It’s all stars, no waiting, here at the CRS convention in Music City.
With the big-shot radio taste makers assembled, a lot of you are bringing twinkle power to DISClaimer this week. From legends like Glen Campbell to promising newcomers like Drake White; from radio mainstays like Gary Allan to outsiders like The Kentucky HeadHunters; from acclaimed Ashley Monroe to supernovas Florida Georgia Line, they’re all releasing new music at once.
Our male winner of Disc of the Day is Drake White. The female prize goes to Ashley Monroe. And there’s no denying the star power of Florida Georgia Line as the winning group. Since there are no first timers this week, the DisCovery Award goes unclaimed.
LORRAINE JORDAN & CAROLINA ROAD WITH THE KENTUCKY HEADHUNTERS/Runnin’ Water
Writers: Anthony T. Kenney/Richard O. Young/Calvin Douglas Phelps/Gregory Glenn Martin/Fredrick K. Young; Producers: Lorraine Jordan/Josh Goforth; Publishers: Song Garden/Them Young Boys/I.B. Headed/Mr. Erik, ASCAP/BMI; Pinecastle (CDX)
-I was wondering how this collaboration would work when I saw the billing. Carolina Road’s banjo-based bluegrass decidedly dominates with the HeadHunters offering hearty vocal encouragement. Lively and infectious.
GARY ALLAN/Hangover Tonight
Writers: Gary Allan/Chris Stapleton/Jesse Frasure/Cary Barlowe; Producers: Gary Allan & Greg Droman; Publishers: Crystal Beach/WB/Ken Tucky/Rio Bravo/Telemitry/Castle Bound/We Be Pawtying, BMI/ASCAP/SESAC; MCA Nashville
-The track sounds a kinda muddy to me. His charismatic voice has trouble cutting through. It’s a shame it’s so cluttered, because the basic groove sways nicely.
BLACKBERRY SMOKE/Living In The Song
Writers: Charlie Starr; Producer: Brendan O’Brien; Publishers: Crowhop Hymnal, BMI; Rounder (CDX)
-Southern rock with snap, crackle and pop.
WADE BOWEN/When I Woke Up Today
Writers: Wade Bowen/Rodney Clawson; Producer: Justin Niebank; Publishers: House of Sea Gayle/Big Red Toe, ASCAP/BMI; AMP (CDX)
-It’s a catchy toe tapper with jingle-jangle guitars, a cool lyric and a hearty lead vocal. I dig this a whole bunch.
FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE/Sippin’ On Fire
Writers: Rodney Clawson/Matt Dragstrem/Cole Taylor; Producer: Joey Moi; Publishers: Big Red Toe/Farm Town/Big Loud Songs/Big Loud Bucks/Universal, BMI/ASCAP; Republic Nashville
-I like the ringing electric guitar and the processed drawling vocal performance. The choruses seem rather word-y on their round-about route to the title phrase.
FREDDIE HART/God Is Easy Lovin’
Writers: Freddie Hart; Producer: Tommy Smith, Mike McClain, Freddie Hart; Publishers: Sony-ATV, no performance rights listed; Hartline (CDX)
-It has the same melody and groove as Freddie’s 1971 smash “Easy Loving,” except with a gospel lyric. He still sings well, but I could have done without the echo-chamber backup chicks.
ASHLEY MONROE/On To Something Good
Writers: Ashley Monroe/Barry Dean/Luke Laird; Producers: Vince Gill & Justin Niebank; Publishers: Monroe Suede/Songs of Kobalt/Songs of Universal/Creative Nation/Country Paper/Pulse Nation/Twangin and Slangin, BMI; Warner Bros.
-This upbeat, rolling-tempo ode to better times ahead goes down as smooth as a milkshake. This thing has a built-in smile, as well as a twirl-around-the-room vibe.
HANNAH BETHEL/You Wanna Be My Man
Writers: Hannah Bethel & David Myhre; Producers: Hannah Bethel & Brennin Hunt; Publishers: Hamwyn/David Myhre, BMI/ASCAP; HBM (CDX)
-Pert and perky, with a girlish sweetness. The track bops with nifty precision and perfect crunch. Well sung and well produced.
DRAKE WHITE/It Feels Good
Writers: Drake White/Phillip Pence/Derek George; Producers: Ross Copperman & Jeremy Stover; Publishers: EMI April/Reverend Jack/Sony-ATV/WB/Funky Friars/Nury3000, ASCAP/SESAC; Dot
-The percussion is awesome. The soulful, so-o-o-o Southern, drawling, yowsah vocal performance is outstanding. The track cooks with gas. Play it again. And again.
GLEN CAMPBELL/I’m Not Gonna Miss You
Writers: Julian Raymond/Glen Campbell; Producers: Julian Raymond; Publishers: none listed; Big Machine (track)
-Tim McGraw’s performance of this Oscar-nominated song was an emotional high point of the Academy Awards telecast. Glen Campbell’s single from the soundtrack of his alzheimer tour documentary I’ll Be Me is even more heartbreaking. Essential listening.
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