DISClaimer (6/19/09)

steveholy-girlfriend150It’s good to know that country music hasn’t lost its sense of humor.

Both Rodney Carrington and Phil Vassar are tickling the funny bone with new singles this week. Rodney’s hilarious outing is produced by none other than Toby Keith, who also co-wrote two of the tunes on the comic’s El Nino Loco CD.

The other “must add” sides this week come from Gary Allan, Sarah Buxton and our Disc of the Day winner, Steve Holy.

LUKE ROBINSON/Tequila Sheila
Writer: Thom Shepherd/Ken Moulden; Producer: Luke Robinson & Max Archer; Publisher: Twang Thang, ASCAP; Bad Luck (888-455-5504)
-No, it’s not the 1980 Bobby Bare single of the same title. And this guy sounds too young and lightweight to be singing about tequila and “drink you pretty tonight.”

GARY ALLAN/Today
Writer: Tommy Lee James/Brice Long; Producer: Mark Wright & Gary Allan; Publisher: none listed; MCA Nashville
-He’s such a superb performer that he makes even this routine spin down Music Row sound like an epic. I remain a fan.

PHILLIP THOMAS/Livin’ Life At The Bottom
Writer: Troy Powers; Producer: Johnny Garcia; Publisher: Busy at Play, BMI; Busy At Play (www.phillipthomasmusic.com)
-The nice, punchy production and tight song craftsmanship both help this garden-variety vocalist immensely. Listenable.

JOHN RICH/The Good Lord And The Man
Writer: John Rich; Producer: John Rich; Publisher: J. Money/Do Write, ASCAP; Warner Bros.
-He thinks he’s Merle Haggard in 1969.

SABLE/Coming Home
Writer: Jeff Sable/Chris Sable/Jake Hanselman; Producer: Jeff Sable; Publisher: UbarEnt. no performance rights listed; American Eagle (www.sablecountry.com)
-I like the contrast between the intimate, hushed vocal quality in the verses and the throttle-wide-open tenor singing in the choruses. The song has hooks a-plenty, and the tempo production is just right.

SARAH BUXTON/Outside My Window
Writer: Sarah Buxton/Victoria Shaw/Mark Jeffrey Hudson/Gary Burr; Producer: Sarah Buxton; Publisher: We’re Going to Maui/Multisongs/AvaRu/EMI April/Salerno Songs/Mr. Coco/Kobalt/Songs of Universal, BMI/SESAC/ASCAP; Lyric Street
-Our only female contestant this week has some cool guitar work going on, a catchy tune and a vocal with plenty of penetration. Very enjoyable, indeed.

JASON ROGERS/Thinkin’
Writer: Jason Rogers; Producer: Martin Young; Publisher: BlueBuck, ASCAP; Blue Buck (track) (www.jasonrogerscountry.com)
-This native Canadian’s CD kicks off with this thin-sounding bopper. His vocal was recorded too dry, the track is quite spare and the song won’t blow you away.

STEVE HOLY/Baby Don’t Go
Writer: Steve Holy/Jimmy Yearly; Producer: Lee Miller; Publisher: Mike Curb/Steve Holy/Black to Black, BMI; Curb
-No it’s not the 1965 Sonny & Cher hit of the same title. This one’s a steady stomper laced with fiddle and sung with fiery heat. I think I hear a hit.

RODNEY CARRINGTON/If I’m The Only One
Writer: Rodney Carrington/Mark Gross; Producer: Toby Keith; Publisher: none listed; Capitol (track)
-“If I’m the only one/How come our baby looks like Tim?” “If I’m the only one/Whose underwear are these?” He sings the ballad perfectly straight, which makes it all the more hilarious. “If I’m the only one/How come your name’s on the bathroom wall?” A naked guy sprints across the lawn when he comes home. She spends the night on 50 Cents’ tour bus. And so forth. Absolutely give this a spin.

PHIL VASSAR/Bobbi With An I
Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Universal South (ERG)
-Hand claps and grinding “party” guitar kick it off. And then the fun plot kicks in. In the daylight, this bruiser linebacker drives a tow truck and brawls. At night, he’s in drag in the bar in a pink party dress. You don’t dare give this “big boned girl” any grief about it, because he bench presses 335 pounds. Phil’s wise conclusion is to live and let live.

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Robert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.

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