Yesterday was the first day of summer, and the country artists are celebrating.
Jameson Rodgers, Brian Kelley and Brad Paisley all have new singles saluting the season. The rocking effort by Brad Paisley takes home the Disc of the Day award.
The DISCovery Award goes to Tanner Adell, one of three Black female acts in today’s playlist. The others are the equally listenable O.N.E. The Duo and Black Opry alumna Roberta Lea.
Three seems to be today’s magic number. Big Machine is on fire this week, with three of our contenders. David Garcia is having a moment, since he’s also involved in three of this week’s releases. And that bring us back to summertime, which is the topic of three DISClaimer sounds. Here’s hoping yours is a sunshine-and-flowers season.
JOSH ROSS / “Trouble”
Writers: Josh Ross/Mason Thornley; Producer: Matt Geroux; Label: Mercury Nashville
– Heartbreak and anguish from a shredded tenor voice. The ballad is taken at a mournful pace as he describes drinking to ease the pain. In mid-song, everything stops for a drunk-dial, spoken-word passage. The echoey guitars are cool. too.
CARLY PEARCE & CHRIS STAPLETON / “We Don’t Fight Anymore”
Writers: Carly Pearce/Shane McAnally/Pete Good; Producers: Shane McAnally/Josh Osborne/Carly Pearce; Label: Big Machine
– The relationship is so dead that they have stopped communicating completely. There’s no love, but there’s also no hate. A dobro drones sympathetically as the vocalists portray this super sad story. Both are such glorious singers that you hang on every line.
BRIAN KELLEY / “See You Next Summer”
Writers: David Garcia/Michael Hardy/Hillary Lindsey; Producer: Dann Huff; Label: Big Machine
– This mid-tempo effort unspools with pent-up energy as his voice rides atop a swirling mix of beats and electric guitars. They hooked up at the beach in Florida. Instead of calling it a summer fling, he fell in love.
BRAD PAISLEY / “So Many Summers”
Writers: Brad Paisley/Ross Copperman/Lee Thomas Miller; Producers: Luke Wooten/Brad Paisley; Label: Loaded Goat/UMG
– Live it up and have a good time, because you only get so many summers. “Swing for the fence, jump in the water …and tell her you love her.” A word of wisdom from the senior citizen at the playground. And it RAWKS. Play this on repeat.
JAMESON RODGERS / “Mine for the Summer”
Writers: Brent Anderson/Jake Mitchell/Jameson Rodgers/Smith Ahnquist; Producer: David Garcia; Label: Columbia/River House Artists
– Well written. He’s fallen so hard that he doesn’t care about anybody back home or anything else, for that matter. They’ve just met, but he’s dizzy and giddy enough that it doesn’t matter whether she’s his for the night, for the summer or for the rest of his life. The chiming production supports him at every melodic turn. A lovely little single.
CHRIS JANSON / “The Outlaw Side of Me”
Writers: Chris DeStefano/Chris Janson/Lee Miller; Producers: Julian Raymond/Chris Janson/Scott Borchetta; Label: Big Machine
– The title tune of Janson’s new album is a thumping redneck anthem that marries his drawling vocal performance with some processed electronics and a Southern-rock production. Fiery and fierce.
JOE NICHOLS / “Brokenhearted”
Writers: John Thomas Harding/Marv Green/Rhett Akins; Producers: Mickey Jack Cones/Derek George; Label: Quartz Hill Records
– This lively tune puts tongue firmly in cheek to state that there’s no crying-in-your-beer country music anymore. Instead, everybody’s dancing to party songs, “gettin’ up and gettin’ down.” I love this song, and he’s still one helluva country singer.
PILLBOX PATTI / “Low Life”
Writers: Nicolette Hayford/Chris Tompkins/Jessie Jo Dillon/Nicolette Rose Hayford; Producers: Chris Tompkins/Park Chisolm; Label: Monument Records
– This is a terrifically gripping account of a misspent youth of drugs, booze, theft, jail and bad behavior. Despite the sordid details, you get the impression that she has fond memories. Her hushed vocal is wonderfully compelling, and the echoey, wooshy, electronic production casts a hypnotic spell. As a songwriter, Nicolette Hayford is top-notch. As an artist, Pillbox Patti has no equal.
ROBERTA LEA / “Too Much of a Woman”
Writer: Roberta Lea Halmond-Walters; Producer: none listed; Label: Heaven Lea Records
– Very feisty. She might be too loud and too assertive, but she’ll be nobody’s doormat. “If I’m too much of a woman, you’re too little of a man.” So there. Here’s an interesting tidbit: This feminist anthem was recorded in the studio with an all-woman band.
TANNER ADELL / “Throw It Back”
Writers: Dan Pellarin/Tanner Adell; Producer: Evan Cline; Label: Columbia
– Adell employs a fishing metaphor on this bopping, amusing, girl-power outing. If you don’t like the way he talks or acts, well just like something you hauled in with your rod and reel, toss him overboard. On the other hand, if he likes classic country songs, “grab him by the hand and take his country ass back home.”
O.N.E. The Duo / “‘Til You Called My Name”
Writers: Prana Supreme Diggs/John Bettis/Tekitha Washington; Producer: Nash Overstreet; Label: Visionary Media Group
– Lilting and very pretty. Their airy, wafting voices blend in harmony beautifully. The sighing strings in the mix are exquisitely arranged and produced. The message is a balm of finding home and solace after a wanderlust life. Lend this your ears. By the way, this mother-daughter team deserves some major-label support.
CARRIE UNDERWOOD / “Take Me Out”
Writers: Carrie Underwood/David Garcia/Hillary Lindsey; Producers: Carrie Underwood/David Garcia; Label: Capitol Nashville
– Sweet sounding. Underwood wants to rekindle romance with some simple solutions—some flirting, some kisses, some attention. Most of all, take her out on the town. The gently pulsing rhythm and hushed soprano harmonies are the icing on the audio cake.
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