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Wide Open Country's Six Pack: Tim McGraw, Jamie Lin Wilson + More

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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.

"T Total Tommy," Jamie Lin Wilson

With her rendition of "T Total Tommy," Texas-based singer-songwriter Jamie Lin Wilson honors songwriting legend Mickey Newbury, a once-in-a-lifetime talent who influenced everyone from Guy Clark to Kris Kristofferson and was name-dropped by Willie and Waylon.

The song, recorded at Austin's Arlyn Studios, is a rich groover that further proves Wilson is not only a top-notch wordsmith, but also a brilliant interpreter of the artists who influenced her.

-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer

"Diamond," Abigail Dowd

Abigail Dowd's powerful "Diamond" served as a healing mantra after her home flooded muliple times over the course of a year.

"The second album was a releasing of stories, and I love the way this song came along, days before the first flood of our house," Dowd says. "It was as if it was there to remind me that home is much more than a house, and I'm already there: everything we're looking for is inside of us."

Beautiful Day (out on April 23) was recorded at Fidelitorium in Kernersville, North Carolina.

-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer

"God Moves the Pen," Tim McGraw

From its instrumentation to lyrics that lump Hank Williams in with William Shakespeare (and a reference to water tower vandalism, Joe Diffie-style), Tim McGraw's "God Moves the Pen" should appeal to fans of throwback country songs while also touching those of us moved by McGraw's recent musical statements of sentimentality.

The previously unheard track teases an expanded version of McGraw's 2020 album Here on Earth (out April 16).

Here on Earth Ultimate Edition's seven additional songs range from Tyler Hubbard collaboration "Undivided" to two selections from film soundtracks: Faith Hill duet "Keep Your Eyes on Me" (from The Shack) and "Gravity" (from the Oscar-winning documentary Free Solo).

An Ultimate Video Edition (also out on April 16) compiles the same track list plus the music videos for "Here on Earth," "I Called Mama," "Gravy," "Undivided," "Thought About You" and "Neon Church."

-- Bobby Moore

"Unchained Melody," Ray Stevens

At first glance, this one seemed skippable. Ray Stevens is amazing, but there's no way to beat the Righteous Brothers at their own game or to make one of the duo's most-loved songs funny.

Stevens tried neither approach. Instead, he went for an oomphed-up cross between bluegrass and blue-eyed soul that avoids any fruitless attempts to match the late Bobby Hatfield's tenor vocals.

Consider it an entry point to Stevens' more serious material and the album his "Unchained Melody" cover is from, Melancholy Fescue (High Class Bluegrass).

-- Bobby Moore

"That's When (Taylor's Version)," Taylor Swift feat. Keith Urban

Last week, Taylor Swift released her first re-recorded album when she debuted a new version of her 2008 Grammy-winning album Fearless. It's no surprise that the album, featuring Swift's adult voice singing the lyrics she wrote back when she was a teenager, impressed fans and critics alike. But the superstar gave longtime Swifties another gift with the inclusion of multiple songs "from the vault" that never made it on the album the first time around. One of the big standouts was her duet with Keith Urban, "That's When." It's almost shocking we've never heard the song before now because it's a really strong country song you'll find yourself listening to over and over again. Not to mention the addition of Urban makes it really shine among all of Swift's latest new releases.

-- Courtney Fox

"Made By The Water," Brian Kelley

Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley has been making music for years as part of a duo, but he's just released his very first solo EP, BK's Wave Pack. The singer set out to write songs that were personal and wanted to make sure that his words mattered. "Made By The Water," released just in time for summer, pays homage to Kelley's Florida roots, as he explained to People following the release.

"I was born in Daytona Beach and grew up in Ormond Beach, so I was made by the water," he said. "It's got an even deeper meaning than just a love song and kind of a little party jam. It hits home to me. We live by the beach in Florida now, and it was important for me to anchor down years ago in Florida and really plant some roots here. My music reflects that: I'm really just singing about the life that we're living and what things that I love."

-- Courtney Fox

 

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

 

 

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Wide Open Country's Six Pack: Tim McGraw, Jamie Lin Wilson + More