The Cheaters', Jason Morton and Brett Wilmer, latest single is the play on words "She Got A Way." The song, written by the duo, along with Preston Brust and Chris Lucas (from LoCash), as well as Scott Hommel and Phil Barton is from their 2014 release Waitin' On Right Now.
Originally from Maryland, "She Got A Way" was the first song the duo wrote after moving to Nashville, and they admit it was a completely different writing experience than what they were used to. The finished product though is a song with an easy to fall into, smooth groove about a pretty perfect gal who has a guy wrapped around her finger. The scaled back acoustic beginning as well as their harmonies make this debut single a nice introduction to their sound.
"She's got a smile like a sunshine
Down for a good time
Once in a lifetime
She got a way
She's that place where I wanna go
So, so beautiful
Only one I wanna hold"
Jordyn Stoddard may only be sixteen years old, but she already has years of singing, playing her turquoise guitar and songwriting under her belt. She has shared the stage with The Gatlin Brothers, Easton Corbin, and Sundy Best, among others. In the summer of 2014 Stoddard teamed up with Grammy Award winning Producer David Hall to record her debut album, Southern Tide, which will be released in March. One of the songs from that record, "Like Me 'Til You Love Me," is preparing to hit radio waves as her first single.
The melody of "Like Me 'Til You Love Me" is the perfect way to transition from the winter doldrums to the fresh feel of springtime. The song has an obvious youthful mood, but the message of taking a chance on love-because you never know what can happen-is most certainly universally relatable. There is an interesting spoken word portion around the two minute mark, but it's rather short and, while surprising, doesn't detract from the overall song and Stoddard's on target vocals.
"Let's roll until we start rocking
Let's float until we start falling
You never know just maybe
You like me 'til you love me baby"
Purchase "Like Me 'Til You Love Me" here
Hailing from Georgia, newcomer Ty Bates released his self titled debut EP in 2014. His latest single from the project is entitled “Runnin’.” The song is about the demise of a relationship, not because of the usual culprits, but because “she was lonely for too long and I didn’t see it coming.” Bates’ vocals convey the sorrow and regret of a man who was blindsided to learn of her unhappiness. Even though it is a mid-tempo tune, it’s a story song that evokes sadness because it reaffirms that it really is the simple things, like time and attention, that make a relationship.....well, a relationship.
“Didn’t see the warnings of a woman who was letting me know
She was moving on
I didn’t have some woman on the side
Wasn’t telling her no lies
All she wanted was a little bit more of my time”
Purchase the single here
Nashville-based singer/songwriter and producer Trent Dabbs had an extremely successful year of music. He co-wrote six songs off Ingrid Michaelson’s latest release, Lights Out, including the hit single, “Girls Chase Boys" and his song “Don’t Put Dirt On My Grave” (co-written with Caitlyn Smith) was featured on ABC’s Nashville. On February 10th Dabbs will release his ninth album, Believer, via his own Ready Set Records.
In contrast to much of the over processed music you hear on the radio today, Believer takes a back to basics approach and being so is simply a gift for the ears. The ten tracks on the record are many things: truthful, emotive, thoughtful, sparse and beautiful....all meaningfully conveyed by the instrumentation used, including piano, harmonica, and guitar. The collection can also be described as intimate--listening to Dabbs' gentle vocals you feel as if you are privy to his personal thoughts and experiences.
Asking whether something is worth pursuing, "Nature of the Beast" will transport you back to the folk era heyday while "Make A Believer," with its 80's pop sensibilities, delivers a message of finding encouragement and hope in relationships, even when you don't think there may be any remaining. "Doesn't matter what I've done/Doesn't matter what I do/Gonna, gonna make a believer out of you."
Personal favorite "Nobody's Stranger Anymore" makes the heart ache as he sings “Old friends, old lovers some records skip more than others/It's the same song we're all looking for/To be nobody's stranger anymore.” Another beautiful track "Here on Earth" reminds us that our time here is short and we should say what we need to say to people before we lose them.
"For the Grace of You," which was also featured on ABC's Nashville, deals with second chances and the natural highs that accompany being in love, while "To My Girl," a ballad about "pledging allegiance" to the one you are with and not abandoning a relationship.
"World On Time" is as toe tapping as they come with female harmonies that express the sentiment of finding the right person and falling in love. "My soul it sings its own desires/It stands before the choir that you lead." Transgressions, confessions and apologies are the focus in the melancholy, piano centered ballad "Goes Without Saying." "Deliver me from all of my sins/From running away/'Cause I can't be saved with trangressions still on my lips." The almost lullaby-esque "Say No More," about leaving this world, appropriately closes the album. "Let the angels take it from here."
Perhaps it may take you more than one listen to fully appreciate this album, but it will be time worth investing. Believer is a refreshing album that is indeed a lovely listen.
Believer will be available February 10th
Purchase the album here
Originally from Alberta, Canada, Mandy McMillan is a Nashville based singer/songwriter who recently released her self-titled debut EP. The songs on the five track record deal with love, loss and taking chances and are delivered by a voice that effortlessly expresses them all.
The EP starts off with “Good Girls Don’t Kiss In Bars.” With its scaled down introduction one initially thinks it’s a ballad, but then the songs kicks into an up tempo fun, humorous country song with a catchy toe tappin’ melody. McMillan sings sweetly about being a good girl: “You can take me to a movie/Maybe buy me dinner/Boy I ain’t no saint/But mama didn’t raise no sinner/If you ask me for my number/You can walk me to my car/But good girls don’t kiss in bars.” But the boys needn’t worry as she later fills them in on where it is appropriate for good girls to kiss. Delightful tune.
The mid-tempo love song “Linger” is about wanting that moment to last, maybe not forever, but definitely a little bit longer. “Call My Name,” another love song, is a beautiful ballad about fondly remembering a young love. “We were young and went our separate ways/But I’d give anything to hear the words you used to say.”
Many people don’t take chances in love anymore out of a fear of the unknown and getting hurt. The easy cadence of “Geronimo” sends the message that we shouldn’t let those fears hold us back; open your heart and take a chance because if you don’t you’ll never know….and you might be pleasantly surprised. “I wanna dive right in/Sink or swim I gotta know/I’d rather die than live with more what ifs ready set go there’s a chance this might get messy but I’m ready to love you if you let me.”
The EP closes with the rocking anthem “Dust” about the demise of a relationship as a result of being wronged by the other person. Initially, she wants to seek revenge but then decides this new freedom is a wake-up call. She’s “gonna cut and run with the setting sun and leave you in the dust” instead of spending her “life just spinning my wheels, wondering why I hate and how I feel…..gotta face reality.” Take note ladies.
McMillan is a welcome addition to the roster of up and coming female artists in country music. Don’t “linger” when deciding whether you should give this EP a listen and purchase.