This week, we say howdy to several of our old pals.
John Scott Sherrill, Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan, Sylvia, David Ball and Larry Stewart are all artists that I have followed affectionately for years. So is David Lee Murphy, and he has the rockin’ Disc of the Day.
I reviewed one of Rachel Wammack’s tracks earlier this summer. Now with her official debut single, “Damage,” she’s an official contender. This lady is the most deserving DisCovery Award winner I have had in many a moon.
DAVID BALL/I Got A Broken Heart In The Mail
Writers: none listed; Producer: David Ball; Publishers: none listed; Public
– Kinda spare sounding and lo-fi, but full of hillbilly personality. And the echoes of Buck Owens in his vocal delivery are delightful.
Writers: Kye Fleming/Dennis Morgan; Producers: John Mock/Sylvia; Publishers: none listed; Red Pony
– Sylvia’s latest CD is titled Second Bloom: The Hits Re-Imagined. She still sings with immense verve, and the songs still sound sturdy. Her biggest tune is given an arrangement that puts more spotlight on the personality in her voice and on the song’s tightly crafted lyric. Highly recommended listening.
JON PARDI/Night Shift
Writers: Tofer Brown/Phillip LaRue/Billy Montana; Producers: Bart Butler; Publishers: Maxx/Let the Road Pave Itself/Razor & Tie/Bicycle/Mike Curb/Rain Town, BMI; Capitol
-It’s a wailing, workingman’s-romance country rocker. It’s been a tough week, but the weekend lovin’ is gonna make the overtime worthwhile.
ANITA COCRHAN/Fight Like A Girl
Writers: none listed; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; AC
– The multi-talented Anita has been battling breast cancer for all of this past year. This is her survivor anthem, with a powerfully throbbing rhythm, a rocking production and a piercing, high-voiced chorus. The gal needs medical bucks, folks. Buy this and/or contribute to her GoFundMe page.
DAVID LEE MURPHY/I Won’t Be Sorry
Writers: David Lee Murphy/Paul Jenkins/Jason Sellers; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Reviver/Blue Chair
– This seriously rocks. Murphy looks at life with the pedal pushed firmly to the metal, knowing that he’ll go out in a blaze of glory with nary a backward glance. This has summertime branded on its hiney.
Writers: Rachel Wammack/Tom Douglas/David Hodges; Producer: Dann Huff; Publishers: none listed; RCA
– Wow. This packs an emotional wallop. A splendid illustration of how real and artistic this genre can be, it’s a the tale of a bartender who sees the grief and loss and ruin that comes from our mighty human capacity for love. Essential listening. This is the second straight time that this woman has pinned my ears back. Make her a star.
JOHN SCOTT SHERRILL/Mr. Honky Tonk
Writers: Sherrill/Robbins/Wright; Producers: John Scott Sherrill, Josh Matheny, Brad Stella; Publishers: Lobo Libre/TreCor/Blair’s Boy/ClearBox Rights, BMI/ASCAP; Lobro Libre/DeFacto
– Scotty has been writing giant hits for others for four decades. But apart from his stint in Billy Hill, he hasn’t made records. This is the title tune of a debut solo album that changes all that. Sung in a pleading folkie tenor, it’s a solid country two-step produced with finesse. The CD is dominated by new tunes, but also contains ear-opening versions of JSS hits better known in versions by such stars as Patty Loveless (”Nothin’ But the Wheel”), Josh Turner (”Would You Go With Me”), Steve Wariner (”Some Fools Never Learn”) and John Anderson (”Wild and Blue”).
LORRIE MORGAN & PAM TILLIS/Come See Me and Come Lonely
Writers: Red Lane; Producer: Richard Landis; Publishers: Sony/ATV Tree, BMI; Goldenlane
– This was a terrific 1978 single by Dottie West that I have always loved. Its revival as a duet by these two sterling voices is a splendid listening experience. It is the title tune of an album that also revisits such gems as K.T. Oslin’s “Do Ya,” Skeeter Davis’ “End of the World,” Roy Orbison’s “It’s Over,” Dwight Yoakam’s “Guitars Cadillacs,” Billie Jo Spears’ “Blanket on the Ground” and more. Joy abounds.
LARRY STEWART/What’s That Cowgirl See In Me
Writers: none listed; Producers: Gordon Kennedy; Publishers: none listed; 5West
– Lilting and innocent sounding, with just the right seasoning of Larry’s usual vocal “heart.”
SCOTT SOUTHWORTH/Hey Hillbilly Singer
Writers: Scott Southworth/Marc Alan Barnette; Producers: Buddy Hyatt; Publishers: none listed, SESAC/ASCAP; Scott Likes Pie
– As you might expect from the title, this is a bawling, honky-tonk, beer-drinkin’ blazer. It doesn’t get more in-your-face country than this.
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