Currently nominated for an ACM for “Vocal Duo of the Year,” Dan + Shay’s debut album, Where It All Began, will be released on Warner Brothers Records on April 1st. The duo, comprised of Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney, were the only country artists named to CNN’s “Fresh Faces” and Billboard’s “2014 Artists to Watch.”
Called one of the “acts that will help define 2014” by Billboard, the duo wrote the entire 12-track album, while it was produced by Smyers and co-produced by Scott Hendricks and Nashville songwriter, Danny Orton.
Where It All Began, which includes their hit “19 You + Me”, is full of mid-tempo pop country songs about relationships and love that are highlighted by the duo’s harmonies. The songs flow together nicely, but at times tend to sound alike, both sonically and lyrically.
In the opening track, "Show You Off," they are proud of their girl and want to take her out on the town, while “Party Girl” favors staying inside and having a party of two.
In the Cole Swindell/FGL-esque “What You Do To Me,” we learn how a girl has his “head spinning around,” while in “Can’t Say No,” with its folk/pop lean (reminding one of something Hunter Hayes might sing), they tell why they can’t say no to whatever a girl may ask.
In “Nothin’ Like You,” they sing of the qualities that make a specific girl attractive; from twirling her hair to dancing to “rockin’ that rock n’ roll t-shirt.”
“First Time Feeling” is a nostalgic look at young love and that first time “wrapped up there in a blanket/nervous kids hands are shaking /yeah we knew what we were getting into /there was magic underneath that moon.”
The triad of “Stop Drop + Roll,” “Somewhere Only We Know,” and “Parking Brake” thematically are very similar. The first is about getting in his ‘65 Mustang, putting the top down and rolling down the open road. The second mixes spoken word/rap verses with a sung chorus about driving out to that place where you can “let yourself let go.” And the third song has a couple driving somewhere to park and getting to know one another.
The demise of a relationship is the subject of the piano ballad, and personal favorite, “I Heard Goodbye.” The catchy, banjo backed “Close Your Eyes” about staying inside, being together and ignoring the world, closes the album.
While it didn't do much for me, many current country radio music fans will find Where It All Began an easy to listen to album.
They have sold more than 600,000 albums, are a staple on the Texas music charts and regularly sell out venues across the country. Randy Rogers Band has to be one of the best bands you’re not hearing on country radio. Hopefully that will all change with the release of their newest single “Satellite,” which can be found on their upcoming album Homemade Tamales – Live at Floore's due out April 15th.
The mood for “Satellite” is immediately set by Brady Black’s fiddle. Feelings of loneliness, longing and despondency can be felt in those opening notes. Randy’s unique voice conveys sadness, urgency and hope as the song, and tempo, progresses.
“Satellite” is about the demise of a relationship; one that means so much to you that you feel alone and without a purpose now that it ended. “I feel like I’m lost out here/Floating around in the atmosphere.” In the song, he wonders why they’re not together, while at the same time wants, and waits, for them to find their way to each other; even willing to guide her back to him: “I’ll be your satellite”. But by the conclusion of the song, you get the sense that he’s still out there, spinning around.
“When the lights the turn on in the streets tonight
And the moon hangs low, in the empty sky
I'll be thinking of you, wondering why
I'm a million miles away, just out here spinning around
Waiting to touch back down, like a satellite
Like a satellite"
Don’t wander. Zero in. Listen to “Satellite," get the single and make RRB a staple on your playlist.
Adam Hood is a singer songwriter from Alabama who has been making his mark on the Texas music scene for quite some time. Since 2002, he has released three albums and two EPs. In addition, he has penned songs recorded by other artists including Little Big Town, David Nail and Whiskey Myers, to name a few.
His latest single, from his upcoming Kickstarter funded project, is "Trying To Write A Love Song." The tune is about wanting to get back that romantic spark in a relationship and finding the inspiration, with "a little help from you," to write that love song. The fiercely addictive track is a rockin' 2:32 that you'll repeat over and over again.
"When I get you in my arms tonight
I promise everything is gonna be alright
Come on baby
I'm trying to write a love song
I'm gonna need a little help from you
So slide over, closer where you belong
Give me something that I can use"
You might not hear this one on your local country radio station here in the northeast, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a listen, get the single and then, of course, spread the word.
For more information visit here.
The single can be purchased at digital retailers.
Eric Gunderson and Steven Barker Liles, the duo Love and Theft, are back with new music. “Night That You’ll Never Forget” is the lead single from their upcoming second album for RCA Nashville. The duo trade lead vocals on the banjo backed ode to one of those “nights that memories are made of;" maybe even reminiscing about nights like that which they have experienced now that they are both married and fathers. The relaxed melody and harmonies provide a fresh take on the typical party song (beer/tailgates/country girls). I was surprised to find myself humming along.
“Now your phone’s filled up with pictures you didn’t take
And it’s you throwing deuces with what’s her name
And there’s your boys right there
Tailgate poker table all in on a pair”
The single is available now.
"Miss You" is Darius Rucker’s latest single off of his True Believers album. It’s a song that really touched me even on first listen, which I think has as much to do with the subject matter as it does with Darius's performance. Any couple who have been together for a long period of time will immediately relate to the song. "Miss You", written by Darius and his producer Frank Rogers, is about falling into that routine; where a couple seems to be more friends than lovers. You can share dinner, a bottle of wine, and conversation, but true intimacy is lacking. It's not that you have fallen out of love, but day to day activities take precedence over remembering to connect as a couple. In the ballad, Darius's vocals are genuine; you can feel the love, and the ache to be close.
"How can we go all night
and not even touch one another
And not be lovers
How did we get here
Where you can be right there
And I can be with you
And miss you"
Unlike most of what you currently hear across the airwaves, “Miss You” is a mature song for a mature audience….one that I hope radio and listeners won't miss embracing.
The Band Perry’s latest single from Pioneer brings back the funky feel of “Done”. “Chainsaw,” written by Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne and Matt Ramsey is a fiddle infused, twangy, thumping number that finds Kimberly Perry using said tool after being jilted by a man. She’s thankfully not going after him though. Instead, she’s cutting down the tree they once carved their names in to profess their love. The lyrics are clever, the melody is rollicking and her delivery is feisty, especially during the chorus. Although personally, I would have loved to see "Forever Mine Nevermind" as a single, "Chainsaw" seems like a surefire hit.
“I remember what you said that night
That you would love me for the rest of your life
We wrote forever with a pocketknife
But forever’s goin’ down tonight
I got my chainsaw
Oh you know it's got to go, it's such a shame y’all
But I ain’t gonna be happy until those names fall
And I’m sittin’ on a stump
Love is shady
Love is tragic
It’s hard to bury the hatchet
Holdin’ a chainsaw”
Jo Dee Messina has something to celebrate even before the release of her new album, ME, on March 18th. The project, funded by Kickstarter, is the most successful campaign to come out of Nashville at the time of completion and is the 15th largest funded music campaign in Kickstarter history. Fans were really involved in the album making process from selecting the songs, to the album artwork and title, to choosing the first single.
ME, which will be released on Jo Dee’s own Dreambound Records, is being called her most personal album to date. The songs are honest and fun and showcase her spicy, spunky attitude as well as her strong, confident vocals. The opening track really sets the tone for the record. “Not Dead Yet” is Jo Dee’s feisty retort to the naysayers: “You can put me down/You can count me out/I’m not listening to you/I paid my dues/Gotten bent and bruised I’ve walked a thousand miles in these shoes….I’m a little our of breath/But baby I’m not dead yet.”
“Strong Shot of You” is a fun up tempo song about what a woman may need after a difficult day….and it isn’t a shot of whiskey or a glass of wine while “Love On A Maybe” is about needing that person to fully commit to the relationship, because she can’t give away her “love on a maybe.”
The humorous and sassy kiss off, “Peace Sign” is about saying goodbye to a flame using “one finger shy of the peace sign” and in the funky rockin’ “Take It” she sings about living in the moment and owning it.
“Me” is a personal, yet highly relatable, ballad about the insecurities many of us have. “I wish I was half the woman I’ve gotta be/I wish I had all the answers right in front of me….I’m scared as I can be because when I look into the mirror all I see is me.”
“Like A Kid Again” has a slight 70’s feel that fits in well with the nostalgia theme of the song where she sings that she’d “trade all this real to feel, like a kid again” and do things like spin in circles, play make believe and run barefoot in the rain.
Any working mother will absolutely love and relate to “A Woman’s Rant.” It’s a banjo infused, foot stomping anthem for the woman who does it all. Full of hand claps (love those!) and a blast to sing along to, “He’s Messed Up” cautions another woman of the guy who will “only bring you down” and encourages her to walk away.
“I’m Free” is one of my personal favorites from the album. The theme can apply to many situations, not just relationships. “Hey, look at me now I’m flying/Cause you ain’t got the best of me/Yeah these wings will take me higher than you’d thought I’d ever be.”
The album closes with the solemn, piano ballad “Say Goodbye to Superman” about how the demise of a relationship affects a child.
Jo Dee’s latest album proves she is alive and well….and thriving! Definitely seek ME out!
David Nail’s latest album, I’m A Fire, contains eleven tracks, including his recent #1 “Whatever She’s Got,” as well as his latest single, “Kiss You Tonight.” He has said that the songs on the album would be more upbeat than his previous releases. That may be true, but if you’re looking for songs about trucks, tailgates and beer, you have come to the wrong place.
The mostly mellow songs reflect on love, loss and heartbreak. David’s warm and soulful voice really does shine on every track. Highlights include “When They’re Gone,” on which Little Big Town assists with their always welcome harmonies, and “The Secret,” which is one song for which you must listen to the lyrics. The album concludes with a duet with Lee Ann Womack, a cover of Glen Campbell’s “Galveston.”
I’m A Fire didn’t exactly ignite my speakers (or ears) at first listen, but became a record that I appreciated more every time I heard it.
Austin Webb’s newest release “Raise Em Up” is a breezy tune that at first listen will put you in a great mood. Melodically the song has a folky/pop/country feel....kind if Jason Mraz-esque; lyrically it covers country: skoal rings, bird dogs, outlaw bands, fishing and George Jones. It’s a little gem of a song that is infectious, fun and easy to sing along.
“I live it up, have fun, I ain’t hurtin’ anyone
And there ain’t nothin’ better when we all get together and everybody sings along
Raise ‘em up, Raise ‘em up, Raise ‘em up high (3x)
Whoa, whoa, whoa
A little bit of fun never hurt nobody
Somebody’s gotta be the life of the party”
Crank this tune up and be the life of the party.