DISClaimer: An Eclectic, Star-Studded Lineup

Brett Eldredge

Brett Eldredge

Is it because of Sunday’s ACM telecast that so many stars are lined up for this week’s column?

George Strait, Brett Eldredge, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan are all on tap. As are such familiar names as Emerson Drive, Kid Rock and Little Texas.

Sure enough, one of them has the Disc of the Day. It’s Brett Eldredge. By the way, the reason there are so many writers and publishers listed on the disc is that it interpolates some of the 2006 Gnarls Barkley pop smash “Crazy.”

The winner of this week’s DisCovery Award is a burly-looking Indiana fellow named Allan Craig Miller. I don’t know when I have heard a debut single that is this consistently excellent on so many levels.

LUKE BRYAN/Games
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Capitol Nashville
-They play juvenile head games with one another, to the point where he doesn’t know if he’s winning or losing. Who cares? How come they always wind up at the same bars and the same parties? And why is this performed as if this was all something deeply profound?

KID ROCK/First Kiss
Writers: R.J. Ritchie/M. Young; Producer: Kid Rock/Dann Huff; Publishers: RJR/Kobalt/Jo Ray Dean/Bluewater, BMI; Warner Bros.
-Blue-collar rock, like most of his singles. He doesn’t have much range as an artist, but what he does, he does well.

GEORGE STRAIT/Let It Go
Writers: George Strait/Bubba Strait/Keith Gattis; Producers: Chuck Ainlay/George Strait; Publishers: Day Money/Horipro/Living for the Night/Sony-ATV Tree/Pioneer Town, ASCAP/BMI; MCA Nashville
-The loping, lackadaisical pace suits his laid-back delivery and the song’s easy-going philosophy. He still sounds great. I wish there were more like him.

COREY SMITH/Feet Wet
Writers: Corey Smith; Producer: Keith Stegall; Publisher: Shooting Moon, ASCAP; Sugar Hill (track)
-Ten albums into his career, this singer-songwriter turns to country pro Stegall as his producer. The result is a wonderfully catchy single with built-in sunshine. Come on in, the water’s fine.

BRETT ELDREDGE/Lose My Mind
Writers: Brett Eldredge/Heather Morgan/Ross Copperman, others; Producers: Ross Copperman/Brett Eldredge; Publishers: Sony-ATV Countryside/Paris Not France/EMI Blackwood/Songs by Red Room, BMI, others; Atlantic
-I love how “alive” and in-your-face his vocal sounds. That’s especially cool because of the really snazzy production that’s behind it. A very, very hip and forward-looking record.

Allan Craig Miller

Allan Craig Miller

ALLAN CRAIG MILLER/Between Saturday & Sunday
Writers: Erik Halbig/Todd Taylor; Producer: Erik Halbig; Publishers: Curucu/Magic Mustang, BMI; Gray Area (CDX)
-This is a splendid, jaunty, bouncing, blue-collar thumper just made for dancing. The lyric hook is ultra-cool: “I need one more day between Saturday and Sunday.” Don’t we all? Play this. Country fans are gonna love it a heap.

LITTLE TEXAS/Can’t Get In A Hurry Here
Writers: D. Gray/P. Howell/D. O’Brien; Producers: Anthony Martin/Little Texas; Publishers: Del Yeah/P-90/Writer’s Den/Songs O’Brien, ASCAP; Cleopatra (CDX)
-Listless and sleepy. Maybe that’s the whole idea behind the song, but I still wanted to nod off.

JASON ALDEAN/Tonight Looks Good On You
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Broken Bow (ERG)
-The terrific, deep-sonic, echoey, full-blooded production is the finest of his career to date. It creates the perfect cushion for his delivery of the deliriously romantic lyric. A smash.

GARTH SHAW/California Dreamin’
Writers: John Phillips/Michelle Phillips; Producers: Garth Shaw/Dan Mitchell; Publisher: Universal, ASCAP; Roadie (track)
-He’s billed as, “the original singing roadie.” Shaw has been road managing for decades with stars such as Kenny Rogers, Sawyer Brown and The Starland Vocal Band. Now, at age 65, he’s releasing his first EP. It contains three of his original tunes, a couple of Rick Nelson covers and this Mamas & Papas classic. The original had those big echo-chamber vocals. Shaw’s “dry” delivery gives the familiar song the quality of a folk tune.

EMERSON DRIVE/Who We Are
Writers: none listed; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Big Star (ERG)
-In praise of everyday folks who go to happy hour, wear ball caps, save their pennies and treat each other kindly. Nice thump in the backbeat, banjo droplets and spoken-word encouraging interjections. Quite listenable.

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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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