DISClaimer: Chris Young, Drew Baldridge, Wes Hightower Bring Stunning Tracks

Chris Young Sober Saturday Night

I’m running late this week, so let me be brief. Without question, Chris Young has the Disc of the Day.

I’d give the great Wes Hightower a DisCovery Award if he wasn’t so super well known as a studio ace. So the promising-sounding Drew Baldridge gets the nod.

Writers: Scott Brantley/Derrick Hampton; Producer: none listed; Publisher: Studio Gold, BMI/ASCAP
-Very classy. He sings great. The song is put together well. The production swirls invitingly. Definitely worth your spins.

Writers: Brett Eldredge/Ross Copperman/Scooter Carusoe; Producers: Ross Copperman & Brett Eldredge; Publishers: Sony-ATV Countryside/Paris Not France/EMI Blackwood/Songs By Red Room/Scrambler/Abbots Creek Music Two, BMI/ASCAP; Atlantic
– The magic power of music. Brett’s best yet.

REBEKAH LONG/Ain’t Life Sweet
Writers: Rebekah Long/Donna Ulisse/Rick Stanley; Producer: Donna Ulise; Publishers: Lotta LUK/Uncle Hadley/Pop ‘N Paw, ASCAP; LUK
– She sounds like she doesn’t have a lot of lung power on this bluegrass ditty. The harmony singers help her out.


CHRIS YOUNG/Sober Saturday Night
Writers: Chris Young/Brad Warren/Brett Warren; Producers: Corey Crowder/Chris Young; Publishers: EMI Blackwood/Goodbye Pants/Sagequinnjude/Famlove/Sony-ATV, BMI; RCA (track)
– This man sings so wonderfully. On this power ballad, he gives a chesty shout to a heartache lyric. Vince Gill provides harmony vocal support.

DOLLY SHINE/Rattlesnake
Writer: Zack McGinn; Producers: Josh Serrato & Ben Hussey; Publishers: none listed; Vision/Thirty Tigers
– Just to be clear, there are no women in this Texas band. And certainly none named “Dolly.” There is, however, plenty of macho snarl in this atmospheric country rocker.

Writers: Chubby Checker/Gary Lefkowith/Mike Rogers; Producers: The Hill & HiFi; Publishers: CC/Sotto/Wax, ASCAP/BMI; TEEC
-It’s not “twist again, like we did last summer.” No, indeed. Chubby goes country with an acoustic, bluegrassy toe tapper embellished by fiddle and steel licks. It is wildly hooky and catchy. Play it.


Writers: none listed; Producer: Josh Leo; Publishers: none listed; Cold River (track)
– I like his voice. It’s strong and true. The bright horn bursts give the production some r&b oomph. The song is upbeat and all-the-way fun. Highly recommended.

Writers: Steve Auburn/Hunter Hutchinson/Ray Johnston; Producer: Erik Herbst; Publishers: none listed; RJB (track)
– He’s from Texas. He can hardly sing. The band is sloppy.

WES HIGHTOWER/I’m Expecting Some Good News
Writers: Tom Shapiro/Wes Hightower; Producers: Jimmy Ritchey/Wes Hightower; Publishers: none listed; On The Boat (track)
– For those of you who read album credits, this man’s name will be instantly recognizable. He’s sung background vocals for every superstar in country music. He also writes songs, as his new Good News CD abundantly illustrates. This lead off track brilliantly showcases his winning way with a melody. It goes without saying that his vocal performance is flawless. And need I add that his studio reputation attracts an A-list cast of supporting musicians? Let me just say this: If I could be anybody in this industry, it would be Wes Hightower.



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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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