DISClaimer: Trisha Yearwood Is “Magnificent” On “Every Girl In This Town”

What country acts have timed new music for release during CMA Fest?

Well, that parade includes such familiar names as Old Dominion, Tracy Lawrence, Julie Roberts, Jake Owen, the Zac Brown Band and our Disc of the Day winner, Trisha Yearwood.

Also: Old Crow Medicine Show member Chance McCoy steps out as a solo artist to claim a DisCovery Award.

TRISHA YEARWOOD/Every Girl In This Town
Writers: Erik Dylan/Caitlyn Smith/Connie Harrington; Producer: Garth Fundis; Publishers: none listed; Gwendolyn
– Magnificent. This is one of the greatest voices, male or female, in this or any other format. The driving song soars with youthful nostalgia and optimism, and just the right spice of empowerment. Yearwood is a goddess. Play her.

JAKE OWEN/Homemade
Writers: Bobby Pinson/Drew Parker/Jared Mullins/Ben Goldsmith; Producers: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Big Loud
– It’s over produced, too processed and “busy” sounding. But the warm ode to small-town values has its heart in the right place. And he’s singing as well as ever.

JULIE ROBERTS/I Couldn’t Make You Love Me
Writers: Rudy Perez/Mark Portmann/John Bettis; Publishers: none listed; Producers: none listed; JR
– She’s always been one of our most underrated singers. On this comeback single, she unleashes admirable power and emotion. I just wish it was a country song instead of a pop ballad.

Writers: none listed; Producer:none listed; Publishers: none listed; RCA
– I like the stripped-down, finger poppin’ sonics of this. The lyric is a left-field delight, a wish for companionship with a music-making metaphor. A nice job by this always dependable ensemble.

JENNY TOLMAN/High Class White Trash
Writers: Jenny Tolman/Dave Brainard; Producers: Dave Brainard; Publishers: none listed; JT
– It is one of the great mysteries of modern times: Why isn’t this gifted woman on a major label? This delightful, lightly funky, fabulously witty outing is yet another brilliant feather in her cap. The beauty-parlor video is a hoot, as is the slightly naughty lyric. Essential listening.

ZAC BROWN BAND/Someone I Used To Know
– This manages the tricky feat of managing to be both catchy and meaningful at the same time. It’s a rhythmic, cautionary tale of a young life wasted. As ever, they are unlike any other act in the country genre. Which is to be applauded.

– So impressive. Acoustic, raw, vulnerable and painfully real. This ballad of dissolution and despondence cuts mighty close to the bone. This guy has the goods.

TRAVIS DENNING/Tank of Gas And A Radio Song
Writers: Travis Denning/Nathan Spicer/Shane Minor; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Mercury
– I have yet to hear a wrong note from this fellow. This thumper has a steamy, simmering, sexy vibe that’s perfect for a hot summer night. Spin it, spin it, spin it.

CHANCE MCCOY/Lonesome Pine
– Best known as a multi-instrumentalist member of Old Crow Medicine Show, McCoy reveals his solo style on this haunting, atmospheric, psych-folk meditation. It has open-air, wafting, whispery, melancholy solitude that is just dreamy.

Writers: Tracy Lawrence/Rick Huckaby/Adam Sanders; Producers: Julian King and Tracy Lawrence; LMG
– It is stirring and uplifting and terrifically rhythmic. But it has a too-similar feeling to Toby Keith’s identically titled 2011 chart-topping single.


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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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