When Dave Barnes sings, “Forgiveness is the chorus in our rebel song” during “White Flag,” it suggests one really smart songwriter. Although Barnes shows flashes of compositional intelligence, there just aren’t enough of these bright spots to recommend this entire collection of tunes. Also, with an album title like Stories to Tell, you would likely expect a whole lot more story songs. Although Blake Shelton has taken Barnes’ “God Gave Me You” to the top of the country charts, Barnes doesn’t necessarily fit into the country music storytelling tradition. He’s more comfortable, in fact, with the sort of blue-eyed soul created during the keyboard-driven “Heaven Help Me,” instead. It’s difficult – and probably downright wrong – to argue with the heartwarming sentiments expressed through love songs, such as “Love Will Be Enough for Us” and “Warm Heart in a Cold World,” it’s also tough to get too excited about these songs. Barnes may think he has many stories to tell, but no self-respecting reporter would find much of a compelling story here.
My Epic's last full-length album came out in 2013; despite a number of EPs along the way, the band's dedication to their craft, lyrical approach, and unyielding approach to let the music come naturally has made them critical darlings. Now, they're learning to interact and feed a rabid fanbase in between albums and in a new normal.Full Feature More from My Epic
In 1985, Doug Van Pelt photocopied a letter-sized sheets of paper, bound them together, and handed them out in person on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. It's all digital now, but, along the way, Van Pelt stirred up quite a few waves, played some seriously heavy music, and made a few friends along the way. Here: A quick look back at the magazine's 35-year history with Van Pelt and new owner, David Stagg.Full Feature More from HM Magazine
Two years since the release of Hands Like Houses' latest album, 'Anon,' the band should be on the road supporting the release. Instead, the band has leveraged their local presence, government help, and new platforms like Patreon to stay afloat in the COVID-age.Full Feature More from Hands Like Houses
On Tigerwine's latest, 'Nothing is for You,' vocalist and lyricist Trobee departs from the band's last effort as a concept record to write about an array subjects. Notably, Trobee tackles his evolution from rigid belief system to an acceptance and understanding of other ideas: "Through touring and becoming close with those very people I was taught to be afraid of, I realized how untrue it all is."Full Feature More from Tigerwine