King Kenny fends off all challengers to win a Disc of the Day award this week.
Kenny Chesney has been topping the charts for more than 15 years now, and “El Cerrito Place” demonstrates why he continues to be so relevant. Despite the best efforts of Lonestar, Little Big Town, Wade Hayes, Gary Allan and Kix Brooks, he leads the field.
But the big news is our DisCovery Award winner, Brent Cobb. I can’t remember the last time a new singer-songwriter so delighted me with a debut disc.
BILLY RAY CYRUS/Change My Mind
Writer: Billy Ray Cyrus/Michael J. Sagraves; Producer: Brandon Friesen; Publisher: Sunnageronimo/Two Beats Down, BMI; Blue Cadillac (www.billyraycyrus.com)
—Pretty darn “big” sounding, with Cyrus’s processed voice practically buried in a cacophony of electric guitars, banjo and production what-not. Simultaneously muffled sounding and irritating.
Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; 4 Star (www.lonestarnow.com)
—Very catchy and bright. The upbeat ode of a returning lover, who can’t rush home fast enough, is appropriately rocking. The interjecting “ticking” effects are a nice touch, too. Highly programmable.
KENNY CHESNEY/El Cerrito Place
Writer: Keith Gattis; Producer: Buddy Cannon & Kenny Chesney; Publisher: Gattis, BMI; Columbia/Blue Chair
—Dreamy. He searches for his love along the beaches, on the desert and in the neighborhoods of the pretty people while echoey guitars and harmony vocalists cushion him in loneliness. One more reason why Kenny is king.
THE CIVIL WARS/I’ve Got This Friend
Writer: none listed; Producer: Charlie Peacock; Publisher: none listed; Sensibility (track)
—The Gold-selling, double Grammy winning Barton Hollow CD offers up a third single/video, and it is a change-of-pace to a more lilting, melodic and relaxed sound. As captivating as their intense, soul-wailing tracks are.
LITTLE BIG TOWN/Tornado
Writer: Natalie Hemby/Delta Maid; Producer: Jay Joyce; Publisher: EMI Blackwood/Wruckestrike/San Remo Live/Songs of Kobalt, BMI; Capitol Nashville (track)
—LBT continues its quest for world domination with this marching, crunchy, relentless vow to destroy any man who gets in Karen’s way. As before, the Joyce injection has completely revived this group’s sound.
WADE HAYES/Is It Already Time
Writer: none listed; Producer: Don Cook; Publisher: none listed; RPM Entertainment
—As the country radio world knows by now, the team that made Hayes a Columbia Records star of the 1990s, has reunited to promote the autobiographical song about his harrowing ordeal with colon cancer. Beautifully written and powerfully moving.
KIX BROOKS/Bring it on Home
Writer: Kix Brooks/Rhett Akins/Dallas Davidson; Producer: Kix Brooks; Publisher: Sony-ATV Tree/Buffalo Prairie/EMI Blackwood/Rhettneck, BMI; Arista (track)
—A reformed honky-tonker puts on the brakes and decides to head for the homefront. Ultra commercial.
GARY ALLAN/Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)
Writer: Gary Allan/Matt Warren/Hillary Lindsey; Producer: Gary Allan & Greg Droman; Publisher: Crystal Beach/Third Tier/Always Alone/Kobalt/Raylene/BMG, BMI/ASCAP; MCA Nashville (CDX)
—Very cool and fevered sounding. Gary’s edgy growl offers odd comfort as he advises that tough times never last. Guitars chime around him and the rhythm track crashes in the background in this super compelling performance.
LYNYRD SKYNYRD/Last of a Dyin’ Breed
Writer: Gary Rossington/Johnny Van Zant/Ricky Medlock/Mark Matejka/Dan Sarafini/Bob Marlette; Producer: Bov Marlette; Publisher: Sleeping Indian/L&K/Bug/BobNal/Black Lava/Kobalt/Matejkamusic/Jaris, ASCAP/BMI; Roadrunner (track) (www.lynyrdskynyrd.com)
—Whether you’ve noticed it or not, rock music has completely disappeared from the mainstream pop chart. Everything is dance music or hip-hop there. That’s why a rock band like Jason Aldean is a “country” artist. Following this logic, lend these Southern-rock vets your ears on the rocking title tune of their latest CD. These old pros show the kiddies how its really done.
BRENT COBB/Love On Me
Writer: Brent Cobb/Jason Saenz; Producer: Matthew Miller & Oran Thornton; Publisher: Tiltawhirl/Carnival/Sony ATV Tree/Songs for My Good Girl, BMI; Carnival (CDX) (www.carnivalrecording.com)
—Now here’s a refreshing change: A country vocalist who isn’t afraid to put real personality on disc. This is easily the most charming performance of today, full of drawling, country-boy humor in a jaunty, sly come-on ditty. Absolutely essential listening.
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