DISClaimer: Maggie Rose’s “Same Sky” Wins Disc Of The Day

Maggie Rose. Photo: Dusty Barker

Maggie Rose. Photo: Dusty Barker

We’ll be hearing a lot of new songs during these next few days of the CMA Music Festival. Here are the 10 that wound up on my fiesta playlist.

The Disc of the Day turns out to be a contest among powerful female voices. The new sounds by Martina McBride, Maggie Rose and Maren Morris are all worth your attention. They pretty much finished in a dead heat, so I’m going with the indie underdog, Maggie Rose.

There was not as much competition for the DisCovery Award. Multi-talented Hudson Moore pretty much nailed that one down, with The Last Bandoleros snapping at his heels.

Maren Morris

Maren Morris

Writers: Maren Morris/Jesse Jo Dillon/Laura Veltz; Producers: busbee & Maren Morris; Publishers: International Dog Music/Nettwerk One B Music/Revelry Music/Jay Gatsby Music/Warner-Tamerlane/Oh Denise Publishing/Big Music Machine; BMI; Columbia Nashville
-If you pre-ordered Maren’s new Hero CD, you got this track as an early taste. It’s a stomping female “attitude” tune about having a dime for every time he made her feel cheap with his lies. This lady has some serious vocal firepower.

Writers: Jerry Fuentes/Emilio Navaira/Derek James/Diego Navaira; Producer: Jerry Fuentes; Publishers: Aboretum/Melt My Mind/Kobalt/Kickin’ed/Derek James Breslow/Derek James/Dayside, ASCAP; Warner Bros. Records/Warner Music Nashville
-A rollicking Tex-Mex beat drives this relentlessly forward while flecks of squeezebox notes dance in and out of the mix. The vocals are wrapped in smooth-as-silk harmonies as they complain about being left by a hot honey. Super hooky. The song is cowritten by the late Tejano superstar Emilio and his son Diego, who is a member of this fresh-sounding band.

Writers: Maggie Rose/Alex Kline/Jason Saenz; Producer: Maggie Rose & Alex Kline; Publishers: none listed; Play It Again
-I like this sleek, feisty gal. So do Tim McGraw and Lee Brice, who have her opening their road shows. This juicy, pop-inflected slab of sound lets her personality-packed voice fly high and free while drums and guitars crunch with oomph beneath her. A great listening experience.

Thomas Rhett Vacation

Writers: Thomas Rhett/Thomas Allen/Harold Brown/Morris Dickerson/Sean Douglas/Gerry Goldstein/Leroy Jordan/Charles Miller/Lee Osker/Andreas Schuller/Howard Scott/Joe Spargur/Eric Frederic/John Ryan; Dann Huff & Jesse Frasure; Publishers: EMI Blackwood/Cricket on the Line/Sony-ATV/BMG Gold/Far Out/Warner-Tamerlane/Eastman Pond/Frederic & Reid/Songs From the Boardwalk/BMG Platinum/The Family Songbook/Music of Big Deal/Bob Erotik/Artist 101/The Viking Pimp/Honua/Nice Life, BMI/ASCAP; Valory Music Co.
-The classic rock sounds of War meet bro country. The message? “Hey, let’s party like we on vacation.” Catchy, if not particularly deep.

Writer: Dorothy Daniel; Producer: Ethan Ballinger; Publisher: none listed; Danberrys
-On the acoustic, folksy side of things, this ballad is carried by strumming guitar, heartbeat bass, weaving fiddle notes and a wafting soprano vocal. It’s all a little too “pretty” for my taste.

MARTINA McBRIDE/Just Around the Corner
Writers: Cary Barlowe/Sarah Buxton/Sam Ellis; Producers: Dann Huff, Nathan Chapman & Martina McBride; Publishers: Castle Bound/We Be Pawtying/Round Hill Works/Big Loud Proud/Bux Tone/Universal, SESAC/BMI; Nash Icon
-The second single from Martina’s superb Reckless collection is about holding onto hope when you’re at your lowest. The power ballad throbs with intense conviction in the throat of this sublime vocalist. Echoey touches in the production are wonderfully ear catching, as well.

Martina McBride. Photo: Joseph Llanes

Martina McBride. Photo: Joseph Llanes

Writers: Todd Anderson/Craig Anderson/Quinn Loggins/Lisa McCallum; Producer: Todd Anderson, Craig Anderson & Bart Busch; Publishers: Anderson Boyz/Wanted Woman/BMG, BMI/ASCAP/SOCAN; ABM Music (CDX)
-This slams right into a rock mode from the opening notes. The nostalgic song is pretty cool, but this band needs a lead singer with more charisma.

VINCE HATFIELD/The Okie From Muskogee’s Headed Home
Writer: Vince Hatfield; Producer: Vince Hatfield; Publisher: Sharp Image, BMI; Blue Moon (CDX)
-We all miss Merle mightily. Hatfield tries to evoke him with a studied honky-tonk vocal, some Strangers-style instrumental picking and name-dropping song titles like “Silver Wings,” “If We Make It Through December,” “Mama’ Hungry Eyes,” “Movin’ On” and “Lonesome Fugitive.”

BRAD PUCKETT/Start Your Engines
Writer: Brad Puckett; Producers: Buddy Hyatt & Brad Puckett; Publisher: BPM, no performance rights listed; Phoenix (CDX)
-The track rocks. So does his vocal … until he gets to the choruses. Instead of taking off, his performance kinda just lays there.

Writers: Hudson Moore/Lance Carpenter/Phillip Pence: Producers: Dwight A. Baker & Hudson Moore; Publisher: none listed; Moorejamz LLC
-It says here that he’s playing all the instruments on his Getaway CD (out June 17), and all but one of its tunes are co-written by him. Plus, he co-produced it. The single is a super tuneful, big-time catchy and sung with youthful verve. This is a sound for summer if I’ve ever heard one. Lend him your ears.

Hudson Moore Getaway


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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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