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:
"No 'I' in Beer," Brad Paisley
America's wise-cracking drinking buddy's first new song in a while truly suits the times. As that cliche usually implies, its lyrics drive home that we are all in this together, but Brad Paisley gets this well-established message across with clever turns of phrase. Bonus points for the brief musical nod to Paisley's 2005 song "Alcohol."
"Be a Light," Thomas Rhett, Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin and Keith Urban
Thomas Rhett's all-star anthem "Be a Light" challenges listeners to rise above negativity at a time when "it's hard to live in color, when you just see in black and white." Few are better suited to help share this message than person of faith Reba McEntire, Lady Antebellum member Hillary Scott, prolific singer-songwriter Chris Tomlin and one of the best entertainers in the game, Keith Urban.
"My Dogs are Home," Tara Thompson
Tara Thompson's new music video for "My Dogs are Home" reminds us that we're never alone, due to heartbreak or stay-at-home orders, if there's a furry friend around. On the flipside, the cuteness of Thompson's co-stars might make those of us separated from our pet friends a little blue. As for Thompson, she's one of the best young talents in Nashville and a relative of Loretta Lynn's.
-- Bobby Moore
"Accentuate the Positive," Matt Rollings feat. Lyle Lovett
Lyle Lovett and piano virtuoso Matt Rollings deliver a much-needed dose of positivity with the 1944 song "Accentuate the Positive," previously recorded by Bing Crosby, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin and more.
"Lyle Lovett and I have been making music together - recording and touring - for over 30 years. Needless to say, he was at the top of the list of possible guests to appear on this record," Rollings said in a press release. "Lyle is a great interpreter of songs, and I particularly love the way he approaches standards. 'Accentuate' has always been a favorite of mine, so I started messing with it on piano and came up with a quirky arrangement that I thought Lyle could really sink his teeth into. Lyle brought a level of mastery, groove and sheer fun that exceeded all expectations."
"Accentuate the Positive" is featured on Rollings' forthcoming album Matt Rollings Mosaic (out August 14), featuring Willie Nelson, Lukas Nelson, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, The Blind Boys of Alabama and more.
--Bobbie Jean Sawyer
"Brave," Ruston Kelly
"Who am I and how will I be remembered when I die, what will I leave behind?" Ruston Kelly asks on the delicate, acoustic "Brave," the follow-up to his 2019 EP Dirt Emo Vol. 1. "Don't give a damn what they may say/ I hope my mama called me brave in my weakest times."
On "Brave," Kelly looks back on his struggles with addiction and shares his gratitude for the family and friends who've given him strength. "I didn't give up to the darkness/ I fought with all my might/ And I never took for granted all the love in my life/ That's how I hope that I'm remembered when I die," Kelly sings.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer