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Strictly Country Magazine CD Coaster Award Title

Strictly Country’s list of unacceptable

albums and projects of 2017.

 

By: The staff at Strictly Country Magazine

 

  There is nothing like a piping hot cup of coffee on a cold January morning in the Northwoods. A true coffee connoisseur will tell you that the best taste comes from freshly ground roasted beans. There is something about those fresh ground beans that will bring out the robust flavor contained within. 

   Some coffees are smooth with a gentle after taste.  Others create an euphoria of robust flavor that warms the soul and leaves you begging for more.  Then there are some that just leave you with a bad after taste that makes you flinch.  Life is too short for bad coffee.

   Music is quite like that piping hot cup of coffee in the early morn.  It too can create a euphoria of vast senses that warms the soul.  It can ease your mind as it allows you to travel through your memories. Then there are some songs, and albums, that leave that bad after taste that makes you draw back from the song.

      Since the inception of Strictly Country Magazine, twenty-five years ago, we have welcomed all the music released under the country music umbrella.  So what is the country music umbrella?  Country music has grown to include a wide variety of styles.  These styles comprise of traditional country, Western, Texan, Country Rock, Country-rap (CRap), modern, contemporary, alternative, Bluegrass, Hillbilly, Rock-A-Billy, Americana, Southern Rock, Christmas, Country Gospel, Roots and Folk.

   One of the most important tasks that we take pride in, is our ability to give an honest and truthful opinion about an entertainer’s work.  We truly understand what goes into creating a song and an album. Our honest opinions often gets us in trouble with entertainers, managers and publicists because we refuse to conform to the industry standards. 

   One entertainer asked our editor “Why are you so harsh in your reviews?”  The editor responded “If I give you an honest opinion you can take that, learn from it and grow with it to become a better entertainer.  But if I tell you what you want to hear—you will not learn from your mistakes.  Therefore, it will not encourage you to fine tune your craft to become the best entertainer you can be.”

   On the flip side, we believe that our readers deserve an honest and truthful opinion about the music.  An opinion that is based on the music as a whole and not on the charts, publicity and or money backing the entertainer or album.  To many reviewers don’t spend the necessary time allotted to create such an honest opinion.  The result of this lack of time generates a falsified review.

   2017 was a banner year for released music as we received hundreds of albums for review.  We pride ourselves in reviewing all material sent. We may not get to an album right away, but we promise that we will review it!  We received so many albums this past year that we did not get through them all.  In fact, the pile of albums waiting for review is so large that if we were to paint them white, it would look like one of the snow banks outside our offices!

   As we celebrate the best of the best in country music with the 23rd Annual Spirit Awards, we also acknowledge the worst of the worst in music.  In 2006, we began releasing our list of the worst songs and albums of the year in an article called CD Coaster Award.  Although we call this an ‘Award,’ it is not a physical award in that sense.  Can you imagine seeing the entertainer’s face, if we would physically present them this award?

   Before we start, we must remind you of a few things...first and foremost we use top of the line, studio quality headphones to conduct our reviews. This makes a huge difference in sound as we hear the music as it was meant to be heard. Second, the staff is quite knowledgeable in many aspects of majority of the musical genres.  Third, our reviews are based on opinion that is established on all of the music that we have heard over the last 25 or more years.  Forth, and this is important, unlike other magazines and websites—our reviews are not influenced by money, charts, the industry standards and or other reviewer’s opinions.

     That being said, here is our list of worst albums and projects of 2017.  We highly suggest that you avoid purchasing these projects as it would be a waste of your hard earned money.  This list is base on all of the music released in 2017 and not just the Top 10.  

   We always begin this list with albums that teeter on the line of whether or not they should be added to this list.  However, this year we begin our list with a collection of albums that should have never been recorded. 

   In 2017, we received so many compilation and tribute albums that we were to the point that we did not want to accept any more packages in the mail. Truthfully, compilation albums are trickery albums designed to scam you out of your hard earned money.  Most of these albums will contain one or two good songs with eight or nine horrific fillers.  In our quarter century of being in this industry we have seen our share of these types of albums and have yet to find one worthy of your hard earned money.  This was the case with Voices: Vintage Hymns With Heart & Soul.  First and foremost, the songs chosen for this album were not what we would call vintage.  Nonetheless, it was the entertainers chosen that turned us off.  However, William Lee Golden and Joe Bonsall (of the Oak Ridge Boys) did create wonderful recordings. Nonetheless, we suggest that you seek these recordings from one of the Oak Ridge Boys albums then this one.

   It seems like every time we checked our mail we would receive another tribute album.  Now there are some incredibly talented musicians and entertainers who need to be recognized and honored.  However, there is a proper way of honoring and celebrating their talents.  Having other artists sing their songs in not one.  Why?  Because having other artists sing songs that were originally recorded by great artists can and will destroy their songs!

  This past year, we took these tribute albums to our Facebook page as we conducted a survey to see how many fans would purchase a tribute album. The result was staggering as 99% stated that they would never purchase a tribute album.  It didn’t matter if their favorite entertainer appeared on the album or if the album was about their favorite entertainer, the result was the same.

  This was the case with Outlaw: Celebrating The Music of Waylon Jennings.  Waylon Jennings was and always will be a phenomenal entertainer and songwriter, there is no question about that.  On July 6, 2015, a group of entertainers came together to celebrate Waylon and his music.  Now if you were at that live show—then this project is a good keepsake.  But for the rest of us, we would rather have heard and seen Waylon’s lost performances.

   Other tribute albums released in 2017 that are added to this list include Mountain Fever Record’s Mac Wiseman: I Sang The Song and Feel Like Going Home: The Songs of Charlie Rich on Memphis International Records.  Both albums are filled with various entertainers singing these talented men’s songs.  Again, an album and or box set filled with the songs created by these two talented men would have been a wiser decision. 

   This brings us to another style of tribute album that we clearly detest.  So many artists who make it in this industry tend to have siblings and relatives who try to ride their infamous relative’s coat tails.  Case in point Stella Parton.  Granted, like her sister, Stella has a gift for songwriting and singing.  Nonetheless, at times she tends to resort back to riding the fame earned by her sister Dolly Parton.  This past year we received her album Mountain Songbird “A Sister’s Tribute” which contains ten songs that Dolly wrote and made famous.  Sure there are a lot of musical families out there, but don’t record covers of each other’s songs.  It only proves that you are nothing more than a cover artist and a copycat. 
   Speaking of cover artists… as the years pass, we hear more and more artists recording covers of notorious songs.  In fact, in 2017 nearly every album we reviewed had a least one cover song on it.  Is this talent or is this a money making scheme? 

   One songwriter told our Editor “Every song is a cover song!”  Actually—no it isn’t!  If a songwriter writes a song and sells it to an artist to record—it is not a cover.  The song is only a cover if the original songwriter professionally recorded and released the song, prior to sale.

   Now performing a cover song live is one thing as you are sharing with your audience the songs and or artists who inspired you.  Nonetheless, including that same cover on your album is purely a waste of time and money!  It also gives uneducated fans false information about your music.

   The reason we have seen such an incline of cover songs is due to several reasons.  First and foremost—money.  There are so many record labels in the music industry and each of them will record anyone and everyone in hopes to find the next Garth Brooks or Taylor Swift.  Second, and this is the key phrase—industry people are trying to keep their jobs that they are not doing their jobs.

   Let us explain—back in the day, recording an album was very costly and time consuming.  Therefore entertainers would take years to write and record an album.  Today, all a person needs is a computer, a good recording program and YouTube.  The result is a mass flooding of people who believe that they can sing and write songs.  Today, the music industry does not go by talent—it goes by how many likes you have on YouTube.  Even if you are old fashioned and pay to go into a recording studio to record your own music, the industry requires you to put at least one cover song on your album just to get noticed.  In other words, radio program directors and reviewers will only listen to an album if it has a cover song on it.  So is that called doing one’s job?

   So many times we are sent albums that feature the most beautiful vocals, nonetheless the album is filled with cover songs.  This was the case with Amanda Cook’s album Deep Water.  In reality, this album should be further up on our list due to the fact that this album featured twelve songs in which over half of them were covers.  These covers included “Magnolia Wind” which was written by Guy Clark and Shawn Camp and originally recorded by Emmylou Harris in 2002, “Caleb Meyer” originally recorded and co-written by Gillian Welch in 2014, and “Come To Jesus” that was written and recorded by Mindy Smith.  In fact, Mindy Smith sent us this single of her original recording of this song back in 2004.  These are just a few of the handful of covers on this album. What keeps it at this position is the fact that there far worse albums to add to this list.

   Getting back to compilation albums, this past year we were introduced to Blackie And The Rodeo Kings when they released their ninth album Kings And Kings.  The album features eleven original songs and one cover.  The group is comprised of three talented musicians who have worked with various artists throughout their careers.  On this album they are joined by a wide variety of artists including Vince Gill, Rodney Crowell and Keb Mo; to name a few.  The reason this album lands on this list is due to the lack of ingenuity to bring a song to life.  In other words, the entire album is quite dull.

  Speaking of dull, we were introduced to Applewood Road when the trio released their self-entitled album.  This album is one of many examples of a collection of dull and listless songs that together create a lifeless album.

   In 2017, Steve Azar teamed up with the Kings Men as he returned to his Delta roots in his new album Down At The Liquor Store.  This album lands on this list due to Steve’s in ability to correctly incorporate the delta mentality into this album.  In three of the songs (“She Just Rolls With Me,” “Greenville,” and “Crossroads”) Steve adds what sounds like a simulated Caribbean drum beat that sabotages each of the songs.  In the end; part of the album features choppy lyrics mixed with beautiful melodies and on the other part it features beautiful lyrics mixed with horrific melodies.

   We can not tell you how many times we come across an album that features an incredible array of artistic melodies that are destroyed with the most awful lyrics performed by the most horrific vocals.  It is these albums that we wish we could be in the studio, while the artist is recording them to tell them to just stop and release the album as an instrumental.

  Jessi Colter is no stranger to the music industry. Through her career she has created some beautiful music.  However, when she released her latest project The Psalms, we just asked ‘Why?’  Jessi took the Bible and created twelve songs that feature lyrics from the book of the Psalms.  In reality, this album features an incredible array of artistically created melodies.  However, these melodies were destroyed when Jessi’s vocals were added.  This project should have been created as a duel album with one side with the vocals and the other side as an instrumental.

   We tend to have animosity for most Gospel and Christmas albums as they are generally filled with previously recorded songs.  Many of the songs chosen for these types of albums have been so overly recorded that the message within them has lost its power and meanings.  These types of albums require lots of passion within the performance and very few entertainers have the ability to create and integrate that level of feelings within these types of songs.

   In 2017 we were introduced to The Gospel Plow Boys when they released their album Welcome Home.  Although the album features twelve non-traditional Gospel songs, the songs chosen consisted of all covers of well known songs from artists like Ralph Stanley, The Speer Family and The Gaithers.  It is not the fact that this entire album is filled with covers that distracts us from it, rather it’s the fact that these boys do not draw on the pure raw emotions found within the lyrics to bring each of the songs to life. This is what brings this album and many more to this list.

   There are several things that we consider prior to placing a project on this list.  First and foremost, if an album consists of cover songs—it will end up here.  In fact, Strictly Country will no longer listen to any single sent that is a cover of another previously recorded song.

   Even more prevalent among the staff at Strictly Country is our distaste for the new modern manufactured sound.  Many fans in country music are oblivious to the fact that today’s country is in reality manufactured.  So what is manufactured music?

   Manufactured music is music that has been created with a computer verses being created with real physical musical instruments. Creating this type of music includes using various programs such as pitch correctors.  The term ‘manufactured music’ also refers to a collection of songs that contain the same baseline melody with different lyrics.

   With the advent of computer technology we have seen a rise in manufactured music.  In fact, the industry would rather record albums using this new technology as it is cheaper to create than holistic music.  2017 brought more manufactured music to the airwaves then it did authentic.  Many well known and creative entertainers chose to ride this new way of creating music and we ask why?

   One entertainer who chose to reduce his talent and follow the new industry standard is Kenny Chesney.  Through the years, Kenny has entertained us with his unique vocal talents and distinct music.  We were so eager to hear Kenny’s album Cosmic Hallelujah, nonetheless we were disappointed as he decided to conform to the new industry standards.  In reality, this album should be higher on this list due to this conformity and lack of Kenny’s real talents.

   Another trend we are seeing in the music industry today is the re-issues of previously released albums.  This trend is nice as it allows music aficionados to introduced great music to a whole new generation.

   The addendum to this trend is that many of the albums are re-issued with the addition of more material.  This extension can include a positive feature.  Nonetheless in the case we bring to this list, it is quite negative.

   At the tale end of 2017, Legacy Recordings re-issued Elvis Presley’s hit Christmas album Christmas in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the original release.  However, on this new version the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is added to Elvis’s original recordings.  We do celebrate artistic creativity, however, mixing the two created an over whelming concoction of pure turbulent noise.  Personally, we would have rather seen a box set containing a collection of Elvis’s re-mastered Christmas music than this.

   Country music fans have always enjoyed seeing their favorite entertainers in movies.  Through the years we have watched as entertainers like Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire and Willie Nelson develop their talents to become proficient actors.  Nonetheless, movies are not omitted from this list. 

Pure Country Movie   In 2017 we were sent Pure Country Pure Heart to review.  The cover art advertises that the movie stars Willie Nelson, however, in reality—Willie only appears for approximately less than five minutes at the tale end of the film.  It is not the false advertising that brings this family film to this list.  In fact, it is the script and or storyline that makes us add it to this list.  The storyline is dull, slow and feels like it is missing several key elements that would create a much better and  more polished film.  This film is all hype with no delivery.

   Speaking of hype, majority of the past year all we heard about was a new album by Bluegrass artists Terry Baucom’s Dukes of Drive with 4th & Goal.  Most of the time we do not read in to the promotions surrounding an album as all it turns out to be is just hype. In this case, it was just that—promotions and hype.  This group consists of talented pickers and performers and proof is in their instrumental “Winslow.”  What brings this album to this list is the fact that it contains cover songs, more so it was due to the mix between the instrumentals and vocals.  At times the infusion of instrumentals out weighs those of the vocals.  Several songs on this album have the instrumental volume over powering the vocalist, therefore you can not hear the lyrics as you are more drawn towards the melodies.

   The key major element missing from the music industry today, is a great producer.  Back in the hay day of incredible country music, there were producers like Owen Bradley.  It was Owen Bradley who stated “If you can’t record it better than the original, then don’t record it!”  We can not stress this enough, especially these days as many entertainers are recording covers of very well known songs.

   Granted, there comes a time in every entertainer’s career that they feel like they have earned the option to record anything they feel like.  Now, in some cases this can create an exceptional album, but it can also create a horrific album as well.  There are some songs that should never, ever be recorded by someone other than the original artist that made the song popular.  This being said, it was Jimmy Fortune who released his album Sings The Classics that lands on our list.  This album features fourteen covers of some of the most well known songs in the music industry; including the Eagles’ “Take It To The Limit,” John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” and the Beatles’ “Yesterday.”

   Another album that features a collection of covers is The Kite & The Key by Hot Buttered Rum.  If you follow Bluegrass music, you will know that it is tradition to include covers on your album.  However, adding one and possibly two covers we can understand.  Nonetheless, adding six covers is a little excessive.  It is not only the covers that bring this album to this list, it is also the lack of ingenuity of creating a song worth listening to that makes this album hit this list.

   Five years ago, it would take us approximately one to two hours to review an album.  Today, these same reviews can take up to eight to ten hours to conduct.  Why?  Many entertainers lack the talents and or skill to write their own music.  These same entertainers record covers of previously released music, however, they will change the title of the song and claim it as their own.  Is this creativity or theft?

   One said entertainer who is well known for this kind of reality is Doyle Lawson.  We do not understand why Doyle would par take in this kind of trickery as he is quite a talented musician who surrounds himself with other talented musicians.  We add Lawson’s current album Life Is A Story to this list as it contains a wide variety of cover songs.  However, there is one song on this album that proves the vast talents of this group and it is found in “Life of A Hard Workin’ Man.” This song was written by Joe Dean, Eli Johnston and Dustin Pyrtle; all members of Doyle’s band Quicksilver.

   So much of today’s new country music lacks value.  Back in the day, entertainers would take the most simplistic subject and create a song that embodied so much heart and soul that the most non-intuitive person could feel it.  Some where down the line, entertainers lost this mentality in their music.  Very few times, when we review a new album, will we find the passion and emotions needed to bring a song to life.

   A perfect example of this statement is found in William Michael Morgan’s debut album Vinyl.  Many of the songs on this album are overly produced with manufactured instruments.  However, the main complaint that brings this album to this list is his lack of emotions and ability to bring a song to life.  In the end, he is just another want-to-be or a karaoke singer.

   In 2017, we were introduced to Summer Brooke And The Mountain Faith Band when they released their fourth album Small Town Life.  This album features eleven originals and four covers.  It is not only the covers that make us bring this album to this list, but it is their originals.  One of their songs that they consider an original is a song called “1969.”  The lyrics to this song are ones that the listener could easily relate too, however it’s the baseline melody that brings this album to this list. The baseline melody is quite similar to one that we have heard before.  This song opens with the melody that is synonymous of a song recorded by the Fine Young Cannibals called “She Drives Me Crazy.”  This slowed down melody continues as a baseline melody throughout the entire song.  When we hear such pilfering, we question all the people who are involved in this project.  Is anyone really listening or paying attention to music anymore?  We think not, other wise they would not have included this song on this project. Speaking of melodies, there are several songs on this project in which Summer is singing different songs but using the same melody.

   When we first heard The Grascals in 2010, we felt that they were quite the talented group.  However, since then we have yet to really hear much of that talent as they too have converted to recording only covers.  Hitting our list this year is their album Before Breakfast.  Out of the twelve songs on this album, we discovered seven and possibly eight covers.  This is not what we call talent!  Anyone can sing someone else’s song, but it takes real talent to create and sing your own original.

   Another group that has resorted to recording cover songs is Daily & Vincent.  The best way to describe this duo is that they are regurgitators of other, far more talented entertainers.  In 2017, we received their album Patriots & Poets.  This album features fifteen songs that contain nothing to do with the title of the album.  However, what brings this album to this list is found in the liner notes.  In the liner notes, the duo claims that they wrote and or co-wrote many of the songs on this album. These same songs contain melodies that are much reminiscent of previously recorded songs.  They too have resorted to the Doyle Lawson creative recordings and changed the names of these songs so people like us can not find who originally recorded these songs. 

   One of the most unfavorable things that we hear in music is a song that utilizes to much rhyme within the lyrics.  A true master songsmith can create a song that consists of just the right amount of rhyme.  More so, the song must create a story that will take the listener on a journey within their mind’s eye when they hear the song.

   Many of the songs, albums and or projects on this list lack this vital and important artifact.  Case in point, Ray Scott and his album Guitar For Sale.  The first problem we have with this album was found within the mix between vocals and instrumentals as the instrumentals out weigh the vocals.  The second problem we found was within the lyrics as many of the songs contain far to much rhyme within the lyrics.  However, the biggest problem we found with this album was with Ray Scott himself as he performs with such nervousness to the point that each of the songs contains a high level of anxiety.

   Another album that hits this list comes from Heidi & Ryan with their self-entitled album.  This album is a perfect example of beautifully conceived melodies that are destroyed by limited vocals.  Heidi performs with such constraint that it draws the life out of each of the songs.  Together they are competent songwriters, they just lack the talents and skills to bring their songs to life.

   This brings us to our Top 10 albums and projects to hit the CD Coaster list of worst albums of 2017. 

   Coming in at #10 is a project from Railroad Earth called Live At Red Rocks.  This DVD features the live performance which was recorded on August 2, 2014, in Morrison, Colorado at the Red Rock’s outdoor theater.  First and foremost, our biggest complaint with Railroad Earth is their lack of substance within their music.  On this DVD, we could not get over the fact that the fiddle was out of tune throughout the entire performance.  It also sounded like the entire band was not in sync with each other.

   Hitting our list at #9 is the album Vagabonds by Nu-Blu.  Nu-Blu is quite the talented Bluegrass band, but this album includes more covers than it should.  With talent like this, why would they create a cover album?  Why not wait until you have an album filled with originals worthy of the time, their talent and our money?

   Sometimes two great entertainers come together to create a masterpiece of pure genius.  Then again, why would two masters record covers? Hitting our list at #8 is American Grandstand recorded by Rhonda Vincent and Daryle Singletary.  It is pure genius to have these two talented entertainers record duets.  Nonetheless, it is pure ignorance and stupidity to let them record covers of some of country music’s most notorious songs.

   The number 7 spot belongs to a new artist named Lewis Brice with his debut EP called EP.  This six song EP features nothing more than manufactured music.  Each of the songs on here are performed in a choppy chant that is not appealing to the listening ear.  Plus, this album contains several horrific melodies.

   If you thought that was bad, then you should hear the album coming in at #6.  You Matter by Curtis Braly is the perfect example of manufactured dribble created to scam you out of your hard earned money.  Curtis lacks the vocal finesse to breathe life into the fabricated synthesized beat and instrumentals.  The best word that describes Curtis Braly is noise.  Half the time he is talking through the music, not as a recitation but trying to sing.  Now mix that with a forged melody that is more pop than country and you get pure unadulterated noise!

   We now come to the Top 5 on our list of worst albums of 2017.  Coming in at #5 is Ronnie McDowell’s latest project called Songs I Love.  Ronnie has some of the most unique vocals, in which he could really create some timeless classics.  So, why on earth did he record an album filled with some of the most iconic songs in music?  Who knows! This album is a complete disaster as he tries to recreate quintessential songs like BJ Thomas’s “Hooked On A Feeling” and Frank Sinatra’s “Young At Heart.”

   It would not be a complete list of CD Coaster albums without one by Miranda Lambert.  Coming in at #4 is her album The Weight of These Wings.  We will give Miranda credit for writing all but four of the songs on this duel album.  However, it is her lack of vocal talent and her inability to perform with heart and soul that brings this album to the list.  We have yet to find any song of hers that has any weight to even consider acknowledging as a good song.

   Hitting the #3 spot on our list comes from a new artist that has a lot of hype surrounding her—Emi Sunshine and her album Ragged Dreams.  Even though Emi wrote all fifteen songs on this album, each of the songs contain far to much rhyme which creates more of a cadence than a song.  Mixed with too much rhyme is Emi’s lack of vocal talents.  Throughout the entire album it sounds as if she is screaming rather than singing.  Nonetheless it is the fact that she maintains the shaky vocal syndrome, which never has sounded good.  This album is a complete disaster as it features a child who lacks the skills needed to create a career in this industry.

   Like any industry, there is always a chosen few that resort to theft rather than honest hard work.  One of the trends in music is entertainers stealing melodies and or lyrics from well known songs and creating a song that they claim is an original.

  Coming in at #2 is an album that we just could not rate as Sister Hazel released their album Unplugged From Daryl’s House Club in Gainesville, Florida.  The album features fourteen songs including one cover.  It is not the cover that brings this album to the top of this list.  It is the fact that he album opens with a song called “Prettiest Girl At The Dance.” In the jewel case of this project it states that “lyrics and music by Andrew Copeland and Billy Montana.” However, in our research we found that an entertainer by the name of Mike Ryan also claims that he wrote the song and the lyrics and released it on his 2015 album Night Comes Falling.  Who do you believe?  When we find one song such as that, we question the validity of the rest of the songs on the album.  Which brought us to “Something To Believe In.”  Although the lyrics are quite different, the mentality of the song is somewhat similar to a song, with the same title, that the rock group Poison wrote and recorded. This might be just a coincidence, nonetheless, it does have a fishy smell to it as many of the other songs contained on this album feature titles of songs that have been released before.  Now writing songs with the same title as well known songs could be an ingenious way to draw attention to a new group or it could be considered plagiarism. We are leaning on the side of plagiarism.

   This brings us to the winner of the CD Coaster Award.  In the twelve years that we have created this list, we have never felt like we should physically present this award until now!

   The winner of the CD Coaster Award for worst album of 2017 goes to… Sara Petite and her album Road Less Traveled.  Booked as “She’s a little bit country, and a little bit Rock ‘n’ Roll!”  That statement is completely dishonest, but more so that statement was taken from Donnie and Marie Osmond’s 1976 song of the same title.  Sara Petite is better described as a want-to-be, groupie, wish-I-was in the spotlight deceiver. The best way to characterize her style is… well, she tries so hard to sound like Loretta Lynn with her country flare but she screams like Miranda Lambert which comes out sounding frightful and disastrous.  We don’t want to use the word fraud, but this album has a feeling of a flimflam.  Sara tries to hustle the listener as she uses a Johnny Cash-esque style drum beat throughout the album.  Wait…it gets better!  In the song “You Don’t Care At All,” she struggles as she purposely shoots to reach all aspects of country music and bluegrass that the song sounds hideous.  Trust us; it gets better...as the next four songs contain melodies, words and ideas from previous songs and even movies!  Let’s begin with “Good 2 B Me,” forget about Sara dropping the F bomb and let us focus on the fact that she took a well known line from the 1993 movie Dazed And Confused, with “Alright, Alright.”  Now granted, inspiration for a song can come from any where and every where, but when the phrase is even said exactly like that of the movie and the song does not pertain to the movie...then it’s stolen. Where as in “Sweet Pea Blues” one can definitely hear the melody of Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard’s iconic song “Poncho and Lefty.”  Oh, it gets better… When we came to “Monkey On My Back,” we were instantly brought to the dance scene of the 1994 cult classic movie Pulp Fiction with its similar melody of Chuck Berry’s 1964 hit “You Never Can Tell.”  Yes, there is more!  The piece de resistance came with “Patchwork Quilt.”  Dolly Parton is too nice of a person to take action, but all of her fans should file a lawsuit against Sara Petite, not for money—but to destroy this song and delete it from the face of the earth.  This song is a thesaurus version of Dolly’s iconic “Coat of Many Colors.” In other words, it’s as if she took Ms. Parton’s song and used a thesaurus to re-write the entire song.  Whatever you do, do not and we repeat do not play “Sweet Pea Patch” with children around as it has a very informative sexual innuendo of the female genitalia. The only thing missing from this album is a cover song! So what do you call someone who takes these kinds of actions within their work?  The word that comes to mind is that Sara Petite is a kleptomaniac of music, and not in a good way.  We have seen people who want it so bad to be someone important and recognized that they’ll do anything to get it. However, it always ends up becoming a bad situation.  This album has lawsuit written all over it.  But now it as well as Sara can Strictly Country Magazine 2017 CD Coaster title #2claim winning the CD Coaster Award for 2017!

   On a cold January morning in the northwoods, many things can warm your soul.  But nothing can get your going like that first cup of piping hot coffee.

   Ah...coffee.  The gentle aroma that fills your senses with an elegance that beckons you for a taste.  A taste that will warm your soul as it awakens your senses.

   Life is too short for bad coffee.  More so, life is too short for bad music…

  Tune in next year as we bring you our list of Worst songs, albums and projects of 2018…

(This article was printed in the January / February 2018 issue of Strictly Country Magazine.)

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