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.
"Can't Do Without Me," Chayce Beckham and Lindsay Ell
Though it hardly covers new lyrical ground when it comes to songs about requited lust, the Ross Copperman-produced tune brings two elements that make it sound like a surefire hit: soaring guitar work à la Jason Aldean and gripping vocal interchange between two stellar vocalists.
"There is such a raw intensity in this song that when A&R brought it to me, I knew I had to cut it... it hit me like lightning," Ell said (as quoted by Belles and Gals). "Chayce, wow did he bring it on this song. I had heard so many great things about him but he more than understood the assignment on this one."
-- Bobby Moore
"Count Your Blessings," Rita Wilson and Vince Gill
"I can tell you I'm extremely thankful for the great Vince Gill, whose voice transports me to a place that is physical and spiritual," Wilson said (as quoted by Taste of Country). "What an honor to sing with Vince, who has been a supporter of my music since he sang on my first album, AM/FM."
Gill somehow finds time to frequently appear on others' projects in between being a country music ambassador and an Eagle. Being prolific tells us two things about Gill at this stage of his Hall of Fame career: he's extremely giving of his time, and because he's such a special talent as a guitarist and tenor vocalist, quantity never waters down quality.
-- Bobby Moore
"One Of Y'all," (feat. HARDY, Rhett Akins & The Cadillac Three)
HIXTAPE: Vol. 2 is a collaboration album from Hardy full of various country stars, but right now I love the song "One of Y'all," featuring Rhett Akins and The Cadillac Three. It's really just a fun country jam with some of my favorite voices in country all singing together. It's definitely a song that you want to turn up loud in the car. If you're anything like me, it's impossible not to sing along with.
-- Courtney Fox
"There's a New Kid in Town," Randy Travis and Drew Parker
Is there anything better than meeting your hero? Rising country artist Drew Parker not only got to meet his idol Randy Travis, but the two also recorded a new version of this Christmas song as part of Travis's remastered holiday album, An Old Time Christmas. The song was previously unreleased but was brought out from the vault. While Travis released a solo version, we're partial to this collaboration because the two country singers' voices blend together so well on this breezy holiday tune.
-- Courtney Fox
"I Smoke Weed," (feat. HARDY, Ashland Craft, Brothers Osborne)
Talk about an electric combo! Ashland Craft and Brothers Osborne combined their voices for week 12 of Hardy's HIXTAPE: Vol. 2 with the fun and vibey "I Smoke Weed." The song comes days before the release of the full album on Dec. 10. Hardy collaborated with several A-list artists to create ultimate country anthems, pairing on each track with two or more singers.
"I Smoke Weed" was written by Craft, Willie Morrison and Lee Starr and it's safe to say it definitely puts a smile on anyone's face. Other collaborations on the album include the talents of Marty Stuart, Lee Brice, Jake Owen, Ronnie Dunn and more.
"North Pole," Lori McKenna
Masterful singer-songwriter Lori McKenna crafts a perfect bittersweet Christmas tune with the nostalgic "North Pole," a song for anyone longing to be home for the holidays. The song is featured on McKenna's new holiday album Christmas is Right Here.
"It was such a joy making this holiday music with my Nashville family of co-writers, musicians and friends," McKenna shared in a statement. "I feel like we hit on some of the emotions that come with the holidays--the easy feelings and the harder ones. It seems impossible for me to talk or sing about the holidays without going back in time and I feel so blessed to have the music to come back with me."
-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer
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