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:
"I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," Sara Evans Feat. Old Crow Medicine Show
Sara Evans' first in-studio attempt at covering Hank Williams teams the "Born to Fly" singer with noted students of country music history Old Crow Medicine Show. Their combined efforts make it sound like one of Williams' honky tonk classics is getting played by his string band forerunners yet sung by one of the polished Nashville sound vocalists that followed in his wake. In the process, they prove that the often overused term "timeless" really does apply to ole Hank's signature songs.
"2016," Sam Hunt
He's a hard sell for some willing to check out new Sara Evans and Toby Keith songs, but make no mistake: Sam Hunt writes dang good lyrics. For an example of this that's completely void of hip-hop beats and other polarizing elements of Hunt's music, try the old-fashioned opener of recent album Southside. Be warned: that's not actually a Webb Pierce song that starts playing afterwards.
"What's Up Cuz," Toby Keith
There's nothing fancy about Toby Keith's newest song. He mixes the country meets classic rock sound that few pull off better with drinking song tropes without getting too silly or repetitive. It lacks the artistry of "Don't Let the Old Man In" while dodging the pitfalls of "That's Country Bro." Overall, it's a worthy addition to any '90's country fans' work-at-home playlist.
"Starlight," Logan Ledger
Old school honkytonkers looking for true blue country music from an independent-minded musician, meet Logan Ledger. The native Californian released his T Bone Burnett-produced self-titled album on April 3. The 11-song record offers up barroom weepers worthy of George Jones and rollicking numbers that recall The Everly Brothers. But Ledger is no tribute act. The singer-songwriter is an original through and through. With his full-length debut, Ledger has delivered one of the most refreshing albums of the year -- one that sounds classic and modern all at once.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer
"Hang in There Girl," Ashley McBryde
Ashley McBryde delivers another anthem for small town dreamers on "Hang in There Girl," from her recently released album Never Will. Think of it as the sequel to McBryde's breakout song "Girl Going Nowhere" -- sage advice from a blue collar hero who made it to the top with hard work, determination and boundless talent.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer