Ken Tucker en The Cowboy That Wasn't A Cowboy Sings Cowboy Jack Clement, who died in 2013 at age 82, was a prolific producer, songwriter, arranger, and talent scout. He brought Jerry Lee Lewis to Sun Records, helped nurture the career of one of the few black country stars, Charley Pride, and worked on important albums for artists as various as Waylon Jennings and U2.<p>Jack Clement only made three albums of his own, the last of which is the new <em>For Once and For All</em>. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 19:03:00 +0000 Ken Tucker 51099 at If Jim Lauderdale Is A Song, More People Should Hear It <a href="">Jim Lauderdale</a>'s new album is called <em>I'm A Song</em>, a title that suggests his deep Wed, 09 Jul 2014 18:37:00 +0000 Ken Tucker 50790 at Strand Of Oaks: Songs Heal All Wounds If you're going to be downbeat, glum, or morose, it's best to do it the way Timothy Showalter does it. Which is, with an energy and purpose that doesn't contradict the melancholy, but rather frames it as various stories — studies in seriousness. He records under the name Strand of Oaks, he writes and performs nearly all of the music on this new album himself. It's titled <em>Heal</em> as in "healing a wound," something Strand of Oaks frequently seems in need of. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Wed, 02 Jul 2014 18:49:00 +0000 Ken Tucker 50465 at Lana Del Rey's 'Ultraviolence' Has A Firm Grasp On Pop History <a href="">Lana Del Rey</a> is a figure of some controversy for her suggestive lyrics, and critical debate as to the extent of her vocal talent versus her talent for publicity. She recently caused a stir when she gave an interview in which she said, quote, "I wish I was dead already," and drew criticism from, among others, Kurt Cobain's daughter Frances Bean. Thu, 26 Jun 2014 18:09:00 +0000 Ken Tucker 50188 at Parquet Courts' Misery Is Exhilarating Parquet Courts is a Brooklyn by way of Texas band that has just released its new third record, <em>Sunbathing Animal</em>. The quartet has drawn comparisons to New York rock and punk acts as various as the Velvet Underground, the New York Dolls, and Sonic Youth, but rock critic Ken Tucker says this album proves Parquet Courts is an original. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Tue, 17 Jun 2014 18:36:00 +0000 Ken Tucker 49706 at Miranda Lambert's 'Platinum' Has Backyard Swagger Miranda Lambert's new album is called <em>Platinum</em>. Lambert has become one of the best-selling artists in country music, and one of the most critically acclaimed. Rock critic Ken Tucker says her new album continues Lambert's ongoing project to create songs about women who are complex, fun-loving, and assertive. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Wed, 04 Jun 2014 19:28:00 +0000 Ken Tucker 49061 at John Fullbright's Uneven 'Songs' Finds A Way To Fascinate <a href="">John Fullbright</a>'s <em>Songs</em> is the most interestingly uneven album I've heard in a while. The work of a smart young man, it's also the work of a self-conscious young man who's prone to mistaking articulate melancholy for wisdom. Fullbright's debut album contained bold melodies and told stories about daydreamers and offbeat people. Mon, 02 Jun 2014 19:09:00 +0000 Ken Tucker 48951 at John Fullbright's Uneven 'Songs' Finds A Way To Fascinate Two New Items From Hank Williams Transcript <p>TERRY GROSS, HOST: <p>This is FRESH AIR. Hank Williams is commonly considered the most important country music songwriter and one of its first tragic figures, dying at age 29, in 1953. Mon, 26 May 2014 18:03:00 +0000 Ken Tucker 48609 at Ray LaMontagne Finds The Bright Side On 'Supernova' <p></p> Tue, 13 May 2014 21:02:00 +0000 Ken Tucker 48002 at Ray LaMontagne Finds The Bright Side On 'Supernova' tUnE-yArDs: Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing <p></p> Mon, 05 May 2014 17:43:00 +0000 Ken Tucker 47577 at tUnE-yArDs: Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing