MICKEY GUYTON – ‘BLACK LIKE ME’
A song for the times. A powerful statement from Mickey Guyton, who describes her upbringing in her native Texas, and feeling out of place because of her skin colour.
She has also stated that the song deals with her Nashville experience, and the pressures to conform as a women in a commercial system that is known to prioritise male artists.
The song was conceived and created about 8 months ago. Prior to Covid-19 and George Floyd. It is a song that will now resonate without any promotional fanfare.
THE SWON BROTHERS – ‘GOOD TO YOU’
These guys regularly appear on our lists. We try to share the love around the masses of new music that gets released every week, but we can’t ignore quality, and The Swon Brothers have recently been pushing out some very good music.
‘Good To You’ is another off their production line of quality pop-country, and it’s high time that they are recognised with some commercial success.
GRAYSON MICHAEL – ‘WHEN IT RAINS’
We are suckers for a rootsy, baritone voice. Grayson Michael follows the traditional pattern of aspiring country music singers moving to Nashville, but in his case he was accepted at Belmont University to complete a degree in Commercial Music Piano Performance, before he began his quest for country music fame and fortune.
He’s now attracting the interests of some serious players in music city. ‘When It Rains’ was written by Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne and Trevor Rosen, and it’s his first radio song of his fledgling career. It’s a cracker.
BRANTLEY GILBERT – ‘HARD DAYS’
Another song that resonates with the times. A slight change of direction for Brantley, and it will surely continue his return to the country charts after the success of ‘What Happens In A Small Town’, his duet with Lindsay Ell.
He penned the song with Brock Berryhill, Jay Brunswick and Logan Wall, and it was produced by Dann Huff. One of the best songs Brantley has released to date.
CANAAN SMITH – ‘COLDER THAN YOU’
Canaan is signed with FGL’s Round Here Records and his new single ‘Colder Than You’ was co-produced by Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley.
It’s a step towards a more traditional style for Canaan ,and is the first single back on country radio since 2017. He has stated that it draws upon the inspiration and vibes experienced in his home state Virginia, and the deliberately simplistic production is tailored to enhance that.
JOSH KERR – ‘FALL IN LOVE’
It’s not often that we can summarise an artist by beginning with the words ‘Grammy winning, multi-platinum songwriter/producer’, but they all apply to Josh Kerr, who you will know through his work with Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Kelsea Ballerini, Maddie and Tae and Dylan Scott, plus many others.
‘You Don’t Get To’ from Kenny Chesney’s new album was a Josh Kerr creation.
‘Fall In Love’ is his own project, and we are promised much more over the next few months.
RENEE BLAIR – ‘HEATIN’ UP MY SUMMER’
Described as a summer anthem, which is just what we need here in the UK, where the summer seems to have disappeared and we are all wearing our hoodies again!
Renee’s from Missouri but has been in Nashville since she was 15, and has signed a publishing and production deal with SMACKsongs. She is another artist in this week’s list who has been working with Shane McAnally.
She released an EP, ‘The Ones To Slow Dance To’, earlier this year and is now preparing her debut album.
RILEY ROTH – ‘BAD TOGETHER’
This weeks winner of the ‘catchiest’ song of the week is Riley Roth’s ‘Bad Together’.
She has an interesting back story that needs its own full feature. She made monthly visits to Nashville with her Mom purely as a country music fan from her hometown in Pennsylvania, before relocating at aged 18 and meeting up with busbee, who she eventually teamed up with to sign a publishing deal with BMG.
She’s now with Dennis Entertainment and is steadily finding her niche with very eas-on-the-ear pop-country.
BRETT JAMES – ‘TELL THE PEOPLE’
It’s a recurring theme this week – songwriters who are also very capable of stepping into the spotlight themselves. There aren’t too many Nashville-based songwriters who have tasted more success than Brett James. He released an EP, ‘I Am Now’, in April, his first new music in 25 years, and has now released a single, ‘Tell the People’, an emotive ballad.
His list of songwriting credits extend back over 30 years and include Carrie Underwood’s ‘Jesus Take the Wheel’, Dierks Bentley’s ‘I Hold On’ and Kenny Chesney’s ‘When The Sun Goes Down’.