For your listening pleasure today, we have offerings from Kip Moore, Darius Rucker, FGL, Miranda Lambert and Eric Church. We don’t have Dan + Shay or Lee Brice, but we do have their siblings.
The Disc of the Day belongs to Tyler Braden. I have loved everything he’s put out so far, but nothing so much as “Secret.” Play and believe.
The DisCovery Award goes to Miranda’s duet partner, Luke Dick. The guy is super gifted as a songwriter, and his personality as a record maker is also abundant.
Writers: Tyler Braden; Publisher: none listed; Producer: none listed; Label: Warner Nashville
-Alcoholism, PTSD, pregnancy, heartache and misery can’t hide in a small town, where everyone knows each others’ “secrets.” Powerfully written and sung with gut-punch authority, this is the kind of thing that makes stars out of mortals. I remain an enormous fan of this newcomer.
KIP MOORE/”Don’t Go Changing”
Writers: Blair Daly/Westin Davis/Kip Moore; Publisher: none listed; Producer: none listed; Label: Mercury Nashville
-This mid-tempo rocker looks at a crazy world and asks love to remain something stable. Moore attacks it with his trademark vocal urgency while guitars snarl. The song’s gritty video is dedicated to all the live-venue owners who are suffering right now.
KAREN WALDRUP/”I Go By Jane Doe”
Writers: Karen Waldrup/Brandon Darcy/Dean Kreseki; Publisher: none listed; Producer: none listed; Label: KW
-The lady is out for a roaring good time with a take-no-prisoners attitude. When she cuts loose, she makes sure she is among strangers. She’s anonymous, and likes it that way. So there.
BILL ANDERSON/”It’s a Good Day to Have a Good Day”
Writers: Bill Anderson; Publisher: none listed; Producer: none listed; Label: TWI
-The production is a little thin sounding, but the upbeat rhythm matches the message perfectly. We can certainly use this sentiment these days. And the Country Music Hall of Famer is still whisperin’ as effectively as ever. He’s a treasure, for sure.
ERIC CHURCH/”Through My Ray-Bans”
Writers: Eric Church/Luke Laird/Barry Dean; Publisher: none listed; Producer: none listed; Label: EMI
-Pulsating and inspirational, this heart-touching lyric poem reaches out to the crowds he used to see beyond the footlights. Eric asks us to have faith and to hold each other in solidarity. I’m with you, bro.
JON LANGSTON/”Happy Ever After”
Writers: Blake Bollinger/Jon Langston/Brent Anderson; Publisher: none listed; Producer: none listed; Label: EMI/32 Bridge
-Fun, drawling and utterly countrified. She dumps the hillbilly for a trust-fund dude. So the redneck heads to a honky-tonk, downs some cold ones, plays Hank on the jukebox and meets a babe. Therefore, he’s “Happy Ever After….Her.”
NELLY & FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE/”Lil Bit”
Writers: none listed; Publisher: none listed; Producer: none listed; Label: Columbia
-This is a taste of Nelly’s forthcoming “country influenced” EP The Heartland. The St.Louis rapper previously collaborated with FGL on a remix of “Cruise,” featured Tim McGraw on his hit “Over and Over” and recorded his own take on Thomas Rhett’s “Die a Happy Man.” This catchy jam is his best attempt yet to fuse twang with dope beats.
Writers: Lewis Brice/Rozes/Joshua Logan Tangney; Publisher: none listed; Producer: Lewis Brice, Lee Brice & Ben Simonetti; Label: Pump House
-It’s a nostalgic look at what it was like to be youthful and carefree. Brice’s vocal has lots of warmth and personality. The production is too thickly processed.
LUKE DICK & MIRANDA LAMBERT/“Polyester”
Writers: Luke Dick/Chris Dubois; Publisher: none listed; Producer: none listed; Label: INgrooves
-I have always dug him as a songwriter. Who knew he was such a charming singer? His soft/fuzzy semi-spoken rasp swaps verses with Miranda’s bell-clear honky-tonk soprano while a spare little combo romps along. Luke’s documentary film that contains this on its soundtrack sounds fascinating.
TY HERNDON & KRISTIN CHENOWETH/”Orphans of God”
Writers: Joel Lindsey/Twila LaBar; Publisher: none listed; Producer: none listed; Label: TH
-This was originally sung by the CCM group Avalon. This duet by country hit maker Herndon and Broadway star Chenoweth drives home its message that we are equal and loved in His eyes. The over-the-top production is power-ballad pop all the way, complete with heavenly choir.
GABRIELLE MOONEY/”Come On In”
Writers: Kelly Johnson/Gabrielle Mooney/Jenna Johnson/Benjamin Joel Johnson; Publisher: none listed; Producer: none listed; Label: GM
-She wants her romantic partner to know who she is, a country gal. The voice has a pert quality with just a little tangy taste. Gabby is the older sister of the prodigiously gifted Shay Mooney, so I guess talent runs in the family.
DARIUS RUCKER/“Beers and Sunshine”
Writers: Darius Rucker/John Thomas Harding/Josh Osborne/Ross Copperman; Publisher: none listed; Producer: none listed; Label: Capitol Nashville
-What a cute line: “The only B.S. I need is Beers & Sunshine.” As usual, Rucker espouses easy-going good times and romance. No wonder radio loves him so.