Nearly 25 years ago a new country music group arrived on the scene with a lead vocalist who pushed so much color into his vocal performances that even a maudlin track was given instant ‘likability.’ While Marty Raybon left Shenandoah in the mid 1990s and has bounced around from label to label and from country to bluegrass to gospel to country again, one thing that has always stayed constant in his career is that voice. Quite simply, it’s a voice that’s been missing from country music’s airwaves and with the release of “Daddy Phone,” I am happy to announce Marty Raybon’s return.
Inspired by his own brother and nephew’s stories, songwriter David Mastran co-wrote the tune and with a lyric that is quite universal, particularly in a society where 50% of marriages end up in divorce. When listening to the first verse and chorus of “Daddy Phone,” it actually felt like it was my own life due to my own childhood where my mother moved on and married another man and moved my siblings and I clear across the country from our father. The melody is sweet but thankfully the production never overrides the message present in the lyric and that has always been a staple of a great country song and boy, does this song feel like a great country song.
This is the kind of country music I grew-up on, songs with a message that are relatable to many with a melody that’s clearly a country music song and while the lyric could’ve gotten as mushy as Tracy Byrd’s “Put Your Hand In Mine,” or any other ‘children of divorce songs,’ “Daddy Phone” simply doesn’t and that’s enough for me to heartily recommend this song.
Here’s hoping that country radio allows this touching song to reach many and that it brings Marty Raybon back into the forfront of the country music industry because, even though he doesn’t have magazine good looks, he still has, for my money one of the two or three purest country music voices in the world.