DisClaimer: Traditionalists, Radio Stars Make The Cut

Dierks Bentley

Dierks Bentley

Give me a neo-traditionalist any day of the week.

As a songwriter, Jamie Richards has had cuts by Hal Ketchum, Kevin Fowler and Ken Mellons. As a singer, he is on his sixth album and has had 12 top-10 tunes on various Texas charts. As an entertainer, he has carved out a comfy spot on the honky-tonk scene with a loyal fan base of followers. Best of all, he is a highly accomplished, back-to-basics country artist, and we can always use more of those. Despite his regional prominence, I believe this is his first appearance in DisClaimer. Give this man a round of raucous applause and a DisCovery Award.

We’re a mite light on star power this week. But we do have one bona fide twinkler. It’s Dierks Bentley, and he wins Disc of the Day.

JOE SCHMIDT/Buck on the Wall
Writers: Joe Schmidt/Tim Daley/Jon Grey; Producers: Joe Schmidt & Mark Burch; Publishers: JLM/Tim Daley/It’s A Matter of Music, BMI; JS (CDX)
– I don’t quite get it. He’s proud of what his daddy gave him, whether it was money in a frame or a hunting trophy. That’s it? Am I missing something?

BRADLEY WALKER/Call me Old Fashioned
Writers: Dave Turnbull/Jerry Salley; Producers: Rory Feek/Bradley Walker; Publishers: Dixie Stats/ole V Bulls/Country Gentlemen, ASCAP/SESAC; Gaither/Farm
– He believes in patriotism and faith and hard work and being polite and having traditions and family love. What? And the rest of us don’t?

Writers: none listed; Producer: Buddy Cannon; Publisher: none listed; Tommy
-He sings so expressively. The track drags and plods.

Writers: Josh Mitchum/Paul Priest; Producer: Skidd Mills; Publisher: none listed, BMI; JWB
– Sincere sounding. The band instruments have their act together and their ensemble playing is polished just right. The vocals aren’t especially flashy, but there’s real heart here, and the song’s chorus is as commercial as all get out.

Writers: Ashley Gorley/Ross Copperman/Dierks Bentley; Producer: Ross Copperman; Publishers: Combustion Engine/Sadie’s Favorite/WB/EMI Blackwood/Songs By Red Room/Big White Tracks, ASCAP/BMI; Capitol (track)
– The title tune to Bentley’s CD has an ear-catching bass/drum rumble and shiny-bright electric guitar work. It’s a plea for passion and romance with lots and lots of heat in the vocal performance. Irresistible.


ADAM SEARAN/Bumper Sticker
Writers: Adam Searan/Jon D’Agostino/John Milstead; Producers: Adam Searan, Jon D’Agostino & Jason Garner; Publishers: Demolition/Starstruck, SESAC/BMI; AS (track)
-I dig this guy. His writing has a creative flair, and his vocal performance ranges from hushy, brushy to tenor shout. You’d be a fool not to lend this your ears.

JUSTIN MOORE/Somebody Else Will
Writers: Kelly Archer/Adam Hambrick/Tebey Ottoh; Producers: Scott Borchetta/Jeremy Stover; Publishers: Stars and Stripes and Maple Leaf/Downtown DMP/ole Red Cape/Red Like the Sunset/BMG Platinum/Songs for Elle, BMI/ASCAP; Valory Music
– This fellow is coming off a big hit with “You Look Like I Need a Drink.” The follow-up is a rock ‘em, sock ‘em rave up wherein he’s all in a hurry to put the moves on her before someone else does. It’s all very loud and rock and furious sounding. Calm down, sonny.

Writers: Stephanie Urbina Jones/Mark Marchetti/Will Robinson; Producer: Glenn Rosenstein; Publishers: Casa Del Rio/Baby Z/Detect an Intruder, SESAC/BMI; Casa Del Rio
– I have always like this singer. Here she tries her throaty pipes out on a beach-y ditty. As usual, she strikes paydirt.

JAMIE RICHARDS/Second Hand Smoke
Writers: Jamie Richards/Mark Powell; Producers: Jamie Richards/Bart Rose; Publishers: Okie Ranch, BMI; Okie Ranch (track)
– This ol’ boy stands tall on the Texas circuit, as well he should. Richards has one of those burnished barroom baritones that wears a solid country song like aged leather rodeo gloves. This is my kinda music — warm, inviting, downhome, earthy and by-god country. An A-plus performance.

Writers: Brooke Eden/Chris DeStefano/Brett James; Producers: Jacob Durrett/Nick Brophy; Publishers: Magic Mustang/Warner-Tamerlane/American Daughter/EMI April/WB/Songs of Brett, BMI/ASCAP; Red Bow/BBR
-She sings with moxie. The song is adequate, but not particularly melodic.


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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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