Various Artists C2C: COUNTRY TO COUNTRY VOL. 2

Humphead Records …………

The biggest country tracks ofthe year – all in one place

Fresh off the back of another successful C2C at London’s O2 Arena, as well as the sister events in Ireland, Scotland and Scandinavia, this compilation album features many of biggest and best from the country world today.

The 20-track CD reads like a Who’s Who of country royalty – Dwight Yoakam, Carrie Underwood and Chris Stapleton are amongst the names featured, each with one of the tracks from the past 12 months that has kept them in the limelight both in the US and over here in the UK. However, as anyone who visited any of the shows across Europe in March will know, there is a lot more to country than the big headline acts. Many of the stars of the smaller pop-up stages are also featured, including Maddie & Tae, Callaghan and Old Dominion.

There’s something for everyone on this album, as you’d expect, and it shows the rude health that the country genre is in at the moment. From the old school country sounds of Dwight Yoakam, through the poppier sound of Kacey Musgraves to the modern, almost RnB elements of new superstar Sam Hunt (who went down a storm on the Saturday afternoon at the O2), this is diverse an album as you would ever hope to find. Personal highlights? Well, aside from Sam Hunt, Dierks Bentley’s Say You Do is a spectacularly good ballad, and Kacey MusgravesHigh Time brings a fresh new edge to the genre. There are no weak links, however, which, while expected, is a pleasant surprise when compared to otherbest ofor compilation albums Whether you have been a fan since the golden days of the 60s and 70s, or are a relatively new convert, it is obvious that now is one of the best times to be listening to country music. Events like Country to Country are going from strength to strength – think back to just two or three years ago and marvel at how much the show has grown since then. Home grown artists like The Shires (who, of course, make an appearance on the album) are now making waves in the mainstream charts, and the momentum is showing no signs of letting up.

As far as showmerchgoes, this is definitely great value and, short of watching highlight reels on YouTube, is as close as you will get to the action without actually being there. Chris Beck

Various Artists C2C: COUNTRY TO COUNTRY VOL. 2

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