DISClaimer: Songwriters’ Round

 

Troy Cartwright

Troy Cartwright

Songwriters and artists take a bow in this week’s DISClaimer reviews, with offerings from Rich Price, Jordan Rager, Hoyt Hughes, Bobby Tomberlin, Justin Peters, and more.

RICH PRICE/There’s A Table
Writers: Richard Price; Producer: Tom Pick, Harrison Tyner; Publishers: HTI, ASCAP; Adonda (track)
– It has a pleasant “retro” quality with a gut-string guitar, an aging-cowboy lead vocal and The Jordanaires harmonizing softly in the background. But the song has a simplistic, nursery-rhyme melody that drags the whole thing down.

JORDAN RAGER/Now That I Know Your Name
Writers: Jeremy Stover/Jason Gantt/Chris Janson; Producer: Jeremy Stover; Publishers: Ole Red Cape/Real Big Red/Sony-ATV Tree/Songs of Red Bandana/Red Vinyl/Words & Music/Big Red Deal, ASCAP/BMI; Broken Bow (track)
– He tries every hillbilly pickup line in the book. But a rube is a rube.

TROY CARTWRIGHT/Busted
Writers: none listed; Producers: Rob Baird/Brian Douglas Phillips; Publishers: none listed; Foolish Kings/Hard Luck (track)
– This former DisCovery Award winner continues to show enormous promise on his new single. His charismatic singing voice is loaded with heart, and you can’t beat the perfectly-mixed production. Having a broken heart has seldom sounded better. Somebody make this kid a star.

WILLIAM MICHAEL MORGAN/Missing
Writers: Rhett Akins/Marv Green; Producer: Jimmy Ritchey/Scott Hendricks; Producers: Jimmy Ritchey/Scott Hendricks; Publishers:EMI Blackwood/Warner-Tamerlane/The Good The Bad The Ugly, BMI; Warner Bros.
– Morgan shot out of the gate with a super hit, “I Met a Girl.” Now he’s out to show that it was no fluke. This lilting toe tapper has a jaunty mood as it extolls the virtues of dropping out of the rat race. Easy going, tuneful, solidly sung and immediately charming.

 

THE STRAY BIRDS/Third Day In A Row
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Yep Roc (track)
– Nicely done. The lead singer has just the right touch of drawl. The band is tight. The harmonies are engaging. The rolling rhythm is as relaxing as a hammock.

BOBBY TOMBERLIN/The Grand Ole Opry
Writers: J. P. Williams/Bobby Tomberlin; Producer: Bobby Tomberlin; Publishers: none listed; Curb Publishing
– Singer-songwriter Tomberlin has a dandy version of the Diamond Rio hit he wrote, “One More Day,” on his new Out of Road CD. But what is arguably the most striking song on the collection is this tale whose central character is a legendary radio show, singing in the first person. Vince Gill and Bill Anderson are guest vocalists. Elsewhere on the CD are such other guests as Mo Pitney, Sylvia, Bobby Bare and Linda Davis. Throughout this collection, Tomberlin stakes his claim as a major, major recording artist, as well as a superior songsmith.

BOBBY MARQUEZ/She’s Not From Texas
Writers: Karen Staley/Anita Cochran; Producers: Gerald Smith/Bobby Marquez; Publisher: none listed; Grande Star
– I have always liked this guy for his devoted commitment to Lonestar State sounds. This western swinger is as refreshing as a springtime prairie breeze.

HOYT HUGHES/Let It Rain
Writers: Hoyt Hughes/Ray Barnette; Producer: Kevin Savigar; Publishers: none listed; Cowboy (track)
– The airy production leaves plenty of space for him to gently phrase his saga of heartbreak and renewed love, but then steps to the forefront in mid song with an extended guitar workout. Ear catching.

 

WENDY JAGER/Run
Writers: Emma Kincaid; Producer: Jack Gale; Publishers: Speegra Music London, no performance rights listed; Playback (CDX)
– Our lone female of the day should have kept her bags packed and traveled on by. Her vocal performance is woefully flat.

JUSTIN PETERS/Then I’ll Be Over You
Writers: Ben Peters; Producer: Justin Peters; Publishers: Shelby Singleton, BMI; Platinum Planet
– A few weeks ago, I mentioned the trend of the children of country songwriters becoming artists (Thomas Rhett, Levi Hummon, Hillary Scott, Tucker Beathard, Ashley Campbell, Ryan Follese, Aubrie Sellers). Add another name to that list. The late Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famer Ben Peters has a son who handles a lushly produced heartache ballad like a seasoned pro. A terrific performance of a classic sounding song.

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About the Author

Robert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.

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