Thursday, August 11, 2011

HOTDISC 151 (CD Review)


HOTDISC 151 (CD Review)


Time - 79:29
Label - Rush Released Records

JULY 2011 Premier Cuts
Track ratings - 10 excellent, 8 Very Good, 6 Good, 4 Average, 2 Below Average

MARK WAYNE GLASMIRE (USA) - Track 1 ‘I Like You’ (CMNI score 8) Website
This is a self-penned track to promote his 11-track CD ALL OF MY HEART on Traceway Music. This singer-songwriters voice has similarities to Collin Raye.
Verdict: Feel good summertime track, nice vibe, good arrangement and easy on the ear vocal. Need to investigate the artist.
MARLEE SCOTT (Canada) - Track 2 ‘Beautiful Maybe’ (CMNI score 10) - WEBSITE
This track is a follow up to her lovely single Here To Heaven’ which reigned for 3 weeks at #1 on the Hotdisc Chart. Marlee was born in Ontario, Canada and lives in a condo in Nashville. Six years ago singer and producer Steve Fox discovered Marlee when she opened for him at a House Concert. The potential he saw in her lead to the draw of Nashville writing with him and songwriter Tim Taylor for a 1st album. Later a permanent move to Music City resulted in the summer of 2007.
This bright and optimistic song was released to Country radio as her debut U.S single in late June.
Verdict: Love the feel of the song. Musicianship and arrangement top draw. It’s fresh and cheery. Love Marlee’s voice so much! TOP MARKS


BRADY, STEWART,GREEN & YOUNG (Australia) - Track 3 ‘Too Deep Of Water’ (CMNI score 8) - Website
Who are they? They are a Vocal quartet of singer-songwriters from the Blue Mountains of NSW, formed in 2007 and comprised of Stephen Brady, Alissa Stewart, Liz Green & Sandra Young. They have performed individually and have collaborated in various combinations since the late 1970s.
Too Deep Of Water,’ is 1 of 3 tracks included on the release of an advance EP from their forthcoming album, BLINDED TO THE BLUE - iTunes. It is a super adaptation of a song written in 1999 by Sisters Morales, the Mexican-American sisters Lisa and Roberta Morales grew up in Tucson, AZ, learning to sing traditional Mexican music and developing their own brand of pop. The track first appeared on their album SOMEPLACE FAR AWAY FROM HERE in Jan 2000.
Verdict: Sweet bluegrass sounds, nice song, easy to listen too. Makes the soul good
DAVID WOOD (USA) - Track 4 ‘Stumblin’ & Fallin’ (CNMI score 6) - Website
Who is David Wood and where did he come from?
 Once upon a time – there was a little town in California called Los Angeles.  It was the home of “Country and Western Music.” - That’s right – “Country and Western Music.”   And, that’s because most of the music came from artists who were performing in the “Western” movies. David Wood is someone who was born into the heart of Country and Western Music in that little western town – next to the Pacific Ocean – in California.  And, for the rest of his life, he has stayed true to his roots and followed “Country and Western Music”.  Who was it that said 65 was "mandatory retirement?" David Wood says, "To hell with that! I'm north of 65 and just gettin' started - again!"
After years of managing and representing artists, David decided to start singing and playing keyboards himself. A most unexpected thing occurred. He fell in love with it and found what he should have been doing all along. He was joined by the guys at The Sound Hole in Nashville along with the folks who played and sang on David's first CD HERE & NOW released in 2009.
Stumblin’ & Fallin’ is one of 4 songs from that album written by Alan Laney and Bill Graham. It's a tribute to all of those folks who are in love, and have been in love for a long long time. We stumbled in, to something we never expected. We've fallen so far, we’re still fallin',...We've got forever together, Stumblin' and Fallin' again.
Verdict: A traditional sound, its sentiment will be appreciated by mature country fans


SKYLA SPENCER (USA) - Track 5 ‘Get Up And Dance’ (CMNI score 6) - Website
Born and raised near Buckhannon, West Virginia, Skyla Spencer was taught some valuable lessons at an early age. She was encouraged to believe that love is the food for all who wish to grow, family is the foundation for all who aspire to be, and music is the medicine for all who desire to express their hearts. This philosophy has continued to drive her in following her dream of sharing her music with the world. Skyla was performing by the age of 5 for her church on Sunday mornings. By the age of 13, she started singing with her cousin’s country band at local festivals, weddings and other events. It was also during this time that Skyla took dance lessons, ice-skating lessons, cheerleading, and gymnastics.  Little did Skyla know that all of these components would mold her into the performer she is on stage today.

She names her influences as: Faith Hill, Shania Twain, Martina McBride, Patsy Cline, and Reba McEntire and their music instilled in her the drive and determination to take the leap of faith and come to Music City.
This beauty does come with brains, too, as Skyla earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Dance and Psychology from West Virginia University. While in college, she took voice lessons and acting classes, and was a member of the Orchesis Dance Ensemble and Mountain State Jazz Ensemble. It was during this time that Skyla started writing her own music and choreographing dance routines for state fairs, festivals and talent shows where she was invited to perform. Skyla decided to record her first CD at a local studio-Lone Wolf Records the album titled, "ALL I WANT", was recorded in 2000, and was composed of fourteen original tracks. In June Skyla was named New Female Vocalist of the Year at the Golden Music Awards in Nashville.

Upon arriving to Nashville, in a bright yellow car with two cats, Skyla landed a job coaching gymnastics in Franklin, TN. She taught gymnastics for three years and also met many people in the music business working at the gym. During this time Skyla felt she needed to hone her craft as a songwriter, singer, and musician. So she enrolled in guitar lessons, took vocal lessons with Mandy Barnett, and also dance classes - Hip Hop, to help her become a better performer.
Her official debut YOU SAID YOU'D CALL ME from 2005 had 11 tracks all written by Spencer. One song ‘Chuga Choo Choo’ (see video) previously reached number one on the Indie World chart in 2002.

In June 2009 she released a single ‘This Girl’ (iTunes)
On this latest single ‘Get Up And Dance’ is a up-tempo high energy danceable Country rock track. As a dancer and model looking at her single artwork the make-up looks a bit heavy which she doesn’t need to do as she has natural good looks as this picture suggests, wearing one of her 82 hats from her collection.
Verdict: New name to me. Very rocky modern day Music Row. There’s room for improvement vocally but a name to watch.

MARTY RIVERS (Malta) - Track 6 ‘Addict For Your Love’ (CMNI score 6) - Website
Marty Rivers (musician/songwriter) is a shaved-headed cowboy who hails from Malta. The first collection of original songs was released in Marty’s debut self-titled album ‘Marty Rivers’ with two of its tracks charting high on various European Country Music charts. In 2008, Marty released the album ‘OUT OF THE BLUE’, produced in Nashville by Gary Carter who worked with world known artists such as Randy Travis and Faith Hill. Marty’s previous single was ‘Run Angel Run’ and hit the number 8 spot on the Hotdisc European Country Top 40 (see reactions). This new release ‘Addict For Your Love’ is also drawn from his album MIDNIGHT SKY , a collection of 12 songs, eleven of which are written by Marty himself in collaboration once again with Joe Spiteri.
Verdict: It’s country for sure but lyrically it doesn’t quite appeal, could be a grower?
Other Tracks
BELLE CANNON (Irish) - Track 7 ‘Party’ (CMNI score 8) - Website
Country and Western has always been a favourite of Belle Cannon. She grew up in a very musical Irish American family so Country Music was always being played. Raised in London she listened to the likes of Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson and Hank Williams so it’s just been a part of the fabric of her life. In August 2010 a yet to be released album REWIND was recorded in Nashville on her own Inde label BelleJar Records. It is muted to be a country-pop affair containing elements of Bluegrass and she has recruited some A-List Nashville players: Brent Mason (guitar), Gordon Moat (piano), Larry Franklyn (fiddle) and Bryan Sutton (guitar). Belle has written all the songs herself, apart from one track, which is a cover of a Johnson Mountain Boys song. On this video Belle gives an impromptu taster of the title track ‘Rewind'

This self penned track ‘Party’ on Hotdisc will feature on the album. I’m really pleased to see this song has currently topped the British & Irish chart for 2 weeks (See Hotdisc chart). On her website it appears she resides in Stockport. I look forward and wish her well with her new album
Verdict: New name to me. Great top-tapper and commendable musicianship. Slightly unusual voice but I like it. An original song (tick), need to find out more!

ROCK & ROLL JOE (USA) - Track 8 ‘Hot Rod Carson’ (CMNI score 6) - Website
Rock and Roll Joe is a project dedicated to promoting the unsung heroes of rock music - the people who were, and still are, critical to the spirit and passion of rock and roll and yet never have received the credit they deserve. Chip Taylor wrote a group of songs to celebrate them and recorded it with his touring band, featuring guitarist John Platania (Van Morrison) and fiddler Kendel Carson.

The idea for Rock and Roll Joe began during Taylor's Scandinavian tour of 2007. As Chip travelled through Norway and Sweden with his long-time friend and guitarist John Platania, new protégé fiddler Kendel Carson, drummer Bryan Owings and bass player Ron Eoff, they talked about everything. But many of the conversations revolved around the musicians that they knew and respected and Chip realized that most music fans didn't really know the people who were behind many of the great records of the last 60 years.
Hot Rod Carson’ is to showcase this album released on Trainwreck Records.
Verdict: It’s a typically good Chip Taylor song

BELLAMY BROTHERS (USA) - Track 9 ‘Mexico Came Here’ (CMNI score 6) - Website
Who needs to go to Mexico? With Mexico Came Here’ The Bellamys bring the sounds and the feelings of a wonderful Mexican vacation to the viewer: You can almost taste the fajitas & beer, feel the warm Mexican sun and see the beautiful SeÑoritas in the Cantina! – Watch it on Youtube - Amazon - iTunes
Verdict: Gently sways and it’s catchy

JESSE & NOAH (USA) - Track 10 ‘Buried In Blue Jeans’ (CMNI score 8 ) - Website
Although they were raised on the family ranch in Florida, neither Jesse nor Noah Bellamy had aspirations of being a cattle rancher. Jesse relates, “We converted an old hay barn into a studio, that’s where we rehearsed and eventually began recording our first demos.” It didn’t hurt that their father, David Bellamy, of the Bellamy Brothers was there along the way encouraging and fostering their talents.
Country duo Jesse and Noah Bellamy have just released their new video for ‘Buried In Blue Jeans,’ the latest single written by Jesse Belamy off their album LANDFALL. It was shown on Showcase TV (The Phil Mack Show) on 8th August 2011.
Verdict: Well written and it’s immediately appealing

STEVE CHEERS (Australia) - Track 11 ‘Roger That’ (CMNI score 4) – Facebook Page
Steve hails from Bowral, New South Wales. Reviewers and DJ's have been immediately glowing about Steve Cheers (ex Cowpoke) new solo album 'The Speed of Love." Apparently the first single ‘The Sounds of Then’ which appeared on Hotdisc #147 has caused quite a splash in Steve's homeland Australia, and more hits are bound to follow. Heavily melodic and guitar based, 'The Speed of Love' on Powerpoint records features some of Australia's finest musicians and producer Herm Kovac.
Verdict: Musically lacks originality but I imagine the dancers will like it

DAVE SHERIFF (UK) - Track 12 ‘Voulez-Vous Danser’ (CMNI score 6) - Website
DAVE SHERIFF is well-known on the British country music scene and turned pro in 1972. He was born in the heart of the country on the Doverdale Estate near Droitwich in Worcestershire, England where his father worked as a gamekeeper. The family then moved to the Reading area in Berkshire where Dave made his first public appearance at Bradfield Village Hall back in 1958 playing the harmonica, beginning a lifetime fascination of playing musical instruments.
After teaching himself to play the drums, he progressed to guitar, and then started playing all three instruments together to become a very popular club act, and a world famous ‘One Man Band’ having no less than nine entries in the Guinness Book of Records between 1982 and 1989. This led to TV appearances in Hilversum Holland, Rome Italy and Helsinki Finland as well as two appearances with Roy Castle on BBC TVs 'Record Breakers' in London.

After becoming a judge for a dancing competition Dave composed the ‘Red Hot Salsa Dance’ (video) and it became an instant hit with linedancers around the world and was covered by many UK country acts. Off the back of that success this enabled Dave to go to Nashville working with the musicians responsible for creating that very distinctive 'Nashville Sound' - Pig Robbins, Buddy Spicher, Pete Wade, Leon Rhodes and Buddy Emmons.

Dave wrote this new song ‘Voulez-Vous Danser’ with a big country festival in France in mind which he attended at the beginning of May. The song has gone all over France and is available on iTunes.
Verdict: Taps into the dance club scene and won’t disappoint. Good to see Dave on Showcase TV - Tres Bien

MITCHELL JOHN (USA) - Track 13 ‘I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song’ (CMNI score 6) - Website
Music has always been a part of Mitchell John’s life. He has toured with Chris Ledoux, Dan Seals, Don Williams, and Ian Tyson and also performed at major festivals “I love to perform not only my own music live but also songs from some of the greats like Presley, Taylor, Croce, Strait, Sinatra. I have not recorded many of the songs I have written yet, but I planned to before it is all over” he says.
I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song’ ’is due to appear on a CD THE VERY BEST OF MICHELL JOHN released on his own label Ta Tanka.
Verdict: Good writer penned by Jim Croce. A little too syrupy and dated but an OK cover

JOHN STEPHAN (Australia) - Track 14 ‘Good At Startin’ Fires’ (CMNI score 6)
John hails from New South Wales in Australia
Verdict: - Resembles Vince Gill’s style - no bad thang. Like the gospel vibe, fine back up vox. Would like to see John use more vocal control next time

MEXICAN JOE WALKER (UK) - Track 15 ‘Tennessee Rose’ (CMNI score 4)
One of North Antrim's most well-known singers, Mexican Joe Walker has been recording for a number of years. Joe is influenced by the great country voices, including Jim Reeves and Don Williams.
The quitely spoken Mosside man has released this new track ‘Tennessee Rose’ written by Scotsman, Alex Birnie, who has penned songs for none other than George Hamilton the Fourth. Alex wrote to Joe when he heard one of his songs - a Don William classic, ‘Ghost Story’ on the ‘Hot Disc Top 40 and Top 10 charts.

Verdict: Dated sound but I’m sure retired couples would enjoy a slow dance to this – That’s where it will find its home.

ANTHONY DUKE (UK) - Track 16 ‘Stain(CMNI score 8) - Website
Genre: Alternative / Americana / Country - Location Brighton, United Kingdom
Take the West Coast 70s sound of The Eagles and Jackson Browne with shades of Bread, add the contemporary feel of artists like Keith Urban, singer songwriter Anthony Duke has been favourably compared to them all. Out on the road with his band, he powers through his original songs delivering his own brand of Americana with some classic Country Rock Covers thrown in. Tracks for the new album MAY YOU BE LOVED were laid down in Nashville, Los Angeles and the UK, with the bitter love song ‘Stain’ and ‘Satan’s little Sister’ being recorded & co-produced by Gary Carter who also plays steel and who has worked with Randy Travis and as Musical Director for Faith Hill.

Verdict: Solid modern mid-tempo number, well produced, original song (tick), would like to have more attack to make a 10

ROY AUGUST (USA) - Track 17 ‘The Way I Never Knew How’ (CMNI score 4) - Website
Verdict: Gentle heartbreaker, solid country solids, fine steel solo

JARED ROGERSON (USA) - Track 18 ‘Peace,Love And Horses’ (CMNI score 8) - Website
Among the picturesque landscapes, traditions were born by courageous men and women who traversed the rugged terrain in search of a new beginning. Though we are far from the time when a good horse was fast transportation, the influence of yesteryear persists still today. Having grown up in the modern West, Jared Rogerson is the product of a generation learning to thrive in midst of ever changing surroundings.
Jared has written songs from a young age, but his pursuit of rodeo and education has been in the forefront. Raised up in vicinity of the mighty Rocky Mountains, naturally, some of Jared’s fondest memories from his youth are of riding horses and mules on pack trips in the back country.

Besides bronc’ riding and mountain exploration, Jared has certainly been influenced by a variety of musical styles. “When you’re rodeoing, you spend most of the time just driving and listening to the radio. We listened to everything” he says. It was a rodeo injury in 2007 that spurred him into taking his music more seriously. It gave him an opportunity to escape with his life and chase a different dream.
On his new album PEACE, LOVE AND HORSES, it’s a collection of 12 unique works produced by Brenn Hill of Hooper, UT and Larry Beaird of Nashville, TN. A modern cowboy-flavored vibe, it is lyrically embellished with character and an honest edge.
Verdict: Exciting new name. Well composed, great production and vocal, Like this a lot!

LUANNE HUNT (USA) - Track 19 ‘Solace In The Wind’ (CMNI score 6) - Website
You can give up or look up” is her motto. Luanne Hunt's 2007 worldwide CD release, featured the Grammy-balloted songs, ‘I Want To Stand Where Jesus Stood’ and ‘Solace In The Wind’. Throughout her illustrious career as an Indie artist, Hunt has built an impressive list of accomplishments and a worldwide fan base with her refreshing and well-crafted country folk tunes. Her current CD, BREAKING THROUGH, has produced two hit singles on U.S. and European Charts. The enchanting ‘Solace In The Win’ reached No. 1 the European Country Music Association’s chart (Belgium) in July, 2010. The tune is written by Hunt’s husband Steve. The song landed on the 2009 Grammy ballot in two categories: Best Female Country Performance and Best Country Song. Watch the video on Youtube
Verdict: A gentle breezy song. Softly vocal, very pleasant.

Notes:
Hotdisc is the leading promotional company for country music in Europe via its Rush Released imprint - Link
Each week DJs and media people who receive Rush Released send back their reaction sheets where they are given the chance to rate every song up to 10pts.
The Hotdisc charts are updated every Sunday, the latest chart can be viewed here. 
The chart also appears in Country Music People, Up Country, Country Music & Dance, Country Routes, Cross Country, Pathfinder and Southern Country magazines.
You can listen to the Hotdisc Top 40 on CMR Nashville every Sunday at mid-day and the British & Irish Top 10 show on UKCountryRadio.com every Monday at 8pm - Or listen to the latest show by clicking on Part 1 & Part 2 on the Hotdisc Podcast page.

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