DISClaimer: Walker McGuire, Mitchell Tenpenny, William Michael Morgan Are Three Stars On The Rise

Walker McGuire, MItchell Tenpenny, William Michael Morgan

This week’s country edition of DisClaimer belongs to the up-and-comers.

Our three top tunes in this stack of platters belong to three stars on the rise. They are Walker McGuire, Mitchell Tenpenny and William Michael Morgan. They finish in a trio photo finish to share the Disc of the Day award.

MATT ROGERS/Peaches and Pecans
Writers: Matt Rogers/Justin Dukes; Producer: Matt Rogers; Publishers: Richest Place on Earth, No performance rights listed; MR
– An ode to Georgia. “If you ain’t from here, then you don’t understand.” You’re so right. I don’t.

Writers: Brett Young/Zach Crowell/Jon Nite; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; BMLG (download)
– The title tune to Brett’s forthcoming album is a zippy, trippy fantasy about an airport pick-up. The irresistible rhythm track disguises the totally unrealistic lyric.

BRANDON RATCLIFF/Rules of Breaking Up
Writers: Brandon Ratcliff/Pete Good/A.J. Babcock/busbee; Producers: Shane McAnally/Pete Good; Monument
-His voice is spindly and thin. Which I guess really doesn’t matter, since there’s no melody in his composition to sing.

JUSTIN MOORE/The Ones That Didn’t Make It Back Home
Writers: Justin Moore/Jeremy Stover/Paul DiGiovanni/Chase McGill; Producers: Scott Borchetta/Jeremy Stover; Valory
– Veterans’ Day is Sunday, Nov. 11. Here’s a super stirring eulogy for the armed forces who won’t be with us.

Writers: Erin Enderlin/Scott Stepakoff; Producer: Alex Kline; Publisher: none listed; 117 Entertainment
-She’s a for-real country singer and writer. A good one, too. This is why I love her. You should, too.

Writers: Rhett Akins/J.T. Harding/Marv Green; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Warner Bros.
– This is a real cool honky tonker. Two-step across the dancefloor as he sings about the lack of heartache in today’s party-hearty country sound.

PISTOL ANNIES/Got My Name Changed Back
Writers: Miranda Lambert/Ashley Monroe/Angaleena Presley; Producer: Frank Liddell, Glenn Worf, Eric Masse; Publishers: Sony-ATV Tree/Pink Dog/Monroe Suede/Songs of Kobalt/Mountain Girl, BMI/ASCAP; RCA (track)
– Get up off your fanny and dance around the room. The dizzy, lickety-split tempo of this — and its hot picking — are matched by its funny, feisty lyric. Check out its cute video on YouTube.

Writers: Mitchell Tenpenny/Justin Ebach/Steven Dale Jones; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Riser
– This confirms his rising star. His hushed, soulful voice draws you in magnetically. The song about carrying on his departed father’s legacy is profoundly touching. Listen and believe.

Writers: Dolly Parton; Producer: Patterson Barrett; Publisher: Velvet Apple, BMI; Soundly/Casa Del Rio (track)
– Genius. Marrying country songs to Latin rhythms and Mariachi horns is an idea that should have been hatched years ago. She makes this classic sound like a torrid Mexican telenovella. Elsewhere on her Tularosa CD you’ll find equally ear-opening new arrangements of “Walking After Midnight,” “Seven Spanish Angels,” “Cold Cold Heart,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough,” “Tiger By the Tail” and more. Both “Jolene” and “Ring of Fire” have bonus, Spanish-language tracks.

Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Stoney Creek
– Richly rewarding. The layered harmonies, dense production and driving energy punch home the nostalgic, wistful lyric about the passage of time. Nicely done, boys.


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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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