photo of Willie Nelson
Pamela Springsteen

Wide Open Country's Six Pack: Willie Nelson, 49 Winchester + More


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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.

"Damn Darlin," 49 Winchester

49 Winchester shares an ode to Music City on the gorgeous piano ballad "Damn Darlin'," from the band's forthcoming album Fortune Favors The Bold (out May 13).

"This one is more like a vignette of someone else's life, written in the third person. It's a tune that kinda played itself out in my head like a movie as the song came to me. One that paints a picture of a particular time, place and person... which is unusual for me as most of my songs are introspective," bandmember Isaac Gibson said in a press statement. "Hearts break harder at the old Exit/In."

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The video for the song was filmed in Nashville and features the Exit/In stage.

-- Bobbie Jean Sawyer

"Tower of Song," Willie Nelson

Upon learning the meaning of "Tower of Song," there's no question that Willie Nelson lives the lyrics that Leonard Cohen wrote.

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"Tower of Song is that place where the writer is stuck," Cohen told British music magazine Q in 1991 (as quoted by Songfacts). "For better or worse, you're in it. I've come this far down the line. I'm not going to turn around and become a forest ranger or a neurosurgeon. I'm a songwriter."

Nelson brings credibility to the song beyond his confirmed status as a songwriter who's in it way too far to turn back and apply for medical school. What really makes Nelson the ideal singer to reflect on decades inside the "Tower of Song" is that weathered voice, which turns 89 the day the album its from, A Beautiful Time (out April 29), hits shelves and streaming services.

-- Bobby Moore

"Boy in Cowboy," Sarahbeth Taite

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If the name Sarahbeth Taite rings a bell, it's probably because she was on the ground level of TikTok country fame in 2020 after her song "Long Way" made her childhood singer-songwriter dreams come true. More recently, she reached the Duets round of the current American Idol season.

Taite followed up her latest multimedia exposure with one of her best songs to date, "Boy in Cowboy." Its attention-grabbing lyrics, co-written with Scott Stepakoff and Will Bowen, verbally obliterate an emotional drifter.

Taite's journey so far reminds us that TikTok typically turns hard-working artists, not unprepared unknowns, into potential country stars. In the case of 24-year-old Taite, she landed her first publishing deal during a trip to Nashville's NSAI songwriter's workshop for her 14th birthday. A move at age 17 to Music City from her home state of Colorado followed, as did a lot of hard work that preceded "Long Way's" moment in the social media sun.

-- Bobby Moore

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"Doin' It Right," Chayce Beckham

Chayce Beckham first endeared himself to audiences as the reigning champ of American Idol and it's safe to say that his debut EP was worth the wait. He delivers everything fans have been waiting for and then some. His title track "Doin' It Right" delivers Beckham's signature raspy voice with notes of a little Sam Hunt or Luke Bryan thrown in. It's a song you'll wait to turn up loud in the car with the windows down and I have no doubt it will be an instant hit on country radio. This song and EP in general prove that Beckham really has what it takes to record music alongside the big names of Nashville and I'm excited to follow along.

-- Courtney Fox

"Good Person," Ingrid Andress

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Ingrid Andress delivers one of the most introspective and stunning songs that stopped me in my tracks when I first heard it. Co-written by Andress, Steph Jones and Sam Ellis, "Good Person" is her first single following her debut album Lady Like. The music video brings the song to life even more as she evaluates whether or not she is a good person. You'll find yourself thinking about the song and its lyrics hours later, and how you personally view yourself, the world and everyone around you.

"I wrote 'Good Person' when I realized that I was starting to question a lot of things," Andress said in a statement. "What makes somebody good and what does that look like, and in a world of being so judgmental of other people, what makes you better than them?"

-- Courtney Fox

"Mama Raised the Hell Out of Me," Mitchell Tenpenny

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Mitchel Tenpenny has done it again. His latest single "Mama Raised the Hell Out of Me" pays tribute to his mom. The adorable song was originally teased by the singer on TikTok and went viral the instant it went up due to the singer's deep vocals and heartwarming lyrics.

"Five foot five/ Full of grace, full of pride," Tenpenny sings. "She saw me coming a mile away/ So far from heaven/ No chance I would get in."

The song is part of his 8-track EP, The Low Light Sessions, released earlier this year.

"The Low Light Sessions has been a project I've dreamed of doing for a long time," Tenpenny shared in a press release. "I hope it takes you on a cinematic journey of the last six years of my life. I hope everyone can find their story in mine."

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-- Silke Jasso

 

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