There are some truly interesting new singles poppin’ up at country radio these days. Chief among them is a true new single from the Eagles. It’s being promoted by Mercury Nashville/Lost Highway while the upcoming Garth Brooks single is being promoted by Trisha’s label Big Machine Records (who’s supposedly starting a new label imprint of their own). Add in new singles from stars George Strait and Keith Urban and you’ve got some heat comin’ to the country airwaves just as the summer ends.
The Eagles’ “How Long” starts this new single shindig off. “Hell Freezes Over” was one of my favorite records as a Teen, and I loved the country tribute to the Eagles so this new coutnry/rock single from the Eagles is already destined to be a favorite of mine (I Even liked the last single “Hole In The World”). The fact that the song is immediately a hot hit for country radio is the most obvious ‘crossover’ of the year. Basically because the majority of male artists on country radio these days owe their careers to the sound that the Eagles created. This one’s a big shiny hit.
New artist Ashton Shepherd debuts with the single “Takin’ Off This Pain” and she sounds as if she comes from the Gretchen Wilson school of country music. That means she’s down-home, twangy, a good vocalist and able to sing a hook-laden break-up song. Is the song a bit cliche (Takin’ off this pain you put on me’) yes but it still works and I think where other artists have recently failed (including Gretchen herself and Sarah Johns), Miss Shepherd may just make it. MCA may have a star in their hands here.
I’ve always liked Andy Griggs and was surprised when RCA/BNA let him go after he hit with Gretchen Peters‘ “If Heaven.” I kinda liked the first single (“Tattoo Rose”) that Andy and his new label Montage Records released but I find this new single “What If It’s Me” severely lacking. I hope it’s a hit for his sake but I have my doubts.
Another new artist making his way on a radio tour is RCA’s Chuck Wicks. Always a sucker for a ballad, I find that “Stealing Cinderella” has Wicks positioned to take Lonestar’s place at radio. It’s a tender ballad about the beginning of a relationship and how every father comes to grips with a man (Wicks) taking their daugher away (hence the title). Will Radio spin it? Since ballads do well in the fall/winter, I have a feeling they will.
Keith Urban‘s last two singles were two of my all-time favorite singles from him and “Everybody” continues KU’s winning streak. He particularly deserved a #1 for “I Told You So” but somebody named Chesney ruined that for Keith. I have a feeling this earthy and simple and direct single will be the #1 KU is lacking from the killer “Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing.”
Speaking of Kenny Chesney, He’s back with a second single before his new record is released. “Don’t Blink” follows a familiar country formula about ‘the secret of life’ but is radio really not gonna play a song like this from Kenny Chensey? Sure “The Good Stuff” and “A Lot Of Things Different” traveled the same path before but when that path’s as comfortable as a pair of old Levi’s, what’s to complain about?
George Strait has been churin’ out the hits for so long that another single from him is hardly any new event. However, the fact that he still has a pulse on what a good song is only makes him an ultimate example about how much country music is an adult’s genre, even when it is trying to lure in the younger fanbase with (good) artists like Jason Aldean and Taylor Swift. “How ‘Bout Them Cowgirls” is pure fun from King George and worth the attention it’s surely to receive.
Does anyone remember when MCA/Decca had an intruiging artist named Chris Knight? how about Steve Earle? Well both painted around the corners of mainstream Nashville and the same corners are being painted by Dan Colehour. Signed to a Dreamworks before the label merged with MCA 3 years ago, Colehour actually left and took his album to Carnival Records (producer Frank Liddell’s Texas-based label). Carnival made an agreement with MCA and the results are a 3 year old record worth your time. “Quarry Town” may never be a huge hit for Colehour but maybe it’ll be recrde by many other artists like Knight’s “It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Me” has been (most recently recorded by Blake Shelton). Also, if another Liddell championed artist, Jack Ingram can get on air with his singles, so can Colehour.
While I haven’t heard Garth Brooks’ new single yet I don’t doubt that it’ll be a super hit for him. I love the fact that he’s not exclusive to Wal-Mart anymore (the way that The Eagles now are, in the USA at least). Here’s hopin’ that Garth will see the error in his digital download hatin’ ways and make AT LEAST that 33 track record available at iTunes. Hell if he doesn’t like iTunes, he could ship it to eMusic where, at least there, his fans can choose to use a majority of their monthly downloads to get it. I pay about $15 for 60 downloads a month. I think he can see the value in this Legal web service (where Trisha’s stuff will be available since Big Machine is distributed there).
Here’s hopin that some of these singles do burn up radio’s airwaves this fall. I know some may come and go before the end of the year while others will be around for eons but any time radio has Garth and The Eagles releasing new stuff cannot be bad for country music.