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.
"Night Left," Jake Hoot
The Voice season 17 winner Jake Hoot's latest rocking take on modern country, "Night Left," hit streaming services back in July. Unfortunately, we slept on his spin on small town party anthems, co-written with Danny Myrick and Kylie Sackley, until its music video followed on Aug. 19.
There's no better time to discover "Night Left" than after the arrival of footage that shows Hoot become a cartoonish version of an older, overprotective dad.
The summer-appropriate jam follows the Team Kelly lifer's duet with Clarkson herself, "I Would've Loved You."
-- Bobby Moore
"I've Lived Country Music," Bobby Tomberlin
Seasoned songwriter and performer Bobby Tomberlin marvels at how far he's come since he listened to the Grand Ole Opry as a child on autobiographical new song "I've Lived Country Music."
The lyrics map out how Tomberlin's heroes became his peers: "I sang with Loretta, wrote songs with Whisperin Bill/ I even got to play Hanks guitar. Rode the roads with Little Jimmy/ Shook hands with Johnny Cash. Funny how a dream can take you far."
The song's music video incorporates photos from an unreal ride that's taken Tomberlin from working as a radio DJ at age 11 in Luverne, Ala. to co-writing Diamond Rio's "One More Day" and other country hits.
"I wrote 'I've Lived Country Music' the morning after I sang a duet with Loretta Lynn at one of her concerts," Tomberlin said in a press release. "I started thinking about all of the cool things I have experienced in country music since I was eleven years old that included icons like Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Jr. I recorded it in Muscle Shoals, Alabama in the same studio where Hank Jr. recorded 'Family Tradition.' I really have lived country music."
-- Bobby Moore
"Down the Middle," Runaway June
There's always room for more songs about heartbreak because people are going through breakups every day. "Down the Middle" from Runaway June's new EP backstory does a great job of capturing how one feels after getting dumped or if something in life just doesn't work out the way you planned. This is also the first EP (aside from a collection of Christmas tunes) recorded with Naomi Cooke and Jennifer Wayne's newest bandmate, Natalie Stovall (who replaced Hannah Mulholland in late 2019). The new EP chronicles not only the pain of breakups but their journey as a band, breaking up and putting the pieces back together.
"Some of them are actual love heartbreaks," Naomi Cooke tells American Songwriter. "But a lot of them are metaphors for breakups in life that happen, whether you start on one path that doesn't work out and you have to shift gears--that's heartbreaking.
"It felt like a more important story to tell everyone about the backstory, how we all got here, rather than start with the idea that we are all so happy and doing great," Cooke continues. "We're back on the road, and it felt like the right thing to do, to let them know 'you're not alone.' Everyone goes through this stuff; we went through it and are going to go through more."
-- Courtney Fox
"Lasso," Carter Faith
This is legitimately a cool country song. Newcomer Carter Faith just released her debut EP Let Love Be Love and her smooth vocals are the perfect compliment to her new country-pop songs. "Lasso" feels current yet somehow out of an old John Wayne film. It's whimsical and sultry as Faith sings about how her lover has her tangled up like a rope lasso with clever lyrics that tie in her Old West theme.
You know just how to spin it
If it's a game, I want you to win it
I'm tangled up, I'm no yippee ki yay
You tighten it up and pull me close
-- Courtney Fox
"Should Have Known Better," Jessie James Decker
Jessie James Decker is proving once again she is a woman who stands her ground. Her latest single, "Should Have Known Better" was released a few days ago, with the official music video premiering on August 20. The song was written by Tom Barnes, Ben Kohn, Madi Anofsky and Peter Kelleher. The powerful anthem celebrates someone who has decided to leave a relationship and turn their life around by proving to themselves how strong they are. It's really a great powerful lyrical song if you ask me, and it really shows how someone can pull themselves up whenever they feel down.
About the song, Decker stated, "It doesn't matter if it's from a relationship ending or from people trying to tear you down. This song is all about not letting that pain break you and coming out of it on the other side strong and confident. Anyone who broke your heart will regret it most when you SHINE! Now roll those windows down and sing it at the top of your lungs!"
-- Silke Jasso
"Dirt Road Down," Travis Denning
Travis Denning just knows how to captivate my heart every single time! Denning's upbeat "Dirt Road Down" shows the country artist's diversity when it comes to country music; Denning effortlessly blends pop influences with his typical twang.
According to Denning, the song is about looking back and appreciating those good nostalgic feelings we all had when we were young. He stated, "I just love those kinds of songs that take you back or they paint a picture of somebody kind of looking back." The song is part of his debut with the same name and follows in the footsteps of his 2020 debut EP, Beer's Better Cold.
-- Silke Jasso