DISClaimer: Summer In The Country

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Summer is in full swing, and so are Nashville’s country sounds.

Tim McGraw and Dylan Scott have splendid new singles. But the man with the Disc of the Day is the mighty Randy Houser.

Give a DisCovery Award to singer-songwriter Lockwood Barr. She has the goods.

QUAKER CITY NIGHT HAWKS/Mockingbird
Writer: David Matsler; Producer: Beau Bedford & Quaker City Night Hawks; Publishers: none listed; Lightning Rod (track)
– This is being released as a country single? Alrighty, if your idea of country is loud, electric boogie rock.

RANDY ROGERS BAND/San Antone
Writers: none listed; Producer: Buddy Cannon; Publisher: none listed; Tommy Jackson/Thirty Tigers (track)
– I believe this was previously released as a single last year. It still sounds fresh and lilting and breezy. Well worth your spins.

RANDY HOUSER/Chasing Down A Good Time
Writers: Randy Houser/Jeffrey Steele/Anthony Smith; Producer: Derek George; Publishers: EMI Blackwood/Little Britches/Jeffrey Steele/BPJ/Krankit/Hillbilly Science and Research, BMI; Stoney Creek
– A steady beat propels this soaring ode to an endless romance party. Houser’s bountiful, chesty singing is as rousing and robust as ever. Love it, love it, love it.

 

 

BRIAN WRIGHT/Lonesome, On’ry & Mean
Writers: Steve Young, Brian Wright; Producer: Matt McClure; Publisher: none listed; Big City (track)
– It’s old-school “outlaw” country. In fact, his vocal sounds way too much like a Waylon Jennings imitation. Find your own style.

DYLAN SCOTT/My Girl
Writers: Dylan Scott, Josh Kerr; Producer: Matt Alderman, Jim Ed Norman; Publisher: Curb Songs/Songs of Black River, ASCAP; Curb (track)
– His resonant baritone eases into the verses with a hushed intimacy, then opens up into urgency on the choruses. Gently forceful, thumping rhythms underscore the whole thing. It sounds just like a hit.

TIM MCGRAW/How I’ll Always Be
Writers: Jeremy Stover/Chris Janson/Jamie Paulin; Producer: Byron Gallimore & Tim McGraw; Publishers: Ole Red Cape/Real Big Red/Red Vinyl/Words & Music/Songs of Universal, ASCAP/BMI; Big Machine (track)
– The rippling tempo with brushed drums skips along charmingly. Sung in his upper range, the song has a dandy lyric about being an everyday guy, rather than an exceptional one. The guitar solo is a chiming gem.

 

 

 

KEITH WALKER/Friends With Boats
Writers: Keith Walker/Rich Karg/Dustin James; Producer: Chris Wright; Publishers: Break Down the Wall/Karg/Songs of Green Hills/Grin Like a Fool/Dustin James, ASCAP/SESAC; KW (track)
– It’s a nice idea, but the execution is rather ordinary. Inoffensively summery.

TRENT HARMON/There’s A Girl
Writers: Trent Harmon/Jimmy Robbins/Laura Veltz; Producer: Jimmy Robbins; Publishers: Big Machine/19/Trent Harmon/Round Hill/Warner-Tamerlane/Extraordinary Alien/Jimmy Robbins/Oh Denise, BMI/ASCAP; Big Machine
– The message is that gals make guys go crazy. The performance is jaunty and youthful, and the production is just right. Lightweight, but very, very listenable.

 

 

STEPHANIE QUAYLE/Drinking With Dolly
Writers: Rachel Proctor/Victoria Banks; Producer: Matt McClure; Publisher: Round Hill Music/Rate Spark Music; Rebel Engine
– She yearns for country music’s good old days. Simply sung. Written with aplomb.

LOCKWOOD BARR/Forgotten How To Cry
Writers: Lockwood Barr/Karleen Watt; Producer: Matt Odmark; Publishers: none listed; LB (track)
– Well done. The light echo on her vocal and the stark instrumentation give the melodic ballad an extra edge. Extremely promising.

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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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