This week brings us new singles from George Strait, Montgomery Gentry and Randy Houser along with new singles from up and comers Benton Blount, John David Kent, Miss Willie Brown, Hali Hicks and Eric Lee Beddingfield. Strait delivers as always, the same can be said about Montgomery Gentry while Houser definitely delivers the catchiest track of the week. Miss Willie Brown’s first official single is delightful as well. All in all, it’s as strong a collection of singles as we’ve presented lately.
George Strait – “Drinkin’ Man”
George Strait has scored two consecutive Mediabase #1 hits off of current album Here For A Good Time. Those hits include the lead single and title track and “Love’s Gonna Make It Alright.” This tune, is dark, moody and a downright interesting choice to release as a ‘summer single.’ It might not be the type of ‘ear candy’ single people would expect in the summer but then again, where’s the manual that says every song has to be that kind of song? Quite simply, there isn’t one. This song may not hit #1 like the first two singles did but it will bring light to a serious topic and act as ‘counter-programming’ this summer.
Miss Willie Brown – “You’re All That Matters To Me”
This duo (Kasey and Amanda) is the only country act signed to A&M/Octone Records, a label best-known for discovering and releasing music by AdamLevine’s band Maroon 5. Last year they released to digital markets an EP which sowcased a talented act ready to make their mark on country music. “You Are All That Matters To Me” is a particularly smart choice of a single, in addition to being an uptempo song at which Miss Willie Brown excels at, it’s also a song that showcases their strong songwriting skill along with feeling like an amalgam of the great Terri Clark songs from the 1990s and the best of what Sugarland does. In other words, if radio is receptive, Miss Willie Brown should have themselves a nice hit here.
Randy Houser – “How Country Feels”
Clearly one of country music’s most talented vocalists (male or female) Randy Houser’s seemily had a problem finding material that connected withaudiences the way that first two singles “Anything Goes” and “Boots On” did while he was with Universal South/Show Dog-Universal. Now signed with indie label Stoney Creek Records, Randy Houser comes back to us with a slightly cleaner look (look at the photo on the left) and a sound that really suits his powerful voice. Written by Vicky McGeehee, Wendell Mobley and Neil Thrasher, “How Country Feels” finds Randy singing about the lifestyle of living in the country without ever feeling ‘cliched or hackneyed. Instead what we have is a strong, melodic single that is immediate and hook-filled and sung perfectly. The production from Derek George frames Randy’s voice in a place where he’s able to sing the lyrics with passionate emotion without ever feeling like he’s ‘yelling’ the words to us, a problem his past singles sometimes have had.
John David Kent – “Runaway”
Currently rising the Texas music charts, here’s a song that really could be heard on your local country radio dials. From his fantastic self-titled album, “Runaway” is the kind of well-written uptempo that could definitely help an indie act break the hard shell to crack that is mainstream country radio. Anyway you define it, “Runaway” is a hit.
Montgomery Gentry – “So-Called Life”
With “Where I Come From” having gotten Montgomery Gentry back into the good graces of radio and the Top 10, The Average Joes Entertainment artists are now going to be releasing “So-Called Life” as the follow-up single from Rebels on the Run. Energy with a capital “E,” “So-Called Life” bridges the early sounds of the duo with their latter harder rock sound of songs like “My Town.” The Sean Patrick McGraw co-penned song is well-written and features inspirational lyrics that work to should help anyone who is going through the motions to ‘wake up’ and realize that they can change anything they dont’ like in their life. It starts with them.
Benton Blount – “I Don’t Have To Prove I’m Country”
This South Carolina-based artist was about to release a single called “Carolina” when the label he was with, Golden Music, suddenly closed. This song rails against those songs that try to list off country themes (songs like “Big Green Tractor” and “8 Second Ride” and a ton of Justin Moore songs). “I Don’t Have To Prove I’m Country” is a song that finds Benton Blount stating who he is (all the while saying it over some of the most ‘metal’ southern rock sounds I’ve heard to date. Will country radio play the song? I don’t know but it is refreshing to hear a singer bieng himself and not trying to be what he’s not.
Eric Lee Beddingfield – Come On
His song “The Gospel According To Jones” became a small viral hit last year and now the singer/songwriter is releasing this catchy, soulful mid-tempo ballad to radio and if all things were equal, it’d be a big ole hit for him as it sounds as good as anything else on country radio, if not better. Beddingfield’s not only a strong singer but as this song proves, he’s a great songwriter too.
Hali Hicks – I Can Still Breathe
This artist has just released this breathy mid-tempo ballad to small and mid-market radio stations and it finds the talented vocalist showcasing herself quite nicely on a song that feels as good as anything you’re likely to hear coming from the bigger labels. Hali’s vocals are on point, she has an earthy quality to her voice and the production helps to frame her voice rather than force her to oversing on the track, a problem many artists are having to deal with these days.
The Last Four Weekly Single Recap Articles: