DISClaimer: Giving Thanks For Good Music

brad paisleyHappy Thanksgiving. Today, I’m giving thanks for the discovery of a new duo, Brennen Leigh & Noel McKay. Also for a group, Parmalee. And also for an all-star collection called Divided & United: Songs of the Civil War. All of these things brightened my day. The Disc of the Day comes from that dependable super talent, Brad Paisley. The DisCovery Award goes to Big Machine’s latest launch, The Cadillac Three.

JOSEY MILNER/Cowgirls
Writers: H. Lindsey/A. Petraglia/R. Rygmyr; Producers: Micah Burdick and Matthew Russo; Publishers: Soy-ATV/Universal PolyGram/Green Wagon/Fat Cactus/Animal Fair, ASCAP; MTS
-Busy and noisy. All rocked up with no place to go.

PARMALEE/Carolina
Writers: Matt Thomas/Scott Thomas/Josh McSwain/Barry Knox/Rick Beato; Producer: NV; Publishers: 27861 Music/Revelry/Gallo & Landers/EMI Blackwood/Lonely Runner, BMI; Stoney Creek
-Tuneful and accomplished. Extremely radio friendly.

JASON DANIELS/You’re An Angel
Writers: Jason Daniels; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Jason Mark Daniels; BMI; JD (track)
-He is the nephew of the late country songwriters/producers George Richey and Paul Richey. His own style seems to be more beach-y than hardcore hillbilly, featuring as it does both horns and organ. Listenable if unexceptional.

BRAD PAISLEY/The Mona Lisa
Writers: Brad Paisley/Chris DuBois; Producer: Brad Paisley; Publishers: House of Sea Gayle/Words & Music; ASCAP; Arista (track)
-Celebratory, to say the least. He’s so in love he feels like the frame that gets to hold the Mona Lisa. The bopper includes whoa-oh sung-shouted mass singing, pulsing percussion and, natch, stinging guitar work. Also, I love how he produces the records so that no matter how much is going on, you can understand every word he sings.

BRENNEN LEIGH & NOEL MCKAY/Before The World Was Made
Writers: Brennen Leigh/Noel McKay; Producer: Gurf Morlix; Publishers: Footprints in the Snow/Noel McKay; BMI/ASCAP; Erdphysik (track)
-The title tune to this Texas twosome’s CD is a slow, languid waltz. The lyric is super romantic, and every note of their twin-harmonized vocal is absolutely perfect. An utterly enchanting sound.

Cadillac Three

Cadillac Three

THE CADILLAC THREE/The South
Writers: Jaren Johnston; Producers: Dann Huff and Justin Niebank; Publishers: Sony-ATV Harmony/Texa Rae/ASCAP; Big Machine
-These three guys drawl their way through this bluesy Dixie anthem with great verve. It has a little rawk attitude, but not enough to ruin its pluperfect country credentials. Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line and Mike Eli add their voices to the finale chorus. I say Big Machine has another hit on its hands.

AUDREY AULD/Lonely Town
Writers: Audrey Auld; Producers: Kenny Vaughn and George Bradfute; Publishers: APRA; ASCAP; Reckless (track)
-This Australian calls Nashville home now. Her current Tonk album includes this aching ballad that salutes greats like Tammy, George, Loretta and Hank. She is unapologetically Country. Marty Stuart’s Fabulous Superlatives back her with sublimely tasteful instrumental support, abetted by the likes of Chris Scruggs and Andy Leftwich. For more samples of Auld’s songwriting talent, check out tracks such as “Sweet Alcohol,” “Siren Song” and “Drinking Problem.”

LORETTA LYNN/Take Your Gun and Go, John
Writers: Hiram T. Merrill; Producer: Randall Foster; Publisher: public domain; ATO (track)
Divided & United is an extraordinary, ambitious, 32-song, concept double-CD that tells the story of the Civil War via authentic compositions from the period. Loretta Lynn begins the yarn by mournfully vocalizing the tale of a farm wife who bids her husband adieu as he goes off to fight. She performs with only banjo and fiddle accompaniment, and that’s all this masterful vocalist needs. Others who make this collection so special include Old Crow Medicine Show, Vince Gill, Lee Ann Womack, Ricky Skaggs, Del McCoury, Chris Stapleton, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Jamey Johnson, Ashley Monroe, Taj Mahal and the late Jack Clement.

JIMMY EUGENE/Eyes Can and Do Lie
Writers: Jimmy Eugene; Producers: Steve Tveit and Pat McGrath; Publisher: JPollardMusic; BMI; Whiss (CDX)
-It has a ‘70s rock vibe, like Ace or The Average White Band or Boz Scaggs or Player. Bluesy betrayal set to a seductive back beat.

WAYNE MILLS BAND/Last Honky Tonk
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; WMB
-Mills was shot to death last Saturday. For a glimpse of how good the big Alabama guy was, check out this video on his website. He sounds like the long lost cousin of both Bocephus and Waylon. Also available on the site is a download of his single, “She Knows the Words.” Rest in peace, bro, you did country-music proud.

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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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