One of the more exciting major-label Nashville experiments in recent memory, Pinmonkey combines expert, aggressive musicianship with sterling vocals and swing-for-the-fence performances.

One of the more exciting major-label Nashville experiments in recent memory, Pinmonkey combines expert, aggressive musicianship with sterling vocals and swing-for-the-fence performances. Like Diamond Rio's backwoods cousins, the group melds insistent, grassy fare like "Slow Train Comin'," "Jars of Clay," and the swampy "Barbed Wire and Roses," with funkier country-rock stuff like "Every Time It Rains," the ramblin' cover of Sugar Ray's "Fly," and Eagles-esque country in "The Longest Road." Frontman Mike Reynolds is an impressive vocalist, owning a clear, high tenor adept at uptempos and stunning on such ballads as the gorgeous "Augusta." If this isn't what country radio is looking for, then perhaps a new format is in order.—RW