This week’s batch of songs features new major label releases from stars like Kip Moore and Parmalee and the return of veteran artist like James Otto and Jo Dee Messina and a handful of interesting newcomers on small and bigger labels alike. Standout tracks include Waterloo Revival’s “Hit The Road,” Homegrown Band’s “Tonight I’m Gonna Be Me” and Jacob Martin Band’s “Take It To The Moonlight.” Many of the songs listed here can be found on CDX compilations if you’re a radio station (the volume is noted if available).
Jacob Martin Band - “Take It To The Moonlight” (Hype Train/CDX #609)
Talented vocalist fronts his namesake band. “Take It To The Moonlight” is as good as any song being played on the mainstream. The theme may be common but Martin sings the melody well and has a vocal rasp that is similar to Kip Moore.
James Otto - “Somewhere Tonight” (Ottopilot Records/CDX #607)
James Otto has always been one of modern country music’s most-talented and underrated vocalists and that continues here, a song currently getting airplay on SiriusXM and his return to the charts via his own record label. “Somewhere Tonight” is a strong radio-ready tune that should do well for Otto.
Waterloo Revival - “Hit The Road” (Big Machine Records)
With a strong harmonic vocal sound, Waterloo Revival is set to break out with a song that is instantly familiar even though the lyrics are distinctly unique for the duo. The verses feature a band that somewhat recalls Barenaked Ladies which isn’t a bad thing because it means nobody sounds like Waterloo Revial.
Kip Moore - “I’m To Blame” (MCA Nashville)
It may only be 2:16 minutes long but “I’m To Blame” is the kind of song Kip Moore has been needing to get back in radio’s good graces. Perhaps the ACCA New Artist of the Year and ACM New Artist of the Year contender can get there with this powerful slice of country rock.
Parmalee - “Aready Calling You Mine” (Stoney Creek)
The band only knows how to release radio-ready anthems. Hopefully this mid-tempo ballad doesn’t take nearly a year to top the charts like their previous hits “Carolina” and “Close Your Eyes."
Curtis Braley - “Doors Closing Everywhere” (Studio Gold Nashville/CDX #610)
It may sound a little to 90s to go anywhere on big market radio stations but the stations which were serviced this powerful ballad will find a confident, subversively good vocalist and an even better song.
Homegrown Band - “I’m Gonna Be Me” (Homegrown Entertainment/CDX #610)
This previously unknown band has delivered a strong single, the kind of song that’s instantly likable. The lead vocalist has a strong country voice which delivers the strong hook. Solid debut. Can’t wait to hear more.
Johnny Orr Band “You Can’t Hide Love” (John & John Entertainment/CDX #610)
This band has yet to release a bad single. This may be their best and most radio-ready single to date. It’s also among the best-written song’s we’ve heard the past 16 months or so.
Jo Dee Messina - “He’s Messed Up” (Dreambound/CDX #610)
Jo Dee delivers a charming number here that feels ready for radio to play but who knows if they actually will given that she’s A: a female artist and B: a veteran artist. If they do, well, this could be a fun little hit.
Ryan Chrys - “Burnin’ It Up At Both Ends” (Independent/CDX #610)
There’s an easy-going likabilty to the melody and vocal though it’s clearly never gonna be a big radio hit.