5 New Songs You Need to Hear: Chris Stapleton, Carly Pearce + More


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:

"Arkansas," Chris Stapleton

Chris Stapleton pays tribute to The Natural State on the rollicking "Arkansas." The country-rock barnburner, which namedrops the Ozark Mountains, Fayetteville, Little Rock, West Memphis and more, was written by Stapleton and Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell. The song is the latest release from Stapleton's forthcoming album Starting Over (out Nov. 13).

-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer


"Next Girl," Carly Pearce

Carly Pearce calls out silver-tongued bar dwellers and players on "Next Girl," a '90s-esque warning to the next woman who encounters her ex.

"You overlook a lot when he looks like that," Pearce sings. "He'll charm your mama with that smile/ Hide the red flags for a little while."

"Next Girl" is the follow-up to Pearce's single with Lee Brice, "I Hope Youre' Happy Now."


-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer

"If Only," Shenandoah and Ashley McBryde

Founding Shenandoah members Marty Raybon and Mike McGuire get their flowers now on Nov. 13 release Every Road. The album features guest appearances by superstars the band inspired, including Lady A and Brad Paisley.

The latest advance listen, "If Only," teams the Alabama-based group with Ashley McBryde. Together, they champion appreciating the simpler things in life before they become nothing more than memories of the good old days.


--Bobby Moore

"Does Jesus Care?," William Prince

William Prince, a Canadian folk and country singer-songwriter, retraces his walk of faith on new album Gospel First Nation. Prince's soul-stirring take on "Does Jesus Care?" stands out among the album's mix of original songs and traditional hymns for personal reasons. My childhood pastor sang this one in church for decades until he passed away on Labor Day. It's encouraging to know in this bizarre year that someone else with a mighty voice and tender soul is spreading the Good Word with this 1901 composition by Methodist minister Frank E. Graeff.

-- Bobby Moore


"Forever After All," Luke Combs

Is Luke Combs even capable of writing a bad song? His latest release is dedicated to his wife Nicole and the romantic song has us swooning. With lyrics like "They say nothing lasts forever, but they ain't seen us together," it really can't get much better. "Forever After All" is Luke Combs at his finest and I'll definitely be singing along with it for months to come.

-- Courtney Campbell

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