DISClaimer: Sizzling Music For A Hot Summer

the henningsens11

The Henningsens

Hot enough for you? Summer weather has arrived in Middle Tennessee a little later this year, but no less muggy and oppressive than usual. Appropriately, our disc makers are turning up the heat as well. In this column, you’ll find outstanding work, tailored to the season, from Craig Morgan, Tim McGraw, Philip Claypool and Mark McKinney. The duet of Sherry Lynn and Crystal Gayle is also cooking with gas. Our Disc of the Day award goes to a non-summer themed outing, “I Miss You” by The Henningsens. These three folks sound starward bound with this dynamic single. Sidewalk Records is a Curb imprint that is introducing our DisCovery Award winner, a promising singer-songwriter named Dylan Scott. So bon voyage to him.

GRETCHEN WILSON/Crazy
Writers: Vicky McGehee/Rachel Farley/Brian Davis; Producer: Gretchen Wilson; Peermusic III/February 4/Rockin Rose/Mike Curb, BMI; Redneck (track)
-She sings so well. Why bury her performance with grinding, wailing electric guitars?

SHERRY KENNEDY/Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean
Writers: Lance/Singleton/Wallace; Producer: Mark Moseley; Publisher: Sony, no performance rights listed; Sheaken (CDX)
-Ruth Brown, who sang the original 1955 r&b version of this, was known as “Miss Rhythm.” This must be “Miss Anti-Rhythm.”

CRAIG MORGAN/Wake Up Lovin’ You
Writers: Josh Osborne/Matt Ramsey/Trevor Rosen; Producer: none listed; Publishers: Want a Fresh One/Black River/Music of RPM/Sonic Geo/Unfair Entertainment/Songs of Bims/Calhoun Enterprises, ASCAP; Black River
-This steady stomper begins with the sound of an alarm clock, and the production work is stellar throughout. Yet nothing detracts from his completely gripping, electrifying vocal performance. This guy gets to me every time. Play him.

TIM SWEENEY/Baby I Try For You
Writer: Tim Sweeney; Producer: Kim Copeland; Publisher: Tim Sweeney, BMI; Old House (track)
-He sings in an earnest, airy tenor. The ballad is bland.

TIM MCGRAW/Southern Girl
Writers: Jaren Johnston/Lee Thomas Miller/Rodney Clawson; Producers: Byron Gallimore and Tim McGraw; Publishers: Sony-ATV Harmony/Texa Rae/Writers of Sea Gayle/Itchy Baby/Big Red Toe/Amarillo Sky, ASCAP/BMI; Big Machine (track)
-The bouncy song name-checks New Orleans, Tupelo, Memphis, Savannah, Daytona and other Dixie spots while praising the virtues of Southern ladies. But Tim’s personable vocal and the catchy, effects-dotted production are the real stars here.

Dylan Scott

Dylan Scott

DYLAN SCOTT/Makin’ This Boy Go Crazy
Writers: Dylan Scott/Forest Glen Whitehead; Producer: Jim Ed Norman; Publishers: Curb/Want a Fresh One/Black River, ASCAP; Sidewalk
-He’s a country baritone effortlessly negotiating tongue-tripping verses and then rounding the corners into the choruses with terrific elan and confidence. Absolutely worth your spins.

PHILIP CLAYPOOL/Strong One
Writers: Philip Claypool/Jeff Silbar; Producer: Michael Lloyd; Publishers: Heyday/Silbar, BMI/ASCAP; Heyday
-This former Curb artist of the 1990s is back with a chin-up, positive-think rocker. I love his drawling phrasing on this driving, relentless production. The icing on the cake is that it is extremely well-written.

SHERRY LYNN AND CRYSTAL GAYLE/Beautiful Life
Writers: Danny Wells/Jose Luis Pagan/Sarah Lenore; Producers: Ted Hewitt & Christos Gatzimos; Publishers: Cauley Music Group/BMG Chrysalis/Songs of Universal/Money Mack/Warner-Tamerlane, BMI; Steal Heart
-Sherry and Crystal trade lines with equal fire and finesse on this dandy country-rocker. It’s a really commercial and radio-ready toe-tapper. Co-producer Gatzimos is Crystal’s grown-up son.

THE HENNINGSENS/I Miss You
Writers: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Producer: none listed; Arista (track)
-This family trio latches onto this driving, thumping slab of wistful longing with enormous energy. The vocals are simply stunning, and the backing track has superb intensity and pent-up power. The finale, three-part harmony chord will break your heart.

MARK McKINNEY/Stolen Cash
Writer: none listed; Producer: Eric McKinney and Mark McKinney; Publisher: none listed; MM
-It’s a gently rolling, easy-going, good-time thang. The catchy ditty is about falling giddy in love while summering at the beach. It goes down mighty smoothly.

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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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