Friday, February 10, 2023
– ERNEST gained recognition with his debut album, "Flower Shoppes (The Album) last March. Eleven months later, he's back to do it again, with a deluxe version, adding 13 fresh cut tracks . A co-writer on all 24 of the songs, Ashley Gorley, Charles Kelley, Josh Thompson, Brian Kelley, The Warren Brothers, Ryan Vojtesak and Josh Osborne all participated. ERNEST is joined by country traditionalist Jake Worthington for honkytonker"Heartache In My 100 Proof," and songwriter Dean Dillon on their co-written track "What Have I Got To Lose."
Offering 13 tracks, all of which feature Chase Rice as a songwriter (including three solo writes), "I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell" shows a more raw Rice. The disc also honors his late father, Daniel Rice, with its cover art. Building on solo songwriting sessions with acoustic guitar, plus trips with friends where songs were born from real life as opposed to Music Row writing appointments, Rice took the same approach into the recording process with producer Oscar Charles. Forgoing a traditional studio, Rice and Charles turned his rural home into their 24/7 workspace, bringing in a live band with no click track over an immersive two-week session.
Dobro master Rob Ickes teamed again with vocalist Trey Hensley for "Living In A Song," (Compass Records) their fourth release together. Ickes and Hensley re-enlisted Grammy Award-winning producer Brent Maher (The Judds, Merle Haggard, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson) for the project and wrote 30 songs, putting a dozen on the release. Ickes and Hensley made a conscious decision to lean the music in a classic country direction, with some elements of Americana and bluegrass.
Priscilla Block, who gained traction with her debut EP, is back with "Welcome to the Block Party Deluxe." The 16-song set includes recently released duet with Justin Moore, "You, Me, And Whiskey." Block had success with the song "Just About Over You."
Matt Stell, who has enjoyed hits with "Everywhere But On" and "Prayed For You," put out a six-song EP. Three tunes were co-written by Stell with hitmakers Jessie Jo Dillon, Chase McGill and Randy Montana. Stell co-produced five of the songs with Ash Bowers. Stell produced the other track, "Somewhere Over the Radio," with Clint Lagerberg.
Walker County are out with their debut EP, "No Smoke and Mirrors." Indiana natives Ivy and Sophie Walker first signed with Warner Music Nashville as teenagers back in 2014. The EP, produced by AJ Pruis, features four tracks co-written by Walker County and a duet with rising artist Greylan James.