DISClaimer Reviews (5/26/10)

There is plenty of activity on the Row this week.

Legal Aid reached out to the music community with a get-to-know-us breakfast at Sunset Grill yesterday. It was a real who’s-who gathering.

Later that day and across the street at Cabana, we celebrated the launch of the big Country Throwdown tour featuring Montgomery Gentry, Jamey Johnson, Jack Ingram, Little Big Town, The Eli Young Band, Eric Church, The Lost Trailers, Ryan Bingham, Emily West, Jonathan Singleton, Heidi Newfield and more than 10 other attractions.

Then there was Sunday’s music-heaven Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Billy Sherrill and Ferlin Husky. What an amazing gig that was.

Somehow in the midst of all of this, I carved out a listening session. All right, I got up at the crack of dawn today to get this column done.

Give a Disc of the Day to the always impressive Gloriana. I remain an enormous fan.

For a DisCovery Award, you can’t do much better than Winfield’s Locket. I don’t know whether their project is actually available or not. But if or when it is, get it.

JENA WALKER & RODNEY WHATLEY/Stay With Me
Writer: Jena Walker/Rodney Whatley; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Jena Walker, BMI; JW (www.jenawalker.com)
—They are well matched, vocally. Both have a slightly tentative quality, as though they are new to singing. The track is very sweet, with a lilting, acoustic basis and a steady, true pacing. The song wanders around a bit, and sometimes doesn’t care to find a rhyme. But all in all, this is softly enjoyable.

BILLY CURRINGTON/Pretty Good At Drinkin’ Beer
Writer: none listed; Producer: Blake Mevis & Lane Caudell**; Publisher: none listed; Mercury Nashville
—He’s not much good for any kind of work. His best skill is stated in the title. Simple and relaxed sounding.

JAMIE TATE/I’ll Give My All
Writer: Renee Griffith/Jamie Tate/Lane Caudell/Blake Mevis/Bob Crumley; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Bodell/Carolina Sweet T/Blake Mevis, BMI/ASCAP; Bodell (www.jamietatemusic.com)
—She is backed by the 16-voice “82nd Airborne All-American Chorus” at the finale. They are not mixed terribly well, but there’s enough flag-waving, sis-boom-bah here for Lee Greenwood to be looking over his shoulder.

RECKLESS KELLY/The Ballad Of Elano De Leone
Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Yep Roc (www.yeproc.com)
—Brightly country rocking in a Byrds-y kinda way, despite the downbeat lyric. It seems that young Elano rode his bike to work in the fields, but never came home and is feared dead.

WINFIELD’S LOCKET/Worth The Drive
Writer: none listed; Producer: Ilya Toshinskiy, Winfield’s Locket & Jason Henke; Publisher: none listed; Winfield’s Locket (track) (615-497-6791)
—The track is echoey and enchanting. Their vocals are fierce and fine. The Middle-Tennessee local traffic directions are ultra cool: “I’m a little bit hard to find…but I’m worth the drive.”

BILL ANDERSON/Thanks To You
Writer: Brad Crisler/Bill Anderson; Producer: Rex Paul Schnelle & Bill Anderson; Publisher: FSMGI/Have a Brad Day/State One Songs America/Sony ATV Tree/Mr. Bubba, IMRO/ASCAP/BMI; TWI (Track) (www.billanderson.com)
—The man is a walking legend. Fifty-two years after penning his first hit, he’s still in there slugging. Songwriter, his new CD, contains 12 brand-new compositions. And they are all jaw-droppingly good. Collaborators include such young pups as Tim Nichols, Jon Randall, Rivers Rutherford, Jamie Johnson, Brad Paisley, John Wiggins and Billy Montana. This lovely, string-soaked ballad will be his new video/single. The gist of it is he won’t ever know how it feels to score a touchdown, hit a homerun, fly a jet or climb so many other mountains. But he does know how it feels to be loved. Amen, brother.

MJ2 & CELEBRITY FRIENDS/You Can’t Say Love Enough
Writer: Don Goodman/Bill Nash/Sam Mizell; Producer: Dennis Money; Publisher: Big Hitmakers/Circle South/My Partners/Universal/MGB, BMI/ASCAP; Sweetsong Nashville
—How many gimmicks can you fit on one single? The act consists of two sets of twins—a mom, her twin daughters and her twin sister. Each set has one twin named Mollie and one named Jackie. Wait, there’s more. Guests on the disc include Dolly Parton, Andy Griggs, Wayne Newton, Buddy Jewell, Burns & Poe, Bill Anderson, Cowboy Troy (who announces his own name, just in case you don’t recognize him), Heartland, Larry & Rudy Gatlin, Heidi Newfield, T.G. Sheppard, Mark Collie, Moe Bandy, Rio Grand, Steve Wariner and Lee Greenwood. Plus, the single benefits the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. It’s a “We Are the World” style anthem.

GLORIANA/The World Is Ours Tonight
Writer: Matt Serletic, Lindy Robbins, Jess Cates; Producer: Matt Serletic; Publisher: Melusic, administered by Primary Wave/Emblem (ASCAP), Hey Kiddo Music, administered by Kobalt Music Pubilshing (ASCAP) and Right Bank Music obo itself and Lily Makes Music (ASCAP); Emblem/Bigger Picture/Atlantic (ERG)
—I love this band. As before, they revel in vocal harmony, ultra-rich melody and a rhythm-happy track. A celestial sound for the young and the young at heart.

JAKE McVEY/Red Line And Wasted
Writer: Bryan Fogle; Producer: J. Gary Smith; Publisher: Bryan Fogle, ASCAP; Purple Cow (CDX) (www.jakemcvey.com)
—This has an “outlaw” vibe. He’s out there on the road, trapped in his own wanderlust. With a sound somewhere between Southern rock and gospel, this is pretty hard to resist.

CASEY JOHNSON/Simple Girl
Writer: Casey Johnson; Producer: Larry Beaird; Publisher: none listed, BMI; Plumb Music (CDX) (918-689-0380)
—He has a solid, rube delivery. Like its title suggests, the song is direct and plain spoken. The track is a little busy, but his insistent vocal wins in the end.

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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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