DISClaimer: Sammy Kershaw, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Bellamy Brothers Showcase New Music

Mary Chapin Carpenter. Photo: Jonathan Stewart

Old friends are the best friends.

At least that’s what this listening session feels like. Country classics Sammy Kershaw, The Bellamy Brothers, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Joe Diffie are checking in with new sounds, and in all cases they are better than those by the younger artists in this edition of “DisClaimer.”

In fact, the Disc of the Day winner is “Over the Moon” by the veteran Bellamy Brothers.

Give a DisCovery Award to Cooper Alan. He sure sounds like a keeper to these ears.

Speaking of my ears, several readers pointed out that the “rhythm track” I cited in last week’s review of Home Free is, in fact, one of the a cappella group’s members beat boxing. Which I should have guessed. My bad.

COOPER ALAN/Climate Change
Writers: Cooper Alan/Seth Mosley/Victoria Shaw; Producers: Shaw/Mosley; Publisher: none listed; Cooped Up
– He has a very cool, resonant vocal tone. The clever lyric says that climate change “sucks” because his once-hot love affair has turned cold. Highly listenable and hooky.

KAILEY NICOLE/Diamonds and Coal
Writers: none listed; Producer: Niles Thomas; Publisher: none listed; KN
– Fiery and uptempo, this has vim and vigor to spare. This single will appear on a self-titled EP due on Jan. 24. Nicole is Vegas-born and L.A.-raised, but now calls Music City home.

JOE DIFFIE & MARC BROUSSARD/Pride & Joy
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Diffie
– Diffie and Broussard get bluesy on this rocking reworking of a Stevie Ray Vaughan tune. You’ll find it on his limited-edition, green-vinyl, greatest-hits LP titled Joe, Joe, Joe Diffie.

BELLAMY BROTHERS/Over The Moon
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; BB
– Utterly lovely. The romantic ballad is drenched in steel guitar and has a country melody to die for. Howard’s lead vocal is as warm as a blanket.

FILMORE/London
Writers: Filmore/John Luke Carter; Producers: Zach Abend/John Luke Carter; Publisher: none listed; Curb
– Kinda poppy, and undeniably catchy. The breezy tempo and jaunty tone contrast nicely with the guilt in the lyric about seeing the wonders of London without her by his side. Well worth your spins.

RAELYNN/Bra Off
Writers: RaeLynn/Josh Kerr/Emily Weisband; Producer: Corey Crowder; Publisher: none listed; Round Here
– “Breaking up with you is like taking my bra off.” If you say so.

LANCE CARPENTER & RICHIE McDONALD/Last Night in Memphis
Writers: Lance Carpenter/Richie McDonald; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; LC
– This punchy, emotional ballad is about a little girl who is cured of cancer at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. Baritone Lance delivers the lead vocal with loads of heart.

SAMMY KERSHAW/My Friend Fred
Writers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Big Hit
– As always, Sammy delivers the goods as a vocalist. The well-written song is a sensitive, thoughtful meditation about the destructive power of drug addiction. Highly recommended.

MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER/Our Man Walter Cronkite
Writers: none listed; Producer: Jamie Mefford; Publisher: none listed; MCC
– Echoey and hushed, her performance gently muses about the contrast between the news of her youth versus the awfulness of today. An orchestra softly builds around her as the track unfolds like a dream.

THE WILD FEATHERS/Jacksonville to Jackson Hole
Writers: Eric Church/Casey Beathard; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; WF
– This is a fine song, but it sounds kinda under-produced. Besides, I liked them better when they rocked.

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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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