Each week the Wide Open Country staff rounds up our favorite newly released country and Americana songs. Here are five new songs we can't stop listening to this week:
"America (Still in Love With You)," Clint Black
Clint Black's new album Out of Sane is set for a June 19 release, and its lead single's a cross between the story of a shaky yet worthwhile relationship with a significant other and a love letter to America. The connections between both topics feel a little shaky on first listen, but we promise this gorgeous Black and Steve Wariner co-write will grow on you and questions about whether he's singing about a woman named America will subside.
"Last of the Street Survivors," Lynyrd Skynyrd
In case you missed it, Lynyrd Skynyd shared a brand-new song in early April that honors the men and women from the Skynyrd family who've passed away over the past 43 years. Founding guitarist Gary Rossington co-wrote the soaring Southern rock power ballad with lead singer Johnny Van Zant, guitarist Ricky Medlocke and songwriter Tom Hambridge. No word yet on whether this means the band's rumored 15th and final album's closer to completion.
"Long Game," Emily Nenni
For a fresh voice paired with an unapologetically retro sound, check out Nashville songwriter and band leader Emily Nenni. The title track of her recent Long Game EP could be a theme song for any creative type who's not taking any shortcuts or making any compromises. It offers hope that there's plenty of great honky tonk acts out there for folks either picky about what they call country or interested in incorporating lesser-known performers into their big tent definition.
"Hurt So Bad," Jaime Wyatt feat. Shooter Jennings
"When I was born, they should've warned me/ And I would've turned my ass around/ Picked it up and hit the country, never even make a sound," Jaime Wyatt sings on "Hurt So Bad," the lead-off single to her forthcoming Neon Cross. Wyatt is Outlaw Country in the truest sense of the phrase, offering raw, honest lyrics about addiction, recovery and the power of owning your story. Neon Cross features appearances from Shooter Jennings, who produced the album, as well as Outlaw Country queen (and Jennings' mother) Jessi Colter.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer
"Sing To Me Willie," Edie Brickell feat. Willie Nelson
In the sweetest meta Willie Nelson duet since George Strait teamed up with the Red Headed Stranger for "Sing One With Willie," Edie Brickell duets with the 87-year-old country icon in a tune about how Nelson's music pulls on every Texan's heartstrings.
"We played your music at my daddy's funeral and the pastor was amused," Brickell sings. "He said it's hard to follow 'Whiskey River' as he looked at us in the pews."
Proceeds from "Sing to Me Willie" go toward MusiCare's COVID-19 relief fund.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer