DISClaimer Single Reviews (4/20/11)

Vince Gill

We have a nice mix of newcomers and established stars this week.

The three contenders for the DisCovery Award are Hunter Hayes, Russell Hitchcock and Jim Quick. Although Hitchcock might not be a household name, he has sold millions of records as a vocalist in Air Supply. So even though I heartily recommend his CD, it doesn’t seem fair to give the honor to him. Despite his tender age, Hayes is apparently already a vet, too. That leaves the much deserving Jim Quick, whose bruiser voice is a must listen.

Among our established hit makers this week are Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley and Alison Krauss. But the most established one of them all is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame who wins the Disc of the Day prize. For enduring greatness, hearty applause for Vince Gill from this corner.

JIM QUICK/Down South
Writer: Gary Nicholson/Gary Nichols; Producer: Gary Nicholson; Publisher: Sony-ATV Cross Keys/Gary Nicholson/Fame, ASCAP/BMI; iSuwanee (track) (www.isuwanee.com)
—Jim Quick’s CD is comprised entirely of Gary Nicholson songs. Its title tune and single is a grinding, gritty, swampy, bluesy rocker with groove to spare. Quick sings with Deep Dixie assurance and sass.

Writer: Jim Beavers/Jon Randall Stewart/Dierks Bentley; Producer: Jon Randall Stewart; Publisher: Sony-ATV Tree/Beavertime/Reynsong/Wha Ya Say/Big White Tracks/Works & Music, BMI/ASCAP; Capitol Nashville (CDX)
—Twangy, romping, thumping and loads and loads of fun. Dierks is ready to party, but his buddies bail on him. Not to worry: He finds a babe who’s flying solo, too.

LUKE BRYAN/Country Girl (Shake It For Me)
Writer: Luke Bryan/Dallas Davidson; Producer: Jeff Stevens & Mark Bright; Publisher: Sony-ATV Tree/Peanut Mill/EMI Blackwood/String Stretcher, BMI; Capitol Nashville (CDX)
—A little on the sleazy, trashy side, but not without its charms.

Writer: Robert Lee Castleman; Producer: Alison Krauss & Union Station; Publisher: Farm Use Only, BMI; Rounder (CDX)
—This hushed ballad wafts by like clouds, creating patterns of sunshine and shadow. The Jerry Douglas dobro notes are pure poetry.

VINCE GILL/Threaten Me With Heaven
Writer: Vince Gill/Amy Grant/Will Owsley/Dillon O’Brian; Producer: Vince Gill, John Hobbs & Justin Niebank; Publisher: Vinny Mae/Grant Girls/The Loving Company/Willie-O/Dillon O’Brian, BMI; MCA Nashville (CDX)
—This gorgeous meditation would be heart melting even acoustic and unadorned. As it happens, the production swells with inspiring choral backing, celestial guitar work and echoey ambiance. If it doesn’t produce a lump in your throat, you are made of stone.

SUNNY SWEENEY/Staying’s Worse Than Leaving
Writer: Jay Clementi/Radney Foster/Sunny Sweeney; Producer: Brett Beavers; Publisher: WB/Mountain Morning/House of Sea Gayle/Little Mojo/Big Music Machine/Three Minute Movie/Super 98, ASCAP/BMI; Republic Nashville
—This country gal’s voice delivers perfectly on this dandy tempo tune with rolling rhythm and steel embellishments. I remain an enormous fan.

HUNTER HAYES/Storm Warning
Writer: Gordie Sampson/Busbee/Hunter Hayes; Producer: Dann Huff & Hunter Hayes; Publisher: Songs of Universal/Happy Little Man/Dash8/Bughouse/Bug/BMG Platinum/Hello I Love You, BMI/ASCAP; Atlantic
—He looks and sounds quite young, but evidently already has an extensive, multi-album background as a Cajun artist in his native Louisiana. His bopping, pop-ish single bubbles right along and will doubtless play well to Taylor Swift’s audience as he opens dates on her Speak Now Tour.

BURNS & POE/Second Chance
Writer: Burns/Poe/Stipe; Producer: Mark Oliverius; Publisher: Morris Bedell/Poe Haus/Studio 33/Checks to Rex/Pen, SESAC/BMI; Blue Steel (track) (www.burnsandpoe.com)
—The conversational, swapped lines are expertly delivered in the verses. The ultra-hooky choruses find them harmonizing delightfully. It’s all about overcoming romantic misunderstandings, with deep-twang guitar in the background.

Writer: Sean Patrick McGraw/Bruce Wallace; Producer: Sean Patrick McGraw; Publisher: Seananigan, no performance rights listed; Little Engine (track)
—The title tune to Sean’s self-marketed CD is a raucous rave-up that wails the working-man’s blues with gusto. Perseverance is the name of the game, here.

RUSSELL HITCHCOCK/Far Enough Away from Colorado
Writer: Wes Hightower/Don Poythress/Rob Rappaport/Jimmy Ritchey; Producer: Rob Rappaport; Publisher: Sixteen Stars/Universal-MGB/Don Poythress/Canalco/Better Angels/Universal-Careers/Fox Ridge, BMI/ASCAP; Better Angels (track)
—In an unusual move, two singles are being released simultaneously from this fellow’s Tennessee double CD collection. One is a tender ballad called “Hold Me Like You Love Me.” The other is this a more countryfied story song about a man starting over by farming in Nebraska and trying to forget what he left behind in Denver. Gloriously melodic. If Aussie Hitchcock’s voice sounds familiar, it’s because you heard him in Air Supply during the ’80s (”Lost in Love,” “All Out of Love,” “The One That You Love,” “Even the Nights Are Better,” “Making Love Out of Nothing at All,” etc.).


Powered by Facebook Comments

Follow MusicRow on Twitter


Category: Featured, Reviews

About the Author

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

View Author Profile