Wide Open Country's Six Pack: Triston Marez, Jason Eady + More

Brooke Stevens

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.

"Where the Neon Lies," Triston Marez feat. Ronnie Dunn

Houston native Triston Marez teams up with a king of tear-soaked barroom anthems, Ronnie Dunn, for "Where the Neon Lies," from Marez's forthcoming self-titled debut album (out April 16).

Marez, who won the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo's talent competition in 2014 and moved to Nashville to hone his honkytonk skills in the bars of Lower Broadway, is proof that pedal steel-driven dancehall ballads are in good hands.

-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer

"Back to Normal," Jason Eady

In his first song release in three years, Texas-based singer-songwriter Jason Eady calls for healing after one of the strangest and most trying periods in recent history. "Back to Normal" may have been written about this particular moment in time, but Eady says the song has a timeless message.

"'Back to Normal' is a song that came from the quarantine but is meant to apply to any situation after a disruption," Eady says in a press release. "No matter how big or small that disruption is, you have to accept that change is a fundamental part of life, and just keep moving forward. This was recorded in Austin with some of my favorite players I've met through the years, and harmony vocals by Courtney Patton and Jamie Lin Wilson, and produced by my long time friend Gordy Quist. This was an incredible way to record a song about weathering the storm."

The release of "Back to Normal" follows Eady's seventh studio album, I Travel On.

-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer

"Met Him in a Hotel Room," Rory Feek and Trisha Yearwood

Though it starts out like more of an Ashley McBryde-esque song about a secret rendezvous, Rory Feek and Trisha Yearwood's "Met Him in a Hotel Room" tells of a wayward soul's salvation experience.

That's to say that capital "H" Him's presence was felt in the lead character's darkest hour via a Gideon Bible.

"Trisha Yearwood sang with me on this one," Feek wrote on his blog. "Which is special for me for a couple of reasons. First off, she recorded it herself on her album PrizeFighter a few years ago. So she already blessed me once by doing that. And now, she's singing with me on my recording of the song, which is extra-special for a songwriter to have happen."

Feek co-wrote "Met Him in a Motel Room" with Jamie Teachenor. It's a warts-and-all story of real life with a spiritually-uplifting happy ending, in the same vein as Randy Travis' "Three Wooden Crosses."

-- Bobby Moore

"I Don't Feel At Home Anymore," Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn's latest album, Still Woman Enough, allows the country music legend to tell her own story through the soundtrack of her life.

Beyond revisiting her catalog, from debut 1960 single "Honky Tonk Girl" to the autobiographical "Coal Miner's Daughter," Lynn reinterprets the gospel and folk songs she likely associates with her Butcher Hollow upbringing.

Examples of presumed childhood favorites range from "My Old Kentucky Home" to a bluegrass-style take on country-gospel standard "I Don't Feel at Home Anymore."

The Carter Family helped popularize what's now a public domain song. Sheet music shared by credits prolific hymnist Albert E. Brumley (the father of Buck Owens' longtime steel guitarist Tom Brumley) for its arrangement.

-- Bobby Moore

"Am I Right or Amarillo," Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert, Jon Randall

Leading up to Marfa Tapes release on May 7, Miranda Lambert has released the ultimate acoustic harmony honoring Texas with Jon Randall and Jack Ingram. Between the acoustic guitar and the perfect harmonization of the three talented singers, this breezy new song will be stuck in your head for days to come.

"'Am I Right or Amarillo' was a Jack Ingram line," says Jon Randall in a press release. "I think we were talking about the most time we've ever spent in Amarillo was at the truck stop. We just started riffing on the title, and a cheating song showed itself. We all miss country cheating songs, so we just went with it."

-- Courtney Fox

"half of my hometown," Kelsea Ballerini (feat. Kenny Chesney)

It honestly doesn't matter what Kelsea Ballerini comes out with...odds are I'll listen to it because she really is a great songwriter and storyteller. "half of my hometown" was already a strong nostalgic ballad from her latest album ballerini, but adding Kenny Chesney to the mix really makes it even more special. Both artists hail from Knoxville which was part of the reason that Chesney was excited to collaborate when Ballerini texted him. The song is in honor of her hometown, which she was initially so anxious to leave to to pursue singing in Nashville, but her feelings have changed since leaving.

-- Courtney Fox


Check out some of Wide Open Country's favorite songs of the year below.


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Wide Open Country's Six Pack: Triston Marez, Jason Eady + More