DisClaimer: ‘Riser’ Has Inspiration And Uplift In Every Note

dierks riser album 570 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.

DisCovery winner Jerry Schmitt

DisCovery winner Jerry Schmitt

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.

JAKE DODDS/Slow
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.

DIERKS BENTLEY/Riser
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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Robert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.

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