Jillbilly (Blue Diamond)

jill king, jillbilly
jill king, jillbilly

While the big-name divas are blurring the lines between country and pop, newcomer Jill King stands unapologetically for real-deal country.

Her energy-packed debut demonstrates this feisty Arab, Ala., native's sure hand with barroom shuffles like "98.6," ballads like the lovely "Not Knowing Anymore" or more contemporary fare like "One Mississippi." You may hear shades of Trick Pony's Heidi Newfield's sass on the high-energy numbers, and a hint of Tammy Wynette's legendary tear-in-the-throat style on the ballads, but ultimately Jill King is a worthy new talent with her own story to tell.

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Other performers include Rodney Crowell, Patty Griffin and Jason Isbell.