Written by Ashley Gorley, Michael Hardy, Ben Johnson, and Hunter Phelps
What a fantastic surprise.
Dillon Carmichael has a phenomenal voice that is tailor made for country music, with a depth and richness that rivals the best to come out of Nashville this century. That may sound like I’m damning him with faint praise, but this is the century of Chris Stapleton, so it hasn’t all been a bust.
Hearing him for the first time has been a treat. “Hot Beer” reminds me quite a bit, in sound and theme, of Terri Clark’s breakthrough hit, “Better Things to Do.” Carmichael gives a performance that is equal parts humor and frustration, and the well-written song is matched perfectly with his talent.
This record sounds like I’ve wanted Luke Combs records to sound, but he doesn’t quite get there because he’s not this strong of a singer. We need talents like Carmichael that match their desire to make traditional country music with the ability to do so with excellence.
A few more like Carmichael, and the 2020s might give the 1990s a run for its money.