Gospel recordings were becoming all the rage in the nineties, particularly with female artists.
Sometimes it seemed like they just wanted a big showpiece for the CMA awards. Dolly Parton and Pam Tillis had performed with enormous choirs behind them in 1991 and 1994, respectively. These were, perhaps, the only times in CMA history that the demographics on stage accurately reflected greater metropolitan Nashville.
Terri Clark’s new release “The One” retains many of the familiar features that have made Clark’s music so enjoyable. It has a pleasant restrained production arrangement, and a nuanced, sincere vocal performance, along with an interesting lyrical scenario with some clever turns of phrase.
What it’s missing is a good hook.
Clear as Day
In listening to American Idol winner Scotty McCreery’s debut album, it becomes all too clear that either McCreery is being carefully reared by the unabashedly commercial-minded execs of 19 Entertainment… or that he simply enjoys playing follow-the-leader. The former is most likely, but almost every track on Clear as Day sounds like an emulation of the style of one of country radio’s favorite hitmakers. We get to hear Scotty McCreery play Montgomery Gentry. We get to hear Scotty McCreery play Kenny Chesney. But there are precious few moments in which it sounds like Scotty McCreery is being Scotty McCreery.
From the very first strains of the downbeat acoustic guitar followed by the eerie steel intro, it’s evident that this is no typical country love song or drinking ditty. Instead, it’s set at Hank Williams’ grave at midnight whereupon the narrator, presumably Alan Jackson, sees Hank’s ghost.
One of the greatest vocalists of his generation, John Conlee powered to stardom on the strength of a self-written hit that would provide both his musical and fashion signature for the rest of his career.
He’d been singing and playing guitar since early childhood, but his first career was as a mortician, followed by a stint as a radio deejay. He moved to Nashville in 1971, and five years later, he earned his first recording contract with ABC Records.
A musician since receiving his first guitar at age eight, Brad Paisley emerged in the late nineties and became the most consistently successful radio artist in the decade that followed.
Paisley’s career began in earnest when he penned his first song at age twelve, “Born On Christmas Day.” His junior high principal invited him to perform at a local function. He was spotted by a representative of Jamboree USA, and after one performance, he was invited to join the cast.