DisClaimer: Baby Acts Look Promising

Jimbeau Hinson

Disc of the Day winner Jimbeau Hinson

The narrative this week belongs to the baby acts. I can’t remember any prior listening session when there were so many promising newcomers. Vying for attention this week were Chris Janson, The Henningsens, Danny Griego and Shelly Fraley. I’m giving the DisCovery Award to Texan Danny Griego, but it could just as easily have gone to any of the others.

Longtime Music Row tunesmith Jimbeau Hinson has recorded only sporadically over the years. His Strong Medicine CD and its “Distant Vision” track are ample evidence that he should do so more often. Give the man a Disc of the Day award.

DEBBIE COCHRAN/Honky Tonk Yourself Right Out of Heaven
Writer: Debbie Cochran, Producer: Kent Wells, Publisher: DMC Anniston, BMI
-It’s a fiddle and steel-soaked two-step. Country, country, country all the way.

THE HENNINGSENS/American Beautiful
Writers: Aaron Henningsen/Brian Henningsen/Clara Henningsen/Brett Beavers, Producer: Paul Worley, Publisher: none listed, BMI
-The chunky, choppy sonic bed contrasts with a smooth lead vocalist and a catchy, tuneful chorus. Solidly written and sung. I’m intrigued. Send more.

DANNY GRIEGO/I Wear My Own Kind of Hat
Writers: Merle Haggard, Producers: Danny Griego, Ed Seay, Publisher: Sony Tree, BMI
-This 1979 Haggard oldie is given a classy update with a rockin’ “outlaw” backbeat and a gritty, soulful, slightly raspy, baritone vocal performance. I dig it.

Discovery Award winner

DisCovery Award winner Danny Griego

KATIE ARMIGER/Playin’ With Fire
Writers: Katie Armiger, Ricky Davis, Micol Davis, Producer: Chad Carlson, Publishers: Purple Monkeys/Hits of Tom Lies/Go Ahead On/Dorvin and Bubba/Squeeze Me
-Armiger continues her winning ways with this bluesy attitude number that sounds as dangerous as a hissing sidewinder. The kid rocks.

Writers: none listed, Producer: Keith Stegall, Publishers: none listed
-It’s a snappy country rocker with a well written lyric about a reformed wild man who knows better than to tempt fate with booze or babes. Promising.

Writers: Ross Copperman, David Lee Murphy, Producers: Buddy Cannon and Kenny Chesney, Publishers: EMI Blackwood/Ross Copperman/4 Tunes/Old Desperados/N2D; BMI/ASCAP
-He kicks normal living aside for “a pirate flag and an island girl.” In other words, familiar Chesney territory, and extremely well produced.

Writer: Waylon Jennings, Producer: Ian Fitchuk, Publisher: none listed
-The deep echo-chamber effect is ear catching. She sings in a drowsy, world-weary sigh. The ballad’s love-is-gone lyric and wafting melody are both terrific. Extremely inventive and well worth your spins.

Writers: Jimbeau Hinson, Producer: Kim Tribble, Publisher: American Romance; ASCAP
-Veteran hit songwriter Hinson really packed ‘em in at his album-release party last week. If you want to hear what all the excitement was about, check out this free download on the Wrinkled Records website. It’s a textbook example of blue-eyed soul singing, gospel-tinged lyric writing and shoulder-shaking-rhythm production. The CD is titled Strong Medicine. You need it in your life.

TYLER & THE TRIBE/Heaven and Hell
Writers: none listed, Producer: none listed, Publisher: none listed
-The band plays okay, in a quirky kinda way, but is poorly mixed. Also, the too-wordy songwriting could use some tightening up.

B.J. THOMAS & STEVE TYRELL/Rock and Roll Lullaby
Writers: Barry Mann/Cynthia Well, Producer: Kyle Lehning, Publisher: EMI Blackwood/Summerhill, BMI
-The upcoming The Living Room Sessions CD by B.J. Thomas features many of his classic hits reworked as duets with the likes of Keb Mo, Vince Gill, Richard Marx and Lyle Lovett. The noteworthy thing about this track is that Tyrell produced Thomas’s 1972 original version. He proves to be a worthy vocalist, although nowhere near the still-thrilling pipes of the iconic star. The label, Wrinkled, is off to a splendid start with consistently excellent platters from Buffy Lawson, Etta Britt, Jimbeau Hinson and Thomas. It’s great to know there’s still a company in town that’s all about the music.


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Category: Artist, Featured, Reviews

About the Author

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

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