Every week, the Wide Open Country team rounds up our favorite newly released country, folk, bluegrass and Americana songs. Here are six songs we currently have on repeat.
"Branded Soul," Paulette Carlson
Former Highway 101 lead singer Paulette Carlson's five minute-plus masterclass in western storytelling, "Branded Soul," hit streaming services shortly before the show that inspired it, Yellowstone, returns for its fourth season.
"When the production crews and actors came [to Carlson's hometown of Darby, Mont.] to film the TV series Yellowstone, there was an amazing symbiosis that occurred between Darby and the Yellowstone employees," reads a press release. "The diversity and sheer numbers of the Yellowstone production staff sparked parties and events on a larger scale than what the town had been used to. The town of Darby, with its magnificent vistas and the rugged lifestyle of its inhabitants, imbued that signature frontier culture into the film crew and the series itself. Paulette witnessed this and decided to write her song, 'Branded Soul,' to encapsulate that experience in song. The magic of this song lies within her weave of western American thematic material and the powerful rawness of her voice, the two aspects constantly playing and building off one another."
-- Bobby Moore
"Snakeskin Boots," She Returns From War
Hunter Park, a transgender woman born and raised in Charleston, S.C., writes about personal experiences for cosmic country band She Returns From War. As often happens with autobiographical country songs, Parks' stories about her life contain universal themes. Take for instance "Snakeskin Boots," a relatable reminder that getting right back up after being proverbially knocked down builds character.
"'Snakeskin Boots' is a continuation of my attempts to mystify the heartbreak in the everyday," Park said in a press release. "It's totally okay to cry, but in order to 'cry it out' it's got to look good. Once I've pulled myself up by my bootstraps and declared myself the winner of every match, it's pretty easy to walk away from that which doesn't serve me. Snakes may bite, but I'll be left standing in the killer boots."
The new song previews the 2022 release of She Returns From War's sophomore album, Ruthless.
-- Bobby Moore
"Where Whiskey Goes," Pryor & Lee
Pryor Baird and Kaleb Lee are definitely living proof that sometimes two are better than one. "Where Whiskey Goes" arrives weeks ahead of their Right Now EP, which features a catchy chorus that will have you singing along in seconds. The song defiantly screams classic country as the duo sing about heartbreak and whiskey.
"It goes down, down, down / Warm and slow / Straight to my head / Before I know it / Then I'm bang, bang, bangin' on her front door / I had a second chance but I need one more," the duo sings. "On comes the porch light / Out comes the baby / I want you bad / Take me back / Miss you like crazy / Down a dead end road / With a big fat 'no' / That's where whiskey goes."
The duo initially crossed paths back in 2018 after being contestants on the Blind Auditions of Season 14 of The Voice. After releasing a few solo projects, the duo teamed up and were quickly signed by Black River Entertainment.
-- Silke Jasso
"Waves," Sarah Darling
Sarah Darling's newest single "Waves" from upcoming new EP, is about going down memory lane and feeling nostalgic for those special moments in life.
"We were sitting on my front porch realizing we all have those what-ifs and might have beens, the emotional waves in our life," Darling stated. "I think as artists, we try to tell a story that is more than just our own. It lets listeners feel like they aren't alone in this world. That's the power of music and the joy of being a storyteller."
The singer teamed up with Rebekah Powell and Joe Hammill to write the single, which is paired with a bright video that gives off major '70s vibes. The singer wanted to make it a point to show off visuals that reminded her about how she felt writing it. Darling's last full album, Wonderland, was released in 2019 and hit No. 1 on the UK Country Charts.
"All Things Must Pass," Willie Nelson and Lukas Nelson
Willie Nelson teams up with talented son Lukas for a stirring cover of George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass." The Nelsons' rendition debuted on Dark Horse Radio, a new weekly show on SiriusXM's The Beatles Channel (Ch. 18) and Willie's Roadhouse (Ch. 59) dedicated to the music that George Harrison wrote, performed and loved.
"Working with family, creating music, is pure bliss," Lukas Nelson said in a statement. "What a gift that we were all able to come together and celebrate the power of music during these troubled times. The spirit in this music is strong. I am grateful to have been a part of this experience."
"All Things Must Pass" is featured on the forthcoming album The Willie Nelson Family (out Nov. 19).
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer
Rising country singer-songwriter Tiera shares an ode to her now husband Kamren on "Gentleman," a sultry song about letting down your guard for a night in with your soulmate.
"I wrote 'Gentleman' for my now husband Kamren two years ago and even then I knew I'd want to release it after we got married," Tiera said in a statement. "The song is a saucy take on a country love song with an R&B flair, and it's fun to be able to release it as a newlywed."
Tiera released her self-titled EP earlier this year.
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer