Monday, August 29, 2011

HOTDISC 152 - Rush Released

HOTDISC 152 (CD Review)

Time - 77:27
Label - Rush Released Records

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

TRACY LAWRENCE (USA) - Track 1 ‘The Singer’ (CMNI score 6) Website
Tracy Lawrence's latest single release single is the title cut from his new album on his own newly formed Lawrence Music Group which is determined to nurture an eclectic stable of country songwriter/artists.. Tracy said that this song is the one that jumped up and best represents the album. It’s a striped down and bare composition that is more uniquely Tracy than his previous recordings. The album THE SINGER came out on June 8, 2011 to coincide with CMA Festival. The song is credited to “Huck” who I presume is Rick Huckaby, and is referred to that name in Nashville. Rick was in Tracy’s band for 5 years and wrote 10 songs that were recorded on various Tracy Lawrence albums.
Verdict: Vocally not as clear as one might expect from a major name, good separation on the instrumentation

Latest News - Tracy Lawrence was charged with disorderly conduct – 10 August 2011
Tracy Lawrence was charged with disorderly conduct after a disagreement with a concert promoter, who received the same charges, turned physical on Saturday, August 6.
To read more on this story visit www.nashville.com

ACE DIAMOND (USA) - Track 2 ‘Me & Bobby McGee’ Website
Genre: Classic Rock / Country / Rockabilly
Ace Diamond (aka Richard E. Gowell) is an Independent artist who hails from AUBURN, Maine, Un. This is cover of the song written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster which was originally performed by Roger Miller in 1969 and later by Kristofferson himself. The track is included on Ace’s album BLOCKBUSTER HITS & ORIGINALS on his own record label Allagash Country Records. There is a website in development here - http://acediamond.info/
Blurb: “Ace Diamond has NEW fantastic CD just released in April 2011 !.. Ace Diamond's "BLOCKBUSTER HITS & ORIGINALS" (20 great Tunes).This is a terrific, fun & entertaining album which mixes great Classics with some promising new originals by the artist! It's a "Must Have" collector's item from this veteran international Singer/Songwriter from New England !! This CD is widely considered to be his best effort to date!! “
To make your own mind up check out his songs here

KARIN WRIGHT (NORWAY) - Track 3 ‘Dancing In My Mind’ (CMNI score 6) Website
Karin (see photo) comes from Oslo. The Norwegian singer describes her material as country music with a scent of rock'n'roll and that about sums her up perfectly. Norway's own “country queen” is slowly but surely winning the DJs over in the rest of Europe. She came into the music business fairly late in her life with her debut album released back in 2004.
This song is written by Karen with Jørun Bøgeberg who plays bass and is her duet partner. On the album TOO ROCK'N'ROLL FOR COUNTRY - TOO COUNTRY FOR ROCK'N'ROLL released on the Bare Bra Musikk label she is accompanied by some of Norway’s finest musicians. They all have their musical background from rock, blues and country music. On the title track a couple of members from the rock-grass band Hayseed Dixie join her on fiddle and banjo.
Blurb:She loves both genres and has made up her mind to do what she loves the most and can't live without. If there's any artist she can be compared to it must be Lucinda Williams. Karin has developed her own musical signature, characterised with a strong presence in her work. Whether she's in the recording studio or on stage she is uncompromising, real, almost skinless, her lyrics are strongly lifted by good melodies”.
Check out her [[ YouTube Channel ]]

Verdict: Something a bit lacking with the production. Steel guitar reminiscent of CSNY’s “Teach Your Children”. Marks awarded for a decent co-write.

CHRIS HEERS (USA) - Track 4 ‘Nowhere Train’ (CMNI score 8) Website
A native Las Vegan, Chris Heers (see photo) learned to craft songs while living in Nashville and is on the leading edge of the booming Las Vegas country music scene. Heers draws influence from a long list of songwriting masters including Guy Clark, Steve Earle and Don Schlitz. Vocally, his style is a blend of Don McLean, Garth Brooks, and George Strait.
The song Nowhere Train’ is self penned by Heers and apparently it was inspired by the Britney Spears annulled marriage which lasted a week. Heers thoughts were: ‘If I was that dude, I would have run with it and had fun even though the relationship was going nowhere’. That's how Chris felt when he was 18. He had a girlfriend in college who was a slightly older supermodel.  She wore fur coats, drove expensive cars, and had a string of previous boyfriends who all owned their own jet airplanes. Heers was just some penniless cowboy in between and he remembered thinking that it was going nowhere; she was too good for him. He messed the whole thing up by falling for her! With a future music video in mind he visualizes a guy carrying his glamorous paparazzi endowed date's bags onto an airplane, or as it ended up in the song, a train. That's the gist of the song - "I'm your man - until you're done..."  

The album WESTERN STARS released on the inde label Saddlefarm Records features Dow Tomlin Jr. (Brooks & Dunn) on bass, Mike Rojas (Patty Loveless, Blake Shelton) on keyboards, drummer Wayne Killius (Big & Rich, Blackhawk), lead guitar Mike Durham (Tim McGraw) and Mike Daley (Hank Williams Jr.) on steel guitar. It was mastered for radio by Hank Williams at MasterMix Nashville.

Blurb: He has garnered a cult following in his hometown Las Vegas, Nevada.  With his new self-penned record, "WESTERN STARS" Heers shares his images and characters for the first time with the rest of the world.
"Fabulous, we need more like himMarie Crichton, BBC Radio Shropshire (UK)
Verdict: Good melodic country arrangement, tight contemporary riffs. The electric guitar solo’s are particularly good


KEL-ANNE BRANDT (AUSTRALIA) - Track 5 ‘I Just Fall In Love Again’ Website
At 4ft 11" she is often nicknamed the "Pocket Rocket" or "Little Dynamo" as it always amazes audiences the power and energy that exudes from such a small little lady. (see photo)
Kel-Anne was born in Cessnock NSW Australia, (Hunter Valley Wine Country) into a musical family.
In October 2010 Kel-Anne single My Baby Loves Me” (written by Gretchen Peters) hit the UK Hotdisc Top 40 Country Chart and became her first UK Hit at #7. In November 2010 her follow up single Sometimes You Win When You Lose” (written by Rick Price and the fabulous Gina Jeffreys) entered the Hotdisc Top 40 Country Chart at # 5 and peaked at # 4.
Her latest single ‘I Just Fall In Love Again’ (written by: Stephen H Dorff/Larry W Herbstritt/Harry Lloyd/Gloria Sklerov) attained a #14 spot on the chart. The song was originally recorded by The Carpenters and later covered by Dusty Springfield, whose version inspired Anne Murray to record her own cover. When Murray released her version as a single, it topped the Billboard Country Chart for three weeks.

Brandt’s take of this well-known track is a tasteful one and again it’s drawn from her album I'M A BIG GIRL NOW recorded at The Valley Studio with producer Roger Corbett that was originally released in June 27th 2008.Blurb: The album showcases Kel-Anne's versatility as a singer with a great mix of classic country, contemporary and new co-written songs. Check out her [[ Youtube Channel ]]

MICHELLE WRIGHT (CANADA) – Track 6 ‘Rock Me Gently’ (CMNI score 6) Website
The original Do Right By Me was a major hit in Canada for Michelle and gave her the first hit of many that were to follow which led to her first U.S. record contract with Arista Nashville. Wright's debut album, DO RIGHT BY ME, was issued in 1988 (see original artwork) and produced seven more singles including Wright's cover of this 1974 Andy Kim pop hit, ‘Rock Me Gently’, which reached #7 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart.
I’ve always been a bit of a rocker” said Michelle.
The album was re-mastered and repackaged with an International release in 2010. This is the third single to be released from it for Hotdisc and has so far peaked at #16. In June 2011 The Canadian Country Music Association announced the 2011 Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame inductees. Recognized for her outstanding contributions to Canada’s country music landscape, Michelle Wright has been announced as this year’s Artist inductee – CONGRATULATIONS Michelle!
Verdict: Great she re-released this late 80’s recording at the time she was establishing herself. Sounds dated in 2011. I need a new fix with fresh material from the wonderful Michelle.

Other Tracks
JASON STURGEON (USA) - Track 7 ‘The Cover’ (CMNI score 8) Website
Jason hails from Petersburg, Indiana. Regarding his latest single ‘The Cover’, Sturgeon acknowledges “it’s a song that I co-wrote with John Mellencamp’s drummer Dane Clark. It’s about me growing up and who I am.” Jason had just moved into a new house that he had built himself. Whilst going through some things moving in he came across the Bible that his mother had given him on his birthday in his younger days. The premise of the song is don't judge a book by its cover - “Don't judge me by what you see me doing or how I appear, because deep down inside I know what I know and I know about the good deep down inside me”
I know I'm a sinner but there's a saint inside of me” sings Jason.
Sturgeon co-produced and co-wrote his newest full-length album THAT’S ME, that was released on his own label Toolpusher Records on August 3, 2011. The single has so far peaked at # 7 on the Hotdisc Top 40.
Check out Jason’s [[ Youtube Channel ]] - [[ Spotify ]]

Verdict: Good co-write, Like the lyrics with the “I’m the pages not the cover” concept, Good story-telling, well composed, it’s catchy, good fiddle playing

ROCKIN' HORSE (SCOTLAND) - Track 8 ‘Took A Train’ Website
George Inglis, the singer-songwriter behind Rockin' Horse is looking for a hat-trick of chart toppers in three releases with his latest original offering, ‘Took The Train’.  So far the single has peaked at #21 on the Hotdisc Top 40 and #3 on the UK chart. A familiar face to many in the Borders after gigging in the region for decades, Galashiels singer George Ingles enjoyed the sweet smell of success after landing his first number one in the UK and Ireland Country Charts in October 2010. Ingles and his band Rockin’ Horse topped the chart with the title cut ‘Bar Stool Cowboy,’ a track recorded and produced by Tweedmouth-based PFL Audio.
George Inglis on [[ Youtube ]]

T JAE CHRISTIAN (USA) - Track 9 ‘Sad Ol' Songs’ (CMNI score 6) Website
This is a co-write with Roy August and Aaron B Crum released on Universal Sound Records which T.Jae owns. Christian comes from Lebanon, TN. His new album WISH I WAS HOME will soon be finished and will feature two duets with T. Graham Brown & T. Jae and will also include 3 new country gospel songs. The title song was released as a single in May 2010.
A video by TJ Christian & Pat Roden War ‘Between The States’ appeared on The Phil Mack Show in July 2011.
Verdict: Decent co-write, A bit lacking vocally, voice very suited to the monologue section, good harmony and traditional sound.

JEFF GRIFFITH (USA) - Track 10 ‘She Makes God Smile’ Website
Blurb: Jeff Griffith (see photo) hails from Spring Branch, TX. His debut album, IF IT AIN'T ONE THING IT'S ANOTHER, was released in October of 2007, and its success has launched Griffith on to stages ranging from world-famous honky tonks (Fort Worth's Stagecoach Ballroom and Pearl's Dancehall, 11th Street Cowboy Bar of Bandera, Texas) to the prestigious CMA Music Festival (2008) in Nashville, Tennessee and the world-renowned Country Rendez-Vous Festival in Craponne-sur-Azon, France (2009) – Photo . Appearances on powerhouse airways like Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, WSM Radio, Y100 Radio and television’s GAC TV's Master Series with Bill Cody, Inside Music Row and Crossroads Live TV have made Jeff seem like an "overnight success" instead of a "country newcomer."
With a whiskey-soaked voice that speaks to the "everyman," Griffith's soul-baring traditional sound should take him as far as he wants to go. He credits the soul of George Jones and Vern Gosdin, the rowdiness of Hank Williams, Jr., and the lonesome bluegrass sound of Ricky Skaggs as being instrumental in developing his style of country music.

This new heartfelt single ‘She Makes God Smile’ was co-written with Hobson Smith and Duane Weinheimer. It appears on his album SHE’S ALL I EVER DRINK ABOUT released on 5 April 2011 on ADJ Records – iTunes Link - [[ Spotify ]]
Verdict: Arrangement is good


T PAUL MATSON (USA ) - Track 11 ‘If I'd Been There’ (CMNI score 8) Website
T. Paul was born in 1965, his father was a Baptist Minister who had started his first church when he was only 16 years old. At a young age, T. Paul learned that his father meant what he said and said what he meant when it came to discipline and following instructions. In 1979, at the age of 14, T. Paul and his family moved to San Diego, California. It was at this time and throughout the rest of his teenage years that T. Paul moved away from the Baptist Religion and anything that vaguely resembled it, which included Gospel and Country Music.
It was not until he was in his early 20's that T. Paul would even consider listening to Country Music again and was inspired hearing George Jones “He Stopped Loving Her Today". In 1994, at the age of 29, he met and started dating an actress from Hollywood, California named Deena Martin. Deena had spent several years in New York as a model before moving to California to pursue her acting career (appeared in a few notable movies including Leaf, Swingers, and Dazed and Confused). She was instrumental in encouraging T. Paul to learn to play the guitar and consider a career as a country singer/songwriter. When T. Paul met Deena, she lived with a roommate who was dating Brad Pitt and recalls people going through their trash to find any gossip they could get.
All of these occurrences made T. Paul fearful of pursuing a career in the entertainment industry. After many years of prodding by his friends & family, T. Paul has finally focused some of his attention on making his music available online.
After seeing the pitfalls of the entertainment industry first hand, T. Paul is grateful for the Internet and innovators like Stuart Cameron, who created the HOT DISC so that independent artists can have a voice.

This single is the follow up his surprise # 1 when his song ‘This Time Around’ debuted at the top of the Top 40 Hotdisc Chart back in June! Currently the new self penned tearjerker ‘If I'd Been There’ has climbed to #10.
Verdict: A well written self-penned song, Alan Jackson-esque style, heartbreaking country track as a conversation piece between a child and a late father.


BURNS & POE (USA) -Track 12 ‘Second Chance’ (CMNI score 10) Website
Blurb: Burns & Poe (see Photo 1 - Photo 2) is country-soaked, adrenaline-driven, fun-lovin’, on the rocks entertainment that makes for a don’t-blink, hold-tight, roller-coaster-of-a-ride, live show. Described as the Sonny & Cher of Country, Burns & Poe perform side-by-side, bantering back and forth with playful jibs and jabs, and sharing vocal talents that are equally identifiable, splitting their performances right down the middle.

Burns & Poe are no strangers to the country music scene or fans. Award-winning tunesmiths and stage entertainers, they’ve already made their mark. Both Keith Burns and Michelle Poe established notable names for themselves as music industry trendsetters in previous endeavors.
Keith Burns is a founding member of the Grammy-nominated, gold recording trio Trick Pony (see CMT profile), who won both an American Music Award and an Academy of Country Music Award. Burns has also penned songs recorded by Joe Diffie, Hootie & The Blowfish, Sammy Kershaw, Anita Cochran and Trick Pony (who scored three Top 20 and two Top 10 singles on the country charts).

Michelle Poe (website) was born in Toledo, Ohio in Plantation, Fla and was raised by a single mother in South Florida. There was talent in her genes, and when her mother married a musician she had met at the Baptist church where she played piano, Michelle, all of eight years old, sang at their wedding. Her stepdad, who had played steel guitar on the road with Charley Pride, Billy Walker and Donna Fargo and as a regular on The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, organized the family into a four-piece band. Michelle learned the ropes as a bassist in the family band.
Poe, formerly a Dreamworks recording artist, has been an integral part of national touring bands, singing backup and playing bass to lock in the rhythm section behind the likes of international acts Dierks Bentley and Hank Williams, Jr. As a solo artist she had two noteworthy singles ‘Just One Of The Boys’ (Youtube Video) and ‘This Ain’t Love Anymore’ from an album JUST ONE OF THE BOYS.

Top Nashville producer James Stroud brought Michelle and Keith together. When Trick Pony were going to make another record they were looking for a new lead singer. Stroud brought Michelle to the table to sing lead which in her heart she didn’t want to do but neither did she want to be a solo artist. All the pieces seemed to have fallen into place for Keith Burns and Ira Dean when they auditioned Michelle Poe to fill the vacant lead singer position for their band Trick Pony in 2008. Just one day after the audition, Dean announced his departure from the band leaving Burns and Poe questioning their next move. Once Michelle was hired Keith left Trick Pony the next day and they started writing songs. Michelle and Keith both didn’t want to sing lead all the time. I knew I couldn’t be Trick Pony by myself,” Burns recalls. “It just didn’t feel right.”
In my heart I really didn’t want to sing Trick Pony music for the rest of my life,” admits Michelle Poe. “It would’ve been more meaningful to me to write our own music and perform our own stuff.”
With those thoughts in their minds, Michelle Poe and Keith Burns began writing together to see what path their unified musical creativeness would lead them down. A month later, they approached their label with the idea of bringing a fresh duo to the country music scene. They agreed they had an act and Burns & Poe was born. Thus this configuration created something new from something that was divided.
They are not a husband and wife team but they have a musical friendship and chemistry. Burns & Poe connect lyrically, creating their own babies in their songs and they come out different than if just one of them had conceived them. Keith and Michelle work off each other both with their writing and with their stage show. As a duo they focus on the individuals, singularly as well as together resulting in music that has subtlety and detail that comes out differently compared to what a group format might produce.

Burns & Poe signed with Blue Steel Records in 2009 and have been on the road performing at shows from coast to coast. Their third single from the release, Second Chance’ is at radio now. In 2010 Music Row Magazine awarded them Independent Artist of the Year.
Their great video for ‘Second Chance’ has appeared on UK screens courtesy of Showcase TV.
Watch it here - http://vimeo.com/24547963 - Inside Music Row - YouTube Interview
Verdict: Right on the Music Row money, great video on Showcase TV, excellent duet, very immediate. Top Marks!

GEORGE McANTHONY (ITALY) - Track 13 ‘Show Me The Way’ (CMNI score 8) Website
George was on tour in July 2011 when he had a heart attack and tragically died. He was promoting his latest album, DUST OFF MY BOOTS, which had already spawned five successful singles and the sixth and final one, which is released on this month's Hotdisc, will act as a fitting tribute to the likeable Italian singer/songwriter. ‘Show Me The Way’ will now, sadly, be his final single. Thoughts go out to both his family and his many fans across Europe.
Verdict: Catchy toe-tapper, love the musicianship and song sentiment. R.I.P George such a tragic loss to country music in Europe.

BILLY BURNETTE (USA) - Track 14 ‘Rock n Roll With It’ (CMNI score 6) Website
Blurb: Billy Burnette (see photo1photo 2) is the epitome of a rock star – he exudes talent, good looks, and the rock star aura wherever he goes and understandably so, given his journey as a musician, singer, songwriter, guitarist.
Born in Memphis, singer/songwriter/guitarist, Dorsey William Burnette III (aka Billy Burnette)  spent most of his youth in the presence of father Dorsey and uncle Johnny (of the legendary Rock and Roll Trio).  The Trio made the Rockabilly name famous by combining the name Billy and his cousin Rocky for the 1953 “Rockabilly Boogie” – thus making the term Rockabilly a household name.

Billy has amassed four decades of experience recording music, writing songs, and performing since embarking upon his career at age 7. In 1980, Billy Burnette made the biggest solo record recording deal in history with Columbia Records.  Shortly after signing on with Columbia Records, Burnette met Mick Fleetwood (of Fleetwood Mac) at an “American Bandstand” party.  The two musicians became fast friends and formed the band Mick Fleetwood’s Zoo in 1983. Burnette toured with Fleetwood Mac between 1987-1995 and appears on such records as: The Chain, Fleetwood Mac/Greatest Hits, Behind the Mask and The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac. At the height of his Fleetwood Mac stint, Billy’s songs were being recorded by such famed artists as: Roy Orbison (“All I Can Do is Dream You”), Ray Charles (“Do I Ever Cross Your Mind”), George Strait (“River of Love”), Rod Stewart, Cher, Faith Hill, and Greg Allman.

Burnette then teamed up with Bekka Bramlett, also of Fleetwood Mac association, to record BEKKA AND BILLY released in April 1997.  The Bekka and Billy record was well-received by music fans, artists, and critics alike. And so, that brings Billy Burnette’s incredible musical journey up to the present. Where to from here? Billy continues to write, record and perform. His new self produced solo album ROCK N ROLL WITH IT was released on June 6, 2011 on iTunes . The self penned title cut ‘Rock n Roll With It’ is his latest single. Half of the twelve songs on the album are by Burnette and he co-wrote the other six working with such writers as Shawn Camp, Erik Paslay, Dylan Altman, Gary Nicholson, and Billy Burnett, Jr.

Even if that genre’s blend of rock and country ain’t your thing, these songs are so much fun that you might become a Burnette-ette by the time you get halfway through the album’s dozen hip-shaking tracks.
I mean that honestly. My dad’s music seems to have an energy all its own. This is the style I enjoy playing the most. And we’re ready for this. We’re giving them what they want. Real Rockabilly!” says Burnette.
Billy should know, he is the “billy” in the term “Rockabilly – It’s part of his DNA!

The single is currently at #5 on the Hotdisc Top 40 Chart (Aug 21, 2011)
Verdict: Heard Billy sing better, song sounds dated belongs to the early Fleetwood Mac era, tight sound and great playing but not really country.


HAYLEY OLIVER BAND (UK) - Track 15 ‘Sweet Dreams’ (CMNI score 10) Website
This must be Hayley’s 6th Hotdisc song and the 4th track drawn from the album NATURALLY following on from successful singles ’98.6 Degrees and Falling’, ‘Tell Me Why’ and ‘I’m A Little Bluer Than That’. In January 2011 the band had their 5th straight British & Irish Number 1. The album is both a representation and a showcase of what to expect at a Hayley Oliver Band gig.
In October 2010 the band picked up two awards at the British Country Music Awards (BCMAwards).
The awards were for Hotdisc track of the year for "I'm A Little Bluer Than That", which stayed at #1 for 7 weeks and the second award was The Horizon award for best New Band. This year they have 2 nominations for Band of the Year and Hayley is included in the Female Vocalist of The Year category.
See - Youtube Video of “Sweet Dreams” and “I’m A Little Bluer Than That” (link)

Verdict: I’m not a fan of covers but this is wonderful from the lovely Hayley. It features tasteful accompaniment from the band members. If there’s a better cover version than this I’ve yet to hear it. A winning performance!


JUSTIN J GRANT (Northern Ireland) - Track 16 ‘Break The Wing’ (Radio Edit) (CMNI score 6) Website
Blurb: Justin J. Grant (see photo) is a singer/multi-instrumentalist from Newry, Northern Ireland.
He has been performing in public from the age of fifteen, formerly as the front man of a locally acclaimed six piece band and currently as a solo artist playing all over Ireland and the UK. Justin is a prolific writer and has an extensive catalogue of wonderful melody driven contemporary songs of which fourteen are presented in his debut album, BREAK THE WING. Grant’s debut single ‘Cry For Me’ reached #35 in the Hotdisc Top 40 and his second single “The Devils’ at your Door” peaked at #17, see chart May 29, 2011 as well as topping the NCM chart. This third single and the album title cut BREAK THE WING stands at #35
Verdict: The harmony made me think of ABBA – no bad thing. Sound quality great but belongs in the pop market and is a little dated.

FRANK JENNINGS (UK) - Track 17 ‘Three Days’ Website
This is a debut release on Hotdisc for Frank Jennings (see photo), a man who is one of the most famous British Country acts in history. He came to fame thanks to Hughie Green's tv show, Opportunity Knocks, landed a deal with EMI in the 1970s. He won a gold disc for the song, ‘Me & My Guitar’, appeared on a hit compilation and has done many TV shows and festivals. Frank commemorated the first time a British Country Band had appeared on a Gold Album for Country Life in 1979. He is back playing with the likes of Graham Walker and Slim Pickins again on his new album. Frank's track ‘Three Days’, from the album YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW, has gone from number 4 to number 3 on The Hotdisc Top 40 chart. It's also Number 1 for a third week on the UK and Irish Country chart (see chart Aug 21, 2011)
Three Days’ was written by Willie Nelson and appeared on his first LP named AND THEN I WROTE that was released back in 1962 (Youtube Audio)

Three Days” by Mr. Frank Jennings - Youtube Video - Here's Frank Jennings performing Live on stage with Capricorn at Eastleigh in December 2009 - YouTube Link

ROYAL WADE KIMES (USA) - Track 18 ‘500 Miles Away From Home’ Website
Blurb: Royal Wade Kimes (see photo) rode the Arkansas/Oklahoma border range from the time he could set a saddle until he was in his twenties. His dad had a ranch and ran cattle on thousands of acres, off and on the ranch. When the range closed down, it left him nothing to do but work a saw mill and rodeo. He soon became restless with that. Royal Wade Kimes is a throw-back to his family tree, in that he has some of the outlaw blood running through his veins. His family ran with the likes of Bonnie and Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Ma Barker, and formed their own gang called the Pampa Gang. The restless blood took over. Finally, he picked up his guitar and headed for Music City. He played writers nights, worked horse ranches for the day job waiting for a break. He spent a decade as a professional songwriter in Nashville before he released his debut album, ANOTHER MAN'S SKY, in 1996. Before he launched a music career, Kimes -- a descendent of Ozark Mountain bankrobbers - worked as a ranchhand for Loretta Lynn. A chance meeting with Eddy Arnold helped him land a job as a songwriter in Nashville

Kimes has written songs for Garth Brooks, Diamond Rio, Gene Watson and others. He signed with Asylum Records, went on to have a top ten dance record across the nation and toured exrensively across the country. His latest CD called CROSSING THE ROADS dropped in April 2011. Kimes had a hand in writing or co-writing 10 of the 13 songs on it. ‘I’m an Ole Song’ on Hotdisc 147 reached #2 on the Hotdisc Top 40 (see chart April 10, 2011). This new single ‘500 Miles Away From Home’ is generally credited as being written by Hedy West some recordings have also credited Bobby Bare, Curly Williams, and/or John Phillips as co-writers. It was popularized by Peter, Paul & Mary when it showed as the second track on their US#1, May 1962 debut album. Rewritten with new lyrics by Bobby Bare, it charted as a hit single for him in 1963 and got to #10 on the US Chart.
WONDERMENT RECORDS - Breaking News - Royal Wade Kimes' single "500 Miles Away From Home" enters the European Hot Disc Top 40 Chart at #21 and has currently peaked at #18.
RWK's comment: "It's exciting as an artist, but also that Bobby Bare's classic is back in the charts."


BLAGARDS & COWBOYS (UK, Devon) - Track 19 ‘No Win Scenario’ Website
Blurb: Blagards & Cowboys (see gallery photos) are a recording band consisting of Adrian Connery (guitar, vocals),  John Kerrison (drums), Barry Parfitt (piano), Pete Parks (guitar), and Nick Simper (bass) -- (see History tree). The band was formed with the intention of showcasing Adrian's country-rock compositions, which make up their debut album SKULDUGGERY. The song ‘No Win Scenario was written by Connery and Kerrison.
See Album Review:
Each tune is individually brilliant.
There are pop stars but then there is musical royalty and each member of this band is exactly that. Most noticeably being bassist Nick Simper (who was a founding member of Deep Purple) and drummer John Kerrison who was involved in the 1960’s pop-rock group Episode Six. Joined by three others, this British band create something extraordinary here in what is their debut album. The joining of these forces is something I truly hope will continue for many, many years to come; long may they carry on.
RH – 3.5 STARS MAVERICK MAGAZINE March 2011

Blagards & Cowboys - White Horses of Lyme Bay on Youtube


LEANNE THOROSE (UK) - Track 20 ‘Starry-Eyed’ (CMNI score 6) Website
Blurb: Leanne (see photo) was born in London to a musical family with both Irish and American roots. Her mother, Mary, comes from County Donegal and is a fine singer in the Celtic tradition. Her father, Ced Thorose, originates from Maryland, USA, but has lived in the UK most of his life where he has established a unique reputation as the leading maker and player of resophonic bluegrass guitars.

Leanne began teaching herself bluegrass fiddle at the age of 14 after seeing a recording of an Alison Krauss concert, but as family holidays were spent in County Donegal, she attended many sessions there and soon began to absorb the style of traditional Irish music.
When she was sixteen her father made her an “F” style mandolin and, inspired by the likes of Bill Monroe, Chris Thile and Sam Bush, again she taught herself to play in the bluegrass style.
She finished college in 2008 and gained a National Diploma in Music Practice. She is regularly called upon to play at gigs around London, and in September 2010 she was asked to perform with the legendary Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band during their short UK tour. She is affiliated with the folk and bluegrass label, Lara Natural Music, and is in the process of co-writing with Charlie Boston a collection of songs, which will feature on her debut album to be released later in the year.
Leanne has recently joined the critically acclaimed Irish dance production ‘Essence of Ireland’ (website) as their new leading fiddle player and has just completed a UK tour with the company from March to May 2011. Her debut album BLUESTACK MOUNTAIN GIRL will feature songs written jointly with Charlie (Charlie writing the lyrics and Leanne writing the music) and is produced by Mark Moseley. It will be released in September on Lara Natural Music which was founded in 1999 as a record label to promote original bluegrass music written in Britain.
Leanne Thorose on Youtube
Verdict: A good co-write and shows much promise, nicely arranged and good musicianship. A touch lacking vocally so just falls short of awarding it an 8.


RAYBURN ANTHONY (USA) - Track 21 ‘I Miss Mississippi’ Website
Blurb: Rayburn Anthony (see photo) was born and raised in Humboldt Tennessee (USA) 15 miles north of Jackson, Tennessee. One of eight children he was in his own words "about the middle." His father farmed and also painted houses to feed the large family. He started singing in public when he joined his older brother Bob's band having learned the fundamentals of guitar playing from his brother. He made his first recordings for the legendary Sun label in Memphis. W.S.

After his Sun label days Rayburn started to write frequently with friends Tony Austin and Gene Dobbins. He got his first big check with Dobbins when they got the B side of Sandy Posey's hit "Born A Woman" with their song "Caution To The Wind." At this time he was writing for Bill Black's publishing company. Next Rayburn moved to Nashville to be in a better position to get songs cut. He began to work on the road with Billy Walker and this led to Walker recording several of his songs with two reaching the top ten. "Sing Me A Love Song To Baby" reached number one and earned Rayburn an ASCAP award. Other acts to have recorded his songs include John Conley (“She Loves My Troubles Away”), Charlie Louvin and Melba Montgomery , Vern Gosdin ( 2 songs ), Conway Twitty / Loretta Lynn , Faron Young (“No Painless Way”) The Jordanaires ( “100 Yards of Real Estate”) , Charley Pride and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Rayburn has also worked on the road with Melba Montgomery and Bobby Bare (4 years). Rayburn’s
association with Bobby Bare led to his signing with Polydor and later he moved to Mercury Records.

Rayburn Anthony has performed on the UK’s Maverick Magazine Festival stage with the help of Last Train Home, who were serving as his backing band. Rayburn informed the publication that Elvis Presley reworked his song 'There's No Tomorrow', which then became a little tune called 'It's Now Or Never'. Maybe you've heard of it!

Rayburn's Sun recordings have been released on several compilations by Charly and Bear Family Records. He has also previously released 2 CD’s on Rhythm Bomb Records.
Cream Of The Crop Yee-Haw! CD - CREAM OF THE CROP on Rhythm Bomb is the result of an outstanding Berlin, Germany Rockabilly Session featuring Rayburn Anthony, Doug Wilshire, Jason Lee Wilson and Don Karlos. Four stars of the Rockin' scene come together for an amazing recording session at Lightning Studios. The Hotdisc track ‘I Miss Mississippi’ written with Jim Newcombe currently sits at #26 on the Top 40 chart.

Photo of Rayburn Anthony at Americana International Festival, Newark, England - LINK


BO PORTER (USA) - Track 22 ‘Speak Your Mind’ Website
Blurb: Bo Porter (see photo) (Austin, TX) is the Harley-riding singing songwriter with the hot/cool repertoire that runs from hardcore honky-tonk to roots rock with a little bit of acoustic from the edge
When your friends tell you it was the best Roots Music, Americana, Original, Texas Music, Real Deal, they've heard in years. It’s this guy. A real life done everything man, Country Music Encyclopedia, Award winning song-writer, and first class performer. Florida, Alaska, California, Overseas and everywhere in-between; the internet has been instrumental in connecting Bo Porter fans across the globe. With a music career already spanning decades Bo has made a lot of fans along the way.
With genuine musical heritage and steeped in classic country traditions sets a vocal standard you haven't seen in years. Hi's strong baritone voice has compared with Marty Robbins, Faron Young, Merle Haggard, & even Johnny Cash.
The self penned ‘Speak Your Mind’ is his latest single from his CD TRY YOUR LUCK on the Rhythm Bomb label. It’s currently holding a #32 spot on the Hotdisc Top 40. The tracks are all original songs and the album has already won Bo Porter a nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year 2011 by the Academy of Texas Music.

Bo Porter TRY YOUR LUCK on iTunes
Bo Porter - Speak Your Mind – Photo’s and Audio on Youtube
Bo Porter performing “Speak Your Mind” at Sing A Song for Story benefit -Youtube

MARK WAYNE GLASMIRE (USA) - Track 23 ‘I Like You’ (Radio Edit) Website
plus a soundbite from Mark Wayne Glasmire talking about the story behind his number 1 song "I Like You".

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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