Beto Lopez, Mooncricket Films

Wide Open Country's Six Pack: Miko Marks, The Steel Woods + More

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.

Elizabeth King

Memphis soul singer Elizabeth King releases her debut full-length album at 78 years old with Living In The Last Days. 

The title track is a gospel groover that will make any time of day feel like the best Sunday morning church service.

King rose to fame in the '70s as the lead singer of Elizabeth King & The Gospel Souls.

— Bobbie Jean Sawyer

"We Are Here," Miko Marks & The Resurrectors

Country singer-songwriter Miko Marks sings about the perseverance of her hometown of Flint, Michigan on the stunning  "We Are Here," from her forthcoming album Our Country (out March 26), her first full-length album in 13 years.

"If you're a singer, you're limitless on a certain level, because I just enjoy all genres of music. It doesn't matter," Marks told Rolling Stone. "I took the limits off myself with this album. When I did my first two, I wanted to stick straight to my country, traditional way of doing things. But this time I wanted to make it more of a melting pot of what I think we as a country are."

The album also includes the previously released "Ancestors" and a stirring cover of the classic "Hard Times."

— Bobbie Jean Sawyer

"Wild Honey," Ronnie Milsap

Ronnie Milsap's A Better Word For Love (out April 30) spotlights multiple songwriting greats, from former NFL player Mike Reid to the late "Midnight Train to Georgia" writer Jim Weatherly, through songs that didn't make it onto Milsap's previous albums.

As expected, the hit-maker's affinity for pop, gospel and R&B's pasts inform how he approached Weatherly co-write "Wild Honey." Still, there's something very country and very '90s (think Clint Black) about this one, raising hopes that the whole album will quench our nostalgic thirsts.

— Bobby Moore

"All of Your Stones," The Steel Woods

The Steel Woods pay tribute to late bandmate Jason "Rowdy" Cope with the group's third album, All of Your Stones.

Jamey Johnson co-wrote the title track with Cope and Steel Woods singer Wes Bayliss. It's a rocking reminder to not cast stones from glass houses.

"All Of Your Stones will serve as a tribute to the heart, soul, love and vision Jason 'Rowdy' Cope put into The Steel Woods. The album is unquestionably his magnum opus," reads a statement on the band's website. "While The Steel Woods will work hard move forward, Cope and his bandmates have never shined brighter than on this final document of this chapter of The Steel Woods."

Cope died unexpectedly on Jan. 16 at age 42.

— Bobby Moore

"Like a Lady," Lady A

There's always room for more female-driven power jams in country music and this new song from Lady A doesn't disappoint. It's upbeat, fun, and effortlessly combines the classic vibes and sounds from some of the biggest female voices in country. With '80s inspired guitar in the background and Hillary Scott taking point on the vocals, it's definitely going to be a popular summer jam.

"As we were writing it, I was like, 'It's always been my dream to do a song that combines the things I love about Dolly Parton's '9 to 5' and Shania Twain's 'Man! I Feel Like a Woman!' - two of the most strong, powerful female songs ever," Hillary Scott explained to CMT. "So it was like 'How can we do our version of that?'"

"This song has such a great feel to it," Charles Kelley added. "One of the coolest parts of being in a co-ed band is being able to share those different perspectives, so that's just part of what we get to do."

— Courtney Fox

"Not Your Girl," Tiera

Tiera is proving that it's completely possible to do your own thing in Nashville regardless of how "country" your sound is. With a similar sound to Kelsea Ballerini, "Not Your Girl" is a feel-good girl jam, with just enough country to keep you listening over and over again. It also has a great message for all listeners — just be yourself and that's enough.

"When I first moved here [Nashville], my sound was super country because I was like, "It has to be 100% country because I don't want anybody to doubt whether or not I'm a country artist," the singer explained to Off The Record. "But I feel like that song was kind of just me telling the world, "I'm going to be who I am and not let anybody change that."

— Courtney Fox


Listen to all of Wide Open Country's favorite songs of 2021 (so far) below.




Now Watch: 8 Things You Didn't Know About Kris Kristofferson