It’s a Battle of the Bands!
All four of our top contenders this week come from groups. You couldn’t go wrong adding Livewire, The Time Jumpers, The Ray Johnston Band or Gloriana to your playlists. But, alas, only one can be a Disc of the Day. That would be Gloriana.
The DisCovery Award goes to Joanna Mosca. Her EP is called Let It All Begin, and I sincerely hope it does.
RAY JOHNSTON BAND/Me, You & Emmylou
Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; RJB (track) (www.rayjohnstonband.com)
—I like the band’s deep-twang sound. The featherly-light tenor lead vocalist takes a little getting used to, but makes for an interesting contrast. The bopping song is a winner.
GLORIANA/Can’t Shake You
Writer: Tom Gossin/Stephanie Bentley/James Slater; Producer: Matt Serletic; Publisher: Gossin/Echometrics/Fru Fru/BPJ/EMI Blackwood/Jameslater, ASCAP/BMI; Warner Bros.
—Completely irresistible, from the swapped male-female leads to the insistently magnetic track, from the fevered lyric to the pulsing rhythm, from the swirling production to the chorus harmonies. Play this endlessly.
THE TIME JUMPERS/On the Outskirts of Town
Writer: Vince Gill/Reed Nielson; Producer: The Time Jumpers; Publisher: Vinny Mae/Songs of Kobalt/Songs of Windswept Pacific/Single Track, BMI; Rounder (track) (www.thetimejumpers.com)
—Previously nominated for a Grammy, this all-star Nashville band is now on Rounder with a self-titled CD and a western-swinging emphasis track that will definitely put the mojo back into your jazzbo soul. Way, way cool, especially when all of these instrumental masters take turns on hot, hot solos.
CRAIG CAMPBELL/Outta My Head
Writer: Cole Swindell/Brandon Kinney/Michael Ray Carter; Producer: Keith Stegall & Matt Rovey; Publisher: Sony-ATV Tree/Songs of Red Bandana/Tom Tom Leis/Sony-ATV Cross Keys, BMI/ASCAP; Bigger Picture
—Craig comes into his own with this throbbing ode to a romantic memory that continues to haunt. He and Gloriana, whose single mines this same theme, might want to form a support group.
ALI BECK/Getaway Heart
Writer: Jennifer Schott/Marty Dodson; Producer: Larry Beard & Ali Beck; Publisher: none listed; AB (track)
—There’s nothing at all wrong with the breezy title tune to this gal’s six-song EP. But she’s going to have to find a song a lot more distinctive if she wants to stand out from the pack.
CLAY WALKER/Jesse James
Writer: Kyle Jacobs/Joe Leathers/Ben Glover; Producer: Keith Stegall; Publisher: Curb/Jacobsong/Fortune Favors the Bold/Mike Curb/Ghermkyle/WB/Screaming Norman, ASCAP/BMI; Sidewalk/Curb
—He tries to be a good guy, but fantasizes about being a bad, bad boy. The track rocks, and he sings the choruses powerfully, at the very top of his vocal range.
JOANNA MOSCA/Dream on Savannah
Writer: Troy Verges/Hilary Lindsey/Marv Green; Producer: Bryan White; Publisher: Universal/Raylene/Warner Chappell, no performance rights listed; Dolce Diva (track) (www.joannamosca.com)
—Her six-song EP kicks off with its single, a nifty ditty to a plain-jane, small-town teen who will one day blossom. Despite discouragement from everyone around her, she winds up with her name in lights. Lilting, uplifting and utterly delightful.
BRETT ELDREDGE/Don’t Ya
Writer: Brett Eldredge/Chris DeStefano/Ashley Gorley; Producer: Chris DeStefano; Publisher: Paris Not France/Dwight Wiles/EMI April/Sugar Glider/External Combustion/Out of the Taperoom/Songs of Southside Independent, BMI/ASCAP; Atlantic
—She’s teasing, flirty and coy. And she knows exactly what she’s doing. Being driven crazy with desire sounds like a boatload of fun in this sexy bopper. Radio ready in the extreme.
Writer: Andrew Eutsler; Producer: Justin Woods; Publisher: Real Man/Parrot Island, BMI; Way Out West (615-319-1863)
—Super professional. This toe-tapping indie sounds as good or better than any major-label outing out there. The single has it all, a dynamite rhythm, pristine production values, a lead vocal packed with energy and personality, a song with serious chops and instrumental work that soars. This is the third time I have raved about this band. Who are these guys? Where is the album?
JORDAN ANDERSON/Key to My Heart
Writer: Anderson/Crosby; Producer: Kent Wells; Publisher: none listed, BMI/ASCAP; Go Time (track)
—Pleasant, but little more. The song is kinda bland, and her singing lacks moxie.
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