This week, country artists must be feeling those summer breezes in the air, because an awful lot of them are putting out sunny tempo tunes.
Eric Paslay, Frank Ortega, Lee Brice and the star trio of Joe Diffie, Sammy Kershaw and Aaron Tippin all have new singles that scream summer airplay. Another country rocker comes from our DisCovery Award winners The Sins Country. They not only sing it splendidly, they co-wrote it, to boot.
Nevertheless, it is a hypnotizing, mid-tempo effort that truly won my heart. The loveliness of “You Got Me” earns the divine Ashley Monroe her second consecutive Disc of the Day award.
JOE DIFFIE, SAMMY KERSHAW & AARON TIPPIN/All In The Same Boat
Writers: Jamey Johnson, Wynn Varble, Don Poythress; Producer: Sammy Kershaw; Publisher: Warner-Tamerlane/Precious Flour/Universal/MGB/Don Poythress, BMI/ASCAP, Big Hit
-All three of them are such superb country vocal stylists. So I would have preferred a mix where the backing track wasn’t quite so amped up. That said, this bopper has plenty of infectious fun in it.
DAVID SHELBY/Kick A Little Dirt Around
Writers: F.J. Turner/D. Shelby/C. Virzi Producers: F.J. Turner, D. Shelby & C. Virzi, Publisher: Zavitson, BMI, Highway South
-It’s an invitation to dance. Thanks, but I’ll sit this one out.
RANDY ROGERS BAND/Fuzzy
Writers:Shane McAnally/Trevor Rosen/Josh Osborne; Producer: Jay Joyce, Publisher: Crazy Water/Little Blue Egg/Kobalt/Want a Fresh One/Black River, ASCAP, MCA Nashville
-Producer Joyce adds innovative audio touches to the track, which is his hallmark. The performance is enthusiastic, but the song is nothing to write home about.
FRANK ORTEGA/Two Places at Once
Writers: Ira Dean/David Lee Murphy/Kim Tribble, Producer: none listed, Publishers: Hillbilly Rich/Sony-ATV Tree/Old Desperado/N2D/Carol Vincent/Beechtree/Do Write, BMI/ASCAP, Villa One
-It has been a few years since we’ve heard from this fine indie artist. As before, he has excellent choice in songs and superb production values. On this rocking country outing, he fronts a deep-thump rhythm track and carries a catchy melody with aplomb. Stay tuned for the extended instrumental ride at the fade. A winner. Again.
LUKE BRYAN/Crash My Party
Writers: Rodney Clawson/Ashley Gorley, Producer: Jeff Stevens; Publisher: Big Red Toe/Amarillo Sky/Big Loud Bucks/External Combustion/Out of the Taperoom/Songs of Southside Independent, BMI/ASCAP, Capitol
-Don’t let the title fool you: This is a love song with a steady groove and a sensuous melody. Stevens’ production layers strings, an electric guitar solo, percussion and echo effects to good effect.
ERIC PASLAY/Friday Night
Writers: Eric Paslay/Rose Falcon/Rob Crosby, Producer: Marshall Altman; Publisher: Cal IV/Wadmalaw, ASCAP/BMI, EMI
-In this bright, sunshiny bopper, he wants to be her ride to good times. Thumpers like this are the perfect summertime soundtrack. Put the top down and turn it up.
LEE BRICE/Parking Lot Party
Writers: Lee Brice/Thomas Rhett Atkins/Rhett Akins/Luke Laird; Producer: Jon Stone and Lee Brice; Publishers: Mike Curb/EMI Blackwood/Rhettneck/Universal-Careers/High Powered Machine, BMI, Curb
-I am fed up to here with country-music party songs. But this guy is just so darn likeable and believable that I found myself bopping along with his tailgate tune in spite of myself.
HANNAH BETHEL/No Where Left To Roam
Writers: H. Bethel; Producer: Andy Sheridan and Hannah Bethel; Publisher: Hannywyn, BMI, HB
-She has a very cool Appalachian vocal style. The upbeat tune is produced perfectly with plenty of open spaces between the fiddle, dobro and steel lines and restless, relentless brushed drumming. The accomplished singing is as impressive as the fact that she wrote or co-wrote all five of the EP’s fine songs.
ASHLEY MONROE/You Got Me
Writers: Ashley Monroe/Karen Fairchild, Producers: Vince Gill and Justin Niebank, Publishers: Reynsong/Ayden/Warner-Tamerlane, BMI
-Drawn from one of the best country albums of the year to date, this is a moody, swooning, shuffling, softly sexy and atmospheric gem of a disc. She is inescapably drawn into a love that’s not good for her. But, dang, it feels so good.
THE SINS COUNTRY/Romeo and Juliet Sparks
Writers: Joe Sins/Kristen Sins; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; GTR Nashville
-They’re both really strong country singers, whether swapping lines or harmonizing together. The song is a well-written, uptempo saga of love persevering despite parental disapproval. Very worthy of your spins. Send more.
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