DisClaimer: Florida Georgia Line’s “Smooth,” Funky New Single

The superstars are in short supply this week.

Fortunately, Florida Georgia Line’s new single is so strong that it doesn’t matter. They would have blown everybody else out of the water, no matter how big. Give those Belmont fugitives a Disc of the Day.

Our many newcomers this week include Marty Heddin, Jagertown, Candy Fernaux, Tara Shannon, Jesse Rice and our hands-down, no-contest DisCovery Award winners Benji Harris.

Benji is a Dallas native who moved to Music City in 2009. He has been on the road working in the bands of folks like Sam Hunt, Jana Kramer, Mickey Guyton, Bo Bice and, currently, Cassadee Pope (singing Chris Young’s part on “Think of Me”). Here’s hoping he gets his own spotlight.

BENJI HARRIS/That’s How You Get a Girl
Writers: none listed; Producer: Sean Giovanni; Publisher: none listed
– It has a very cool, stuttering, hooky groove. His jaunty, youthful voice has personality and bounce. The production is flawless. Absolutely play it.

 

 

BAILEY JAMES/Run Girl
Writers: Bailey James Koehler/Steve O’Brien/Julie Downs; Producer: Jeffrey Teague; Publisher: none listed, ASCAP/BMI
– I’ve liked everything she’s ever put out so far, and this continues her winning ways. The band is cooking, and she’s a master chef as a singer. Toe-tapping tempo, a catchy tune and a home-run performance are the ingredients.

RONNIE DUNN/I Worship the Woman You Walked On
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed
– His vocal is as perfect and piercing as ever on this power ballad. I don’t much care for the synth-y, string-soaked, processed production.

 

JESSE RICE/Hope Town
Writers: Jesse Rice/Patrick Davis/Django Walker/Phillip Lammonds/Mark Bryan; Producer: Jesse Rice; Publisher: none listed
– Well sung and extremely well played. But in this case, the whole isn’t more than the sum of its parts. Oddly colorless, in a bland, beach-y kinda way.

TARA SHANNON/Take This Rock (And Roll)
Writers: J. Gregory/T. Shannon; Producer: Hayley McLean; Publisher: Willow Sound/James Gregory, SOCAN/ASCAP/BMI
– This Canadian thrush displays plenty of finger-snapping sass on this rollicking, bluesy “attitude” tune.

FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE/Smooth
Writers: Tyler Hubbard/Brian Kelley/Nicole Galyon/Jordan Schmidt; Producer: Joey Moi; Publisher: Big Loud Mountain/T Hubb/Prance Ringle/Round Hill/Warner-Tamerlane/A Girl Named Charlie/Freshy/We-Volve/Tri Star, BMI/ASCAP
– Funky and loosey-goosey, in a very cool way. The backbeats, drawled voices, twang tones and saucy flavor combine for a sensational summertime jam. I’m in.

 

MARTY HEDDIN/Hammered
Writers: none listed; Producer: Keith Stegall; Publisher: none listed
– As the “house” bandleader at the Cowboys clubs in Dallas, San Antonio and Atlanta, this fellow has opened for everyone from Tim McGraw to Toby Keith and Kenny Chesney. His debut, six-song EP is produced by Keith Stegall. If you expect solid professionalism, confident honky-tonk singing and assured personality, you won’t be disappointed. This man has the goods.

JAGERTOWN/Small Town Superstars
Writers: Preston Creed; Producer: Jim Gist; Publisher: none listed, ASCAP
– This kicks off with what sounds like drum-line percussion and Queen-style, arena-rock shouting. And it goes downhill from there, coming across like a cover-band version of “Cum on Feel the Noize.”

MARGO PRICE/Weakness
Writers: Margo Price/Jeremy Ivey; Producer: Margo Price, Alex Munoz, Matt Ross-Spang & Jeremy Ivey; Publisher: Peach Pit/Fisheye, SESAC
– Thin and rinky-dink sounding. Under produced.

 

CANDY FERNAUX/Gone Fishin’
Writers: Candy Fernaux/Wyatt Easterling; Producer: Considerable Music & Wyatt Easterling; Publisher: none listed, ASCAP
– Pleasantly listenable. But little more.

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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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