The indie acts are in the spotlight today.
Whether they are big-label veterans like Randy Rogers Band and Ray Price, or freshly-minted newcomers, they are all plying their trade via independent companies.
The Disc of the Day belongs to Jamie Floyd, whose superbly-written songs have attracted an excellent-sounding group of supporting studio players. Music this good deserves major-league support. Somebody sign this woman at once and give her a ton of money.
The DisCovery Award goes to a band called Ashland Belle, a country-rock group based in Buffalo, New York, with booking and p.r. in Nashville.
RANDY ROGERS BAND/San Antone
Writer: Keith Gattis; Producer: Buddy Cannon; Publisher: Pioneer Town Songs/Sony/ATV Tree Publishing (BMI); Tommy Jackson/Thirty Tigers
-The new Randy Rogers Band CD drops next month. The set, titled Nothing Shines Like Neon, features celebrity guests like Alison Krauss, Jerry Jeff Walker and Jamey Johnson. But on this rolling, breezy lead-off track, the band is on its own. And sounding better than ever.
RAY PRICE/No More Songs to Sing
Writers: Robert Ellis Orrall/Roger Springer/Tony Ramey; Producer: Fred Foster; Publishers: Ten Ten/Orrall Fixation/ole Red Cape/Drop Tyne/BMG Sapphire/Fast Horse, ASCAP/BMI; Amerimonte
-Ray Price’s final album is packed with emotional performances. This wistful, end-of-life ballad is one of its highlights. A keepsake from one of the all-time greats.
JAMIE FLOYD/The Blade
Writers: Allen Shamblin/Marc Beeson/Jamie Floyd; Producers: Brad Hill & Jamie Floyd; Publisher: WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)/Erin’s Dream Music (ASCAP)/Crazy Blue Egg (ASCAP). All rights admin. by WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)/Built On Rock Music (ASCAP) (admin. by ClearBox Rights)/Jamie Floyd Music (SESAC); JFM
-This former Epic artist is on her own now, with her own publishing company and label. Her six-song EP is called Sunshine & Rainbows and features this powerful throbber that is the title of the current Ashley Monroe album. Floyd’s own rendition trembles with emotion and aches with longing. Awesome.
ASHLAND BELLE/Fastest Car
Writers: Jimmy Yeary/Zac Maloy; Producer: Zac Maloy; Publisher: EMI Blackwood Music Inc./Great Day At THiS Music/Beattyville Music, BMI & Leo Rosewater/Warner Chapell, ASCAP; Ashland Belle
-This band shows real promise. There is fire and energy in the instrumental work, and the lead singer bites into the rebel-love lyric with gusto. This rocks in all the right places.
KAREN TAYLOR-GOOD/Hope in the Garden
Writers: Karen Taylor-Good/Rachael Good; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Abe’s Garden
-Abe’s Garden is now open on Woodmont Boulevard in West Nashville as an Alzheimer’s and Memory Care Center of Excellence. This is the title tune of a CD compiling songs about this tragic disease. It’s a lovely piano ballad with strings. Support this worthy charity.
CHLOE COLLINS/All Over Again
Writer: Chloe Collins; Producer: Mikey Reaves; Publisher: Collins House, BMI; Collins House
-She’s 15, and she solo-wrote all five songs on her EP. This lead-off track and first single is an instantly catchy ditty about a no-regrets romance. I dig her conversational delivery and her down-to-earth lyrics. This gal has the goods.
Writers: Ron Grimes/IMAJ/Jennifer Lynn; Producers: IMAJ & Mills Logan; Publisher: Timeless Creations/Love IMAJ/Jennifer Lynn, BMI/SESAC; Thomas Triomphe
-It’s a message ballad about spreading love and not being racist. She sings well, but the song is weak and repetitive. In mid-song, a news-announcer voice butts in and then she starts talking about her philosophy. Which is sonically totally weird.
SHALO LEE/Hometown Girl
Writers: Shalo Lee/Owen Sartori; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Owen Sartori & Shalo Lee; SL
-Recorded in Minneapolis, this is a pop-flavored female “attitude” number with a cool guitar figure running through it. It’s not gritty enough to be Americana, rhythmic enough to be pop/rock or twangy enough to be mainstream country.
JOHNNY REED FOLEY/Hillbilly Rockstar
Writer: Johnny Reed Foley; Producer: Billy Chapin; Publisher: Johnny Reed Foley, BMI; Inferential
-Have I mentioned how much I dislike country rapping?
TWO MILES SOUTH/Anywhere But Here
Writers: Billy Chapin/Matt McKeown/Camryn Wessner; Publisher: Funkamongus, BMI; Producer: Billy Chapin
-This is a female duo comprised of 18-year-old twins. The whole bouncy, boppy thing sounds slightly flat.
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