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: “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room,” Lindsay Ell
Last month, Lindsay Ell dropped The Continuum Project, a complete reworking of John Mayer’s popular 2006 record Continuum. One of my favorite tracks on the release is her rendition of “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room,” which centers around a crumbling relationship. Ell’s vocals and mind-blowing guitar skills really shine through on this Mayer fan favorite, giving it a fresh and powerful new sound.
Bobbie Jean’s Pick: “God Bless This Mess,” Jillian Jacqueline
“God Bless This Mess” isn’t exactly a new song — it was recorded on Jillian Jacqueline‘s 2017 album Side A — but ever since I heard Jacqueline sing it at a recent CMT Next Women of Country event, it’s been in frequent rotation. “I’ve got a hurricane in my heart, keeps on rattling the good apart,” Jacqueline sings. “And honestly I’m just an honest wreck but I’m trying my best. Oh God bless this mess.” It’s an anthem for anyone struggling, lonely or just questioning where to go next. And like all great songs, it’s a comforting reminder that you’re not alone.
Rachel’s Pick: “Mother,” Madeline Jane
New York’s Madeline Jane has a soulful voice and the lyrics to match. In her new single “Mother,” Jane anticipates leaving home for the first time. The verses unfold with a rich texture, but Jane uses abrupt tempo changes to create a sense of friction in her chorus. It’s a song that was structured with skil. If these are the chops Jane has got in this stage of her career, it seems the kids will be alright.
Bobby’s Pick: “If I Don’t Call,” Leroy Gibbons
Add Chris LeDoux-inspired troubadour to rodeo enthusiast Leroy Gibbons‘ array of descriptors. Debutsingle “If I Don’t Call” casts aside the jokey vibe of Gibbons’ internet presence and pays genuine tribute to both ’80s country music and champion bull riders. This tale about life on the road, complete with a LeDoux namedrop, is about more than the athletes themselves. It commiserates with the loved ones hoping that the rodeo rider in their lives made it safely to the next town.
Jeremy’s Pick: “Somebody Else’s Problem,” Troy Cartwright
Though it’s not brand spanking new, Troy Cartwright’s “Somebody Else’s Problem” deserves another listen. The Dallas native moved to Nashville where he honed his creative chops, including the sharp, if not delightfully bitter, wit you hear on this heartbreak anthem. In the song, Cartwright is finally over letting a significant other’s problems become his own. There’s a real cathartic moment in the bridge too, delivered during just the right moment of half time. This is the perfect tune to play when you’ve got absolutely no sympathy left and feel like it’s time for a little real talk.