DISClaimer: Superb Vocalists Chris Stapleton, Rhonda Vincent, Daryle Singletary Offer New Tracks

Chris Stapleton

Good things come in pairs.

That is why we have two Disc of the Day winners and two DisCovery Award winners today. It’s a no-brainer that the new single by Chris Stapleton is a Disc of the Day. But lend an ear to the duet by veterans Rhonda Vincent & Daryle Singletary. It, too, deserves a Disc of the Day prize.

In the newcomers column we have the female trio The Calamity Janes as well as singer-songwriter Matt Rogers. Both earn DisCovery Award honors.

THE CALAMITY JANES/Pullin’ Weeds
Writers: C. Mock/A. Childs-Benson; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed, BMI; CJ
-Cool, minor-key melody. Moody, rumbling rhythm track. Silvery electric-guitar accents. Smooth female trio harmonies. What’s not to love? Send more.

CHRIS STAPLETON/Broken Halos
Writers: Chris Stapleton/Mike Henderson; Producer: Dave Cobb/Chris Stapleton; Publishers: none listed; Mercury (track)
– In a word, thrilling. His hair-raising, soul-drenched vocal delivery is powerful enough to raise the dead. The bluesy, fall-from-grace lyric is dynamite. Can I get a witness?

JOSH MARTIN/Just My Luck
Writers: none listed; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Sony/ATV
-The publishing company is taking the unusual step of marketing a single by this young writer-artist. He is quite ear catching, with his rapid-fire delivery in the verses contrasting with the slowed-down, echoey choruses. Blazing electric-guitar work supports him. Recommended.

SHANE OWENS/19
Writers: Jeffrey Steele/Gary Nicholson/Tom Hambridge; Producers: none listed; Publishers: Gottahaveable/Songs of Windswept Pacific/Gary Nicholson/Sony-ATV Cross Keys/Tom Hambridge, BMI/ASCAP; Amerimonte
-This hard-country stylist just doesn’t know how to turn in a sub-par performance. In this slice-of-American-life track, he sings of a football star who becomes a posthumously decorated war hero. The accompaniment is a simply strummed acoustic guitar.

THE PAT WATTERS BAND/Loaded On A Saturday Night
Writers: Pat Watters; Producer: Evan Middlesworth; Publishers: none listed, BMI; PWB (track)
– This country rocker sounds like a live performance, which gives is a great deal of presence and edge. Special kudos to the splendid steel-guitar work by group member Rick Kreuziger.

DEBBIE COCHRAN & DOLLY PARTON/Born Again Wildflower
Writers: Debbie Cochran; Producer: Kent Wells; Publishers: DMC Anniston, BMI; GTR (track)
– Cochran’s rich alto meshes beautifully with Parton’s shining soprano on this inspirational ballad. This is true-blue, old-school country music.

FOSTER MCGINTY/Radio Dreams
Writers: none listed; Producer: Keith Gattis; Publishers: none listed; FM (track)
– It’s a male-female duo with a bopping, bouncing, bongo-driven (!) rhythm track on its new single. Plus organ and electric-guitar accents. He sings lead with urgency and passion. She adds bright harmony vocals here and there.

RHONDA VINCENT & DARYLE SINGLETARY/One
Writers: Ed Bruce/Judith Bruce/Ron Peterson; Producers: Rhonda Vincent/Daryle Singletary; Publishers: Home At Last/Advantage Pride/Polumbo Entertainment/Just a Secretary. BMI/ASCAP; Upper Management (track)
– The new duets album by these two superb country vocalists is called American Grandstand. It mixes classics like “After the Fire Is Gone,” “We Must Have Been Out of Our Minds,” “Golden Ring” and “Louisiana Woman Mississippi Man” with lesser known oldies and new tunes. Throughout, their voices are awesome in harmony. Here, she plays Tammy Wynette to his George Jones on a revival of that team’s unjustly overlooked 1995 reunion ballad. Somebody shout “Amen!”

KENT BLAZY/Difficult Kind
Writers: Kent Blazy/Will Hoge; Producer: Kent Blazy; Publishers: Jam Writers Group/Will Hoge/BMG Platinum, BMI; KB (track)
– Singer-songwriter Blazy has named his new collection ‘66 after the year he first took up the guitar. He’s perhaps best known for his work with Garth Brooks. But this collection finds him flying solo and collaborating with hot tunesmiths such as Cory Barren, Leslie Satcher and, here, Will Hoge. The rollicking uptempo track is perfect for Blazy’s barked vocal performance.

MATT ROGERS/Richest Place On Earth
Writers: M. Rogers: Producer: Matt McClure; Publishers: none listed; MR (track)
– It turns out that the richest place is the graveyard. So live and love with all your heart while you’re still here. Extremely well written and sung with fire and conviction. Play this.

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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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