After giving y’all 10 new tracks on Monday, we wrap-up Country Radio Seminar week with a look at 10 more new singles on this Weekly Single Recap for 2/27/2015 that run the gamut from superstars like Kenny Chesney to talented hit makers (Jana Kramer) and from rising vocalists (Hannah Bethel, Drake White) to artists ready to burst (Chris Stapleton). They’re all covered here in our weekly Quick-hit single review format.
Chris Stapleton - “Traveller” (Mercury Nashville)
There’s not a better vocalist in all of country music (and perhaps popular music, honestly). That being said, I don’t know if Chris Stapleton is what mainstream country radio wants. This should blow-up in Texas and on secondary radio markets and if mainstream radio gives it a shot, they’ve got a song with a lot of substance and an artist worth making a star out of in Stapleton.
Kenny Chesney (Feat. Grace Potter) - “Wild Child” (Blue Chair/Columbia) *
Chesney’s at his best on songs like “Wild Child” and once-agin the kind of story song we’ve come to love from the veteran superstar. Adding Grace Potter’s unique harmony vocals only makes the song even better. No way this isn’t yet another huge hit for Chesney (and certainly a step-up from the #1 hit “Til It’s Gone).
Wade Bowen “When I Woke Up Today” (AMP) *
Now getting a nationwide push after becoming a Texas Music Chart hit, “When I Woke Up Today” proves that Wade Bowen remains one of the misses in the mainstream while he was with Sony Nashville. But what Bowen may have learned there has been applied to this Justin Niebank-produced single (and Bowen’s just-released self-titled album). One of the best-written singles of the new year.
Casey Weston - “Play It All Again” (Independent) *
There’s a breezy 80s country/pop feel to “Play It all Again” with this former contestant of The Voice showcasing what the coaches of the popular NBC program heard. Serious talent from Weston and her co-writer/producer Evan Hutchings suggest a bright future for the young singer/songwriter.
Jon Wolfe - “Smile On Mine” (Fool Hearted Productions/Tone Tree Music) *
One of the best country vocalists in all of Texas, Jon Wolfe proves that a great vocalist can take even the most fluffy of material (and “Smile on Mine” is fluffy) and make it sound palatable and ready to be played all over the radio dials. Production from Wolfe, Lex Lipsitz and Billy Decker is as strong as usual.
Hannah Bethel - “You Wanna Be My Man” (Hannah Bethel Music) *
I’ve loved this singer’s talent since hearing her The Freedom EP in 2012 and she’s even stronger now as she grows into both her voice and her songwriting. Co-produced with Brennin Hunt, this one’s ready to help Bethel breakout into the upper reaches of the charts. She’s ready.
Florida Georgia Line “Sippin’ On Fire” (Republic Nashville)
A well-written song with clever lines in the verses with a knock-em-dead chorus that proves why Florida Georgia Line ain’t going anywhere anytime soon (despite some folks being fatigued with the band’s sound). They became quick superstars for a reason and this song is only going to keep them there. “Sipping’ On Fire” is easily one of FGL’s better singles.
Drake White - “It Feels Good” (Dot Records)
Just like Chris Stapleton above, Drake White is not the kind of artist that the mainstream country world is used to. He has a rock-leaning artistry and is a throwback to the past with his look and talent. With a strong interesting story song that’s so sing-a-long ready, the bluesy and funky “It Feels Good” should help White break out with radio, if they’re receptive to more Zac Brown Band-level artistry.
The Bros. Landreth - “I Am The Fool” (Slate Creek Records)
Speaking of funky Zac Brown Band-like bands, The Bros. Landreth fit well here. “I Am The Fool” is a fantastic harmony-driven song from the Winnipeg, Canada native’s debut Let It Lie and proves Slate Creek Records to be an indie with impeccable taste (The roster had Brandy Clark, then Angaleena Presley and now The Bros. Landreth). “I Am The Fool” may be too rock for the mainstream’s taste but it’s a band that should be on everyone’s radar.
Jana Kramer - “I Got The Boy” (Elektra Nashville)
She’s yet to announce a proper release date for this one at radio but it’s already making an impact on Spotify and sales wise (where it debuted Top 20). Written by Jamie Lynn Spears, “I Got The Boy” is a standout single worthy of being a huge, huge hit for the talented Kramer. Hopefully most in country radioland agree!
Note: Songs with the * can be found on CDX #612.