It’s country stars old and new in today’s DISClaimer column.
Despite the presence of such hot “today” acts as Kip Moore, Lauren Alaina, Jon Pardi, Brett Young, Justin Moore and Jameson Rodgers, it’s the established legends who carry the day.
Ruling the roost are Reba McEntire, Mark Collie, Joe Nichols, Terri Clark and our Disc of the Day winner—and new Country Music Hall of Fame inductee—Marty Stuart. Singing a Willie Nelson song, no less.
Everyone here has been making records for years, so we have no DISCovery Award to give.
ADAM DOLEAC / “Coulda Loved You Longer”
Writers: Adam Doleac/Casey Brown/Jesse Lee Levin; Producer: Andy Skib; Label: Arista
—Finger-snapping pop, heavy on the groove and light on the lyric.
MARK COLLIE / “The Son of a Gun”
Writers: Mark Collie/Jonathan Hensleigh; Producer: Chad Cromwell/Kenny Greenberg/Mark Collie; Label: MC
—Dramatic and forceful, this poetic outing salutes the courageous individuals who have stood their ground, been true to themselves and lived wild and free. The video salutes war veterans.
BRETT YOUNG / “Not Yet”
Writers: Brett Young, Justin Ebach, Kelly Archer; Producer: Dann Huff; Label: BMLG
—We’re in familiar Brett-romance territory here. As always, professional and listenable, if not exactly ground breaking.
KIP MOORE / “Good Life”
Writers: Kip Moore/Dan Couch/Jay Joyce; Producer: Jay Joyce; Label: MCA Nashville
—Very cool sounding. The rump-shaking rhythms and double-tracked, spoken/shouted/sung vocals on this jam add dandy new textures to this artist’s sound. Get up and bop around the room.
ASHLEY MONROE / “Groove”
Writers: Aaron Raitiere/Ashley Monroe/Mikey Reaves; Producer: Mikey Reaves; Label: Mountainrose
—The stacked vocal harmonies in this lustrous production are lovely. The single continues this former country standout’s exploration of the pop-music landscape.
JUSTIN MOORE / “Straight Outta the Country”
Writers: Michael Hardy/Cam Montgomery/Josh Thompson; Producer: Jeremy Stover; Label: Valory
—It’s the one with the rock guitars about the hard-working redneck party boy out in the sticks. Been here. Done that. Bought the t-shirt.
JOE NICHOLS / “Home Run”
Writers: Ashley Gorley/Dallas Davidson/Ross Copperman; Producers: Mickey Jack Cones/Derek George; Label: Quartz Hill
—He remains a superb country singer. It’s almost baseball season, but despite its title, this irresistibly rhythmic tune isn’t about that. It’s about doing a run back to your family, your roots, your innocence and your home. Well worth your spins.
JAMESON RODGERS / “In It for the Money”
Writers: Jameson Rodgers/Jake Mitchell/Hunger Phelps/Brent Anderson; Producers: Chris Farren/Jake Mitchell; Label: Columbia/River House
—This is the title tune of the new EP by this shooting star, and it’s a doozy. His soulful rasp is effectively applied to this terrific lyric about what life is like as a country troubadour. The collection also includes “Cold Beer Calling My Name,” “Good Dogs” and “Some Girls.” Get it now.
REBA McENTIRE / “Somehow You Do”
Writers: Diane Warren; Producer: Tony Brown; Label: Rockin’ R/UMG
—In this slow-waltz ballad, Reba offers balm and comfort to people everywhere who are suffering and struggling in grief, difficulty, tough times and loss. Powerful stuff.
TERRI CLARK / “The Highway”
Writer: Holly Williams; Producer: Terri Clark; Label: Baretrack
—She yearns for the road. Don’t we all? Nicely written and performed with sincerity.
LAUREN ALAINA & JON PARDI / “Getting Over Him”
Writers: Emily Lynn Weisband/Lauren Alaina Suddeth/Paul Charles Digiovanni; Producer: Paul DiGiovanni; Label: Mercury
—A rollicking duet about using a no-strings hookup as a remedy for heartbreak. Full of personality.
MARTY STUART / “One In a Row”
Writers: Willie Nelson; Producer: none listed; Label: MS
—Gorgeous. Marty takes this Willie gem into a Latin realm with swirls of strings, guitars and keyboards. His umber shaded baritone vocal is given just a touch of echo to make the whole thing even more compelling. The track is from Songs I Sing in the Dark, a stunning new collection by this new Country Music Hall of Famer. Also check out his timely remake of “Ready for the Times to Get Better.”