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.
"Call Me," Carly Pearce
Lyrically, Carly Pearce's "Call Me" could've been a hit in most any decade. With a few tweaks to the backing track, it would sound like a forgotten gem written with Linda Ronstadt, Shania Twain or Martina McBride in mind. Instead, it's the first must-hear country song of 2020, produced and co-written by the late, great busbee.
"This Bar," Morgan Wallen
Fast-rising superstar Morgan Wallen sped up his momentum as 2019 reached its end with "This Bar." The Hardy co-write masterfully sums up the good times and hard lessons that come with being a barroom regular during your college years. It's the latest sign that Wallen has all the tools to become a massive country music star.
"Slow Burn," Keller Williams & The Keels
Jam band veteran Keller Williams' bluegrass side project with Larry and Jenny Keel covered Kacey Musgraves' "Slow Burn" for its November 2019 album Speed. Weeks later, a song that could've aged quickly and poorly as the quirkiest novelty since The Gourds grassed up "Gin and Juice" still sounds like as an earnest tribute to one of Musgraves' best songs.
"No Handle," The Panhandlers
Brand new country supergroup The Panhandlers -- Josh Abbott, John Baumann, William Clark Green and Flatland Cavalry's Cleto Cordero -- carry on the tradition of fellow West Texans like The Flatlanders, Terry Allen, Waylon Jennings and more with their tribute to long hot days, dusty plains and resilient folks. "I am just a man in the middle of this pan," the group sings on their debut single. "I got no handle on what I'm doing here." "No Handle" comes from The Panhandlers forthcoming self-titled debut album (out March 6), produced by Bruce Robison.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer
"Brightest Star," Lilly Hiatt
Lilly Hiatt follows up her stellar 2017 release Trinity Lane with "Brightest Star," the debut single from her forthcoming album Walking Proof. The feel-good "Brightest Star" finds the East Nashville singer-songwriter offering a shot in the tattooed arm to anyone dealing with self-doubt. Walking Proof, which features collaborations with Amanda Shires, Aaron Lee Tasjan and Hiatt's father, John Hiatt, is out on March 27.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer