2019 ACM Awards
Alysse Gafkjen

Wide Open Country’s Weekly Must-Listens: Ashley McBryde, Craig Gerdes and More

Here at Wide Open Country, we love sharing our favorite music, whether it's a brand new track that you haven't heard or an oldie that deserves some new attention. Each week, our team of music writers spotlight one song that stands out among the pack. Here's what we're listening to this week.

Lorie's Pick: "High Horse," Kacey Musgraves

This week, we got another sneak preview of Kacey Musgraves' new record Golden Hour. "High Horse" brings listeners into the discotheque and supplies another superb kiss-off to those who can't help but bring down the mood wherever they go.

Bobbie Jean's Pick: "Radioland," Ashley McBryde

Music may be at the tip of our fingertips now, but "Radioland" from Ashley McBryde's upcoming release Girl Going Nowhere (out March 30) is for anyone who ever spent their weekends glued to the Top 40 countdown for a chance to hear their favorite song. Soaring, anthemic and made to be blasted from an FM country station (if there's any justice), "Radioland" is a reminder that there's still magic to be found in radio.

Bobby's Pick: "Almost in Alabama," Craig Gerdes

Craig Gerdes' "Almost in Alabama," from his new album Smokin', Drinkin' & Gamblin', sounds like the work of a man from a different place and time. Its lyrics' strong sense of place and his slow drawl sound distinctively like products of the rural South. That's not the case, with Gerdes hailing from small-town Illinois. As a songwriter tapped into the loneliness of the road, inspired in this instance by waking up alone in his Jeep near the Florida-Alabama line, he's more akin creatively to his mentor Billy Joe Shaver's way with words than the average savior of old-school country music. 

Jeremy's Pick: "Fight For You," Luke Wade

Hailing from the tiny town of Dublin, Texas (shoutout Dublin Dr. Pepper), Luke Wade logged thousands of shows across the country before he graced The Voice in 2014. An unlikely pairing with pop producer Pharrell Williams helped bring a sheen to his distinctly Americana performances throughout the show. In late 2017, Wade released this new single, "Fight For You," which strikes a beautiful balance between the rough-around-the-edges spirit of Texas songwriters and the ear candy of singalong chorus moments.

Thomas's Pick "Heart of My Hometown," Szlachetka

 "Heart of My Hometown" is the title cut from [Matthew] Szlachetka's sophomore album. Shaped by the constant travels of a touring musician, Heart of My Hometown captures the varied emotions sparked by the open road. It's a double-edged sword. With "Heart of My Hometown," Szlachetka delivers a rousing Jackson Browne-esque hometown anthem. He reminds you that even though you're ready to run from whatever small town you're from, those old stomping grounds are still a piece of who you are. "Don't look back, just make them proud," Szlachetka sings on the driving chorus. It's a windows down, wind in your hair summer singalong.

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