DISClaimer: The Tried And The True

Country music charges into the fall season, still pretty much sticking to the tried and true.

That means rock, pop and hip-hop influences in the sounds of Lewis Brice, Eric Chesser, Tyminski and Jackson Michelson. Among the brightest spots in this edition of DisClaimer are the David Lee Murphy/Kenny Chesney duet and the Blake Shelton track.

The Disc of the Day award goes to Lady Antebellum, who have apparently returned from wandering in the pop wilderness. Bopping Susan Shann wins the DisCovery Award, partly because heaven knows we need more female voices in this format.

SUSAN SHANN/Rhythm of the Road
Writer: Susan Shann; Producer: Bil VornDick; Moose Lodge, ASCAP; SS (track)
– The band is cooking with gas in a taut, punchy, bopping arrangement punctuated by stinging guitar licks and fluid piano lines. The song’s toe-tapping, “traveling” groove is perfect for a sunny afternoon drive. Promising.

TYMINSKI/Bloodline
Writers: Tyminski/Barlowe/Frasure; Producer: Jesse Frasure; Publishers: Broad Banz/Dan Tyminski/Castle Bound/We Be Pawtying/Spirit/Songs of Roc Nation/Telemitry Rhythm House/Warner-Tamerlane, BMI/SESAC; Mercury (track)
– His album Southern Gothic‘s lead single is a meditation on heritage, music and memory with a choppy backbeat and an r&b feel. Haunting and hooky.

LEO EIFFERT Jr./Blue Crawfish Cup
Writers: Lwo J. Eiffert Jr.; Producer: none listed; Publishers: Young Country, BMI; Young Country
– Amateur Hour at the bar and grill.

LADY ANTEBELLUM/Heart Break
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Capitol Nashville (CDX)
– Breezy and charming. Hillary takes the lead on this tuneful, mid-tempo ditty about healing from a bad relationship. The layered track shuffles and echoes beautifully.

BLAKE SHELTON/I Lived It
Writers: Ashley Gorley/Ben Hayslip/Rhett Akins/Ross Copperman; Producer: Scott Hendricks; Publishers: none listed; Warner Bros.
– He is such a superb country singer, and this dreamy, nostalgic song is a perfect vehicle for him. Can’t wait for the new album.

NED LEDOUX/We Ain’t Got It All
Writers: Ned LeDoux/Chris LeDoux/Mac McAnally; Producer: Mac McAnally; Publishers: Rusty Spur/Mad Cracker, BMI
-The late rodeo champ, country singer and Garth Brooks fave Chris LeDoux left behind scraps of paper with song ideas on them. With help from Mac McAnally, his son has polished several of these into finished works. They’re included on Ned’s new CD Sagebrush. This one is a sturdy, home-folks outing with a steady backbeat that pumps right along. Recommended. By the way, the CD also includes a duet with Chase Rice on the elder LeDoux’s 1991 single “This Cowboy’s Hat.”

JACKSON MICHELSON/Rollin’
Writers: none listed; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Curb (CDX)
– Please stop talking and sing, for pete’s sake. Also, please lose the rock guitars.

LEWIS BRICE/Best Ex Ever
Writers: L. Brice/M. Walker/B. Davis; Producers: Lewis Brice/Brian Bunn; Publishers: none listed; Pump
– She rescues him when he’s drunk. He knows they’ll never get back together, but he sure likes her then. Very cute. Especially when the whole band shouts the title.

DAVID LEE MURPHY & KENNY CHESNEY/Everything’s Gonna Be Alright
Writers: David Lee Murphy/Chris Stevens/Jimmy Yeary; Producer: Buddy Cannon/Kenny Chesney; Publishers: none listed; Reviver/Blue Chair
– This has a steady groove that’s enormously pleasing. The feel-good message is certainly one we can use right now. I’m in.

ERIC CHESSER/Yes
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Big Big (CDX)
– I liked his last single quite a bit. This one not so much, largely because the production seems needlessly busy and noisy. He still sings splendidly.

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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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