I got a very pleasant surprise Friday afternoon. When I got home from the office, I found two CD’s waiting for me to review. One of them belongs to Matt Stillwell, who I absolutely adore, and have since the first time I heard “Shine.” The other is by Brantley Gilbert, who I assume is a newcomer to the world of country music. At least he’s new to me.
Brantley’s CD is titled “A Modern Day Prodigal Son.” And to quote the little article on the inside of the CD cover, “A Modern Day Prodigal Son” is a themed album that embraces the chapters in my life, which I find relate to a similar story of the Prodigal son in the Bible. I have several people to thank who brought this album to life. My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for countless reasons.” He also gives thanks to his mom, his little brother, his dad, the rest of his family, and the people who have supported him and helped with this CD. I like this kid.
I’m really hoping the title song will get people to sit up and take notice of Brantley. I didn’t hear anything on the CD that I didn’t like, which is rare these days when you are reviewing a newer artist. And while all the tracts were good, I think “A Modern Prodigal Son” literally tells the Bible story about the Prodigal son. It’s well written, well performed, and very easy to listen to. I’m already a Brantley Gilbert fan.
Wait till you hear “Picture on the Dashboard.” It’s a typical broken heart kind of song. And Brantley and his guitar do it great – you can almost picture him sitting in a corner somewhere, all alone, missing someone, having her picture – and just playing and singing.
The other songs on the CD are “Freshman Year,” “What’s Left of a Small Town,” “G.R.I.T.S.” Whenever we’re Alone,” “The Best of Me,” “My Kinda Party,” “Live It Up,” “Friday Night,” “Indiana’s Angel,” “Rock this Town,” and “Play Me That Song.”
I listened to this CD a couple of times last night. And what I decided was that it’s not only good, I think it’s good enough to earn this kid a lot of respect in country music. And I hope I’m right. I’m looking forward to more from Brantley Gilbert – and would really like to see him touring in my area sometime soon.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who likes Matt Stillwell, or who is familiar with his music. Matt’s single “Shine” did pretty well on the radio. It is one of my favorite songs of his, it is very likeable, up tempo, and the kind of song you would expect to hear at a party, or even plan your party around. But there are other Matt Stillwell songs I like even more.
I think my very favorite song by this great artist is “Damn This Rain.” I’ve heard it on a few country stations, but it didn’t really do as well as “Shine” with radio response. My next personal favorite is “Between You and Me.”
“Sweet Sun Angel,” which was written by Jeremy Stover, Kris Berganes and Greg Bamhill, was the third single Matt released from this CD. This one is great, and I really don’t understand why it didn’t do better on the charts.
Again with Matt, there isn’t anything on this CD that I don’t like, or that I would want to skip over when I listen to the album. In fact, most of them I want to back up and listen again right then. I listened to “Go Away” so many times that anyone within listening range probably wanted to tell me to stay away! “Moment of Weakness” is good. “I Keep Thinking About You” is great. “Dirt Road Dancing” is just what you would expect it to be … a really fast, really fun, clap your hands and stomp your feet kind of song. I think the only ones we didn’t talk about were “Whiskey Well,” and “Oh My Sweet Carolina.” Two very different songs, both very good.
I’m sure by now everyone knows how much I like Matt Stillwell, and I’m pretty sure you all know that I am now a fan of Brantley Gilbert. I hope you will visit their MySpace pages, and if you aren’t familiar with their music, listen to it – I have a feeling I will not be the only one out there who thinks these two guys have a lot to look forward to as they continue to build their careers in country music.
Remember, too, that both of these artists have show schedules up on their MySpace page, so you can find out when they will be near you.
That’s all for this morning. Now you can all go out and find something funny, scary, beautiful, whacky, or whatever … and dress up for Halloween. On this mountain, we don’t usually see too many costume-clad-candy-beggars. But I have something here for any of them that do show up! Happy Halloween everyone! Enjoy your Saturday.
Talk to you all later! Keep in touch! Remember I am now on both Twitter and Facebook, and would lover for you guys to follow me there, too.