Every other week, the Wide Open Country team rounds up our favorite newly released country and Americana songs. Here are 6 songs we currently have on repeat.
"You Hear Georgia," Blackberry Smoke
The Atlanta-based rockers' newest tune reminds listeners that assuming the worst about Southerners can sometimes make you the ignorant one.
"It's obviously a rough and tumble world, and there's a lot of bad people. But there's a lot of good people too," lead singer Charlie Starr told the AJC. "It started with the idea of how people might have a preconceived opinion of you because of a thick Southern accent, then expanded into the reality of how some people just seem to have such a hard time getting along, thanks to political or religious views, or simply what part of the country you come from."
As someone from Rome, Ga., I can verify that some folks from elsewhere jump to certain conclusions if you sound like a banjo, so thank you and amen!
Hearing Georgia in Starr and his bandmates could mean something less contentious, as well, when their songs bare a resemblance to the work of the Allman Brothers Band, Blind Willie McTell and other influential acts from the Peach State.
-- Bobby Moore
"8 Tracks in Daddy's Cadillac," John Driskell Hopkins
Zac Brown Band member John Driskell Hopkins shines on new solo album Lonesome High with previously spotlighted song "Missing You All, All the Time" and this, another slice of country and rock nostalgia.
Hopkins and co-writer Mark Dowdy recall memories of hitting the road, first with their dads and later with their own families. And of course, you can't separate the ZBB from something else that seems like a distant memory nowadays: high-profile touring.
As Hopkins' "Missing You All, All the Time" and title track "Lonesome High" remind us, sometimes the bright lights keep him and other professional musicians away from home during family milestones.
"It's hard to bitch about," Hopkins told American Songwriter. "No one feels bad that we had to play a sold-out Fenway show. But it's in those moments, amid tens of thousands of people, that you miss your loved ones."
-- Bobby Moore
"Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)," Elle King and Miranda Lambert
This song is just pure fun. Elle King and Miranda Lambert are both powerhouse female artists and are the perfect complement to each other in this wild music video. With '80s vibes in the music video and smart lyrics written by King and Martin Johnson, the song doesn't disappoint.
"The true story of this song sums up our wild friendship. Miranda is someone I have looked up to as a songwriter, musician, performer, and human being for a long time. So our tumbleweed snowball story of getting to know each other is the ultimate real deal kinda thing," King shared in a press release. "Nobody revs me up, kicks my ass on stage, or treats me more like family than Miranda Lambert. Our rowdy reputations [precede] us, so who else could sing this song together beside us? "
Lambert is equally a fan of her former tourmate King, who is known for being just as rowdy in her music as the country music queen.
"I'm such a huge Elle fan. She was on the road with us for the Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars Tour and it was all girls and we just became really good friends," Lambert told Taste of Country Nights. "I think it's just a great song. I don't think anybody cared about where it fit because it was fun and great. I think she's kind of one of those artists that can do all of it. She sort of fits in wherever she fits in."
-- Courtney Fox
"That's Life," Willie Nelson
Is there any country music fan who doesn't love listening to Willie Nelson? The legendary musician is still making music and his cover of this Frank Sinatra classic is an unexpected delight. Nelson's latest album, That's Life, is full of other Sinatra songs -- but with the signature Willie Nelson twang and country music twist. It's perfect for longtime fans of Willie who love hearing him sing anything and everything.
-- Courtney Fox
"Heard it Through the Red Wine," Charlie Marie
In the great country music tradition of finding humor in heartbreak, Rhode Island-raised country singer-songwriter Charlie Marie finds the neon-glow of a silver lining in a cheating lover's confession on "Heard it Through the Red Wine."
"I thank God I heard it through the red wine/ Praise the Lord, I finally see the truth," Marie sings. "Turns out maybe drinkin' ain't the worst crime/ 'Cause that bottle made an honest man of you."
"Heard it Through the Red Wine" is the first release from Charlie Marie's forthcoming album Ramble On (out May 7).
"I wanted the record to sound like if Patsy Cline and Dwight Yoakam had a child," Charlie Marie says in a statement. "It doesn't just symbolize everything I'm working toward; it symbolizes where I come from, too."
I'll toast to that.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer
"No Rush," The Northern Belle feat. Siv Jakobsen and Louien
Norwegian band The Northern Belle team with Siv Jakobsen and Louien for "No Rush," a dreamy ode to springtime that's made for windows-down driving alongside wildflower fields.
Last year, The Northern Belle released We Wither, We Bloom, the band's third studio album and the first to be released internationally.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer