Here at Wide Open Country, we love sharing our favorite music, whether it’s a brand new track that you haven’t heard or an oldie that deserves some new attention. Each week, our team of music writers spotlight one song that stands out among the pack. Here’s what we’re listening to this week.
Lorie’s Pick: “Dive,” Luke Combs
Recorded for the Spotify Singles series, Luke Combs brings a longtime setlist addition to the studio. His take on the Ed Sheeran tune shows how a solid set of lyrics can find its place in any genre. Combs’ gravelly voice brings power and depth to the song about someone who is unsure a blossoming relationship.
Bobbie Jean’s Pick: “Good As Gold,” Sarah Shook and the Disarmers
Like all the country greats, North Carolina alt-country band Sarah Shook and the Disarmers know how to deliver a devastatingly sad song. But there’s also resilience to lead singer Sarah Shook’s lyrics and vocals. Even when it seems the whole world is going to hell, Shook and company send the message that you can make it through even if the only thing keeping your chin up is a whiskey bottle and classic country on the jukebox. “Good As Gold,” the lead digital single from the group’s upcoming album Years (out April 6 on Bloodshot Records), is a tough-as-nails warning to a wishy-washy partner that Shook is only “afraid of losing, not afraid of losing you.”
Bobby’s Pick: “Gunfighter,” Midnight Larks
Although Atlanta-based trio Midnight Larks’ self-titled debut album is definitely way more rock ‘n’ roll than country, opening track “Gunfighter” should appeal to fans of both genres with an ear for spaghetti western guitar slinging. Guitarists and singers Sasha Vallely and Nikki Speake (a bandmate in other groups with previous playlist honoree Anna Kramer) and drummer Pietro DiGennaro bring garage-punk grit to this fast-paced nod to old West instrumentals.
Jeremy’s Pick: “Couldn’t Make You Love Me,” Wade Bowen
Wade Bowen released his best album to date in Solid Ground, and opening track “Couldn’t Make You Love Me” is a pretty great selling point for the whole thing. On it, Bowen weaves his own illustrative imagination with romantic frustration and the perfect amount of melodic pop. It nudges up against five minutes in length, but every second feels appropriate.
Thomas’s Pick: “Old Crow Whiskey and a Cornbread Moon,” Ross Cooper
I Rode The Wild Horses, Texas songwriter Ross Cooper‘s newest album, benefits from Cooper’s experiences as a professional bronc rider and a mountain of stories from behind the saddle. That gritty perspective gives a dose of authenticity to Cooper’s hardened lyrics and windswept country songs. “Old Crow Whiskey and a Cornbread Moon,” written with fellow Texan Paul Cauthen, is a hearty offering. It booms with warm, thick pedal steel. It exudes cloudless full moon nights out on the flatlands and prairies of the Open West.