As She’s Walking Away” is already in the top-10, but I’m just now getting around to it. That’s because I had to go out and buy the Zac Brown Band album that it is on. If this were most country acts, that would really tick me off. But I don’t mind financially supporting a group this good one bit. The best prices, by the way, are at the f.y.e. store on West End.
Oh, and did I mention that it also earns a Disc of the Day award for The Zac Brown Band & Alan Jackson?
Nashville newcomer Coy Taylor is our DisCovery Award winner for this column. But the best news of the day is the presence of enduring favorites Marc Beeson and Raul Malo and even older class acts like Curly Putman and Jack Greene.
COY TAYLOR/Bigger Than Life
Writer: Rivers Rutherford; Producer: Brady Seals; Publisher: none listed; CT (track) (www.coytaylor.com)
—This thumping country rocker has plenty of “bottom” in its mix. Coy Taylor’s drawling vocal has enough oomph to ride on top of the grinding guitars and insistent beats. He is a former Kentucky/Indiana/Cincinnati club attraction who recently moved to Music City. Promising, in a Jason Aldean/Rodney Atkins kinda way.
RAUL MALO/Living for Today
Writer: Raul Malo; Producer: Raul Malo; Publisher: Raul Malo, BMI; Fantasy (track) (www.raulmalo.com)
—Raul’s new CD is titled Sinners & Saints. This track has a vintage rock ‘n’ roll feeling with its stuttering organ, barrelhouse piano and sharp, echoey guitar pings. The melody is simple and straightforward, as are the rollicking groove and his vocal delivery. In the finale, “We’re just living for today,” is repeated over and over and over again, which explains the 5:14 running time.
KYLE PARK/All Night
Writer: Ben Clark/Kyle Park; Producer: Kyle Park; Publisher: none listed, BMI; Winding Road (track) (www.kyleparkmusic.com)
—This singer-songwriter’s five-song sampler begins with this breezy charmer. The chorus tune is ridiculously catchy. The acoustic guitars scamper around beautifully. And his boyish tenor sounds like innocent springtime. As I’ve mentioned about him before, he is also a terrific record producer.
JACK GREENE & GEORGE JONES/Two Old Cats Like Us
Writer: Troy Seals; Producer: Penn Pennington; Publisher: none listed; Pretty World (track) (www.jackgreeneopry.com)
—This veteran Grand Ole Opry star’s newest CD is titled Precious Memories, Treasured Friends. On it, he sings his signature song Statue of a Fool as a solo. But most of the selections are duets with the likes of Lorrie Morgan, Vince Gill, Charley Pride, Larry Gatlin and Merle Haggard. This lead-off song is a swinging, big-band romp with The Possum. Hearing these two voices with a loud, fat brass section is ear-opening, to say the least.
TOMMY ALVERSON/Texas One More Time
Writer: Tommy Alverson; Producer: Walt Wilkins, Tommy Alverson & Patrick McGuire; Publisher: none listed; Blue Boot (track) (www.tommyalverson.com)
—He sings well, and the band is top-notch. The colorless song, however, does nothing for me.
THE ZAC BROWN BAND & ALAN JACKSON/As She’s Walking Away
Writer: Zac Brown/Wyett Durrette; Producer: Keith Stegall & Zac Brown; Publisher: Weimerhound/Lil’ Dub/Angelika, BMI; No Reserve/Atlantic (track)
—The airy, sweet-sounding track contrasts with the downbeat, lost-love lyric. Heartbreak has seldom sounded prettier. And I like the idea of pushing the normally laid-back Alan into this wooshing, rush of a tempo tune.
THE LUCKY TOMBERLIN BAND/Honky Tonk Merry Go Round
Writer: Stan Gardner/Frank Simon; Producer: Lloyd Maines; Publisher: Sony-ATV Acuff-Rose, BMI; Texas World (track) (www.luckytomberlinband.com)
—Lucky’s lucky in that just about everyone in the group can sing lead, including such familiar names as Earl Poole Ball and Redd Volkart. On the CD title tune, a 1955 Patsy Cline chestnut, Lucky takes the lead duties, himself. But both Redd and Earl get to play dandy guitar and piano solos in mid-song. A good time is had by all.
CURLY PUTMAN & DOLLY PARTON/Made For Lovin’ You
Writer: Curly Putman/Sonny Throckmorton; Producer: Curly Putman & Adam Engelhardt; Publisher: Sony-ATV Tree, BMI; CP (track)
—This living legend of country songwriting has a new CD called Write ‘Em Sad, Sing ‘Em Lonesome. He sounds simply splendid on it, giving us his own versions of his classics “My Elusive Dreams,” “Green Green Grass of Home,” “Older the Violin,” “Couldn’t Love Have Picked a Better Place to Die” and the like. There are three duets, one with Deborah Allen, one with Sarah Johns and this lovely ballad with Miss Dolly. The song was originally a 1993 hit for Doug Stone. The album is a fund-raiser for the Scott Putman Memorial Scholarship fund at Cumberland University in Lebanon, TN.
MARC BEESON/Merciful Love
Writer: Allen Shamblin/Marc Beeson; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Built on Rock/Springfish, ASCAP; MB (track) (www.myspace.com/marcbeeson)
—I ran into Marc at the ASCAP awards, and the next thing I knew, a 12-track CD was in my mailbox. It’s a compilation of his latest demos, and it reminded me of how much I’ve always liked his singing, as well as his writing. This title tune, “Merciful Love” is guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings with its portrayal of an aging couple. She’s in a home and has forgotten all her songs, but she still smiles when he walks through the door. In addition to Allen, Marc’s songwriting collaborators on the collection include Tim Johnson, Mike Reid, Don Pfrimmer, Dave Robbins, Billy Austin and Rodney Clawson. Listening to something like this tells me why I fell in love with Nashville in the first place. You need to hear it, too.
POINT OF GRACE/Love And Laundry
Writer: Leah Crutchfield/Mallary Hope/Brian Nash; Producer: Nathan Chapman; Publisher: Sony-ATV/Songs for My Good Girl/ Kohaw Music obo itself and Rock Island Road Music LLC (ASCAP) c/o The Bicycle Music Company, BMI/ASCAP; Word (CDX)
—I heard these gals sing this on the Opry a few weeks ago and was instantly smitten with it. There hasn’t been a working-wife lyric this good in ages. Every detail is the absolute truth. And the propulsive production doesn’t hurt one bit. Essential listening.
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