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Wide Open Country's Six Pack: Sam Williams, Allison Russell + More

Claire Joyce

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.

"Sunday Birmingham," Suzy Bogguss

On the heels of Alan Jackson and Travis Tritt reminding us that they've never strayed from their roots, Suzy Bogguss joins the '90s country chat with every positive thing you'd expect from a song titled "Sunday Birmingham."

One of the best country storytellers of the past 35 years takes listeners back to a time when tales of hard living on Saturday night and redemption on Sunday morning weren't quite so scarce on country radio.

If you miss the sounds of the '90s, there's more new music to your liking right now than you might suspect, between Jackson, Tritt and Bogguss staying true to themselves and fresh releases by the likes of Clay Walker and Tracy Lawrence.

-- Bobby Moore

"I Was on a Boat That Day," Old Dominion

Sonically, Old Dominion's "I Was on a Boat That Day" represents the summertime fun many of us are finally experiencing again as the band and its peers return to festival stages. Lyrically, there's sarcasm about heartbreak and regret that's reminiscent of Brad Paisley's tale of escaping it all on the lake, "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)."

"We had that idea for literally seven, eight years," singer Matthew Ramsey told The Ty Bentli Show on Apple Music Country. "We started writing this song back when we were writing 'Break Up With Him.' We've been kicking around this idea for that long, but we never really brought it to life.

"Actually kind of turned into a joke title," Ramsey continued. "We would throw it out and be like, 'Oh yeah, we're never going to write that song.' And then we were in Asheville, North Carolina when we were making this album. And for whatever reason that day, it just kind of felt right. We threw it out and the idea presented itself in a way that it never had before, which is the storyline of just a dude like, 'You know what? Screw it. I don't really care. I'm on a boat, I can't have a bad day.' So, it was just a way to write a fun song we had no real emotional attachment to, it was just something really fun for us to have a good time with. Same way 'Break Up With Him' really came about was just, 'Let's just make each other smile.' And that's what we did."

The band co-wrote the song with Josh Osborne and its go-to producer, Shane McAnally.

-- Bobby Moore

"Body Language," Blake Shelton (feat. The Swon Brothers)

As far as I'm concerned, Blake Shelton can do no wrong and the title track from his latest album is no exception. Funnily enough, it was written by the Swon Brothers who competed on Team Blake on season 4 of The Voice. They initially wrote the song for themselves but with some encouragement from their pal Carrie Underwood, they realized it could be good enough for another artist. The two brothers sing on the track with Shelton and we have to say, it's perfect for his voice and the perfect introduction to another album from the country star.

"So many things had to happen for this to end up as the title track of a Blake Shelton record," Colton Swon told The Tennessean. "So, thank you, Carrie. And, when you have Blake Shelton telling you, 'You guys are good enough,' it gives you a boost of energy big enough to keep going another 20 years."

-- Courtney Fox

"10-4," Sam Williams

With a big family name like "Williams" there's a lot of pressure to live up to the public's expectations. Hank Jr's son Sam Williams is proving that he absolutely has the skills as a singer and songwriter in the world of country music and we're enjoying all of his latest releases leading up to his studio debut, Glasshouse Children. His new song "10-4" is a sweet and pure love song you'll absolutely be singing all summer long.

"'10-4' is a metaphor for an idyllic love," Williams explained to American Songwriter. "It's a hopeful message of someone looking past anything else and just seeing you for you and accepting you as enough. It's a hopeful idea of love."

-- Courtney Fox

"Bigger Man," Joy Oladokun with Maren Morris

Singer-songwriter Joy Oladokun teams up with Maren Morris for "Bigger Man," the latest from Oladokun's forthcoming major label debut. Penned by Oladokun, Morris, Jimmy Robbins and Laura Veltz, the song is about perseverance and the need to work harder just to get a seat at the table.

"You were born on the high road but somehow I always go higher," Oladokun sings. "I hit all the highnotes but still don't got a seat in the choir."

"In my life, I sometimes experience being the youngest and the most inexperienced, and yet I have to conduct myself as though I am way above my years or my maturity," Oladokun said in a statement. "I think it's an old feeling, especially for women and people of color, of having to be stronger, better, brighter, and harder working at everything just to get a shot."

Oladokun, who released in defense of my own happiness (vol. 1) in 2020, will perform at this year's Newport Folk Festival.

-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer

"Nightflyer," Allison Russell

Our Native Daughters member Allison Russell shares the pain of her childhood and her journey to healing on her stunning new solo album Outside Child.

"Nightflyer," an ode to Russell's inner strength and the power of motherhood, is a beacon for survivors.

"One of the things that I think we don't talk about as survivors is the extreme joy that comes when you are over on the other side," Russell recently told The New York Times. "Part of putting this record out is just wanting to show that there's a road map. You are not defined by your scars. You are not defined by what you've lost. You are not defined by what someone did to you. Yes, that's a part of the story. That's a part of who you become. But it doesn't define you."

Russell recently performed "Nightflyer" with Brandi Carlile and Brittney Spencer on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer

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Wide Open Country's Six Pack: Sam Williams, Allison Russell + More