Each week the Wide Open Country staff rounds up our favorite newly released country and Americana songs. This time around, Wide Open Country writer Bobby Moore selected all five, from a new one by Toby Keith to a surreal ode to Waffle House.
"Cowboy on the Run," Bandits on the Run
Indie rock trio Bandits on the Run harmonize through as good a cowboy song as you'll find in 2019 in the new music video for "Cowboy on the Run." Gorgeous lyrical imagery blurs the lines between what might be a trail anthem for broken hearts or simply a song about a no-good, modern-day two-timer who ghosted our protagonist. If it sounds this good from a group more stylistically akin to classics from Motown than Music City or the Lone Star State, imagine a honky-tonk cover version.
"Fire & Brimstone," Brantley Gilbert, Jamey Johnson and Alison Krauss
When it comes to Brantley Gilbert, some country music fans judge his songbook by its cover. Which is to say that if you're caught up in whether his look screams "bro-country," then you're missing out on a solid lyricist with an increased focus on faith and family. For an example of Brantley's better work, check out the title track of his latest album. It features another grizzly-voiced guitar slinger in Jamey Johnson plus one of country, bluegrass and Americana's finest guest vocalists, Alison Krauss.
"Back in the 405," Toby Keith
If there's anything more '90s than Toby Keith singing an honest-to-goodness country song that's comparable to his earlier material, it's new songs tacked onto a greatest hits collection. Greatest Hits: The Show Dog Years includes this love song, accentuated by a horn section that sounds like it's straight out of Muscle Shoals, Ala. The other new song, "Hope on the Rocks," is another nod to Keith's past that'll make you want an entire album of 90's throwbacks.
Read More: The 10 Best Toby Keith Songs, Ranked
"When I Die (Bury Me at the Waffle House)," Uncle Goo
Uncle Goo's celebration of one of the South's finest eating establishments is half parody, half homage to the great country music from the '70s that, on a good visit, plays on TouchTunes as you nosh on those world-famous hash browns. Lampooning your source material this effectively usually requires earnest appreciation, so it's safe enough to assume that Uncle Goo really does daydream about Tanya Tucker.
"Calico," Brooke White
Brooke White, a top five finalist from American Idol's seventh season, doesn't need to mosey over to Nashville to find the supporting cast and creative inspiration to record her ideal folk and pop-influenced country album. That's all available in spades at home in California. White explains as much while celebrating a place where it's pronounced row-day-owe, not rodeo, with the title track of her new album Calico.