DISClaimer: Glen Campbell, Beyond The Sun, Harper Grae Offer Summery New Tracks

There is something kinda breezy and summery about this week’s stack of platters.

The numbers by Derek Johnson, The Pistol Annies, Brantley Gilbert and Hadley Park all have this open-air vibe.

So do the sounds of our three award winners. Glen Campbell wins the Disc of the Day award with his wafting remake of “Everybody’s Talkin.’ Locked in a tie for the DisCovery Award are the equally breezy Beyond the Sun and Harper Grae.

BEYOND THE SUN/Cruisin’ ‘Round Town
Writers: Colin Radu/Phil Radu/Dalton Radu; Producer: Dalton Radu; Publishers: none listed; BMI; BTS
– This is a Canadian brother trio. Their debut single is a summertime, bob-that-head, anthem. It is also super tuneful and wildly addictive. The bro’s have recently moved to Music City. If the rest of their songs are this good, roll out a great big welcome mat.

GLEN CAMPBELL/Everybody’s Talkin’
Writers: Fred Neil; Producer: Carl Jackson; Publishers: none listed; UMe
– Let’s face it: the Nilsson 1969 original hit with this sounded exactly like a Glen Campbell record. So it goes without saying that song fits Glen like a glove. His flawless performance is matched by a production by his former sideman Carl Jackson that places every note from every instrument in exactly the right place. Daughter Ashley Campbell’s banjo notes ripple through the entire thing beautifully. This is the lead track of a fantastic collection titled Adios. It will be released a week from Friday during CMA Fest as the final album from this legendary artist.


BEN BOSTICK/Independence Day Eve
Writers: Ben Bostick; Producer: John Would/Ben Bostick; Publishers: none listed; Simply Fantastic
– Bostick makes a good living busking on the Santa Monica Pier. He describes himself as an “outsider” country artist. His upcoming full-length CD debut leads off with this stately ballad of alienation. Urgent sounding.

TIM BENNETT/As Long As You’re Buying
Writer: Tim Bennett; Producer: Tim Bennett; Publishers: Big Sky, ASCAP; Sandy Beach
– The band sounds like a group of amateurs. His singing voice is weak, at best.

Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Valory Music
– Churning, charging, clanging midtempo excitement with mucho electric guitar grinding. I still think he has one of the coolest voices around.

DOAK SNEAD/Each Day Like It’s The Last Day
Writer: Snead; Producers: Snead/Kelley Sallee Snead; Publishers: Doak Snead, BMI; Hear Say (track)
Catalogue is an album that compiles Nashville songwriter Snead’s demos recorded between 1991 and the present. This sparse, thoughtful, philosophical ballad dates from 2009. His conversational delivery connects emotionally, more than making up for his vocal limitations.

Writer: Danny Flowers; Producer: Garth Fundis; Publishers: none listed; Slate Creek (track)
Gentle Giants is a tribute CD to the great Don Williams. The cast is superb — Garth, Trisha, Brandy Clark, Lady A, John Prine, Keb Mo, Dierks and Chris Stapleton, for starters. The collection kicks off with a sprightly take on this toe tapper by Miranda, Ashley and Angaleena. Buy this righteous album.


DEREK JOHNSON/Real Cool, Kinda Hot
Writers: Phil O’Donnell; Producer: Phil O’Donnell; Publishers: none listed, BMI/SESAC; Applause (CDX)
– He’s got a backwoods accent you could cut with a knife. The song is a peppy hillbilly ditty that name-checks beer, pickup truck, camo clothes and a bunch of other cliches. But in its goofy way, it is utterly irresistible.

HADLEY PARK/Another Bottle Of Wine
Writers: Courtney Dashe/Morgan Leigh Garner; Producer: Hadley Park; Publishers: No Bull About It/Morgan Leigh Garner, BMI/ASCAP; HP (track)
– Have raved about this female duo before. Its current single/video is a witty, tongue-in-cheek ditty that kisses off an ex in a dishy gal-to-gal conversation. I am told that their songs are eagerly sought after by big-name artists, and I can certainly hear why.

Writers: Harper Grae/Femke Weidema; Producer: Josh Barker/Ethan Brewington; Publishers: Oliver Ann Music/Femke Music (BMI/ASCAP); Oliver Ann Records
– Very cool sounding. It has a gospel-y vibe of a melody, and her vocal is loaded with personality. Best of all, is an outstanding production that incorporates hand claps, thudding-stark percussion, churchy piano chords, a celebratory chorus of backup vocalists and mandolin twittering. Essential listening.


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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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