DISClaimer: A Radio Slot For The Good Ol’ Boys

jason d williams1

Jason D. Williams

The good ol’ boys are back in full force.

With this week’s announcement that Taylor Swift’s next album is completely aimed at pop listeners, that leaves us with exactly two major female solo country stars, Carrie and Miranda. They are, coincidentally, current duet partners, so that opens up one more radio slot for a male.

How much longer can this go on?

On the plus side, we have some very worthy newcomers to report this week. One is Casper McWade. A Google search revealed that he is from Oklahoma and that his band is called The Honky Tonk Rebels. All I really know is that he is a sensational country vocalist and that his “Whiskey” song is a gem. What he needs is some first class representation, publicity and promotion.

Daniel Lee is also making his debut this week. He shows definite promise. And then there is our DisCovery Award winner, handsome, 21-year-old, Texas native Chase Bryant. Lend him your ears as well.

It has been way too long since we’ve heard from Jason D. Williams. The wild man wins the Disc of the Day prize.

BERNIE NELSON/If I Know Blue
Writers: Bernie Nelson/Jess Brown; Producer: none listed; Publishers: Dumpster Diver/Jess Brown; ASCAP/BMI; If I Know Blue
-I remain a big, big fan of this big, big talent. Nelson is best known for writing successes for others, and if you want a helping of his latest should-be hits, check out his new Blue CD. This title tune is the best George Strait ballad that superstar never recorded. Heart touching and oh-so country. If you’ve ever loved a dog, prepare to get choked up.

Chase Bryant. Photo: Justin Nolan Key

Chase Bryant. Photo: Justin Nolan Key

LENNY COOPER/Lights On
Writers: L. Cooper/J. Spillner/J. Sciullo/T. Wood; Producers: J. Sciullo; Publishers: Riley Payton/DJKO Phivesttarr/Average ZJS/Nettwerk Arias/Revel In It/Burn Card, SESAC/BMI; Average Joes
-Cooper is back with another stack of back-road, mud-digger ditties. The first single from his The Grind CD is this drawled drinkin’ song. In brief, he’s still rocking after “last call,” so he doesn’t care what time it is. The song is more spoken than sung, but with this guy, it’s the attitude that counts.

BILL WENCE/Songs That Make Me Think About You
Writers: Nathan Adam Johnson; Producers: Bill Wence/Joe Funderburk; Publishers: Fortunate, ASCAP; 615 (track)
-Decades after beginning his career, Wence is still out there playing piano behind Bobby Bare and Wanda Jackson. Also, in addition to being a prolific record promoter, he is still making records, himself. This title tune to his latest is a jaunty, beach-y bopper.

RAY STEVENS/Swing Down Chariot/Swing Low Sweet Chariot medley
Writers: traditional; Producer: Ray Stevens; Publisher: Ray Stevens Music (arr.), BMI; Clyde/Gaither
-At age 75, Stevens has been on a tear lately. His memoir, Ray Stevens Nashville, is selling well, and he’s back on disc with a gospel collection. The latter kicks off with this toe-tapping arrangement of two standards that are already lively. One of the most remarkable things about it is the fact that the chorus that backs him and adds so much to the arrangement is evidently comprised of his own, multi-tracked self.

PHILIP CLAYPOOL/Come On Back Home
Writers: Philip Claypool/John Swatner; Producer: Michael Lloyed; Publisher: Heyday/Swat, BMI; Heyday (track)
-The title tune of Claypool’s latest is an uptempo country bopper. The song might be lively, but the lyric is a yearning plea for a lover to return. Listenable.

JASON D. WILLIAMS/Hillbillies and Holy Rollers
Writers: Jason D. Williams/Dale Watson; Producer: Dale Watson; Publishers: none listed; Rockabilly (track)
-Considering how much this charming ball of energy’s sound harkens back to the classic days of rockabilly music, it comes as a surprise to learn that his new CD is the first he has recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis. The title tune is a rollicking honky tonker embellished by his Jerry Lee -style piano flourishes and confident, echo-chamber vocals. As the title suggests, it is equal parts church and barroom. Ya gotta love this guy.

CASPER McWADE/Whiskey
Writers: none listed; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Cabin Creek
-I like his resonant baritone delivery, and the song is well crafted. The pace drags just a little. But the release’s biggest problem is its lack of information. I’d like to know who this guy is and who wrote the song, and the packaging offers zero about either one.

DANIEL LEE/Backwood Tobacco
Writers: Daniel Lee/Lynn Hutton/John Henderson; Producer: Shannon Houchins & Noah Gordon; Publishers: Daniel Lee/House of Sea Gayle/Words & Music/Bug/Murrah/BMG, BMI/ASCAP; Average Joes
-Like everything else on this label, this rocks strenuously. For a change, however, the label’s disc features someone who can actually sing. An extremely promising debut. Keep it up.

SILO ROAD/4 Quarters
Writers: Broome/Swindle; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed, BMI; Cabin Creek
-Incompetently recorded. Find a producer.

CHASE BRYANT/Take It On Back
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Red Bow (ERG)
-I am told this youngster put on a fine show during CMA Music Fest. At any rate, he’s now being featured in Teen Vogue and is making his Grand Ole Opry debut on Friday. His single is an upbeat, nostalgic ditty that recalls young love to the accompaniment of a catchy rhythm track, rippling banjo, snazzy electric guitar breaks, occasional electro effects and some harmonizing backup singers. Clap hands and sing along.

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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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