Country’s big guns are out for Country Radio Seminar.
Today’s stack of platters is loaded with star power, with some of today’s hottest hit makers next to living legends.
I am happy to report that — at least this week in “DisClaimer” — we have gender parity. The four finest releases are split between two female and two male acts. The women are Kree Harrison and Kacey Musgraves. The men are the newly stellar duo Dan + Shay and a trio consisting of Florida Georgia Line and Hardy.
The Disc of the Day award goes to Grammy queen Kacey Musgraves. The DisCovery Award also goes to a galentine, Ingrid Andress.
CHRIS JANSON/Good Vibes
Writers: Chris Janson/Ashley Gorley/Zach Crowell; Producers: Chris Janson & Zach Crowell; Publishers: none listed; Warner Bros.
– Not as innovative as his earlier efforts, but it is irresistibly merry and smiley. Ya gotta love this guy.
KREE HARRISON/I Love The Lie
Writers: Chris Stapleton/Morgane Stapleton/Liz Rose; Producers: Jordan Lehning/Skylar Wilson; One vision
– Everything works here — her silvery vocal delivery, the super hooky song, the steel guitar solo and the superb, rolling-rumble production. Rock on, sister.
GEORGE STRAIT/Every Little Honky Tonk Bar
Writers: George Strait/Bubba Strait/Dean Dillon; Producers: Strait/Chuck Ainlay; Publishers: none listed; MCA Nashville
-A hillbilly toe tapper with tightly-packed lyrics portraying your favorite roadhouse. I particularly like the “answering” steel and the super-close vocal harmonies.
INGRID ANDRESS/Lady Like
Writers: Derrick Southerland, Ingrid Andress, Sam Ellis; Producer: Sam Ellis; Publishers: none listed; Atlantic
– Cool, offbeat, tomboy lyrics. She sounds like a comer to me. Lend her your ears.
FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE & HARDY/Y’all Boys
Writers: Jesse Frasure/Ashley Gorley/Michael Hardy/Brett Tyler; Producers: Joey Moi/FGL; Producers: Warner-Tamerlane/Telemitry Rhythm House/Songs of Roc Nation/Songsofgroceries/Round Hill Songs II/Caleb’s College Fund/Relative/Songs of Kobalt/Extremely Combustible/Music of One77, BMI/ASCAP; BMLG
-The dense production holds audio delights around every corner. The good ol’ boy lyrics sound like retreads, but there’s no getting around the overall sonic splendor.
DOLLY PARTON/Red Shoes
Writers: Dolly Parton/Linda Perry; Producer: Linda Perry; Publishers: Velvet Apple/Dark Robot/Peer, BMI; RCA/Dolly
– Tucked in among her classics in the show-stopping Grammy telecast medley was this riveting gem from Dolly’s Dumplin’ soundtrack. Perry’s production builds nicely as the superstar relates her empowering lyric.
ADAM HAMBRICK/All You, All Night, All Summer
Writers: Adam Hambrick/Pete Good/AJ Babcock; Producers: Andrew DeRoberts/Paul DiGiovanni; Capitol/Buena Vista
-It’s February, so Adam thinks we need a sunshine song. It’s a catchy dandy, full of bright production touches and featuring a boyish, upbeat, tenor vocal. I remain a fan.
Writers: Natlie Hemby/Shane McAnally/Kacey Musgraves; Producers: Ian Fitchuk, Daniel Tashian & Kacey Musgraves; Publishers: none listed; MCA
– Wow. As we saw on the Grammy Awards where she triumphed, it’s just Kacey’s poignant voice and Ian’s piano. But what an enchanting spell they cast. The sweet ballad of perseverance offers strength and encouragement to the oppressed and downtrodden everywhere. Country music needs this song.
DAN + SHAY/All To Myself
Writers: none listed; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Warner Bros.
-An intoxicating romantic cocktail, mixed with twirling rhythm and delicious melody. A stone smash.
JASON ALDEAN/Rearview Town
Writers: Kelley Lovelace/Bobby Pinson/Neil Thrasher; Producers: EMI Music Publishing/Sea Gayle Music Publishing/peer music; Publishers: Michael Knox; BBR
– Lots and lots of people will relate to this lyric. There’s not much to the tune or the production, so it’s left to Jason’s vocal performance to carry the day. And it does.
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