There’s nothing like Nashville in July-August to wear you out. And there are no ballads in this week’s column to cool you off.
The new sounds from Bomshel, Randy Travis, Montgomery Gentry and Marlee Scott are particularly hot stuff. Justin Moore follows up his tender “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” with a scorching little attitude tune titled “Bait A Hook.” The boy is on a roll. Hand him a Disc of the Day award.
Perhaps the hottest sounding performance of the day came from some unknown Texans billed as Brad Dunn & Ellis County. They’re an Austin bar band. Their CD shines with promise. Hands down, my DisCovery Award of the week.
MARLEE SCOTT/Beautiful Maybe
Writer: Tania Hancheroff/Marcus Hummon/Tia Sellers; Producer: David Kalmusky; Publisher: Universal/MGB/Careers/Ourtrinity/Coburn/Sillers with an I Think Tank, ASCAP/BMI; CO5 (www.marleescott.com)
—Brightly optimistic and positive. Produced with clarity and class. Irresistibly rhythmic, to boot.
RANDY TRAVIS/Everything And All
Writer: Troy Jones; Producer: Kyle Lehning; Publisher: Tiltawhirl/Carnival, BMI; Warner Bros.
—His burnished baritone voice remains one of the truly great things about the country-music format. This uptempo twangfest is a delightful showcase for it. Spin it.
RYAN TURNER BAND/Sweet Time
Writer: none listed; Producer: none listed; Publisher: none listed; RTB (www.ryanturnermusic.com)
—The track has a cool nervous energy about it. His vocal doesn’t have a huge amount of personality, but he gets the job done on this tempo celebration.
Writer: Josh Kear/Mark Irwin; Producer: Chad Carlson; Publisher: Global Dog/Big Yellow Dog/LunaLight/Green Vinyl, ASCAP; Curb
—I dig these gals. If this sizzling, frothy, beat frenzy doesn’t get folks out onto the dance floor, I can’t imagine what will. Crank it up.
KATIE QUICK/Best In Me
Writer: Katie Quick/Ben Goldsmith; Producer: Katie Quick & Chip Hardy; Publisher: Katiequickmusic, BMI; KQ (track) (www.katiequick.com)
—She wrote all 14 tunes on her Valley Between Love CD, including this hand-clapping, banjo-propelled, sunny, toe-tapper of a single. Sweet as candy.
THE BAND PERRY/All Your Life
Writer: Brian Henningsen/Clara Henningsen; Producer: Nathan Chapman; Publisher: EMI Blackwood/How Bout That Skyline/Cactus Moser, BMI; Republic Nashville (track)
—This plea for lifelong devotion goes down smoothly, thanks to the lilting mandolin work, gentle percussion and oh-so-creamy vocal harmonies. The bluesy bridge is especially cool with its melodic shift and chiming bells.
BRAD DUNN & ELLIS COUNTY/Red White And Blue
Writer: Brad Dunn & Ellis County; Producer: Kevin Szymanski, Brad Dunn & Ellis County; Publisher: none listed; BD (track) (www.reverbnation.com/bradleyddunn)
—The grinding groove makes it sound kind of like a countrified ZZ Top. The title refers to the Texas state flag, and everything about this screams Lone Star State roadhouse rawk. The song and performance are both loaded with sweaty macho attitude. I’ll bet these guys are great live. Even the ballads on the band’s Ranch Cat album seethe with personality and individuality.
JUSTIN MOORE/Bait A Hook
Writer: Rhett Akins/Justin Moore/Jeremy Stover; Producer: Jeremy Stover; Publisher: EMI Blackwood/Rhettneck/Big Music Machine/Double Barrel Ace/Super 98/EMI April/Songs of Countrywood, BMI/ASCAP; Valory Music
—Her new boyfriend can’t hold his liquor, drives a Prius and eats sushi. But he can’t catch fish, skin a deer, drive a truck or belt Jack Daniels, so the redneck singer isn’t worried a bit that she’ll come running back. Highly humorous, enormously rhythmic and deeply drawled.
JOEL WARREN & JASON ALLEN/Straight Up Country
Writer: Steve Guidos/Bill Warrington/Ward Tolbert; Producer: Eric Paul; Publisher: Wynnestar/Bill Warrington/Song Brook, BMI/ASCAP; Wynnesong (track) (www.joelwarrencountry.com)
—The swingin’ honky-tonk band kicks up plenty of dust. Jason has the pipes to front the sound. Joel doesn’t.
MONTGOMERY GENTRY/Where I Come From
Writer: Rodney Clawson/Dallas Davidson; Producer: Michael Knox; Publisher: Big Red Toe/Amarillo Sky/EMI Blackwood/String Stretcher, BMI; Average Joe (CDX) (615-733-9983)
—Pretty much what you might expect from the title—a defense of the small-town, countrified lifestyle. It is better written than most songs like this, and the boys deliver it with their trademarked propulsive punch.
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About the AuthorRobert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.
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