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:
"Whiskey Lullaby," Bill Anderson
Bill Anderson, a country music icon since the '50s, co-wrote one of the great songs of the 21st century, Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss' "Whiskey Lullaby." Anderson wrote Paisley and Krauss' CMA Song of The Year award winner (2005) with Jon Randall, a former member of Emmylou Harris' The Nash Ramblers.
"Whiskey Lullaby" and several other hits Anderson co-wrote, including Jamey Johnson and Buddy Cannon collaboration turned George Strait No. 1 "Give It Away," appear on upcoming release The Hits Reimagined. Anderson's 73rd album combines 10 new recordings of old favorites with 10 instrumental cuts.
As for his "Whiskey Lullaby" rendition, hearing a songwriter's fresh, stripped-down take on a familiar hit almost makes up for the lack of songwriter-in-the-round performances at spots like the Bluebird Cafe.
"Made For You," Jake Owen
Though its opening line mentions football games and falling leaves, Jake Owen's music video for "Made For You" suits a summer that feels way off because of COVID-19. Footage of Owen with his girlfriend and his two daughters reminds us that there's plenty of safe opportunities for loved ones to fill that live music-sized void in our lives.
The crowdsourced footage of fans spending time with friends and family includes a cameo by champion golfer Jordan Spieth.
"Prisoner of The Highway," Margo Price
By her own admission, Margo Price's new album That's How Rumors Get Started sounds more rock than country. Not that making a big deal about arbitrary genre differences is all that interesting if the music's great (after all, that's how "traditionalists" get started).
For a taste of how Price's established songwriting and vocal talent blends with classic influences beyond Nashville, check out "Prisoner of The Highway." Southern rock-style organ accompaniment and a gospel-influenced backing choir help tell a story that's an amalgam of Macon, Ga. and Muscle Shoals, Al.'s greatest hits.
Singer-songwriter Cam celebrates drive-in theaters, Johnny and June, old pickup trucks, mix tapes and all things timeless on bubbly new love song "Classic."
"I wanna hit rewind, baby/ Take our time," the Californian sings. "I wanna hit rewind baby/ Take our time/ They don't make 'em like this anymore."
The irresistable summer jam is the latest release from Cam's forthcoming album The Otherside (out on October 30).
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer
"Ain't No Crime," Gangstagrass
If you're looking for a heavy dose of love and positivity, you can't go wrong with "Ain't No Crime," the latest release from from bluegrass and hip hop collective Gangstagrass. The song, which celebrates unity and the freedom that comes from loving your neighbor, appears on the group's forthcoming No Time for Enemies (out Aug. 14). The song's feel-good video features dancers from around the world.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer