DISClaimer: Maren Morris, Travis Meadows Rise Above With New Singles

Maren Morris, Travis Meadows

This is a week of thoughtful ballads.

Kellie Pickler, Delta Rae, Taylor Hicks and Maren Morris all check in with lyrics to make you stop and listen.

In collaboration with Vince Gill, Morris has the unquestioned Disc of the Day. It’s a song to help heal us from what we’ve been through this week.

The DisCovery Award goes to Travis Meadows. This isn’t his first record, but it’s the first time he has appeared in this column. He has a heckuva back story as well as a heckuva record. Check him out.

Writers:Danielle Bradbery/Johan Fransson/Emily Weisband; Producer: Josh Kerr; Publisher: Songs of Universal, Inc. / One Voice Global Publishing / Canal Music Publishing BV. All rights for One Voice Global Publishing and Canal Music Publishing BV controlled and administered by Songs of Universal, Inc./ Warner/Chappell Music Scandinavia AB (STIM)./ WB Music Corp. / Thankful For This Music (ASCAP). All rights o/b/o itself, Warner/Chappell Music Scandinavia AB, and Thankful For This Music administered by WB Music Corp.; Big Machine
– She was just 16 when she won on The Voice, and it has been a long dry spell since then. This sweet ditty celebrates the innocent joy of hearing a spirit-lifting tune on the radio. Lilting and listenable.

Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; BB
-Billy salutes his rockabilly heritage with a mighty assist from slapping, stand-up bass player Mark Winchester. Rocking.

Writers: Maren Morris/Tom Douglas/David Hodges; Producer: Brad Hill/Maren Morris; Publisher: International Dog Music (BMI) a division of Big Yellow Dog, LLC, adm by Words & Music, a Division of Big Deal Music, LLC.  Sony/ATV Tree Publishing/Tomdouglasmusic (BMI). All rights adm by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC; 3 Weddings Music (BMI). All rights adm by Songs of Kobalt Music Publishing.; Columbia
– Very, very moving. The song addresses a variety of national tragedies involving blind violence and concludes that love will always win in the end. Deliberately released in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre, it could not come at a better time for our community. Well done.


TRACE ADKINS/Still A Soldier
Writers: Phil O’Donnell/Wade Kirby; Producer: Mickey Jack Cones; Publisher: ole Purple Cape Music (BMI) admin by OLE, Paw and Pamaw Music (BMI), admin by OLE, Round Hill Works (BMI), Fat Pony Music (BMI) admin by Round Hill
Works.; BBR/Wheelhouse

– Trace has always been a huge supporter of our enlisted folks, and he makes it explicit in this chesty, proud anthem.

DUSTIN LYNCH/I’d Be Jealous Too
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; BBR
– I fail to see what is “country” about this recording. Why don’t we just put a cowboy hat on Justin Bieber?

TRAVIS MEADOWS/Pray For Jungleland
Writers: Travis Meadows/Drew Kennedy; Producer: Jeremy Spillman; Publisher: none listed; Blaster (track)
– As you might guess from the title, this channels Bruce Springsteen. But this guy’s voice carries its own special charisma. Audio excitement.


DELTA RAE/No Peace In Quiet
Writers: Eric Hölljes /Tiffany Goss/Adam Wood; Producer: Dann Huff; Publishers: 2016 WB Music Corp. / Eric Hölljes Music (ASCAP). All rights o/b/o itself and Eric Hölljes Music administered by WB Music Corp./ Curb Congregation Songs (SESAC)./ Curb Songs (ASCAP); Valory
– Everything this band does is deliciously melodic and oh-so catchy. This gorgeous ballad is another perfect gem. Make room for this on your playlists, please.

KELLIE PICKLER/If It Wasn’t For A Woman
Writers: Kellie Pickler/Kyle Jacobs/Brian Bunn; Producer: Kyle Jacobs/Matt McClure; Publishers: Pickle Butt Publishing/I Hope Mamma Likes This Song Publishing/Kyroll Music (ASCAP/BMI); KP
– She is such a doll. This touching ballad is for the grandma who raised her.

TAYLOR HICKS/Six Strings and Diamond Rings
Writers: Jason Deer/Jo Smith/Don Rollins; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Sony RED/Modern Whomp
– This American Idol alumnus can sing, sing, sing. This well-written outing gives him plenty of space to phrase masterfully. The lyric tells the familiar saga of a traveling musician whose lifestyle wears on his marriage. Steel guitar star Robert Randolph provides superb instrumental support.


ADAM DOLEAC/Whiskey’s Fine
Writers: Adam Doleac/Monty Criswell; Producer: Lindsay Rimes; Publishers: none listed; 287 (track)
– “Come on in, the whiskey’s fine,” he says to the old flame who knocks on his door in the dead of night. The lyric is sexy and his vocal delivery has plenty of passion. Judging by the EP’s jacket, I’m assuming that fiery electric guitar work is his, too.


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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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