Dierks Bentley has, in a quiet and underrated way, become one of the most consistent hitmakers in country music today. He’s also one of the few singers out there who’s unafraid to color outside the established lines for country singers in the 2010s.
It’s hard to describe Dianna Corcoran as a “new” artist, as she’s a well-established star in her native Australia, complete with #1 albums and songs and plenty of awards. However, Corcoran is taking 2016 to introduce herself and her five-octave vocal range to American audiences with a new album, appropriately titled In America, on Krian Music Group/Universal Music.
The title for Jerry Lawson’s debut album became almost frighteningly prophetic last year.
England swings, or at least it did back in Roger Miller’s day. Nowadays, England is more likely to line dance, which helped an album from one of Nashville’s top singer-songwriters become a hit – almost 20 years after it was released.
To back up a bit: in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, country music was in a creative boom era, and James House was one of the reasons. His two albums on MCA Records (James House, Hard Times for An Honest Man) and one for Epic (Days Gone By) are all top-quality affairs that featured his distinctive voice and excellent songwriting chops. While he only had one Top 10 hit — “This Is Me Missing You” — he garnered airplay with several singles. House’s real success, though, came as a songwriter, as he penned hits for the likes of Dwight Yoakam, Martina McBride and other artists.
Those three albums really deserved a wider audience, and even today, they are well worth acquiring should you ever stumble across a copy. Days Gone By, though, ended up enjoying a renaissance in England last year, where it spawned three hit singles and coaxed House back into the recording studio for a new album and an overseas tour. Not bad for an album that was released in 1995.
“The Outsiders,” the title track and lead single from Eric Church’s new album, may have strayed too much into the realm of metal for its own good, but it served as a strong mission statement. Like him or not, Church is one of the few male country singers today who are willing to stray from the country-party-dude template, and even his songs that don’t quite hit the mark are more interesting than most singles currently on the radio.