It’s a day for some real country singing in this edition of DISClaimer.
We’re truly in the presence of some vocal greatness in the offerings by David Nail, Tiera Kennedy, Morgan Evans, Sunny Sweeney and the duet by Becky Isaacs Bowman and Dolly Parton.
There’s no arguing with a guy who has 11 No. 1 singles under his belt. Justin Moore does not disappoint in his outstanding duet with Priscilla Block. The new team nails down this week’s Disc of the Day.
The DISCovery Award goes to War Hippies. They also sing great, and have a story to tell as well.
JON LANGSTON / “Give You My All”
Writers: Jon Langston/Brad Wagner/Jordan Gray; Producers: Jacob Rice/Jody Stevens; Label: EMI/32 Bridge Entertainment
–Very cool. It’s has a bluesy ballad groove that floats on a sea of romance. The fundamental simplicity of the tune and message of devotion are the secrets of its effectiveness.
JUSTIN MOORE & PRISCILLA BLOCK / “You, Me and Whiskey”
Writers: Jessi Alexander/Brock Berryhill/Cole Taylor; Producers: Jeremy Stover/Scott Borchetta; Label: Big Machine
–Their vocal harmony work is outstanding. They swap verses with equal measures of personality, then turn the thing up a few notches with their entwined verses on the choruses. In the lyric, they’ve been working too hard, so they need a night together to relax with some beverages. Amen to that. Block brings her “Block Party” show to the Nashville Palace on Nov. 3.
WAR HIPPIES / “Make It Out Alive”
Writers: Scott Brown; Producers: Donnie Reis/Scott Brown; Label: WarHippies
–Donnie Reis and Scott Brown are former U.S. combat soldiers whose War Hippies album deals with veterans’ issues. The suicide rate among vets is heartbreaking, which the living-strong lyric of this ballad pushes against. Both men sing with great heart, and the synth-and-strings accompaniment is perfect.
THOMAS RHETT & KATY PERRY / “Where We Started”
Writers: Ashley Gorley/Jon Bellion/Thomas Rhett/Jesse Frasure; Producers: Dann Huff/Jesse Frasure; Label: Valory
–Dreamy. Romantic. Awash in melody, with both voices at the top of their game. Pop queen Perry began her career in Music City as a teen CCM artist.
615 COLLECTIVE / “Coastin’”
Writers: Sarah Darling/Michael Logen/NicoleWitt; Producer: none listed; Label: 615
–Comprised of top tunesmiths Sarah Darling, Michael Logen, Shelly Fairchild and Nicole Witt, this combo strikes it rich with this breezy, groovy, relaxing beach-y tune. Darling takes the lead with her wafting soprano above a smooth-as-glass track.
BECKY ISAACS BOWMAN & DOLLY PARTON / “Early Morning Breeze”
Writer: Dolly Parton; Producer: none listed; Label: Isaacs
–Becky is a cornerstone of the Opry group The Isaacs, but she has always been somewhat overshadowed by the superbly gifted vocals of her sister Sonya Isaacs. Now she is getting her own solo album. This advance track pairs her with the legendary Dolly, and the result is Heaven in Appalachia. Their lilting voices match like mountaineer twins.
MORGAN EVANS / “Over For You”
Writers: Morgan Evans/Madison Love/Geoff Warburton/Tim Sommers; Producer: Tim Sommers/Scott Hendricks; Label: Warner
–A penultimate heartbreak ballad. He aches with wondering how long she didn’t love him while he kept on deluding himself. I like the ghostly voices softly asking “How long? How Long?” in between his musings.
FLO RIDA & WALKER HAYES / “High Heels”
Writers: Bryan Isaac/Danny Majic/Dre Davidson/Fraser Churchill/Meron Mengist/Sean Davidson/Walker Hayes; Producer: The Monarch/Danny Majic; Label: Monument
–Flo Rida babbles about whatever. Walker Hayes references “Fancy Like,” Applebees, the Grammys and whatnot. I suppose it’s harmless.
TIERA KENNEDY / “Alabama Nights”
Writers: Cameron Bedell/Emily Falvey/Jared Scott/Tiera Kennedy/Emily Flakey; Producers: Dann Huff/Cameron Bedel; Label: Valory
–“Found It In You” remains the lovely single. This fresh track from her upcoming album shows a livelier side. In fact, it is a stone boppin’ delight. The picturesque, rapid-fire lyrics are a blast as are the skipping, merry track and her pert, sunny soprano vocal. Definitely check this ditty out…..pronto.
DAVID NAIL / “Wherever You Are Tonight”
Writers: David Nail/Robyn Collins/Grant Vogel; Producer: none listed; Label: DN
–He always draws me in with every note he sings. This master communicator aches with authenticity on this beautifully melodic track. Shut your eyes and get lost in his performance.
SUNNY SWEENEY / “Married Alone”
Writers: Hannah Blaylock/Josh Morningstar/Autumn McEntire; Producers: Paul Cauthen/Beau Bedford; Label: Aunt Daddy/Thirty Tigers
–The always-great Sunny has just released a new album. Its title track ballad features Vince Gill on vocal harmony and a steel-soaked, deeply twangin’ track that is Country, with a capital “C.” I adore this woman.
RANDY ROGERS BAND / “Fast Car”
Writers: Randy Montana/Wendell Mobley/Lee Miller; Producer: Radney Foster; Label: RR
–Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, this band is always a welcome playlist addition. On this mid-tempo meditation, a guy wonders about the gal he meets in a bar, speculating about her present, past and future. The cleanly mixed track keeps things admirably close to the earth.
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