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New Music by Old Dominion, Kip Moore, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw and Spencer's Own this week.

Lots of good music is coming out of Nashville right now, and some songs that have been on the charts since last Fall are running their course.  This has made room for several new songs to go into rotation.

First up, is "Snapback," the follow-up single to Old Dominion's breakout hit "Break Up With Him."  In case you're wondering, a 'snapback' is a term for a trucker's hat with a plastic tab on the back that adjusts the size.  You probably remember wearing them on your Little League teams back in the 70s and 80s.  When RCA shipped this song, the email did not contain a photo of the band. Instead, the group’s logo was slapped on the rear of a baseball cap along with the word “Snapback.”  Since each member of Old Dominion is also a songwriter, there is an interesting story about how the group wrote the song:

The sound provided a starting place for the words. One of the writers voiced a thought about changing the beat — “Strictly out of curiosity, what would happen if…” — and lead singer Matthew Ramsey immediately blurted out the first line and opening melody for the song: “Strictly out of curiosity/What would happen if you got with me?” “Snapback” evolved from there in linear fashion, with each line following the next as they worked their way to the chorus.  “You get a couple good [lines], but then the challenge is to make the third one rhyme and be as cool as the other two,” says drummer Whitt Sellers.

 

Up next, is Kip Moore's new song "Running For You," the second single from his Wild Ones album.  This one is a bit of a departure from the anthemic first single "I'm To Blame."  Kip co-wrote this song with songwriters Troy Verges and Blair Daly, and he says that inspiration for the song came from a late night of introspection.

"I used to live in this really awful building where there were no TVs, no couches, nothing. All I had were some amps set up and my electric guitars, and it forced you to constantly stay in that mode of writing. I happened to get off the road and I couldn't sleep, and I picked up my guitar at 3 or 4 a.m. and I started playing the opening riff. I started thinking about how my life has constantly pulled me away from people that I care about...I kinda just flipped that to the thought of someone else being in my shoes. The melody came to me I was with Troy Verges and Blair Daly, and I said, 'I got this thing.' We just kinda wrote a song about when you really care about somebody, you wanna see 'em shine and you wanna see 'em go grab what they're after."

Kip is currently on tour in support of his latest album.  He has upcoming dates in Australia and the UK.

 

In his 25-year career as a country singer, Toby Keith's standout songs have always been his ballads: "Should've Been A Cowboy," "My List," "American Soldier," "Whiskey Girl," all reached number one, along with several other ballads.  In fact, Toby's first 12 albums all had at least one ballad that became a hit single.  That changed when his 2010 album Bullets In The Gun was released, and Toby started chasing a sound, instead of sticking to what has always worked for him.  Indeed, since Bullets was released, Toby has only had one Number One single, "Made In America."  Whether it was the stress of running his record label AND being a touring and recording artist, or his public battles with BMLG head Scott Borchetta, the quality of Toby's music ran into a ditch.

Toby seems to have gone back to the drawing board with his most recent album 35 MPH Town.  "Beautiful Stranger" reminds me a lot of "You Shouldn't Kiss Me Like This."  It is by far the best song on Toby's new album.  Toby recently told Taste Of Country that he's been holding on to the song for years, waiting for the right time to release it.  Timing is very important when a single is released, and I think Toby will get at least a Top Ten hit out of this one. 

 

Tim McGraw's music career is currently in a renaissance.  Whether it's sobriety, his diet, or his intense workout regimen, he is making some of the best music of his career.  Five of his last eight singles, and his last two albums are all certified Platinum.  His latest album Damn Country Music is on it's way to earning Gold and Platinum status also.  The first single reached #1 on the Music Row Country Breakout Chart, and #5 on the Billboard Country Airplay Chart.  Tim says his new single "Humble And Kind" is his favorite song on the album.  He says he's been hanging on to this song for years, waiting for the right moment to release it.  The song was written by Lori McKenna, who has written dozens of hit singles, and earned a Grammy nomination for co-writing "Girl Crush".

Tim also says the song is so important to him, that the music video had to be special too.  So he turned to Oprah for help.  The music video was directed by Wes Edwards and features scenes from Oprah Winfrey's seven-part documentary series Belief, which shows how people with a wide range of beliefs search for deeper meaning and connection with the world around them.   "Humble And Kind" is going to be one of Tim's signiture songs, and I think it will receive several CMA award nominations this year. 

 

I've always loved country groups that can sing a good harmony.  So when I heard about a new country group made up of five brothers from Idaho that was making waves in Nashville, I had to find out more about them.  Their name, Spencer’s Own, carries a very special meaning to the five brothers that originates from their dad Spencer who has been such an inspiration in their lives. 

Together each member of the band brings their very own unique set of skills and style to the group. Combined with a stellar blend of multi-lead and harmony vocals mixed with the rock inspired high tenor voice of Jordon; low bass of Nic with his amazing cutting-edge beats; soulful voice and blazing infectious harmonica of Morgan; smooth warm tenor of Quinn; and the edgy pop influenced baritone lead of Nathan serves as the foundation of this next generation country sound.

 

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