DISClaimer: Dierks Bentley and a String of Newcomers

Dierks Bentley Say You Do

Dierks Bentley

I always like it when there are plenty of newcomers in the week’s stack of platters.

It gives me comfort to know that country remains the music of choice for so many wanna-be’s. Today, we have a female, a duo and two bands in the running for the DisCovery Award. The groups are The Railers and The Washers. The lady is Abbi Walker. The winning act is the duo, Two Way Crossing. There’s just something so fresh and innocent and endearing in their approach. Welcome to the party.

Reliable hit maker Dierks Bentley can rock with the best of them. But today he is gently persuasive with the intimacy of “Say You Do.” It earns him a Disc of the Day salute.

ABBI WALKER/Southern Soul
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; AW
-This sassy country-rocker stomps along with swagger, confidence and attitude. Dig that deep bass thudding. Very promising.

Writers: Matt Ramsey/Shane McAnally/Trevor Rosen; Producer: Ross Copperman; Publishers: Sonic Geo/Calhoun Enterprises/Music of RPM/HoriPro/Universal/Smack Ink/ReHits/Smacktown/Smack Blue, ASCAP; Capitol (track)
-Go ahead and lie to him. Go ahead and wreck his bed. How could any gal resist an invitation wrapped up in such a sensuous sound? Beautifully produced and sung.

Writer: Todd Jank; Producer: Adam Odor; Publishers: none listed; Washers
-The lead singer lacks charisma, but the band plays well and the song is a winner.

Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Big Machine (ERG)
-It’s extremely catchy and delightfully bopping. The gently honking sax and the white-girl rapping in the middle are the biggest changes of pace from her “country” sound.

Two Way Crossing

Two Way Crossing

SI KAHN/Mountain Polley
Writers: Si Kahn; Producer: none listed; Publishers: Joe Hill, ASCAP; SK
-The tailings dam break at the Mount Polley copper mine in British Columbia last month caused the largest toxic waste spill in Canadian history. Veteran North Carolina folk singer Si Kahn revives the age-old country tradition of topical songs by releasing this environmental-poisoning tale laced with lively guitar, mandolin and banjo picking. Hearty sounding.

Writers: Jo Dee Messina/Alyssa Bonagura; Producers: Jo Dee Messina/Julian King; Publishers: Dreambound/Almo/Alright Love!/My Plum, ASCAP; Dreambound
-Jo Dee Messina’s Kickstarter-funded CD titled Me contains some of the finest music of her career to date. This defiant, wailing lead-off track of the collection is its new single. Women and underdogs everywhere can pump their fists in celebration. Love it.

ERICA NICOLE/It’s Comin’ Down
Writers: Katrina Ruth Hasanoglu/Jeremy Stover; Producer: Kent Wells; Publishers: EMI April/Songs of Countrywood; ASCAP; EN
-This kiss off tune promises to hit him like a wrecking ball and really hammer him down. The track rocks, and so does she.

Writers: Steve Dorff/Bobby Tomberlin/Jay Landers; Producers: Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds & Walter Afanasieff; Publishers: Dorffmeister/Curb/Halaron/Wixen, BMI/ASCAP; Columbia (track)
-Steisand’s new Partners CD is a collection of male duets. The diva chose Blake as the country representative on it. Her pop soprano circles, flutters and harmonizes with his sturdy drawling delivery surprisingly well. It helps that the ballad is flawlessly written. Well worth your attention.

Writers: none listed; Producer: Steve Pasch; Publishers: none listed; TWC (track)
-Two Way Crossing is a male-female duo comprised of Jenny & Blake Marvin. This rhythm-happy single from its seven-song EP is a sprightly romance ditty with a built-in smile. Bright and joyous.

THE RAILERS/Kinda Dig the Feeling
Writers: Tom Douglas/Jaren Johnston/Tyler Bryant; Producer: Justin Niebank; Publishers: Sony-ATV/Texa Rae/Tomdouglasmusic/Tyler Bryant, no performance rights listed; Warner Bros.
-It’s a rapid-fire, almost nervous sounding toe-tapper about being completely dizzy in love. Prepare yourself for a highly energized, hyper listening experience.


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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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