Who, who, who let the dogs out?
There’s a whole pack of major label show dogs vying for our attention this week. So many, in fact, that we hardly have room for any indie acts. And all of these puppies can hunt.
In a field that includes such top dogs as Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Jennifer Nettles and David Nail, the standout, refreshing disc belongs to underdog Kacey Musgraves. She edges out the others to win Disc of the Day.
The nicest surprise is William Michael Morgan. This newcomer’s single is strong enough to beat most of his better known competitors and easily wins him a DisCovery Award. I can’t wait to hear more from this guy.
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WILLIAM MICHAEL MORGAN/I Met a Girl
Writer: Trevor Rosen/Sam Hunt/Shane McAnally; Producer: Jimmy Ritchey & Scott Hendricks; Publisher: Rehits/Smacktown/Universal/Three Mules/Smack Ink, ASCAP; Warner Bros.
—Gently persuasive. His baritone is wonderful. The song swirls with romance and pleasure. The track is an audio dream. It feels exactly like young love.
TIM McGRAW/Top of the World
Writer: Jimmy Robbins/Jon Nite/Josh Osborne; Producer: Byron Gallimore & Tim McGraw; Publisher: Extraordinary Alien/Universal/EMI April/Jon Mark Nite/Songs of Black River/One Little Indian Creek, ASCAP; Big Machine/McGraw Music
—It seems like this guy never makes a false step. Jump on board this cruising little showboat and ride it all the way up the river. Marvelously catchy.
Writer: Luke Laird/Craig Wiseman; Producer: Scott Hendricks; Publisher: Songs of Universal/Creative Nation/Twangin and Slangin/Big Loud Shirt, BMI/ASCAP; Warner Bros.
—Choppy and bopping, with a rapid-fire lyric delivery, hooky guitar passages and an quasi-shouted answering chorus. Light hearted.
JERROD NIEMANN/Blue Bandana
Writer: Ben Goldsmith/C.J. Solar/Andrew Scott Wills; Producer: Jimmie Lee Sloas & Jerrod Niemann; Publisher: none listed, ASCAP/BMI; Arista
—This name checks Merlefest, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Coachella, Newport and other music gatherings as it describes the ultimate fan following her favorite band. Clever and listenable.
Writer: Jennifer Nettles/Brandy Clark/Jessie Jo Dillon; Producer: Dann Huff; Publisher: Jennifer Nettles/Highway 508/House of Sea Gayle/ClearBox Rights/Nettwerk One B/Revelry/Jaay Gatsby, ASCAP/BMI; EMI
—She’s a slightly salacious tease who won’t give the boys a taste. The rhythm patterns are the sweet spot here.
CANAAN SMITH/Hole in a Bottle
Writer: Canaan Smith/Brett Beavers/Dan Couch; Producer: Brett Beavers & Jimmy Robbins; Publisher: BMG Gold/Skinny Fat Nashville/BMG Rights/BMG Platinum/Music of Big Deal/Statefish/Songs From the Couch, ASCAP/BMI; Mercury
—After a week of hard work, he’s headed for a booze fest. Full of rocking, rolling personality.
DAVID NAIL/Night’s On Fire
Writer: Jonathan Singleton/Deric Ruttan; Producer: Chuck Ainlay, Frank Liddell & Glenn Worf; Publisher: Super Big/Jett/Big Machine/WB/Doc and Maggie/Thankful For This, ASCAP; MCA Nashville
—I remain a fan. This time he’s applying his torrid tenor to a song about a hot date night. Banjo notes, soaring backup vocals, handclaps, stuttering guitar and burbling percussion are all perfectly placed. Be forewarned: The ending is quite abrupt.
PAT GREEN/While I Was Away
Writer: Zane Williams; Producer: Jon Randall Stewart, Justin Pollard & Gary Paczosa; Publisher: Be Original/Born Into Love, ASCAP; Thirty Tigers/Greenhorse
—Immensely tender. He croons this to his daughter, regretting missing her growing up while he’s off working for a living. He misses her. She misses him, too. Beautifully melodic and gently heart tugging.
KACEY MUSGRAVES/Dime Store Cowgirl
Writer: Kacey Musgraves/Luke Laird/Shane McAnally; Producer: Kacey Musgraves, Luke Laird & Shane McAnally; Publisher: none listed; Mercury
—Breezy and blissful. I think someone called her this when she was growing up and competing to become Little Miss Tater Tot. Whatever the case, this lilting, totally charming ode could be her ticket to the top.
TYLER FARR/Better In Boots
Writer: Justin Wilson/Dave Pittenger; Producer: Julian King & Jim Catino; Publisher: Legends of Magic Mustang/This Is Magic Mustang, SESAC/ASCAP; Columbia
—As usual, his raspy, urgent voice is utterly gripping. This rhythmic, percolating outing finds him falling for his gal who is dressed just right.
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