The veterans and the youngsters duked it out today.
The kids with winning sounds included Striking Matches, Boone, Kayla Adams, Waterloo Revival and our DisCovery Award winner, Mitchell Tenpenny.
But several established stars showed the newbies how to do it right. The late, legendary Ray Price, six-years hit maker Easton Corbin and the enduringly great Alan Jackson all hit home runs. Alan rules with the Disc of the Day.
ALAN JACKSON/Jim and Jack and Hank
Writer: Alan Jackson; Producer: Keith Stegall; Publisher: EMI April/Tin Angels, ASCAP; ACR/EMI
—Go on and leave him, lady. He doesn’t need you, because he’s got Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and Hank Williams. This super-clever toe-tapper is one big grin from start to finish. Somebody get the name of that electric guitarist. Stay tuned for Alan’s ad libs at the fadeout.
LONNIE SPIKER/Love Would Have Wanted It That Way
Writer: Curt Ryle; Producer: Curt Ryle; Publisher: Big Matador, BMI; Megalith
—It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from this guy. His new CD is titled In Another Life, and its kick-off single is a slow, slow ballad about a recovering alcoholic begging for forgiveness from the love who left him. It’s old-school country, and he sings it that way.
Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Supergroup/Nine North
—Jaunty and sunny, with a loping, easy-going, groovy rhythm track. Very pleasant. The ending is rather abrupt.
Writer: Shane Minor/Phil O’Donnell/Wade Kirby; Producer: Carson Chamberlain; Publisher: Sony-ATV Tree/Code Six Charles/Sixteen Stars/Rooster Pecked/HoriPro/Round Hill Works/Kirbtone, BMI; Mercury
—Oh go ahead and have another. You know tomorrow’s gonna hurt, but she’s too fetching to think about that now. This is a single with loads of personality and a track that is ultra charming. A winner.
WATERLOO REVIVAL/Bad For You
Writer: George Birge/Cody Cooper/Ross Copperman/Jon Nite; Producer: Ross Copperman; Publisher: Raincreek/C.R. Cooper/EMI Blackwood/Songs By Red Room/EMI April/Jon Mark Nite/Sony-ATV, ASCAP/BMI; Big Machine
—The song isn’t much, but the track rocks, and they sing with oomph.
STRIKING MATCHES/Miss Me More
Writer: Justin Davis/Sarah Zimmerman/Melissa Peirce; Producer: T Bone Burnett; Publisher: Universal/Justin Davis/Sarahzimm/Nashvistaville/Platinum Molly/East Pass, ASCAP/BMI; I.R.S.
—Sparkling vocals, catchy tune, crunchy track, ear tickling instrumental touches, crystalline production. Thoroughly refreshing.
BUCKY COVINGTON/I Feel Ya
Writer: Eric Mallon/Ruben Estevez/Jason Afable; Producer: Dale Oliver/Bucky Covington; Publisher: Mallonation/Red Mango, ASCAP/BMI; Bare Footin
—Good natured and well intentioned. I have always liked his husky, slight-rasp vocal style. Even though he always seems to be teetering on the edge of the pitch.
MITCHELL TENPENNY/Love & Rock N’ Roll
Writer: Mitchell Tenpenny/Brad Clawson; Producer: Chris McCollum & Michael Everett; Publisher: Creation Lab, BMI; Creation Lab
—He has a whispery, airy delivery that inexorably draws you in. The pinpoint production is pristinely perfect. These guys definitely have something here.
KAYLA ADAMS/Burn a Little Colder
Writer: Billy Atherholt/Pete Nanney/Kayla Adams/Alex Dooley; Producer: Marlon Dean Scallan; Publisher: Straight Shooter, BMI; SSM
—He is just too alluring, she complains. Methinks she doth protest too much. Especially since the track swirls so sensuously.
RAY PRICE/It Will Always Be
Writer: Willie Nelson; Producer: Fred Foster; Publisher: Warnger-Tamerlane/Act Five, BMI; Amerimonte
—As I have said before, Ray’s final album, Beauty Is, is an audio jewel. The Hall of Famer’s resonant baritone was a thing of wonder right up to the end. His wistful delivery of this Willie love lyric is accompanied by poetically sighing steel, a string section that breathes with him and a pan flute solo. Utterly lovely.