DISClaimer: Summer Turns Up The Sizzle

hunter hayes new photo

Hunter Hayes

Hot enough for you? This week’s stack of platters contains a few that turn up the temperature even more. The Jennifer Nettles solo single is one of them. Steve Holy’s is another. Newcomers Dave Hangley, Colby Dee and Danielle Bradbery have three more. Snappiest of all is our Disc of the Day by firecracker Hunter Hayes. The free-spirited singing style of pop Grammy nominee Jason Mraz compliments Hunter’s perfectly on their collaboration. The DisCovery Award goes to a female band comprised of Texas sisters Meagan, Madeline and Mallory Michaelis. I haven’t seen the group live yet, but I’m told that Michaelis is just as cool on stage as it is on CD.

Writers: Morgan Frazier/Tiffany Coss/Sherrie Veronica Austin; Producers: Buddy Cannon, Bill McDermott; Publishers: Curb/Curb Congregation/Magic Mustang/Big Loud Bucks, ASCAP/SESAC/BMI; Sidewalk
-Her plaintive, heart-in-throat, emotive delivery of the timely lyric is so effective that it sounds like she’s lived it. Give this one a shot.

Writers: Bruce Wallace/Ben Glover/Brian White; Producers: Matt McClure, Kyle Jacobs; Publishers: ole Purple Cape/ole 9t One/Ariose/Capitol CMG/Universal/Brentwood Benson/Songs From the White House, BMI/ASCAP/SESAC; MCC/Curb
-She’s going to leave him, so he goes into denial by turning up the music. Holy’s vocal delivery of the melody ranges from hushed and private to full-throated and piercing. The bonus is that the track is crisply and expertly produced. Nice job.



MICHAELIS/Shoot Straight
Writers:Michaelis/Dave Brainard/John Goodwin; Producers: Dave Brainard; Publisher: ASCAMP/Lucky 21 Publishing/SECAMP/Mallory Michaelis Music/Universal Music Corporation/Dave Brainard Songs/Queen’s Knight Music; ASCAP/SESAC/BMI; AMP
-This sister trio debuts with a bluesy, groove-soaked number that worms its way right into your brain. Hooky in the extreme, this is a fabulous listening experience. Play, play, play it. Again, again, again.

LYNN ANDERSON/Sweet Memories
Writers: Betty Swain/Jim Paul; Producers: Craig Brandwynne, Timothy Daher, Robin Ruddy; Publishers: Center Sound/Sure Babe, ASCAP; Center Sound
-The back story is that Betty Swain was an 85-year-old, part-time North Carolina country performer in 2010 with a batch of lyrics she’d written years before. Her relatives got together and hired a group of local musicians to turn them into songs. She died not long after hearing the result. Two years later, a group of Nashville artists was assembled to make a professional CD of the songs for Betty’s cancer-stricken daughter. Legendary Lynn Anderson kicks it off with a lively reading of the late Swain’s live-for-today lyric and Jim Paul’s toe-tapping tune.

Writers: Danny Myrick/Ann Marie; Producer: Danny Myrick; Publishers: none listed; AM
-Rocking and danceable. She’s looking for a real stud: “I need a man, man enough to handle my love.” Step right up if you think you can fill the bill.

HUNTER HAYES & JASON MRAZ/Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me
Writers: Hunter Hayes/Dave Brainard/Jennifer Zuffineti; Producers: Dann Huff and Hunter Hayes; Publishers: Songs of Universal/Happy Little Man/Dave Brainard/Big Red Tractor/Big Loud Bucks; BMI/ASCAP; Alantic (track)
-Lovely, lilting, youthful and delightfully bopping. Audio enchantment.

DAVE HANGLEY/Runaway Angel
Writers: Jim Allison, Todd O’Neill; Producer: Jim Allison; Publisher: NNS Publishing, BMI; NNS
-Nashville songwriter Jim Allison has relocated to Linwood, NJ (near Atlantic City) and established his Nashville North studio and label. Hangley is his first project, and he’s a worthy one. The uptempo song is superbly melodic, the production is taut, and the confident, hearty tenor vocal is right on the money. Well worth spinning.

Writers: Caitlyn Smith/Brett James/Troy Verges; Producer: Brett James; Publishers: Music of Stage Three/Songs of Cornman/WB/Songs of Brett/External Combustion/Songs of Universal/Songs From the Engine Room, BMI/ASCAP; Republic Nashville
-She has a dead-end job and a dead-beat husband. So she hits the road and finds out that she’s a lot tougher than she thought she was. Bradbery’s soprano has just enough fire and spunk to sell this thumping female-empowerment ditty.

Writers: Jennifer Nettles/Butch Walker; Producer: Rick Rubin; Publishers: Jennifer Nettles/EMI April/I Eat Pub For Breakfast, ASCAP; Mercury (CDX)
-Moody and kinda nervous sounding, it’s a darkly confessional tale of an attempt at man stealing. Nettles emotes well, and the production is refreshingly distinctive, although I could have done without the jarring, irritating studio applause in the finale.

COLBY DEE/He Don’t Know
Writers: Colby Dee/Karleen Watt/Lisa Torres; Producer: Daniel Dennis; Publisher: none listed; CD
-It’s a ringing, jingle-jangle country rocker with plenty of vim. Her vocal sparkles. The thinly written, barely-there song is quite repetitive, not to mention grammatically incorrect.


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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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