They may seem like less of a vital cog in country stars' promotional machines than they were when multiple cable channels devoted to the medium helped make Shania Twain and John Michael Montgomery household names, but music videos still enhance the stories told by some of your favorite artists and songwriters.
Read on for a roundup of the best music videos released in recent weeks by country acts.
"Heroes," Natalie Hemby
"I don't want to meet me my heroes/ I just want to be a face in the crowd/ If I ever met my heroes, they might let me down," goes Hemby's realist take on showbiz.
"That's my own story because I grew up in the music business," Hemby said in a press release. "After a while, I didn't want to meet them unless I knew they were good people. I wrote that from my own personal space."
Her father, Tom Hemby, is a veteran session and side musician in Nashville.
Hemby wrote the song with Jeff Trot and Aaron Raitiere. It was produced by Hemby's husband and collaborator Mike Wrucke.
"Timeless," Jessie G
The latest example of Gretchen Wilson understudy Jessie G putting some drive in her country holds a very special meaning. She wrote "Timeless" for and about her husband, a green beret named Matt, and incorporated footage from their April 2021 wedding into its music video.
Jessie describes her true love as being as unchanging as Christ's words in red in a King James Bible and as classic as Elvis Presley singing "Blue Suede Shoes." Such sweet and staunch sentiments should make even the most jaded listener when it comes to matters of the heart long for (or better appreciate having) their own Jessie or Matt.
"This song is such a great introduction to the new chapter in my music and my life," Jessie said in a press release. "I've always been very rock 'n' roll and country. I feel like I've authentically captured that with all my new music coming out."
"Down By the Riverside," Willie Jones
Willie Jones joins the same lineage as Doug Kershaw, Jimmy C. Newman, Jerry Reed and other country music storytellers by incorporating Cajun folkways into his own musical voice on song of the summer candidate "Down By the Riverside."
Its Jay Curtis Miller-directed video amplifies the song's theme of regional identity while showing Jones dance across Louisiana swampland with a literal snake and proverbial angels. By its end, you'll want to board your own pontoon boat packed with sharp-dressed party people and explore Jones' home state.
"Down by the Riverside" is Jones' first new release since signing with Sony Music Nashville in partnership with The Penthouse.
"Price of Fame," Tracy Lawrence (Feat. Eddie Montgomery)
Tracy Lawrence and Montgomery Gentry's Eddie Montgomery have long known the highs of thrilling live audiences and the lows of missing family firsts while spending a bulk of their waking hours on a tour bus. Both weigh the pluses and minuses of chasing their honky tonk dreams on "Price of Fame."
A music video chock-full of throwback photos of Lawrence, Montgomery and the late Troy Gentry adds to the sense that the admitted high cost of stardom's been worth it for a couple of seasoned road warriors.
Lawrence's co-write with Brad Arnold and Rick Huckaby previews the Aug. 13 release of Hindsight 2020, Vol. 2: Price of Fame. It's the second release in a three-album cycle celebrating Lawrence's 30th year as a Nashville star.
"Woman You Got," Maddie & Tae
"Never read the comments" usually rings true, especially on YouTube. But we're hoping that Maddie Marlow and Taylor Dye made note of a particular example of positive feedback that doubles as a glowing and accurate review of "Woman You Got" and its music video.
"Can you imagine being married to someone whose job is writing love songs for you? Their husbands are so lucky," reads a comment by Cali G that sums up the theme and appeal of a fun, flashy and romantic video that breaks down what the duo's partners signed up for.
"This song is the most autobiographical song we have ever written," Marlow said in a press release. "Our hope is that this song is an anthem for all our fans, male and female!"
"Where the Neon Lies," Triston Marez
Marez's song bearing Dunn's stamp of approval now has its own music video, directed by Brooke Stevens. It tells the same story as Marez's Chris Dubois and Lynn Hutton co-write about remembering that you're drinking to forget.
"This video brings the neon and the lonely together and creates a storyline of what the song is about: Convincing yourself that person is going to come back and not move on even though that is far from the truth," Marez told CMT.