PUBLICATION: CD Reviews for Blake Shelton, Randy Houser and Dolly Parton in Country Hound Magazine

Blake Shelton “Startin Fires”
Warner Bros. Records

This is Blake’s fifth studio album and I think his best. He truly has given us a gift with the music on “Startin Fires.” A solid compilation with production that is consistent throughout the CD, emphasizes the talent of the artist and all of the musicians on each track. Blake has co-written two songs on this CD, “Here I Am” with Dean Dillon and “Bare Skin Rug” with Miranda Lambert.

A CD filled with songs about life, love and country living. Twelve songs that all bring out the emotions in Blake’s voice that we fell in love with from the beginning. “She Wouldn’t Be Gone” pushes him to a new level as a singer as he stretches himself to new heights. He sings with drive and integrity that make a listener believe in his every word. If you really want to get close to Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, listen close to “Bare Skin Rug.” It was recorded live around a campfire and you can hear the fire crackling and the crickets chirping. Close your eyes and listen to the entire album, it is definitely one to keep in the CD player.

1. Green
2. Good At Startin’ Fires
3. She Wouldn’t Be Gone
4. I’ll Just Hold On
5. 100 Miles
6. Never Lovin’ You
7. Country Strong
8. Home Sweet Home
9. This Is Gonna Take All Night
10. Here I Am
11. I Don’t Care
12. Bare Skin Rug (featuring Miranda Lambert)

For more information on Blake Shelton and his music check out or

Randy Houser “Anything Goes”
Universal Records South

A voice with distinction and one that will immediately capture your full attention. Randy Houser has delivered a debut CD that will stand on it’s own for a long time to come. If it does not win awards, many awards, I will be shocked. From the first song, “Boots On” to the last, “I’ll Sleep”, the listener is captivated with the soulful and rich sounds of Randy’s voice and taken on a journey with him as he sings about everything a country song is expected to have; everyday life, loss of love, God and survival.

Randy collaborated with some of Nashville’s finest songwriters on all but three of the eleven songs and you will even hear Vince Gill doing some background vocals on “How Many Times.” If you can choose only one favorite on this one, then you have not truly listened to the music on this CD. Each song is different; each song is produced with amazing effort to showcase the range of Houser’s vocal and story telling abilities. I do not say this often, but I really like this entire project.

1. Boots On
2. Anything Goes
3. Wild Wild West
4. Back To God
5. Something Real
6. My Kind of Country
7. Strange
8. Lie
9. Paycheck Man
10. How Many Times
11. I’ll Sleep

For more information on Randy Houser go to or

Dolly Parton “Backwoods Barbie”
Dolly Records

Dolly is such an icon in the world of music, setting high standards and always bringing sunshine with her laughter and ability to have fun in every circumstance and it carries through in her music. The title cut of the CD, “Backwoods Barbie” is a tongue in cheek poke to those who only see the outer shell of this amazing artist.

You will find a couple of cover songs on this project, “Drives Me Crazy” and “The Tracks Of My Tears”. Dolly’s personal touch and her signature sound make you smile as you visualize her singing them and I guarantee you will be singing along. Dolly penned most of the songs or had a hand in them, except for the covers and “Jesus & Gravity”, written by Craig Wiseman and Betsy Ulmer. Her exceptional ability to paint a story with lyrics comes through on “Cologne”, a traditional country cheatin’ song. Stuff this one in the stocking of anyone on your list who loves Dolly! If for no other reason just to look at the pictures inside the booklet – Dolly Parton is beautiful inside and out, and has the talent to match.

1. Better Get To Livin’
2. Made Of Stone
3. Drives Me Crazy
4. Backwoods Barbie
5. Jesus & Gravity
6. Only Dreamin’
7. The Tracks Of My Tears
8. The Lonesomes
9. Cologne
10. Shinola
11. I Will Forever Hate Roses
12. Somebody’s Everything

For more information on Dolly Parton go to or

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