All it takes is one record to turn that frown upside down.
This was an extremely lackluster listening session. Until I heard a real sound. For me, today, that one record was/is “Riser” by Dierks Bentley. It sounded as good to me, if not better, than it did when I first listened to his album. This is unquestionably the Disc of the Day.
This week’s DisCovery Award goes to a Wisconsin-based country performer named Jerry Schmitt. If his single is any indication of what his songwriting is like, I am more than eager to hear more. It says on his website that his debut album is titled 100 Miles and that it only costs ten bucks. Sounds like a bargain to me.
BRET MICHAELS/Girls on Bars
Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Michaels Entertainment Group/Star Farm (ERG)
—What a complete and utter piece of crap. Poison was never exactly a thinking person’s band, but this is beyond stupid.
JERRY SCHMITT/With a Bottle and a Can
Writer: Jerry Schmitt; Producer: Jerry Schmitt; Publisher: Jerry Schmitt, BMI; Colt (CDX) (www.thejerryschmittband.com)
—It’s a super, stone-country weeper about a man who is killing himself “with a bottle and a can.” His brilliantly understated performance throws the spotlight on the simple beauty of the songwriting. Extremely well done.
CRAIG CAMPBELL/Tomorrow Tonight
Writer: Craig Campbell, Justin Wilson, Vicky McGehee; Producer: Jeremy Stover; Publisher: Legends of Magic Mustang (SESAC) admin by W.B.M. Music Corp., Skabetti Bowl of Songs (SESAC) admin by W.B.M. Music Corp., Nineteen64 Music (BMI); Red Bow (ERG)
—He soars vocally on this one. Supporting harmony singing and screaming guitars add to the undeniable excitement. Play this.
CHRIS CHITSEY/Superstitious Heart
Writer: Steve Darling/Chris Chitsey; Producer: D. Scott Miller; Publisher: Chris Chitsey, BMI; Premier (CDX) (www.chrischitseymusic.com)
—It barely has a melody, which is just as well since he can barely sing.
RANDY HOUSER/We Went
Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Stoney Creek (ERG)
—Urgent, passionate and uptempo. This guy is a hoss.
Writer: Jon D’Agostino/A.J. Egstrom/Kylie Rothfield/Chris Sayers; Producer: Peter Young; Publisher: Shore Hits/KRJ/Ajegstrom, BMI/ASCAP; Jake Dodds (CDX) (www.jakedodds.com)
—Ordinary to the point of boredom.
Writer: Steven Moakler/Travis Meadows; Producer: Ross Copperman; Publisher: Songs of Kobalt/Nan Jan/Songs of Mighty Isis/She and I/It’s Killer, BMI; Capitol Nashville (track)
—The goosebump-raising title tune of Bentley’s current CD is the song I have wanted to be a single all along. Now it is, and I’m a happy camper. This has inspiration and uplift in every note. Copperman’s track is packed with echoey tension and chiming chills.
CURTIS BRALY/Living on Sunshine
Writer: Lauren Taylor Bachofer/Maryland Welch Francis/Brandon M. Maddox; Producer: Kenny Royster; Publisher: Music of Studio Gold/Brandon Maddox, SESAC/BMI; Studio Gold (CDX) (615-432-2895)
—He has a clear tenor voice and a relentlessly upbeat attitude. It’s all a bit too bright and poppy and smiley for my taste.
KENNY CHESNEY/Save It For a Rainy Day
Writer: Andrew Dorff/Matt Ramsey/Brad Tursi; Producer: Buddy Cannon & Kenny Chesney; Publisher: none listed; Columbia/Blue Chair (track)
—The weather’s too nice to have the blues, so he’s going to save his heartbreak for a rainy day. Very catchy.
MARKET JUNCTION/Give It Time
Writer: Matt Parrish/Justin Lofton/Richard Barrow; Producer: Richard Barrow; Publisher: none listed; MJ
—The recording quality isn’t the greatest. Despite the muffled sound, the talent comes through. The group’s harmonies are excellent, the track has energy and the songwriting is top notch.
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