Regrettably, I don’t always find a way to fit all the music that I’ve enjoyed listening to into a blog post. Inspired by looking back at the Prime Cuts series on Country California, I figured I’d spotlight a few favorites off albums that I’ve recently had on replay. Hopefully these songs will serve as an introduction to the work of three talented young artists.
“Thinking Of You” – Davis Nix featuring Adam Hood
The list of credits on Davis Nix’s debut album Fade is likely to catch the attention of country fans who devour liner notes since his debut includes cuts by esteemed songwriters Chris Stapleton, Jay Knowles, and Mark Sherrill, to name a few. The Alabama singer, who also manages several artists, contributes the somber title track (a co-write with Chad Wilson) to the mix, and it packs an emotional wallop in the final verse. However, the song that truly sparked my obsession with Fade is the richly detailed “Thinking Of You”, penned by Adam Hood, Jason Saenz, and Brent Cobb. A young man copes with the aftermath of his relationship’s dissolution with humor, heart, and candor. As he tries to come to grips with his addictions and seeks solace in his family, listeners can’t help but empathize. As noted above, Hood duets with Nix on the track.
James Harris Moore’s latest album Get Gone is a quiet gem. Produced by Sons of Bill’s Sam Wilson, the striking storytelling of Nashville native Moore is front and center throughout the recording. One of the record’s highlights is “Ten Year Town”, a slice of acerbic roots rock that chronicles the love-hate relationship many young songwriters appear to have with Music City. “Good things come to those who know when to shut up and wait their turn/Sometimes I think I’d like to watch every building out here burn,” Moore laments. Unfortunately, when personal turmoil mirrors professional disappointment, the narrator hits his breaking point in a climax that Moore sells with conviction.
California gal Bianca Caruso, one half of the acclaimed Americana soul duo Freddy & Francine, rides solo on Bravado, a heady mix of soul, pop, and folk. While creative partner Lee Ferris collaborates with her on the duet “I Wanna Go Home With You”, the bulk of the album focuses squarely on Caruso’s rich, impressive pipes and superb songcraft. One of the best songs, emotionally resonant ballad “Blue on Blue”, wouldn’t feel out of place on a Dusty Springfield record. Caruso’s a revelation, managing to sound both sympathetic and world-weary as she warns of an inevitable heartache. Quite simply, Bravado is a dream of an album.