There’s no question but that Miranda Lambert has the Disc of the Day with “Fastest Girl in Town.” But keep your ears open for Willie Nelson and Jason Eady, too.
It’s also completely self-evident to me that Charlie Worsham is the winner of the DisCovery Award. He completely knocked me out, and his self-titled, five-song, debut EP is definitely a keeper. Listen and believe.
RACHEL HARRINGTON/Makin’ Our House a Honky-Tonk
Writer: Rachel Lyn Harrington; Producer: Evan Brubaker; Publisher: none listed, BMI; Skinny Dennis (track) (www.rachelharrington.net*)
—True to its title, it sounds like it was recorded in her living room. That said, it has a certain, slightly sloppy, homemade charm.
CHARLIE WORSHAM/Could it Be
Writer: Marty Dodson/Ryan Tynsdell/Charlie Worsham; Producer: Charlie Worsham & Ryan Tyndaell; Publisher: I Hope Momma’s Listening/Black to Black/ole/Purple Cape, BMI; ole (track) (www.charlieworsham.com)
—Wow. This guy sings with immense warmth and personality. The production is an ear-tickling, acoustics-with-a-thump delight. The harmony work is flawless. And the song is a melodic wonder. Make this man a star.
MIRANDA LAMBERT/Fastest Girl in Town
Writer: Miranda Lambert/Angaleena Presley; Producer: Frank Liddell, Chuck Ainlay & Glenn Worf; Publisher: Sony-ATV Tree/Pink Dog/Ten Ten, BMI/ASCAP; RCA (track)
—Miranda’s back to rocking in her “bad girl” persona. She steams up the windows with this performance as a sexy vixen who goes out drinking and speeding with her beau, then ditches him for the cop who stops them. Get outta the way of those shrieking electric guitars, boys.
JAMES STORM/Longnecks & Rednecks
Writer: Serg Salinas/Dale Oliver; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; TNA Knockout
—Storm is a professional wrassler, and this is his theme song. It’s a screamer.
BRIAN MOLNAR & THE NAKED HEARTS/Some Dreams
Writer: Brian Molnar; Producer: Brian Molnar & The Naked Hearts; Publisher: Low 12, BMI; Avenue A (track) (www.brianmolnar.com)
—This lilting ballad has a wistful, sweet/sad quality that goes down smoothly. He sings with soft honesty and the piano, steel and guitar notes are perfectly placed. There’s real talent in these grooves. An instant favorite.
JENNY SIMMS/A Reason to Come Home to You
Writer: Jenny Simms; Producer: Larry Butler; Publisher: none listed; JS (track) (www.jennysimmsmusic.com)
—The late Larry Butler was behind the board for this one. It’s a Caribbean-accented ditty, delivered by a confident, throaty vocalist. She has moxie. So does the song.
JASON EADY/AM Country Heaven
Writer: Jason Eady; Producer: Kevin Welch; Publisher: Jason Eady, SESAC; Underground Sound (track) (www.jasoneady.com)
—Singer-songwriter Kevin Welch, who’s producing here, sure knows a tunesmithing talent when he hears one. Eady sings of by-gone country days when people sang about reality and didn’t necessarily look like fashion models. His vocal is hillbilly-perfect, and the steel echoes his every sentiment. Essential listening for any true country fan.
WILLIE NELSON/Just Breathe
Writer: Eddie Vedder; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Legacy/Nine North (ERG)
—Willie is the Energizer Bunny of country music. He just keeps on keepin’ on. This smoothly produced outing finds his distinctive nasal voice ruminating on life, death and reincarnation amid soft harmonica sighs, rippling guitars, supportive background singing and light steel guitar grace notes. Extremely listenable, it’s the prettiest track he has released in years. The song was a 2009 hit for Pearl Jam and was penned by frontman Eddie Vedder.
CHRIS CAGLE/Let There Be Cowgirls
Writer: none listed; Producer: Keith Stegall; Publisher: none listed; Bigger Picture (track) (www.chriscagle.com)
—Somehow, I doubt that the Almighty commanded that there be cowgirls at the dawn of creation. But that’s the premise here. Cagle is singing with a little more subtlety than he used to, but he still favors thunderous accompaniment.
LOGAN MAC/Red Dirt Town
Writer: Logan Mac/Rick Fowble; Producer: Joe Matthews; Publisher: Oil Trash, ASCAP; TCM (www.tcmrecordsnashville.com)
—The poor thing can just barely sing. And it doesn’t help that the production practically overwhelms his little bitty voice.
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