Posts Tagged ‘hard rock songs’

If you pay attention to Billboard Magazine’s Top Country Songs Chart you will consistently see the name Dann Huff as ‘Producer’ next to five or more hit songs in any given week – from country stars including Keith Urban, Thomas Rhett, Brantley Gilbert and Dolly Parton. Huff has racked up numerous awards as a top Nashville guitarist and producer winning the ‘Musician of the Year’ award in 2001, 2004 and 2016 at the Country Music Association Awards and the ‘Producer of the Year award in 2006 and 2009 at the Academy of Country Music. Before all of his Nashville success, Dann was lead singer for the late 80’s/early 90’s rock band Giant who scored semi-hits with “Innocent Days” and “I’ll See You In My Dreams” from their 1989 LAST OF THE RUNAWAYS album. Back then, Huff was also a much sought-after pop/rock studio player lending his excellent guitar work to several #1 hits including Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” and “Like a Prayer” by Madonna.

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When I first heard about Mr. Big forming as new ‘Supergroup’ back in the late 80’s, I was totally jazzed to hear Eric Martin was the lead singer. I remember Eric Martin as a solo artist with his 1987 song ‘These Are The Good Times’ and thought his strong raspy vocals would be a great fit for a hard-rocking outfit. Teamed with instrument masters Paul Gilbert (Racer X), Billy Sheehan (David Lee Roth),  and Cleveland-native Pat Torpey (Robert Plant), Mr. Big was best known for ‘To Be With You’ from 1991’s Lean Into It, but the Gilbert penned song ‘Green-Tinted Sixties Mind’ from the same release is the Mr. Big’ highlight for me.

Aside from being a well written and recorded rock song, it also serves an outstanding example of creative musicians with serious chops but who still have the discipline and tastefulness to play within the context of what the song truly needs. I love the cracking of Torpey’s drumming and how he and the other members get their melodies and licks in but still allow ‘space’ for the vocals to soar – particularly in the last line in each chorus —  the lead and backing harmony vocals fly but like falling off a cliff  and then come crashing down with a ‘crack’ into the next line.