Nashville’s reputation as “Music CIty” was built on the backs of its songwriters. To quote the motto of the popular songwriter’s association based in Nashville, NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International), “It All Begins With A Song“. And fortunately, many of Music City’s “Movers and Shakers” haven’t forgotten the importance of its songwriter community. One such company is a brand new, independent label in town called Silverado Records, which just launched the first volume of its Silverado Signature Songwriter Series yesterday, January 6, 2017.
Silverado Records created the series to showcase the great songwriting talent of the artists on their roster. Starting with the release of this first volume, the record label plans on releasing more volumes in the future, featuring a different artist on each edition. Each volume will be released as an EP, and will contain several songs written by the featured artist. Volume 1 showcases a talented singer/songwriter by the name of Zack Dyer.
Dyer, a Minnesota native who moved to Nashville in 2015 and was signed to the label in 2016, got his start in the industry three years ago by traveling over half the country, touring with the non-profit organization Love Your Melon, which raises money for and donates hats to victims of childhood cancer. Dyer has been featured nationally on Fox’s American Idol, and as a casting finalist on NBC’s The Voice. “Our team is thrilled to kick off this series with Zack, and to give the world a taste of his amazing talent” says Scott Thomas, CEO of Silverado Records.
After listening to volume one, it’s clear that Dyer has many different musical influences in addition to country. The EP features four songs, including All American, Heartland, POS, and Wishful Drinking. Kudos to Silverado Records for their production on the album, which is slick, contemporary, and sonically pleasing.
Dyer comes out of the gate with what is probably the most radio-ready song on the album, a tune called All American, about a girlfriend who fits the description of the song’s title. This track could easily fit side-by-side in a playlist featuring other popular, contemporary male country artists like Hunter Hayes and David Nail.
The second track on the EP, Heartland, is, in my opinion, the best track on the album. The understated production lets the subtle nuances in Dyer’s voice shine, and the style and groove of the song really show off his R&B and Soul influences. This is a track you’ll want to indefinitely put on repeat.
The project returns to it’s more contemporary fare with P.O.S. – a “tongue-in-cheek” ode to your first car… old and imperfect, but like the song says: “Nothing’s automatic if you wanna grow up good.” This track brings out Dyer’s rock chops, and lyrically will connect with anyone who’s first car was… well… a P.O.S.
The project wraps with a poignant ballad called Wishful Drinking, a tune which truly showcases Dyer’s ability to tell a story and paint a picture using music and lyrics. On first glance at the title, a listener may be tempted to think this is just another country drinking song, but it goes much deeper than that, in the same vein as Chris Stapleton’s Drink A Beer (recorded by Luke Bryan).
This is a solid, impressive first foray into this songwriter series by Silverado Records. Hats off to the label for giving songwriters an outlet to be showcased and to shine with their own songs. In the future, I would really like to see production on Dyer’s tracks that more resemble that of the song Heartland, which will better highlight his vocals. And I would love to see Dyer stretch his songwriting chops a little further, pushing the boundaries of what is typically expected or accepted lyrically and stylistically in country music. Dyer is a bright, rising star in the country music industry, and I’m excited to keep following him and see where his career takes him.