DISClaimer: Dolly Parton, Drake White Are Bright Spots This Week

Dolly PartonWhat a bunch of junk.

I can’t remember the last time I was so numbed by a listening session. The bright spots were precious and few. In fact, I can count them on two fingers.

The first is the always entrancing Dolly Parton. She gets the Disc of the Day. The second is Drake White. But since his song isn’t a single, he doesn’t qualify for the competition. By the way, both of these artists’ albums drop on this Friday (Aug. 19), and both are terrific.

Despite the fact that there are five newcomers in this column, there is no DisCovery Award this week. Back to the drawing board, people.

Dolly Parton Pure and Simple cover

DOLLY PARTON/Pure and Simple
Writer: Dolly Parton; Producer: Dolly Parton; Publisher: Velvet Apple, BMI; Dolly Records/RCA Nashville
– Her voice still sparkles like champagne. The fact that she’s still writing so wonderfully six decades into her career is mind bending. This sweet, lilting love song is the title tune of her new CD. All hail a classic stylist.

Writers: Tom Paden/Dwayna Litz; Producer: Tom Paden/Publishers: Paden Place/Cal IV, BMI/ASCAP; Workhorse 615
– Rah-rah patriotism. The gist of it is we shouldn’t be complaining about stuff, because we’re living where everybody else in the world would love to be.

SHAWN B. WELLS/As Long as I’ve Got You
Writer: Shawn B. Wells; Producers: Shawn B. Wells & Dustin Bannister; Publisher: none listed, BMI; Shawn Wells
– Muddy and jumbled sounding. Get back in the studio and remix this whole thing.

Drake White Spark

DRAKE WHITE/Waitin’ on the Whiskey to Work
Writers: Drake White/Tony Lane/Philip Pence; Producers: Andrew Petroff & Adam Schwind/Publishers: EMI April/Reverend Jack/Sony-ATV/BMG Gold/Heytone/We Jam Writers Group/Nury3000, ASCAP/SESAC; Dot Records
– “Livin’ the Dream” is still the single. But Sirius/XM has been playing this barroom, heartache ballad. Like everything he does, it seethes with charisma. Drake is usually pretty upbeat, so this downer is a very cool change of pace. His debut CD, Spark, drops on Friday. It is essential listening. Make this man the star he deserves to be.

LONNIE SPIKER/Things Only a Fool Would Know
Writers; Mary Welch Francis/Larry McCoy; Producer: Curt Ryle; Publishers: Jenerlin/Universal Careers, BMI; Menalith
– Extremely well written. It’s a solidly country shuffle, and we can always use more of those.

Writers: Lucas/James; Producers: Joey Kneiser & Austin Lucas; Publisher: None listed; Last Chance/At the Helm
– It has a somewhat retro-country vibe. The vocals are a tad bit sharp, particularly hers. Not ready for prime time.

Dee Jay Silver

Writers: Jared Sciullo, John Purdue, Austin Webb, Tebey Ottoh; Producers: Dee Jay Silver/Jared Sciullo; Publishers: Riley Payton Publishing/Dee Jay Silver Music/Red Vinyl/Songs For Elle/BMG Platinum Songs, BMI/SESAC. RCA Nashville
– Funky, slinky and groove-soaked. A relaxing, mid-tempo ditty, tailor made for after-work Fridays.

Writer: Doug Mays; Producer: Barry Beckett & Roger Hawkins; Publisher: none listed; E&A Entertainment
– It says here that this is a hit in Latin America. It does have an undeniable groove.

Writers: Matt Parrish/Justin Lofton; Producer: Justin Lofton & Matt Parrish; Publisher: Incandescent, BMI; Market Junction
– Bland. Tuneless. Boring. I almost nodded off.

TERRA BELLA/You’ve Got That Somethin’
Writers: Joseph Michael Costa/Martina Elizabeth Otterbeck/Joshua Marshall Dunne; Producer: Johnny Garcia; Publisher: Swatt Music Group, BMI; Dax
– The bass-heavy production is ear catching, and the dual male-female band vocals are cool. A melody with more than two notes would have been nice.


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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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