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.
"Rider in the Rain," Victoria Bailey
Victoria Bailey's cover of Randy Newman's "Rider in the Rain" points back to the narrative-driven songwriting that's long defined country music, spanning from the crucial and cowboy-themed 78 RPM releases by early influencers to the 1970s heyday of musical storytellers.
As importantly, she modernizes a throwback trail anthem, crafting more than a retread of Patsy Montana, Willie Nelson and Randy Newman records collectors already have at home. Likewise, Bailey's inviting delivery won't scare off potential listeners uninvested in 78 or '70s nostalgia.
-- Bobby Moore
"Love Away the Lonely," Ava Rowland
Rising Nashville star Ava Rowland embraces the '70s aesthetic as seen and heard from St. Vincent, Kacey Musgraves and other popular tastemakers on "Love Away the Lonely" and its recently shared music video. In the process, she connects with listeners by having her lead character ponder a common post-breakup question.
"The song has a fun, upbeat '70s vibe and because of that, we shot the music video in Alabama at a cottage that was decorated with a '70s theme," Rowland said in a press release. "It was the perfect place to shoot it. The song is about a woman who imagines that her ex-boyfriend is unhappy in his current relationship and wonders if he ever thinks about her. This was such a fun song to record in the studio. I hope it makes you wanna get up and get your groove on!"
-- Bobby Moore
"What's Your Drinkin' Song," Kyle Park
Texas native Kyle Park first made his big break in 2005 after releasing his first studio album, Big Time. He later went on to release Anywhere In Texas in 2008, Spring 2010 EP and Fall 2010 EP, which hit No. 7 on iTunes Top Ten country Records. In 2011, the singer-songwriter released Make or Break Me, featuring the hit Texas Music Chart single of the same name, followed by Beggin' for More in 2013. Park's latest single, "What's Your Drinkin' Song" continues to showcase his powerful songwriting skills.
Park first teased the song on his Instagram account, paring the news with a picture of a hand holding a whiskey glass. He posted a video of him performing on stage, captioning the post, "My new song #WhatsYourDrinkinSong is out now! I'm celebrating the only way I know how, by 'drinking' alone'! So excited to finally share it with y'all. Listen to the link in the bio!"
This laidback groove makes you want to grab that glass of whiskey and sing along!
"Fire Up The Night," Blake Shelton feat. Hardy
Blake Shelton partnered up with Hardy on "Fire Up The Night" and boy, is it the perfect treat to end the year. The country rocker, amped up with electric guitars and up-tempo drums, make you want to dance -- or cruise down a highway with the windows down.
" Gas up the truck, ice up the beer/ Hit up the boys and the girls/ Y'all get out here (Y'all get out here)/ Crank up the country, Jack up the Coke/ Roll up some funky, light up a smoke," the duo sings. "Tonight we're gonna party like it's redneck '99/ Gonna kick it way down at the county line/ Get to sippin' on some Tennessee mountain shine/ I think it's time we fire up the night."
The single comes from Shelton's deluxe version of his May 2021 album Body Language, which also features appearances from Gwen Stefani andThe Swon Brothers.
"Where Are You Christmas," Tigirlily
Sisters Kendra and Krista Slaubaugh of country duo Tigirlily take on the Christmas song that Faith Hill made memorable on the soundtrack for Ron Howard's How the Grinch Stole Christmas. While there's no topping Faith Hill, Tigirlily makes their rendition of the Christmas ballad memorable with just the right about of country twang added in.
-- Courtney Fox
"Doin' This," Luke Combs
Ever since Luke Combs debuted his new song at the 2021 CMA Awards, I haven't been able to stop listening to it. As always, the superstar masterfully blends a catchy melody with powerful lyrics that stay with you long after the song ends. The song was written with his "Forever Afterall" co-writers Drew Parker and Robert Williford.
"We were sitting in the man cave at my house, and we couldn't come up with anything to write about," Combs explained to CMT. "We were on the back porch talking, and I get asked in interviews a lot, 'What would you be doing if you weren't doing this."
"Once I decided that this is what I was going to do, it was at this level or at the level that I was at when I started," he explained. "I would be chasing this (entertainer of the year trophy) if I wasn't holding it in my hand right now. I'll always be doing that."
-- Courtney Fox
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