DISClaimer: The Summer Doldrums


Thomas Rhett

Is this what they mean by the summer doldrums?

I found nothing today that you can’t live without. Sure, there are plenty of pleasant prospects. But there’s precious little that will stop you in your tracks.

The most beautifully sung record in today’s stack of platters is unquestionably the Ray Price/Martina McBride duet. If you must have a major-label effort on the front row of your playlist, make it the Thomas Rhett single. Those two can share the Disc of the Day award.

We have encountered almost everyone in this column before. I was particularly glad to hear from Mark McKinney, Lucas Hoge and Ray Scott again. All three of them continue to impress. Our new faces are Native Run, to whom we present a DisCovery Award.

RAY SCOTT/Drinkin’ Beer
Writers: Ray Scott/Tony Mullins; Producer: Dave Brainard; Publishers: Songs of Universal/Rayality/T. Mullins, BMI/ASCAP; DeciBel (CDX)
-His deep-macho delivery remains riveting. The hopping, bopping, dobro-laced track is a merry, grinning delight. Eminently programmable.

Writers: Wendell Mobley/Tony Martin/Bob DiPiero; Producer: Michael Knox; Publishers: Warner-Tamerlane/Fonde Mountain/Sony-ATV Tree/Casa Jaco/Love Monkey, BMI; Blaster
-Bro-country, delivered with the volume turned up to 10. Headache inducing.

CANAAN SMITH/Love You Like That
Writers: Canaan Smith/Brett Beavers/Jim Beavers; Producers: Brett Beavers/Jimmy Robbins; Publishers: BMG Gold/Skinny Fat Nashville/BMG RM/BMG Platinum/Music of Big Deal/Stalefish/Sony-ATV Tree, ASCAP/BMI; Mercury (CDX)
-Listenable and engaging. His youthful tenor is a perfect fit for the ultra-romantic lyric.

Writers: Harold Adamson/Harry Warren/Leo McCarey; Producer: Fred Foster; Publishers: Twentieth Century/EMI Catalog/EMI Feist, ASCAP; AmeriMonte (CDX)
-The lush string section, clear keyboard notes and glistening harp playing create a cloud-like setting for these two heavenly voices. Taken from Price’s farewell CD, this is ballad singing at its finest. The song was the lustrous theme of a 1957 Cary Grant/Deborah Kerr cinema romance and a pop hit for its soundtrack singer, Vic Damone.

Writers: T.Rhett/Bart Butler/Larry McCoy; Producer: Jay Joyce; Publishers: EMI Blackwood/Cricket on the Line/Bill Butler/Hondo Creek, BMI/SESAC; Valory Music
-A sexy Southern summer sound with forward momentum to spare.

JODY LYNN/The World’s Out Dancin’
Writers: Ian Golightly/Alan Fender; Producers: Jack Gale/Jim Pierce; Publisher: Lovey, BMI; Playback (track)
-She’s country, country, country. The sprightly track scampers along on its tippy toes while her slightly-flat, belting delivery gasps to keep pace.

DOLLY PARTON/Lay Your Hands On Me
Writers: Jon Bon Jovi/Richie Sambora; Producer: Kent Wells; Publishers: Universal PolyGram/Bon Jovi, ASCAP; Dolly/Sony/WEA
-Dolly covers Bon Jovi! Her sanctified vocal performance of the 1989 rock hit is solid and almost manages to vanquish a too-busy, too-electrified track.

Writers: Lucas Hoge/J.D. Wood; Producer: none listed; Publishers: House of Hoge/Different Day/ASCAP; Reviver
-Innocent, small-town kids head for their first time at the beach in this charming and bubbly ditty. In case you were wondering, “flip flops” rhymes with “bikini tops.”

native run

Native Run

Writers: Rachel Beauregard/Bryan Dawley/Steve Moakler; Producers: Luke Laird/Native Run; Publishers: Internal Combustion/Songs of Creative Nation/Warner-Tamerlane/Rachel Beauregard/Dawley/Nan Jam/Songs of Kobalt, BMI; Show Dog
-The voices of this male-female duo are somewhat colorless, but the overall vibe is unmistakably jaunty, happy, sunny and warm. The track mixes acoustic instruments with beefy rhythm effectively.

MARK McKINNEY/Maybe We Should
Writers: Mark McKinney; Producers: Mark McKinney/Eric McKinney; Publishers: none listed; MM
-I like his husky, ingratiating and personable singing a lot. He sounds like somebody you’d like to share a beer with. His romantic come-on in this song is equipped with smiles and gentle persuasion. This boy has the goods.


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Category: Artist, Featured, Reviews

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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