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Stoney Creek

‘Feeling Mortal’ Kris Kristofferson

As the title “Feeling Mortal” implies, singer-songwriter and actor Kris Kristofferson confronts the consequences of aging in this album of stripped-to-the-bone acoustic songs. At 76, Kristofferson has grown into his ragged rasp of a voice.

Typical of his past work, Kristofferson’s new tunes delineate his feelings in descriptive verse that is unflinchingly honest and ultimately full of wonder. Compassionate toward others and uncompromising about himself, Kristofferson offers heartfelt observations about love, family, morality and “the right to be righteously wrong,” as stated in the stubbornly independent “You Don’t Tell Me What To Do.”

Throughout, he reminds us of how powerful a plainspoken song can be. He may feel mortal, but he knows a good song can last forever.

– Michael McCall, Associated Press

‘How Country Feels’ Randy Houser

There’s little coincidence that Randy Houser’s new album, “How Country Feels,” arrives just as the title track reaches No. 1 on the country radio charts.

He’s sanded away much of the grit that marked his previous work and deploys a more traditional country sound on songs like “The Singer,” “Power of a Song” and “Like a Cowboy” that shows off his vocal versatility and a willingness to explore.

Just when it starts to feel like there’s a little too much varnish, Houser closes the album with “Route 3 Box 250 D.” It’s easily his most powerful song, and one we hope gets played on the radio, too.

– Chris Talbott,

Associated Press

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