DisClaimer: Established Artists Keep The Music Coming

bush hawg1Established hit makers are the big news this week. Michael Martin Murphey, Joe Diffie, Kix Brooks and the new duo of Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan all have new music in this stack of platters. So do such well-known up-and-comers as Thompson Square, Georgette Jones and Amber Digby. Grits and Glamour is the moniker that Pam and Lorrie are using. These delightfully talented gals easily pull in the Disc of the Day prize. A six-man band called Bush Hawg is the winner of this week’s DisCovery Award. You’re coming in loud and clear, fellas. Send more.

GEORGETTE JONES/Til I Can Make It On My Own
Writers: J.D. Hicks/Bill McCorvey; Producer: Justin Trevino; Publishers: On the Mantel/Universal Songs of PolyGram, BMI; Heart of Texas
-Georgette’s new CD is a tribute to the music of her Hall of Fame mother, Tammy Wynette. This is its title tune, Tammy’s immortal 1976 smash. Let’s face it, no one can replicate the legend’s electrifying vocal delivery, but daughter does a more than respectable job on the ballad. The puzzle here is the songwriter credit. This was famously a Wynette/Billy Sherrill/George Richey collaboration. So where are their names? Elsewhere in the album, Georgette’s parents’ duets are revived with Justin Trevino and Billy Yates standing in for papa George. This is a most worthy project.

JOE DIFFIE/Girl Ridin’ Shotgun
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Bigger Picture
-It says, “featuring D-Thrash of The Jawga Boyz.” I presume that is the dull, witless rapper who is getting in the way of Diffie’s singing.

THOMPSON SQUARE/Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Stoney Creek
-Who feels like doing chores when your lover is near? The choppy, handclappy rhythm is a delight. Definitely a superior summer single.

KIX BROOKS/There’s The Sun
Writers: Trent Summar/Brandon Kinney; Producer: Kix Brooks; Publisher: Songs of Universal/Songs of NTN/Hits of Tom Lies/Two Cylinder, BMI, Arista (track)
-It’s a bluesy drawler praising the arrival of warm weather. The groove’s the thing.

ROBIN MEADE/Get Up
Writers: Robin Meade/Lee Brice/Victoria Shaw; Producer: Victoria Shaw; Publisher: Meade in America/Curb/Victoria Shaw/Do Write, ASCAP/BMI/SESAC; Meade In America
-This HLN anchor has previously proven herself to be a capable country vocalist. Her new single is a rousing rocker about spirit-lifting survival. Highly listenable and heartily recommended.

MICHAEL MARTIN MURPHEY/Peaceful Country
Writers: Michael Martin Murphey/Ryan Murphey/Pat Flynn; Producers: Ryan Murphey and Pat Flynn; Publisher: Rocking 3 M/Wrong Man/Mia Culpa, BMI/ASCAP; Red River (track)
-Red River Drifter was released this week as Murphey’s newest western-music collection. It kicks off with this lively ditty that pairs the star’s tenor voice with scampering, sparkling banjo, mandolin and fiddle work. Cowboy bluegrass, anyone?

Grits-and-Glamour1GRITS AND GLAMOUR/I Know What You Did Last Night
Writers: Karyn Rochelle/Al Anderson; Producer: Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan; Publisher: Big Yellow Dog, BMI; Red River (track)
-Saucy, sassy, rocking and a big boatload of fun. Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan are the perfect party girls for this rollicking toe tapper. And their personality-packed voices sound terrific together.

JASON STURGEON/Angel Eyes
Writers: Fred Koller/John Hiatt; Producer: Greg Archilla; Publisher: BMG/Bug/Lucrative/Lillybilly, BMI; Tool Pusher
-The Jeff Healey Band’s 1989 pop smash has been reincarnated as a country ballad. The pace is a little plodding, but the song is so strong that it more than survives the rearrangement.

BUSH HAWG/Crushin’
Writers: Shawn Ames/Jaron Boyer/Vicky McGehee; Producer: Michael Knox; peermusic III/Buy the Farm/Pacific Wind/4T4/February 4, BMI; RCA
-Obsessive love, to the accompaniment of throbbing electric guitars. Promising sounding.

AMBER DIGBY/One More Thing I WIsh I’d Said
Writers: Amber Digby/Vince Gill; Producer: Amber Digby, Randy Lindley and Justin Trevino; Publisher: none listed, BMI; Heart of Texas
-Digby has been a musical treasure in Texas for years. For her current CD, The World You’re Living In, she enlisted Nashvillians like Lloyd Green Pig Robbins and Pete Wade and co-wrote with Music City’s Bill Anderson, Dale Dodson and Vince Gill. The last named is her collaborator on this ballad weeper that is soaked in steel and fiddle. Hillbilly heaven.

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

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