sound check

July 14, 2011 |

by Michael Swanger


Carrie Rodriguez and Ben Kyle

"We Still Love Our Country"

Ninth Street Opus


Though talented and lovely Carrie Rodriguez is more than capable of delivering breathtaking solo albums (as proven on "Love and Circumstance," "She Ain't Me," etc.), she continues to churn out delectable duets at such a high standard and frequency that comparisons to Tammy Wynette and Melba Montgomery can't be avoided. Rodriguez's longtime work with singing partner Chip Taylor speaks volumes about her ability to share a song, and it appears that she has also found harmony with Ben Kyle on "We Still Love Our Country." Love is the album's predominant theme, from the youthful optimism of "Your Lonely Heart" and palpitations of "Big Kiss," to the country heartbreak of "You're Still On My Mind" and "My Baby's Gone," followed by an achingly good cover of "Love Hurts." CV

(Carrie Rodriguez performs Monday, July 18 at 7 p.m. at the Flying Mango. $30.)


Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers

"Unida Cantina"

Thirty Tigers


Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers have now released six consecutive albums that have debuted in the top 10 on Billboard's Internet Sales chart, the first independent band to accomplish that feat. More impressive, though, is the band's ability to consistently churn out guitar-driven, roots rock (with a Southwestern flavor) that never caters to trends (even if it is radio friendly) and is as musically balanced (singing, songwriting, instrumentation, arrangements, melodies, hooks) as any Americana rock act on the road these days. The band's latest album, "Unida Cantina," is further proof of the band's musical consistency and chemistry, if not perhaps their best work to date, including chart-topping records like 1999's "Honky Tonk Union" and 2004's "!Americano!" Highlights include "Love Is the Road," "Marie" and "Play On." CV

(Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers perform Thursday, July 14 at 7 p.m. at The Gas Lamp. $20.)