Travis gives listeners a postmodern take on traditional country; Yoakum has fashioned himself the genre's Raymond Chandler, with songs that are brooding and sometimes offensive.


The Singer-Songwriter Finds Refuge in Country Music.

Rock Critic Ken Tucker reviews new albums by George Strait and Steve Wariner. Their music is marketed as country, but Ken says their style is similar to that of singer-songwriters of the late '60s and early '70s, like James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt.


"Portrait" of Doc Watson.

Arthel "Doc" Watson, one of America's premier acoustic folk guitarists. His flat-pick style of playing traditional folk and bluegrass has made his sound one of the most distinctive of any folk artist. His 24 albums have earned him four Grammys. In the folk music community, Watson is best known for his part in preserving the traditional ballads and melodies of southern Appalachia.


Texan Virtuoso Doug Sahm.

Rock historian Ed Ward profiles the career of versatile Texas rock n' roller Doug Sahm, including the night in 1952 when he performed while sitting on the lap of Hank Williams, and his escapades as the leader of The Sir Douglas Quintet, a group of southerners who tried to convince the public they were British.


Performance by Winnie Winston.

Banjo and pedal steel guitar player Winnie Winston will perform several pieces. A four-time world champion on the banjo at the country's top bluegrass competition, the Union Grove Old Time Fiddler's Convention in North Carolina, Winston has played with Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, Dave Bromberg and the late Steve Goodman.


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