DISClaimer Single Reviews (5/30/12)

Big & Rich's "That's Why I Pray" gets the Disc of the Day Honor

This is a week of reunions and revivals.

Cerrrito & Lynn Anderson, Jason Allen, Hayes Carll, Hank Williams Jr., Bill Wence and Big & Rich are all back with us after varying periods of silence. The most welcome of these comebacks is Big & Rich, who have the Disc of the Day.

I don’t give a Song of the Day award, but if I did, it would go to Hayes Carll’s “Hard Out Here,” which is at once both downbeat and hilarious.

SHAWNA RUSSELL/Sounds Like a Party
Writer: Shawna Russell/Keith Russell/Tim Russell; Producer: Julian King, Clif Doyal & Tim Russell; Publisher: Blue Buckaroo, BMI; Way Out West (615-319-1863)
—This has a delightfully funky groove with cool guitars and a snappy backbeat. As usual, she sings with vim.

HANK WILLIAMS JR./That Ain’t Good
Writer: Hank Williams Jr.; Producer: Chris Farren; Publisher: Bocephus, BMI; Bocephus/Blaster (www.hankjr.com)
—Bluesy and blue collar all the way. He’s singing better than ever, and the new, full-bodied production style showcases him superbly. Well worth your attention.

CHANCE CODY & SPUR 503/I Don’t Want to Be Wanted Tonight
Writer: Chance Cody; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Spur 503 (www.spur503.com)
—This sits along the boundary between barroom country and blue-collar rock. His drawling vocal is right on the money, emotionally. The band is stirring up a deep sonic stew behind him. But changing the tempo in mid song (twice) probably wasn’t the best idea.

CERRITO & LYNN ANDERSON/Mexican Angel
Writer: Liz Anderson/Lynn Anderson; Producer: Bartley Pursley, Felipe de La Rosa & Cerrito; Publisher: none listed; Checo
—Mariachi trumpets, Spanish guitars, castanets and an ultra-melodic waltz are all in this recipe. Lynn’s shadowing harmony vocal and Spanish-language interjections make the disc soar.

SIX MARKET BLVD./Say It
Writer: Clayton Landua/Josh Serato/Ben Hussey/Dallas Neal; Producer: Bart Rose & Six Market Blvd.; Publisher: AADI/Grange, no performance rights listed; SMB (track) (www.sixmarketblvd.com)
—Boring electric blues with an overly indulgent guitar player.

BIG & RICH/That’s Why I Pray
Writer: Blair Daly/Sarah Buxton/Danelle Leverett; Producer: Dann Huff; Publisher: Sony-ATV Cross Keys/Danelle Leverett/Southside Independent/Internal Combustion/Kickin Grids/We’re Going to Maui/Tom-Leis/Songs of Universal, ASCAP/BMI; Warner Bros.
—Evocative and ethereal. They harmonize perfectly together throughout the potent performance while guitars chime in and out of the mix. Essential listening.

JASON ALLEN/Goin’ Fishin’ Today
Writer: Jason Allen; Producer: Davin James & Jason Allen; Publisher: Star Marie, BMI; Smith Entertainment (track) (www.jasonallencountry.com)
—This noisy party rocker might work OK live in a honky tonk. But it doesn’t sound particularly radio worthy to me.

HAYES CARLL/Hard Out Here
Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Lost Highway (www.hayescarll.com)
—This former Americana Music award winner is back with a track to remind us what a wry wit he can be. His drawling delivery of the unlucky lyric is a smile a second. The band tromps along with a sloppy shuffle and folks in the background seem to be staging their own party.

BILL WENCE/Borderline Crazy
Writer: Jeremy Stowe/Kris Bergsness/Greg Barnhill; Producer: Bill Wence & Joe Funderburk; Publisher: Warner-Tamerlane/WB/Platinum Plow/Green City/Calhoun Enterprises/Green Wilderness, BMI/ASCAP/SESAC; Six One Five (track) (www.billwencepromotions.com)
—As if being a radio promoter, Wanda Jackson sideman, producer, songwriter and Johnny Rivers booster wasn’t enough, Bill Wence also makes records. His latest, Analog Man in a Digital World, kicks off with this loosey-goosey bopper about getting loaded south of the border.

DANIEL WARREN/Lullaby
Writer: Daniel Warren; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Chaprielle, BMI; Quarterback (www.danielwarrenband.com)
—Despite the title, this is an uptempo outing. As was the case on his last single, he sings with wafting harmonies around him in a soft, easy-going groove.

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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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