Does anyone else think it's a bit strange that country is dominating the "industry" right now? It seems to me that most of the kids these days are into hip-hop or the folk coming out of trendy urban areas (it was a struggle to describe the second one with neutral language.) Amy Ray's interview at No Depression got me to thinking. Maybe it's that young people don't have much purchasing power anymore so middle-aged people, who are the ones buying CDs, dictate the market? Or is there some larger force that's making Southern culture more palatable above the Mason-Dixon?
Maybe it's my obsession with Nashville but Zack Shelton's smooth, ready-for-primetime vocals are landing more in my ears more comfortably than they might have a year or two ago. These boys pack a punch, though -- they're more than some record exec's creation (I'm looking at you, Will.)
Shelton is certainly the main draw here: he's a powerhouse who could be compared favorably with Austin Lucas (see "Dear Juliet.")
While it should surprise no one that I'm drawn toward the more rock-based songs like the blistering opener "Bristol," I can see where a dyed-in-the-wool country fan would love more polished numbers like "Line of Fire." Either way, The Next Chapter is a helluva sophomore album. I hope it brings these guys beyond Grayson, Kentucky.
Zack Shelton and 64 to Grayson -- Official, Facebook, iTunes