DISClaimer: Ryan Hurd’s Star-Making Single

Welcome to the first all-downloaded edition of DisClaimer.

Everything was compressed and played through my tiny computer speakers, so nothing sounded especially full bodied.

That said, here’s the good news. Ryan Hurd has released a star making single and triumphs over the competition to take home the Disc of the Day award.

I’ve enthusiastically reviewed the Music City band The Wild Feathers in pop/rock columns before. But their new single sounds like a bid for country acceptance, so they win the DisCovery Award.

LUCAS HOGE/Power of Garth
Writers: Matt Roger/Terry McBride; Producer: Matt McClure; Publishers: BMG Platinum Songs (BMI), Jam Writers Group (BMI), SWMBMGBMI (BMI), TMc Daddy Music (BMI), Ole’ Canalco Publishing (ASCAP), Rebel Engine
– It’s a fine ballad about nostalgia and memory. He was a boy when his parents played Garth Brooks records, and those sounds are still “wrapped around my heart.” Well produced and expressively sung.

DEVIN DAWSON/She Burns
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Atlantic (download)
-This echoey, spellbinding cover of Foy Vance’s tune fits him like a glove. I never thought he was all that “country” to begin with, so it makes perfect sense.

OLD DOMINION/Hotel Key
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; RCA (download)
– Jaunty and bopping as all get out. Stuttering guitars, rapid-fire lyric delivery, sunny attitude, sexy imagery. Go for it.

BLACKBERRY SMOKE/Flesh and Bone
Writers: Charlie Starr; Producer: Blackberry Smoke; Publishers: none listed; 3 Legged/Thirty Tigers
– Doomy and darkly rocking. Guitars grind in your face. The lead vocal is buried in the mix. Pass.

SMITH & WESLEY/Hook Line & Sinker
Writers: none listed; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed;
-Yet another Jimmy Buffett sonic rip off. However, they do sing well.

RYAN HURD/Diamonds Or Twine
Writers: Ryan Hurd/Laura Veltz/Mark Trussell; Producer: Aaron Essuis; Publishers: none listed; RCA (download)
– Superb. The melody is just lovely, and the lyric is ultra romantic. He wrote it for his bride, Maren Morris, and the video features lotsa footage of the lovebirds. He sings like he is head-over-heels. When you hear it, you will be, too.

WALKER HAYES/Craig
Writers: Walker Hayes; Producers: Hayes/Shane McAnally; Publishers: Songs of Kobalt/Songs of Smack/Smack Songs/Spark In Your Pocket/Rare Spark, BMI, Monument
– Sentimental rapping with a sparse rhythm track.

THE WILD FEATHERS/Big Sky
Writers: none listed; Producer: Jay Joyce; Publishers: none listed; Warner Bros.
-This Nashville rock band emphasizes its stellar vocal harmonies on this airy and utterly charming tune. Evocative of California country-rockers The Eagles or of Crosby, Stills & Nash. Highly recommended.

CASSADEE POPE/Take You Home
Writers: Paul Digiovanni/Ben Hayslip/Emily Wesiband; Producer: Corey Crowder; Publishers: none listed; Fusion
– She’s a strong singer, so I don’t understand why her vocals are so processed here. Let the lady loose.

PARMALEE/Hotdamalama
Writers: none listed; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Stoney Creek
– The summer party season starts early with this rocking release. It ain’t exactly hillbilly music, but the kiddies will dig it.

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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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