Let’s cut right to the chase. Logan Mize and Clare Dunn have the Disc of the Day with Jonathan Tyler and Nikki Lane snapping at their heels and picking up a DisCovery Award as a consolation prize for Tyler.
But the previously reviewed “Rebels and Angels” by Terry McBride and Patty Loveless is still my 2020 favorite in this sub-genre.
LOGAN MIZE & CLARE DUNN /”Get ‘Em Together”
Writers: Dallas Davidson/Mark Holman/Ben Hayslip/Justin Wilson; Publisher:Big Yellow Dog; Producer: Daniel Agee; Label: Big Yellow Dog
-I love male-female country duets, and this one is a sensation. It’s got tempo, smiles, thump, crunch and guitar. Not to mention two personality-packed vocal performances for the price of one. Spin, spin, spin this baby.
HONEY COUNTY/ “Cry Wolf”
Writers: Danielle Rosner/Devon Eisenbarger/Katelyn Clampett/Katie Stump/Maks Gabriel; Publisher: none listed; Producer: Maks Gabriel/Katelyn Clampett; Label: Orchard
-The vocals by this female duo are mixed beautifully—so right up close and intimate you can almost hear them breathing into the microphone. The production shifts from soft and airy to rocking, swirling and exciting. I dig this little toe tapper.
LARKIN POE/”Take What You Want”
Writers: Andrew Wotman /Austin Richard Post/Billy Walsh/Jacques Webster/John Osbourne/Louis Russell Bell; Publisher: none listed; Producer: Larkin Poe; Label: LP
-The latest collection by these two sisters (Megan & Rebecca Lovell) is a covers-only effort titled Kindred Spirits. On it, they reinterpret songs by The Moody Blues, Elvis, Lenny Kravitz, Phil Collins, Elton John and others. This track is their rootsy/acoustic version of the Post Malone number. It’s pretty dang ear opening. If you aren’t hip to these two multi-instrumental wonders, get with the program…..
PRESLEY & TAYLOR/”Everybody Sees It”
Writers: Tenille Arts/Aaron Goodvin/Adam Wheeler; Publisher: none listed; Producer: James Stroud; Label: White Mustang
-These two sisters exude confidence and elan on this goose-bumpy, close-harmony performance. A steady, throbbing beat and tasty guitar licks underscore the silky vocals. One more thing: it is as catchy as can be.
SHENANDOAH & ASHLEY McBRYDE/”If Only “
Writers: Lori McKenna/Phil Barton/Jaron Boyer; Publisher: none listed; Producer: Buddy Cannon; Label: Foundry
-The Shenandoah comeback album of celebrity duets is loaded with delights. Not the least of them is this charming collaboration with McBryde. It’s a sweetly nostalgic, gentle, lilting song that wafts along with wishes of love, hope and decency.
THE SWON BROTHERS & LEWIS BRICE/”Southern Draw”
Writers: Zach Swon/Colton Swon/Lewis Brice; Publisher: none listed; Producer: Zach Swon/Colton Swan; Label: SB
–Nashlahoma is the title of the new Swon Brothers album. This lively, highly likeable track kicks up a lot of dust with its furious drumming, stinging guitar licks and party atmosphere. And no, that’s not a typo. It’s not “drawl.” It’s “draw.” They’re inviting you to the festivities by saying, “Let that Southern draw you in.”
LENA PAIGE & TANYA TUCKER/”Joan of Arkansas “
Writers: Robert Walton Jenkins/Selena Lynn Van Wyk; Publishers: none listed; Producer: none listed; Label: LP
-Paige has a languid delivery that’s not particularly compelling. Tucker, on the other, hand, is vocal charisma on the hoof. The lyric they share is interesting, but the melody just lays there.
ORVILLE PECK & SHANIA TWAIN/”Legends Never Die”
Writers: Orville Peck/Duncan Hay Jennings; Publisher: Sony-ATV, no performance rights listed; Producer: Orville Peck; Label: Columbia
-Colorful, mask-wearing Orville and snazzy dresser Shania might seem to be a good duet idea. Alas, neither of them sings well here, and evidently neither one is capable of vocal harmonizing. Also: The song is a dud.
KELSEA BALLERINI & SHANIA TWAIN/ “Hole in the Bottle “
Writers: Ashley Gorley/Hillary Lindsey/Jesse Frasure/Kelsea Ballerini/Steph Jones; Publisher: none listed; Producer: Ballerini/Frasure; Label: Black River
-The remix of Kelsea’s current single is pointlessly busy with competing drum tracks, overlapping vocals and trainwreck mixing. Shania’s vocals add little. It’s still a very cool song, so I’m sticking with Kelsea’s solo rendition.
JONATHAN TYLER & NIKKI LANE /”Old Friend”
Writers: Jonathan Tyler; Publisher: none listed; Producer: Jonathan Tyler; Label: JT
-Funky, warm and friendly, this rhythm-happy toe-tapper is loaded with cool little acoustic touches from mandolin, harmonica, shaker, fiddle and more. Lane’s sweet soprano harmony sounds lovely up against Tyler’s folkie vocal rasp. Sweet, jaunty and utterly endearing.
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