DISClaimer: Summer Gets A New Soundtrack

Lady Antebellum

Lady Antebellum

The soundtrack for the summer is unfolding, starting this week. Joe Nichols, the Cody Bryan Band, Grant Langston and Andy Gibson all have new singles that have sunshine in every groove. In fact, “If I’m Going Nowhere” is strong enough to reel in a DisCovery Award for the Cody Bryan Band. But country-music people love to weep as much as they love to rejoice. So I also direct your attention to the downbeat lyrics of the new singles by Love and Theft, Sawyer Brown and, most especially, Lady Antebellum, who wins the Disc of the Day with “Goodbye Town.” Heartache has never sounded lovelier.

THE ROYS/Gypsy Runaway Train
Writers: Lee Roy/Morry Trent; Producers: The Roys and Andy Leftwich; Publishers: Mandolin Man/Cinderella Man, SESAC; Rural Rhythm
-These two continue to release singles like a country act. But their sound becomes more and more mainstream bluegrass with every release. The picking on this is dazzling.

cody bryan band11GRANT LANGSTON/Trouble Knows
Writer: Grant Langston; Producer: Paul Q. Kolderie; Publisher: Grant Langston, BMI; MSG (track)
-Sprightly and infectious, this hillbilly bopper introduces a singer-songwriter of rare originality. A ditty with a built-in smile.

CODY BRYAN BAND/If I’m Going Nowhere
Writers: RAby/Chandler/Noveskey/Bryan/Delahoussaye; Producers: Matt Noveskey and Kevin Butler; Publisher: none listed; CBB (track)
-This driving country-rocker has a forward momentum that’s pretty hard to resist. The band definitely gets its licks in as the tale unfolds of an aimless drifter. “If I’m going nowhere/I’ll get there on time” is his motto.

GWEN SEBASTIAN/Suitcase
Writers: Gwen Sebastian/Nicole Witt; Producer: Louis Newman; Publishers: Music of Open Road/Words and Music/Brentwood Benson/Quick Witt, ASCAP/BMI; Flying Island
-She’s kicking the cheater out and has packed up her heartache with his belongings. As usual, Gwen sings with loads of moxie, fire and personality. As both a performer and a writer, she’s a talent to be reckoned with.

CASSADEE POPE/Wasting All These Tears
Writers: Rollie Gaalswyk/Caitlyn Smith; Producers: Dann Huff and Nathan Chapman; Publishers: Jill the Dog/Music of Stage Three/Songs of Cornman/BMG Chrysalis, BMI; Republic Nashville
-The lyric is way too word-y. The melody is awkward and ungainly. Somebody call a song editor. Also: There’s nothing particularly “country” about it.

SAWYER BROWN/Shadows of the Heartland
Writers: Bobby Pinson/Chris Bergsnes; Producer: Mark Miller; Publisher: Stage Three, no performance rights listed; Beach Street (CDX)
-This brilliantly written, multi-textured portrait of life, love, loss and death in rural America rings with truth and authenticity.

JOE NICHOLS/Sunny and 75
Writers: Michael Dulaney/Jason Sellers/Paul Jenkins; Producers: Derek George and Mickey Jack Cones; Publishers: Warner-Tamerlane/Desert Treasure/Sony-ATV Cross Keys/Becky’s Boy/Sony-ATV Tree, BMI/ASCAP; Red Bow
-And you thought he had a voice that was born to cry. Joe proves he can soar in joy with this marvelous tempo tune, tailor-made for summertime good times. Go ahead: Get up and twirl around the room.

LOVE AND THEFT/If You Ever Get Lonely
Writers: Kyle Cook/Lisa Drew/Michael Dulaney/Steven Dale Jones/John Waite; Producer: Josh Leo; Publishers: EMI April/Ella Bella/Grand Line/Universal Z Tunes/Jersey Girl/Sony-ATV Harmony/Lights of Denver/JB Daniel/Water Bound/John Waite, ASCAP; RCA
-He can’t stop missing the one who left him for L.A. and begs for just the tiniest bit of contact from her. Fabulously melodic and radio-ready in the extreme.

ANDY GIBSON/Best Thing
Writers: Steve Moakler/Luke Laird; Producer: James Stroud; Publishers: Nam Jam/Songs of Kobalt/Universal-Careers, BMI; Curb
-Innocent, romantic, sweet and as lightweight as the froth on a soda-fountain drink.

LADY ANTEBELLUM/Goodbye Town
Writers: Dave Haywood/Charles Kelley/Hillary Scott/Josh Kear; Producers: Paul Worley and Lady Antebellum; Publishers: Beards and Bullets/30A Getaway/Kobalt/Hobbs Hill/Global Dog/Lunalight, ASCAP/SESAC; Capitol Nashville
-Led by the heartbroken, soul-shattering voice of Charles Kelley, the trio keeps you completely in its thrall throughout this pulsing, yearning, lump-in-throat performance. Supremely well written and brilliantly produced, this is the reason these folks are the stars they are.

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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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