Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
Wowsers!!!! This is simply gorgeous. Completely reminiscent of a young Dolly Parton with the strong voice and the song writing chops of a seasoned veteran. I have to keep reminding myself that EmiSunshine is a mere 15 years old. Age is usually an unimportant number when it comes to writing a review, but in this case it is different. I cannot even imagine having the maturity and mindset, let alone creativity, to write such strong, memorable songs at 15 years of age. That in itself is astounding. 
What else is astounding is that that EmiSunshine’s band is a family affair. Emi’s dad, Randall Hamilton, is the bass player, playing upright bass, electric bass, and provides pitch perfect backing vocals. Brother John Hamilton plays acoustic guitar, mandolin, and also lends a hand on the backing vocals. Then you have Uncle Bobby Hill hitting the skins and keeping the time on drums. All that familial knowledge just adds chemistry to the mix and raises this album up a couple of steps on the ladder.
This is about as country as it gets. And Emi is putting her stamp on country music. Her version has some dark overtones and even a bit of a Gothic feel on some of the tracks. Jonas Black (Track 6) has some really nice picking and fiddles, but what really makes this song special is Emi. That voice can hit notes that we weren’t even sure existed. Take a good listen to the last 30 seconds of this and marvel at the amazing vocal range. 
Another track that I truly adore is The Ghost Of Hank Williams (Track 9), which also has some “Goth” in it. This track features Emi doing a yodel that is out of this world. The lyrics prove this young lady did her homework. At one point in the song, Emi mentions an incident about “kicking out all the stage lights” and that is completely awesome. It was Johnny Cash who kicked out those stage lights at the Opry. Both Cash and Williams were banned from the Opry. Hank never returned due to his untimely death. Johnny was able to return and even hosted his TV show from The Ryman.
The album commences with a pretty straight forward country song, Family Wars (Track 1). “Sister’s out here living in sin, Grandma’s on the dope again, and no one speaks to Daddy anymore.” How’s that for a powerful opening? I think Emi may really be a 40 year old pretending to be a teenager. These lyrics are definitely well beyond her chronological years. As I said, the young lady knows a thing or two about writing a country song. There is no sugar coating it. This is your family!
“Family Wars” is one fine album. This will definitely make EmiSunshine a household name. Not that she needs any help. She has 16 Opry appearances under her belt already and she isn’t even 18 yet!I digress. “Family Wars” is a must have and a good stocking stuffer. 
Listen to Family Wars
Buy Family Wars

Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
I just got this in the mail today and immediately popped the CD into the player. I was taken by the beautiful sound quality of the CD. For a live album, the sound is brilliant and expertly mixed. That may not seem like much, but if those two things aren’t right, it can completely ruin a listening experience. And when I finally focused on the music, I was immediately transfixed and transported right to Tipitina’s in NOLA, where this was recorded. “Asteur” is crackling with energy from the first note to the last. The crowd noise adds to the frenzy. 


Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
This was Sarah Shook & The Disarmers first time playing in Baltimore and they picked up a whole lot more fans after their fantastic opening set. I could hear the applause get louder and more enthusiastic after each song. I also heard many people in the audience state, “Wow! She is good!” Yes she is. And so is the the entire band. All of the band mates are incredible musicians. (more…)

Review by Harry Kaplan
This is my first review of a comedian. I realize this doesn’t fall in the format of country music, or music of any kind. I am compelled to write a review for a couple of reasons: 1) Lewis Black is hysterical and it was a wonderful evening. 2) This was a benefit for two worthy charities, Pathfinders for Autism and The Maryland Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I don’t want to lose focus of what the purpose of this great event was, to raise awareness and resources for two very important causes. More about the sponsors a little later….


Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
Soulful, funky and totally groovy. Yes, I said groovy. That’s because this album grooves and rocks. All of the songs have this very understated vibe with comforting sounds. Either it’s the funky back beat, the totally sublime spacey guitar fills, or the heavenly Wurly-esque organ fills, all of these elements compliment Bonnie’s voice like a hand in a tight fitting glove.


Complicated Life – The Kinks
Dead Flowers – The Rolling Stones
Squeeze Box – The Who
Tulsa Time – Eric Clapton
Song For Bob Dylan – David Bowie
It’s Over – Badfinger
Free Again – Alex Chilton
Brokedown Palace – The Grateful Dead
Ramblin’ Man – The Allman Brothers Band
Little Ole Country Boy – Parliament
Your Cheatin’ Heart – James Brown
I Can’t Be Counted On – The Meat Puppets
Hold My Life – The Replacements
Weary Blues From Waitin’ – The Godz
Promised Land – Chuck Berry

TwangriLa Podcast Number 2: Did Jew Know?
Ride ‘Em Jewboy – Kinky Friedman
Get To Leave – Giant Sand
The 3 Deaths Of Lucky – Howe Gelb
Right Now – Emmylou Harris/Mark Knopfler
Little Bitty Town – Bad Livers
You And Me Instead – Asleep At The Wheel
Jumpin’ At The Woodside – Asleep At The Wheel
Demon In Disguise – David Bromberg
Act Nice And Gentle – The Black Keys
Romance In Durango – Bob Dylan
The Streets Of Baltimore – Tompall & The Glaser Brothers
Pretty Boy Floyd – Country Joe McDonald
Tennessee Stud – Ramblin’ Jack Elliott
I’m Glad I’m Jewish – Mike Bloomfield

TwangriLa Podcast Number 3: Every Day I Got The Booze – The Whiskey Edition

Whiskey Bottle – Uncle Tupleo
Whiskey Bottle – The Golden Boys
Whiskey On My Mind – The Von Ehrics
Whiskey River – Willie Nelson
Women Without Whiskey – Drive By Truckers
Poison Whiskey – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Beer, Whiskey & Diamond Rings – Texas Heat
Let the Whiskey Take The Reins – Old 97s
Whiskey Glass Eye – Slobberbone
Whiskey Down The Drain – Jeff Dahl Group
Waltz About Whiskey – Mandolin Orange
Whiskey Jar – Wrinkle Neck Mules
Me And The Whiskey – Whitey Morgan & The 78s
Tennessee Whiskey – George Jones

TwangriLa Podcast Number 4: Crazy About Country Music
Committed To Parkview – The Highwaymen
The Rubber Room – Porter Wagoner
When Walter Went Crazy – Drive By Truckers
Crazy Mary – Victoria Williams
Crazy Baby – The Blasters
I’ve Always Been Crazy – Waylon Jennings
Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues – The Kinks
Some Depression – Kasey Anderson And The Honkies
No Depression – Uncle Tupelo
Desperate And Depressed – Margo Price
I’m Looking For My Mind – Merle Haggard
Out Of My Mind – Nikki Lane
Psycho – Eddie Noack
Zoloft – Drive By Truckers

TwangriLa Podcast Number 5: Everyday I Got The Booze – The Drinking Edition
Drink Up And Be Somebody – Merle Haggard
Nobody Up Drinking (But Us) – Hard Pans
If Drinkin’ Don’t Kill Me (Her Memory Will) – George Jones
Why Henry Drinks – The Drive By Truckers
Let’s All Go To The Bar – Deer Tick
I’ll Never Drink Again – The Far West
Yes I Guess They Oughta Name A Drink After You – John Prine
Reason I’m Drinking – Country Lips
Drink ‘Till We’re Gone – Lucero
Don’t Come Home-A Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind) – Loretta Lynn
Hurtin’ (On The Bottle) – Margo Price
Haze Of Drink – Slobberbone
Drinking And Driving – The Business
DUI Or Die – Those Darlins
Another Bender Might Break Me – Hellbound Glory
Many Happy Hangovers To You – Karling Abbeygate