Teddy Gentry’s New Nashville

As long as there’s been a music business, hopeful singers and groups have been lining up for a shot at the spotlight. Alabama’s Teddy Gentry, who was one of the lucky ones, has rustled up 12 of them for a Cracker Barrel album. They’re all talented.

But with only three or four minutes to make an impression, you need something distinctive, be it a great voice, a fresh idea or a powerful song that compels the listener to care. There are a few such moments here, but Teddy Gentry’s Best New Nashville is a misnomer of sorts—the acts here present songs composed by established hit songwriters (though many of them write their own) and performed by the pro musicians who play on the hits you hear every day. We don’t really get to know who these folks are as individual artists. This mixed basket of musical biscuits and corn muffins might satisfy the ear buds, but the songwriters stand to make the dough—and that’s not the new Nashville.

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