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Country music

Book - Briefly Noted
Spring 2017

Briefly Noted

 

No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon

Erik Weihenmayer and Buddy Levy

Thomas Dunne Books: 2017 

After Weihenmayer became the first and only blind man to reach the top of Mount Everest, he decided his next adventure would be to traverse the treacherous Grand Canyon by kayak. He and Levy, a Washington State University instructor, chronicle the turbulent whitewater journey, and the insights gained by Weihenmayer and other trailblazers he has met.

 

Unusual Punishment: Inside the Walla Walla Prison, 1970–1985

Christopher Murray

WSU Press: 2016

Murray was an employee of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services … » More …

Elder Crow - Said and Done
Fall 2014

New & Noteworthy

Elder Crow - Said and Done
Said & Done
by Elder Crow, 2014 :: Tyler Morgan ’03 and his band crank up some old-school rock and roll in their debut album. The Vancouver, Washington, group blends lyrics of social justice and civil rights with roaring guitars and solid drumming straight out of the ’60s and ’70s. Morgan, a high school history teacher in Camas, sings lead and plays rhythm guitar alongside drummer Eddie Esparza, bassist … » More …

Chance McKinney: Think About That
Winter 2013

Think About That

Chance McKinney

Chance McKinney ’96
2013

As the rhythmic guitars launch “Son of a Gun,” the lead song from Chance McKinney’s album Think About That, it’s easy to get hooked into his industrial country music, a powerful blend of modern country and guitar-driven rock, with some unexpected surprises along the way.

If you can expect anything from McKinney’s music, it’s a solid dose of fun. In the second track, the organ, catchy melody, and backup singers from … » More …

Chance (Chad) McKinney ’94, ’96
Winter 2011

Chance McKinney ’94, ’96—Country music working man

It’s vacation season, mid-August. A light breeze off Lake Chelan wafts over Manson, where Chance McKinney and his band Crosswire prepare to open for country music star Dierks Bentley at the Mill Bay Casino.

For McKinney ’94, ’96—an all-American javelin thrower at Washington State University, former high school math teacher, songwriter, and country music artist—it’s a working day. “We don’t have a full team like these artists that are coming out of Nashville. It’s running a small business,” he says.

McKinney wears a baseball cap, t-shirt and jeans, and his rich voice and country-boy good looks have an edge of exhaustion from days, weeks, … » More …

Spring 2011

Friends of the Old Mill

oldmill-cover

Cody Beebe and the Crooks
Friends of the Old Mill, 2010

This new roots-rock album has compelling lyrics, musical variety, and an overall upbeat feel. Cody Beebe and the Crooks (most of whom are WSU alumni) offer up twelve tracks with titles such as “Nine to Chain,” “Change of Pace,” and “Hurricane,” a pleasing assortment of rock/jazz/funk songs that contrast nicely in their use of instruments and varying tempos. Guitar is prevalent throughout, but … » More …

Spring 2005

Jennifer Lynn: Barreling out of the Chute

A couple wanders in to Portland’s White Horse Grill & Bar on a late fall evening as Jennifer Lynn’s alto soars into “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” The two look at the packed house, look at each other, and reel into country swing in progress just inside the door.

Despite the lack of a dance floor, Lynn and her band’s barreling-out-of-the-chute style soon have four women line-dancing to the Bill Monroe tune. The crimson and gray baseball caps of onlookers nod smartly in time. Lynn flashes her husband-rhythm guitarist Tim Cowan-her Missouri-wide smile and sings on with an air of pure enjoyment.

Jennifer Lynn Bryant ’03, … » More …

Winter 2008

When the Circus Leaves Town

Seattle-raised Brooke Ludwick spent time as a creative director and artist in the advertising field before recently returning to her first love, songwriting and performing. With her talents and understanding of the music business, she has created some well-crafted, thoughtful, and very listenable tunes (she shares composing credits with several other songwriters).

This album fits snugly into the genre of the contemporary country sound, blending familiar lyrical motifs with the Nashville/soft rock mix that currently predominates in this market (the iTunes store placed Ludwick in the company of Carrie Underwood, Emmylou Harris, Taylor Swift, and Jewel).

There are some very nice grooves to be had … » More …

Spring 2008

The Way I Feel Tonight

For a lot of musicians, recording a second CD is typically a tough proposition. Do you take your music in a new direction, or do you maintain some aspects of the first CD that garnered attention and fans? Jennifer Lynn ’03 manages to do both on her sophomore effort, The Way I Feel Tonight.

From the opening track, “Waitin’ On A Pretty Girl,” you know you’re in for a change in this CD. The subtle acoustic-guitar intro quickly gives way to a boot-stomping country rocker, full of blazing country chicken-pickin’ guitar and feisty vocals. Shifting between the blues-inspired » More …

Summer 2006

Destinations Unknown

Broken hearts, barrooms, rodeos, and crying in your beer—the new CD, Destinations Unknown, from Chris Guenther ’04 has all the ingredients of a traditional country from the heart of country music, Nashville. Chris separates himself from his crooner colleagues, though, with minimal instrumentation and a vocal delivery that harks back to the early days of country music. Destinations Unknown is the second full-length CD from the southwest Washington native. Chris penned all 10 songs, sings lead vocals, and plays six of the nine recorded instruments, including lead guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and piano. (Bassist James Gillette is a 2003 graduate in management information systems.) He also … » More …

Fall 2007

The Wakefields: Falling Down Blue

Country music always seems to be filled with nostalgia—looking back on the days of old with a southern drawl, an acoustic guitar, and a broken heart. Yet every so often artists like The Wakefields come along to alter these perspectives. Falling Down Blue is an album that grafts pop-like traits on a country-music base. While The Wakefields consistently encompass the alt-country genre, each song blurs the boundaries between this more modern form of country and old-timey folk-pop.

There’s even a strong oldies rock influence apparent in the earliest moments of Falling Down Blue. Remnants of Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly can be heard, along with … » More …