Today’s edition of DisClaimer belongs to country music’s up-and-comers.
Travis Denning turns up with another winner. Kassi Ashton and Kendall Beard redeem themselves with their sophomore singles. Shane Owens continues to hold the flag high for vintage honky-tonk sonic attitude.
Best of all, the goddess Ashley McBryde has issued the title tune to her awesome album. It earns her an unchallenged Disc of the Day award.
A trio called Lockeland wins this week’s DisCovery Award.
KENDALL BEARD/Here Comes Trouble
Writers: Kendall Beard/A.J. Vallejo; Producer: A.J. Vallejo; Publisher: none listed; VMG/Broken Angel
– The track cooks with a neo-rockabilly railroad chug, leaving cinders and smoke in its wake. She rides atop it with a saucy, coy, confident soprano. A toe tapper.
ASHLEY MCBRYDE/Girl Goin’ Nowhere
Writers: McBryde/Jeremy Bussey; Producer: Jay Joyce; Publishers: Songs of Song factory/Universal Tunes, BMI/SESAC; Atlantic
– The ballad title tune of Ashley’s spectacular debut album plucks at every heart string of every picker there ever was. Her tender, aching delivery contrasts the depressing naysayers of her youth with her ultimate glow in the spotlight. The long delay until the band comes in only adds to the exquisite emotional pinpoints. This woman rules.
EASTON CORBIN/Somebody’s Gotta Be Country
Writers: Ashley Gorley/Dallas Davidson/Rhett Akins; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; EC
– Ya gotta love it. It’s yet another proud-to-be-country romp. But his delivery is just so earnest and good natured that you can’t help smiling. A happy redneck winner.
Writers: Kassi Ashton/Luke Dick/Natalie Hemby; Producers: Luke Dick/Luke Laird; Publishers: none listed; MCA
– Despite what you might expect from the title, this is feisty, rocking and smart-ass. The gist is that whatever sympathy tune he’s playing, she ain’t listening. Her spitfire delivery is packed with tart attitude.
TRAVIS DENNING/After A Few
Writers: Travis Denning/Kelly Archer/Justin Weaver; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Mercury
– It has a nice, rolling groove with a thumping undertow. His urgent vocal relays the story of a guy who relapses with an ex way too often. I remain a booster of this fellow.
LOCKELAND/Til The Cows Come Home
Writers: Michael Boris/Kyndon Oakes/Mark Vikingstad/Renn Anderson; Producers: Boris/Sean Spence; Publishers: none listed; Lockeland
– Everyone’s trying real hard. Intense picking. Polished group harmonies. Propulsive energy. It has a rather anxious vibe, but there’s no denying the talent here.
SHANE OWENS/Love To Try Them On
Writers: noen listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Amerimonte
– It’s sort of an answer to “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?” Which means it is perfect for a hardcore traditionalist like Shane. On top of that, it’s a toe-tapping, honky-tonkin’ par-tay. While he tips his hat to George Jones, Merle Haggard, Vern Gosdin and Keith Whitley, he has a blast. Play it.
GARTH BROOKS/Stronger Than Me
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Pearl (ERG)
– I know it is supposed to sound love-y, but I can’t escape the feeling that it is somehow condescending.
DEE JAY SILVER & CORT CARPENTER/Safe Zone
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; DJS
– Dull, plodding and repetitive. Even the naked chick in the video can’t save it.
JOHN SCHNEIDER/Who Da Baby Daddy
Writers: Haselden; Producers: Paul Leim, Schneider, Alicia Allain, Bob Bullock; Publisher: none listed; Maven (track)
– Ripping off Stevie Wonder’s groove to “Superstition” is not a promising start. Attempting a black accent while relating the Christmas story digs the hole deeper. However, I have to admit that the lyric is as clever as the dickens. Definitely worth a listen.