Every week, the Wide Open Country team rounds up our favorite newly released country, folk, bluegrass and Americana songs.
This week's Six Pack roundup features a blue collar anthem from a legendary country storyteller, a barn-burner from two of the biggest names in the genre, a laidback love song from Maddie & Tae and more.
Here are 6 new songs you need to know.
"Enchantress," Martha Spencer
Appalachian singer-songwriter Martha Spencer turns those age-old murder ballads on their heads with "Enchantress," a haunting tune about a woman who uses her charm to beguile and entrance unsuspecting wanderers.
"Enchantress" is the first release from Spencer's forthcoming album Wonderland, which will feature appearances by The Legendary Ingramettes and Luke Bell.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer
"Odd-Job Dollar-Bill Man," Stoney Edwards
The usual narrative about Black country artists predictably and incorrectly jumps from DeFord Bailey, Ray Charles and Charley Pride to our current situation before the recent surge of interest in the likes of Linda Martell, Frankie Staton and Cleve Francis broadened a nuanced -and necessary--discussion about country music's current and historic lack of sustainable diversity. Hopefully, the streaming debuts of albums by Stoney Edwards, a Capitol Records recording artist with two Top 20 country hits in the 1970s ("She's My Rock" and "Mississippi You're On My Mind"), adds yet another worthy name to the discourse.
An ace storyteller with a honky-tonk vocal style akin to that of Lefty Frizzell, Edwards deserves more consideration as a multi-talented artist who, despite fleeting success, deserved better from the country music establishment.
For entry points to Edwards' back catalog, start with the before-mentioned hits before streaming "Odd-Job Dollar-Bill Man." The deep cut from 1971's Down Home in the Country upholds working class values and rural living in a way that presents Edwards as no less relatable to country music's target audience than, say, Loretta Lynn.
-- Bobby Moore
"Dance Floor Blues," Teddy and the Rough Riders
During its first trip to a studio after several home-recorded sessions, Nashville-based band Teddy and the Rough Riders worked with like-minded producer Margo Price to formulate a post-punk revival of cosmic country-rock.
Steel guitar and phase shifter pedals flavor tracks like "Dance Floor Blues" in a way that owes a debt to the often name dropped yet rarely imitated pillars of outsider country: The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Band and New Riders of the Purple Sage. This song in particular encapsulates why those acts influenced this century's garage-punk troublemakers and Americana storytellers without sounding like an unimaginative retread.
Teddy and the Rough Riders' self-titled new album arrives July 1 on Appalachia Record Co. It's a must-hear for hard country fans and their rockist friends who think they don't like country music.
-- Bobby Moore
"Out In The Middle," Zac Brown Band Ft. Blake Shelton
Zac Brown Band teamed up with Blake Shelton for a brand new version of "One in the Middle," which initially appeared on the band's 2021 album, The Comeback. Their duet arrives ahead of the album's deluxe version, which is set to be released this summer. The song features Shelton and Brown's deep country vocals, heavy electric guitars and bold lyrics.
"The Comeback is the best album we've ever made, and to re-record a few tracks with some musical legends was such an honor," Brown told Rolling Stone. "Blake Shelton is a country music powerhouse and sharing 'Out in the Middle' with him, a song that represents our southern roots and country pride, is absolutely unreal."
"Every Night Every Morning," Maddie & Tae
Maddie & Tae have released their first new music since Through the Madness, Vol. 1 was released back in January. Their love-filled new song will be included in that project's second volume, which will be released later this year. Written by Maddie & Tae as well as Jonathan Singleton and Brock Berryhill, the song is really a celebration of everyday love stories. The sweet lyrics follow a couple having a simple conversation about their day before singing about how strong their relationship is. I love this song because romantic music doesn't always have to be dramatic. Sometimes it's just as special to celebrate what happens in the day-to-day of a loving relationship.
"Summer State of Mind," Lady A
Sometimes you just need a feel-good summer song and Lady A really delivered. Written by Sam Ellis, Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Laura Veltz, "Summer State of Mind" really is the perfect new song to listen to during these hot summer months. The lyrics are nostalgic for all of the best parts of the season, even nodding to beachy classic "Five O'Clock Somewhere" in the catchy chorus. The tempo is breezy, catchy and cool, and I have no doubt will be blasting on country radio constantly until the temperatures cool down.
You put the Ray-Bans over my eyes / You put the blue back up in my sky / I'm the beach, you're the breeze / You put me in my summer state of mind (summer, summer) / Doesn't matter if it's 10 below, like a magic trick, flip a switch, off I go / You're my five o'clock somewhere, always on time / Summer state of mind / Summer, summer state of mind / Summer state of mind.
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