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.
"Astronaut," Candi Carpenter
One of Nashville's brightest young singers and songwriters tackles tough questions about faith, doubt, self-respect and self-worth with "Astronaut." Since Carpenter couldn't commandeer Johnny Cash's starship from "Highwayman" and get away from it all, she shared these frustratingly relatable feelings with the help of producer and collaborator Brandi Carlile. The song establishes Carpenter as an artist to watch while reminding us that Carlile can make anything, from Tanya Tucker's beloved sass to one of saving graces of The Zac Brown Band's critically-panned The Owl, sound greater.
"Della and the Dealer," Dallas Moore
Country traditionalist Dallas Moore's new album Tryin' to Be a Blessing includes a rough-around-the-edges reinterpretation of the Hoyt Axton classic "Della and the Dealer." Axton, known in part as the writer of Three Dog Night's "Joy to the World" and "Never Been to Spain," wrote the rare country song that gives cats and dogs equal billing and recorded it for the 1979 album A Rusty Old Halo. Hopefully, Moore's cover introduces new ears to a great song from one of country music's strongest decades.
Country fans who keep their punk records among their Merle and Lefty vinyl should check out Indiana native folk-rocker Austin Lucas. Lucas just released his live album No One Is Immortal! Live at the Blockhouse Bar, which features the hard-charging, singalong ready "Thunder Rail."
--Bobbie Jean Sawyer
"The Well," Marcus King
Southern rock is alive and well thanks to folks like Marcus King, a 23-year-old guitar phenom from South Carolina. King, known for his work with the Marcus King Band, will release his solo album El Dorado, produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, on Jan. 17. For a taste of what's to come, check out "The Well," a gritty southern stomper made to bust the speakers out of your Cadillac.
--Bobbie Jean Sawyer
"Lay Here With Me," Maddie and Tae feat. Dierks Bentley
Dierks Bentley teams up with former tour mates Maddie & Tae for "Lay Here With Me," a stunning country ballad about a couple desperately trying to hold on to what they had. The song is from Maddie & Tae's recently released EP Everywhere I'm Goin', the latest in the duo's impressive discography.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer