emmylou Harris hard bargain (Nonesuch) FOR FANS OF: Patty Griffin, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams QQQQQ Recorded over a brief four weeks with producer Jay Joyce (Patty Griffin, Robbie Seay), with Nashville player mastermind Giles Reeves, and Harris manning all musical components, Hard Bargain is perfectly programmed to support Emmylou’s wide vocal emotion and introspective penmanship. A sonic response to her Grammy-winning Americana-Rock catalog (1995’s Wrecking Ball and 2000’s Red Dirt Girl) versus 2008’s Country-Folk covers on All I Intended to Be, Bargain fills the multi-genre legend’s self-penned tunes with sweeping rock schemes easily mastered by Harris’ ethereal vocals. –Andrew Greer WE LIKE: “The Road” augusTana Augustana (Epic) FOR FANS OF: Counting Crows, Bruce Springsteen, The Killers QQQQ on Augustana’s third long player, the former Switchfoot tour mates’ growth is instantly apparent, from the surging “Steal Your Heart” to the laid- back rootsy jam “You Were Made For Me.” In between those bookends, “Borrowed Time” takes a reflective direction over folk pop stylings. “Hurricane” makes the guys sound like dylan disciples, while “Shot In the dark” sounds like a gutsier version of The killers channeling Springsteen as shiny keyboards hover over the otherwise organic approach. –Andy Argyrakis WE LIKE: “Shot In the Dark” sean spicer olive Tree (City of Peace Media) FOR FANS OF: TPhil Keaggy, David Gilmour, Andy Summers QQQQ Centered around jazz but also boasting bits of the blues and classic rock, Sean Spicer is a force to be reckoned with on guitar. Much like a classic Phil keaggy work, Olive Tree seamlessly blends genres, while showcasing nimble six string skills (on no less than eleven electrics and acoustics) backed by innovative arrangements at every turn. Though the project is wordless, it still packs plenty of inspirational moments, from revved up romps of empowerment to smooth ballads with prayerful demeanors. –Andy Argyrakis WE LIKE: “Olive Tree” crossover reviews Crossover 46 CCM