Eric Adkins

Wide Open Country's Six Pack: Gary Allan, American Aquarium + More

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.

"John Deere Green," American Aquarium

Get out your best-fitting faded Wranglers and 1995 Patty Loveless concert tee because American Aquarium has delivered a true gift for every one of us raised on '90s FM radio and CMT and TNN video marathons with their compilation of '90s country hits, featuring covers of Sammy Kershaw, Faith Hill, Sawyer Brown and Mary Chapin Carpenter classics.

It's tough to pick a favorite — it's called Slappers, Bangers and Certified Twangers, Vol. 1 after all — but it's tough to beat the rowdy ode to Billy Bob and Charlene, "John Deere Green." The Dennis Linde-penned tale of a love story marked by "sweet corn, kids and tomatoes" and small town water tower messages scrawled in John Deere Green sounds as fresh now as it did in 1993. In the words of the late, great Joe Diffie, "there ain't no paint in the world that'll cover it, the heart keeps showing through."

— Bobbie Jean Sawyer

"Still Your Mother," Harper Grae

Harper Grae's "Still Your Mother," a message from a mother to her child, was written about the grief Grae experienced after suffering a miscarriage nearly a decade ago. It's a deeply personal song for Grae and one that will surely help others feel less alone.

Grae wrote the song after learning she was expecting a child with her wife, Dawn Gates.

"I felt as though I was finally ready to tell this side of my story, once we knew we would be welcoming a little boy or little girl earthside," Grae told PEOPLE.

The song's video, released just before Mother's Day, features stories of other mothers who've experienced pregnancy loss.

— Bobbie Jean Sawyer

"Where the Story Ends," Leah Belle Faser

Former Wide Open Country "Acts to Watch" pick Leah Belle Faser typically wows us as a songwriter, but like most promising artists, she also excels at adding her own spin to others' stories.

For a satisfying taste of her song interpreter talents, get lost in this AM gold-style spin on The Sundays' jangle pop benchmark from 1990, "Here's Where the Story Ends."

It's as good a cover song as you'll hear at a time when it seems like there's a constant stream of covers projects worth a listen: from Croy and The Boys' punk rock EP to American Aquarium's survey of '90s country.

— Bobby Moore

"Big Bertha," Ronnie Milsap (Feat. Vince Gill)

Ronnie Milsap recruited fellow Country Music Hall of Famer Vince Gill to sing the blues over what ends up being a lost golf club.

"Big Bertha" is the last song rock pioneer Carl Perkins co-wrote before his 1998 passing.

"He'd said he'd had me in mind when he was writing," Milsap told People. "I don't know if that's true but Carl was such a funky cat. I'd love it if it is. Guys like him are so rare, it's a compliment knowing he was thinking of me."

Milsap recorded it for recent album A Better Word For Love.

Gill's been generous with his time lately, guesting on songs by artists ranging from fellow legend Milsap to up-and-comer Jo Smith. Of course, there's no such thing as over-exposure when it comes to the country music lifer turned Eagles member's sweet tenor vocals or his virtuosic guitar work.

— Bobby Moore

"What The Stars See," Cassadee Pope (feat. Karen Fairchild & Lindsay Ell)

Cassadee Pope has come a long way since winning The Voice back in 2012. The country singer's latest single features Lindsay Ell and Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild in a heartbreak anthem with pop and punk influences. Which makes sense considering Fairchild produced the track with All-American Rejects guitarist Nick Wheeler.

"I was inspired to write 'What The Stars See' after sitting outside one night looking up at the stars, curious what their perspective might be looking down on us," Pope explained to Sounds Like Nashville.

"It made me think back to times in my life when I had just come out of a relationship but still felt so connected to the other person. I imagined having the superpower to be among the stars and observe, from their perspective, an ex moving on with their life (or not)."

— Courtney Fox

"Temptation," Gary Allan

We've waited a long time for Gary Allan's upcoming album Ruthless, his first in eight years. The album, set for a release this summer, will include a slew of one-off singles that the singer has been releasing since 2015, including his latest new song "Temptation." The new single proves that even though it's been nearly a decade since his last album, Allan still has what it takes to make a captivating and catchy country single.

— Courtney Fox


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


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