DISClaimer Single Reviews (3/16/11)

This week, let’s do like the televised awards shows do.

Our Female Vocalist of the Week is Amber Hayes. Her sophomore single is every bit as lively, fun and delightful as her debut. I remain a fan.

The Male Vocalist of the Week is no stranger to DisClaimer honors. It’s Eric Church, who has won more prizes from this column than any other artist. “Homeboy” is just one more reason to love and revere him.

The winner of Group of the Week is Gloriana. Is there any other group in this genre that looks and sounds this good? I think not. These four kids deserve to become superstars.

So give all three of those releases a Disc of the Day award.

Chase Rice lost by just one vote on the reality show Survivor: Nicaragua. In addition, he is notable as a former University of North Carolina linebacker and as a member of the NASCAR pit crew for driver Ryan Newman. Now he has yet another career, as a country singer with a “spring break” single. He also has a DisCovery Award.

AMBER HAYES/Wait

Writer: Amber Hayes/Bill DiLuigi/Mark Conklin; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Okie Girl/888 Blue/Jive Buddha, ASCAP; FUNL (888-875-1617 ext. 102)

—As before, she’s a twirling, swirling confection of pop-pop-pop fizz. Enjoy the moment. Get up and dance around the room. Grin while that steel takes its soaring solo. Laugh while you sing along deliriously.

ERIC CHURCH/Homeboy

Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Capitol Nashville (ERG)

—Superbly written, it’s a cautionary, minor-key address to a hip hopper heading down the wrong path. Everything this artist puts out raises the bar, burns with integrity and is a credit to this genre.

GLORIANA/Wanna Take You Home

Writer: Tom Gossin/Matt Serletic/Wendell Mobley; Producer: Matt Serletic; Publisher: Gossin/Melusic/Primary Wave Emblem/Warner-Tamerlane/Boatwright Baby, ASCAP/BMI; Emblem/Warner Bros.

—It’s pretty direct. He wants to have sex. Tonight. The joyous track is a choppy, chunky bopper, laced with fiddle and steel. As usual, their chorus harmonies are captivating. Catchy in the extreme.

CHASE RICE/Buzz Back

Writer: C. Rice/J. Rice/B. Kelley; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Artist Revolution (877-999-9975)

—He’s hung over, but not for long. Rocking and promising, this is the debut country single from the first runner up on TV’s Survivor: Nicaragua.

GREG HANNA/Makin’ Love Real

Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Pheromone/Paradigm/Megaforce/RED (www.greghanna.com)

—It’s an over-the-top romance ballad that’s taken at a v-e-r-y slow pace, but his singing is so pure and true that it overcame any reservations I had about it.

THE NEW RELICS/Dixie Queen

Writer: J. Edmondson/D. Edmondson/A. Patrick/A. Heller; Producer: Joshua Swiger & The New Relics; Publisher: Supo Lavo, BMI; Blues Alley

—The third radio single by this band features hearty harmony singing and a rollicking instrumental performance. But there’s something faintly junky about the sound. I recommend a production upgrade.

EMERSON DRIVE/Let Your Love Speak

Writer: Danick Dupelle/Josh Bartholomew/Steven Lee  Olsen; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Quarterback (615-438-7667)

—The reggae-flavored rhythm and echo chambered baritone vocal are both ear catching. The song has hooks a-plenty.

ADAM FISHER/Freight Train

Writer: Adam Fisher/Josh Taylor; Producer: Eric Paul; Publisher: none listed; AF

—If I remember correctly, I have liked this guy in the past. He sings with great gusto here. The song, guitar work and production are either an homage to or are slavishly imitative of Waylon Jennings, depending on your point of view.

JEFF COOK & THE ALLSTAR GOODTIME BAND/Waitin’ On Willie To Sing

Writer: E. Todd/C. Owens; Producer: Jeff Cook; Publisher: none listed, BMI; Quest (CDX) (www.jeffcook-agb.com)

—Sung with a weary smile, he name drops “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” “Whiskey River,” “Always on My Mind,” “On the Road Again” and “Good Hearted Woman.” Plus, there’s an acoustic guitar playing in dropped-note Willie fashion. Enjoyable.

TYSON BOWMAN/Thank God For People

Writer: Tyson Bowman/Vince Lambert/Judy Rodman; Producer: Val Lupescu & Rick Filer; Publisher: none listed; Guitar Shark (track) (www.tysonbowman.com)

—The title tune to this fellow’s CD is an ode to understanding, opportunity and unselfishness. Heartfelt, if vocally wobbly.

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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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