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: “Call Your Mama,” Seth Ennis ft. Little Big Town
Sometimes we all need a reminder about what’s important in life. The newest release from Seth Ennis, who made a big splash in 2017 with his track “Woke Up In Nashville,” acts as a gentle nudge to your nearest phone. With the always on-point harmonies of Little Big Town behind him, Ennis lovingly explains why reaching out to the ones you love should always be a priority.
Bobbie Jean’s Pick: “Run,” Jamie Lin Wilson
Rachel’s Pick: “Standing Still,” Rebekah Rolland
Rebekah Rolland’s “Standing Still” will transport you the prairies — even if, like me, you’ve never been. Rolland’s angelic voice and elegant guitar elevate her observances of the natural world into a gorgeous meditation on our collective place in the world. The song is on Rolland’s debut album Seed & Silo. The album was written under the auspices of a grant from the National Parks Service, which sent Rolland from her home in Arizona to the Homestead National Monument in Beatrice, Neb. Here, Rolland does honor to all creatures, great and small, who have made the plains their home.
Bobby’s Pick: “Bleach Blonde Bottle Blues,” Larkin Poe
From their bluegrass days as The Lovell Sisters to their current roles as blues-rocking tour mates of Keith Urban, Larkin Poe’s Rebecca and Megan Lovell are always finding new ways to push American roots music into the 21st century. They recently previewed forthcoming album Venom & Faith, out Nov. 9, with the searing digital single “Bleach Blonde Bottle Blues.” It’s old-school blues, played by versatile musicians with the benefit of a digital age education in historic greats and their rock ‘n’ roll offspring. Although its Southern influence is more Beale Street than Lower Broadway, the song packs enough frenetic energy and unrestrained sass to please fans of Carrie Underwood’s newer material.
Jeremy’s Pick: “If I Were You,” Jillian Jacqueline feat. Keith Urban
It’s been a little while since we’ve heard a really compelling duet, but “If I Were You” does all the right things when pairing a relative newcomer with a superstar. Jacqueline finds her groove and gets a chance to step out a bit vocally against the backdrop of an ethereal pop keyboard track. Urban comes in noticeably during the chorus and at parts throughout, but doesn’t step on her toes. Honestly, it’s a great testament to the two of them together. Jillian Jacqueline is a gifted vocalist with some nice vocal quirks, a lot like Urban. Hearing them match so well on this song is a pleasure.
Olivia’s Pick: “Willie Got There First,” Asleep at the Wheel ft. Seth Avett and Scott Avett
Thomas’ Pick: “Old Things New,” Bill Anderson
At 80 years old, Bill Anderson still has something to say. On “Old Things New,” the latest song from the country music heavyweight, Anderson’s light whisper is still as demanding as it’s ever been. There’s always been a delicate nature to Anderson’s style and here on “Old Things New,” he unfolds the nostalgic country tune with a beautifully fine touch. “I’m taking some old things and making them new,” sings Anderson. Country music has always been infatuated with the “good old days.” Anderson certainly plays to that infatuation with old Hank Williams vinyl, going back home and calling up old friends, but he also makes the effort to make them part of his present and future.
Written with Buddy Cannon and Paul Overstreet, “Old Things New” was first recorded by Joe Nichols as the title track for his 2009 studio album. For Anderson, it joins “Everybody Wants to Be Twenty-One,” a collaboration with Jamey Johnson, as the second song from his newly announced album, the simply titled Anderson, due out Sept. 14.