DisClaimer: Sammy Kershaw Wins Disc of the Day

sammy kershaw 2015

Sammy Kershaw

Returning veterans and promising newcomers are this week’s musical recipe here at DisClaimer.

Among the former is Sammy Kershaw, who lands the Disc of the Day prize.

Among the latter are Smith & Wesley, Allie Louise and our DisCovery Award winner, Abbey Cone. Her debut CD is titled Abbey. For some odd reason, it does not contain her single. You have to go to her website to find that. Go figure.

Neither newcomers nor veterans are The Cains, Levi Riggs and Brian Collins, all of whom are making their sophomore appearances in this column. Another thing they have in common is that all three of their new singles more than affirm the promises made by their debuts.

McKENNA FAITH/Somethin’ Somethin’
Writer: McKenna Faith/Caleb Sherman/Monique Staffile/Yvette Garcia; Producer: Caleb Sherman & McKenna Faith; Publisher: none listed, ASCAP; Treble (CDX) (www.mckenna-faith.com)
—You mean not one of those four writers could come up with a melody?

ALLIE LOUISE/Perfect Storm
Writer: Allie Louise/Doug Kahan/Kaci Bolls; Producer: Eddie Gore; Publisher: Sixth Beat/Dug That, ASCAP/BMI; Sixth Beat (CDX) (www.allielouiseofficial.com)
—I like the little “break” in her voice, and her songwriting is pretty decent. The production rocks and rumbles. Promising.

LEVI RIGGS/Nothin’ I Don’t Love
Writer: Brett James/Steve Diamond; Producer: Matt McClure; Publisher: Spny-ATV Cross Keys/New Diamonds/BMG Gold/Stage Three/BMG Chrysalis, ASCAP; Windridge (CDX) (www.leviriggs.com)
—The man is a strong, strong singer. The song is a dandy. The track rocks splendidly. This one’s a winner, folks.

BRIAN COLLINS/Shine a Little Love
Writer: Brian Collins/Paige Logan; Producer: Mills Logan, Kenny Greenberg & Brian Collins; Publisher: Blue Light/Molly Jack, SESAC/ASCAP; Blue Light (CDX) (www.briancollins.com)
—At the risk of repeating myself, there already is an established country record maker with this name. He reads this column and knows about you purloining his identity. This new single is hearty and well-meaning, carrying an upbeat message, delivered vibrantly.

BLAIR MATTHEWS/Ride
Writer: Blair Matthews; Producer: Blair Matthews; Publisher: none listed, BMI; StoneyHill (CDX) (www.blairmatthews.com)
—It is a need-for-speed ode to motorcycle riding. He’s no powerhouse as a singer, so the tempo and energy try to compensate.

ABBEY CONE/Love Like Him Again
Writer: none listed; Producer: Rocky Gribble & Curtis Jojnes; Publisher: none listed; AC (track) (www.abbeycone.com)
—Kudos for launching your career with a heartbreak ballad. We need more performers with moxie (and talent) like this. She’s only 16, but there’s nothing juvenile about this vocal performance. Achingly lovely.

Abbey ConeLYNN ANDERSON/Drift Away Gospel
Writer: Mentor R. Williams; Producer: Bil VornDick & Bruce Dees; Publisher: Almo/Rockin MW, ASCAP; Center Sound (track) (www.lynnandersonshow.com)
—Veteran Anderson returns with a religious rewriting of this much-loved pop standard. Her delivery is throaty and low, with just the right touch of devotion. The gospel album it appears on, Bridges, features guests such as The Oak Ridge Boys and The Martins, plus a supporting cast of A-list Music Row players.

THE CAINS/Journey’s End
Writer: Taylor Cain/Madison Cain/Becki Devries; Producer: Daniel Agee; Publisher: Taylor Cain/Madison Cain/Becki Devies Watsky/Kobalt, ASCAP; DayStreet (track) 
—This attractive sibling trio kicks the tempo up a little to deliver this sparkling, fizzy cocktail of pop optimism. Shiny and bright, with a delightfully layered production.

SAMMY KERSHAW/Grillin’ and Chillin’
Writer: C. Beathard/S. Caruso; Producer: Sammy Kershaw; Publisher: Sony-ATV Acuff-Rose/Carnival, BMI/ASCAP; Cleopatra (CDX) (www.sammykershaw.com)
—He’s still one of our finest honky-tonk vocalists. This laid-back ditty sounds exactly like a relaxing summer afternoon. Beautifully under-produced for pleasing audio simplicity. Bonus points for name-checking Dean Dillon.

SMITH & WESLEY/Need Somebody Bad
Writer: Todd Smith/Randy Boudreaux; Producer: Shayne Hill; Publisher: Dream Walkin,’ ASCAP; Garage Door (track) (www.smithandwesley.com)
—Rocking twin guitars, Allman-style. Brother-duet vocals, perfectly matched. What’s not to like?

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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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