Tyller Gummersall "Turned Around World"
Traditionalist Gummersall's latest began as an ode to Merle Haggard, but feels incredibly timely with the current state of affairs in the world.
The New Respects "Trouble"
This Nashville-based quartet's new one is fire. A blazingly soulful anthem. You'll press the repeat button more than once.
Mitch Rossell "Any Girl"
This mid-tempo number from Rossell's Raised By The Radio is a charming, sincere, and cleverly written ballad about the one who stole his heart and changed his ways,“I’m never gonna change my ways for any girl/Yeah I swear I’ll never fall too far for any girl/But you’re not any girl.
The Buffalo Ruckus "Hills and Valleys"
The opening track to Peace & Cornbread is a shuffling, soaring, piano-laden, emotionally packed tune.
Jackie Darlene "Why Do I Cry"
The singer-songwriter's new single (from her upcoming EP, Diamond in The Rough), relates the all too familiar story of returning to a relationship that you know is not good for you. The lyrically impactful song is brought to new heights by Darlene's perfectly weathered, and passionate vocals, making it one powerful track.
Alex Stern "Runaways"
An infectious mid-tempo love song that finds one wanting that all-important time with a significant other, shutting out the world and placing the relationship front and center.
Elise Davis "I Go To Bars and Get Drunk"
The closer on Davis' stellar album, The Token, is a painstakingly honest, raw, gut-punch of emotion...and I love it.
Reckless Kelly "Forever Today"
This track, nestled in the band's latest, Sunset Motel, can be the perfect wedding song...or break your heart. Either way, it's a standout.
Jesse Dayton "Take Out The Trash"
A fun, humorous, hook-filled tune from Dayton's recently released, The Revealer.
Jim Lauderdale "We Really Shouldn't Be Doing This"
Recently bestowed with the Americana Music Association's WagonMaster Lifetime Achievement Award, Lauderdale's dance hall ready tune (which gave George Strait a Top 5 hit back in 1968) can be found on his latest, This Changes Everything.
Cheryl Deseree "Eye Candy"
The harmonica-laden, bluesy track is an honest warning to a potential suitor, as she asserts that she’s “not some passing fancy to play with little boy…. keep your distance/cause you can't handle me…for you I’ll only ever be eye candy.”
Cody Johnson "Grass Stains"
Taking a cue from early Brad Paisley, this Brothers Osborne co-write from Gotta Be Me is filled with the perfect combination of humor, heart....and a little bit of naughtiness.
Dale Watson 'Live at the Big T Roadhouse: Chicken $#!+ Bingo Sunday'
Put on the entire album, sit on the porch with a Lone Star and enjoy.
Elise Davis "Pretty Girl"
Currently my favorite song from The Token, the song's almost joyous, retro melody carries along the sadly truthful (on many fronts) story of one woman advising another on how she helped her by her indiscretions with her man, “It’s not a game that you lost/It’s just a bullet that you dodged/A train wreck that you got off.”
Kelsey Walden "I'd Rather Go On"
Straightforward, honest, and achingly sad, Waldon tells of a relationship where she would rather “go on living without you forever than ever having to live with you at all” even though she still loves him. Real and relatable.
M.Lockwood Porter "Reach The Top"
From his new album, How To Dream Again, due September 16th, the serious, thoughtful song echoes the sadness that can come when we realize that the materialism we embrace comes at a cost.
Reckless Kelly "Forever Today"
From this month's new release Sunset Motel, a quiet and stunningly beautiful track that elicits a swell of emotion from deep inside.
Sean McConnell "Running Under Water"
McConnell's self-titled Rounder release is definitely on my year-end Top 10 list. The melody perfectly captures the emotions in the lyrics which deal with trying to push through your struggles.
Whiskey Myers "Good Ole Days"
The closing track on the seven-man band's latest, MUD, due September 9th, is a heartening, front porch sing-along about experiencing the good old days - right here in the present.
Woodland West "A Little Bit Wild"
Stephanie Ward's lighter than air, sweet vocals, alongside heavenly harmonies and a delightful accordion-filled melody will have you tapping your toes and singing along to this tale of young love.
With the Braun Brothers Reunion rapidly approaching, this month's playlist is devoted to the artists performing at the festival which is held annually in Challis, Idaho. This year's BBR will be held August 11th-13th and features sixteen artists from the Americana, Red Dirt and Texas music communities. Find all you need to know here.
To learn more about the artists, head to TDC interview section to read chats with Cody Johnson, Cody Braun, Muzzie Braun, Jonathan Tyler, William Clark Green, Sunny Sweeney, Jeff Crosby, Alejandro Escovedo, Paul Thorn and Cody Canada.
Vacation can sometimes knock you off your game, so here, a few weeks late is what's been playing on repeat this month.
Dolly Shine "Snakeskin Boots"
Detailed and seedy account of meth and murder in this disquieting tune from their latest, Walkabout. “Found him dead floating in Red River, somebody robbed him just to get their quiver, shot in the head so I don’t think it hurt to drop him in the dirt."
Sean McConnell "Beautiful Rose"
Thoughtful reflection - and a huge heaping of swell-in-your-chest emotion - on this peaceful, acoustic tune which finds him looking back on a life that might be different from what he thought it would be, but realizing he wouldn’t change a thing.
Tom Rhodes "Roll On"
From his new album, Who You Were, "Roll On" finds Rhodes encouraging and instilling confidence in a child leaving home for the first time. “Walk tall my love and keep eyes pointed to the sky, walk tall my love and you will see that you can be all that’s on your mind."
Kelly Willis "Flower On The Vine"
Her first piece of original music in ten years, the song reflects on her perspective on aging.
John Fullbright 'Songs'
A beautifully emotional album that I find myself revisiting quite often lately. Every song is wonderful, but "When You're Here" is quite possibly my favorite.
Alejandro Escovedo "Always A Friend"
Bit of an oldie, but definitely a goodie. And getting prepped to see him at the Braun Brothers Reunion.
BJ Barham "Unfortunate Kind"
The song, from the American Aquarium frontman's solo project, Rockingham, due in November, is an emotional ballad about time and love.
Flatland Cavalry "A Good Memory"
From their current release, Humble Folks, the mid-tempo song recalls a lost love who is now just a "good memory."
Chris King "Never Make It Last"
King's latest album, Animal, is a solid listen from the first song to the last, filled with well-written, thoughtful, and honest songs including this one, a roots rocker about the demise of a relationship that he didn't see coming
She's not country/Americana/etc, but if you are a fan of good music, regardless of "genre"....then listen to the lyrics in this song. And her voice....just wow. "Why you waiting on the world for a favor/This is your life go ahead and change it."
Joy Oladokun "Poison"
I have a thing for songs that gut me, and "Poison" does just that. It immediately grabs your heart with the beautiful piano introduction while violin and Oladokun's quietly passionate vocals enthrall in this song about a relationship at the breaking point. "The closer you get to my heart the more it hurts."
Midnight River Choir "Change"
Saw these guys perform this one at Reckless Kelly's Softball Jam and instantly loved it. Co-written with one of my personal faves Adam Hood, the tune deals with personal change and the lack thereof in the place you call home. "After all these years I find it strange how much time it takes to keep things the same."
Dolly Shine "Blackbird"
From their upcoming Walkabout (you'll want to pre-order this one, folks), it's a southern rocker of a story song about an ensuing chase that comes out with both guns a-blazing.
Kaitlin Butts "Damage I Could Do"
Still loving Butts Same Hell, Different Devil because she's just so damn honest in her writing. She may not be your safe option, but safety is overrated. "You think that you can handle me, but I'll make you lose your mind."
Jared Deck "Wrong Side of the Night"
One of the stand out tracks from this Oklahoma native's May release deals with intentions and realizations that accompany the dilemma of road versus home. "Say my name for future reference, I need a memory to regret."
Rob Baird "Run of Good Luck"
That piano opener and Baird's dynamically soulful voice lead you wanting to roll the dice, leave town and hope for a run of good luck with him.
Ryan Beaver "Fast"
I love everything about Beaver's Rx which is gearing up to be my favorite album of 2016. The sultry "Fast" finds a relationship moving in the express lane. And those lyrics: "And what I want is looking like she sees what she wants looking at me."
Aaron Einhouse "My Susannah"
Who doesn't love a well-told murder ballad (on which Einhouse's vocals soar)? From Ain't It Pretty, "My Susannah" leaves you with a did he or didn't he cliffhanger in the tale of a lady who got caught a cheatin.'
The Honeycutters "Ache"
Another "gutter" about being in love with someone and letting pride get in the way of telling them. Beautifully sparse, raw and incredibly real.
Emily Duff "Walk of Shame"
Was just introduced to Duff's music, but as they say "better late than never." This rockabilly tale of the morning after is just one of the eight stellar songs on her latest, Go Tell Your Friends.
May is shaping to be a terrific month for new releases! Some of the tunes on this month's playlist are on upcoming albums so give them a listen and pick up the full record when it is available!
Ryan Beaver "Rum and Roses"
This tale of giving into temptation and the consequences is on Beaver's May 5th full length, Rx, easily one of the best of 2016 so far.
Aaron Einhouse "On and On"
The fourth album from Einhouse, Ain't it Pretty, releases on lucky May 13th. This tune is an ode to his wife and the love they share even though the distance of the road separates them.
The Honeycutters "Blue Besides"
A little over a year since their stellar Me Oh My, the Asheville band returns in fine form on their latest, On The Ropes. Listen to the track here.
Ruby Boots "Wrap Me In A Fever"
The Australian singer-songwriter's album Solitude is full of some of the best alt-country/Americana you'll hear this year, including this one on which she sings, "I thought that loneliness came all wrapped up in plastic cured with cocaine."
Luke Bell "Sometimes"
Nothing channels old-school honky tonk country than this tune from Bell's highly anticipated June release.
Trailer Radio "Tar Beach"
If you love country melodies, storytelling and lots of humor, then Trailer Radio's latest album, Country Girls Ain't Cheap, is for you. This tune tells of a totally unique place to hang out and have a good time.
Jeremy Nail "Dreams"
From Nail's album, My Mountain, "Dreams" encourages one to avoid the negativity in your brain and “listen to the song in your heart"...something we all need to remember from time to time.
Rod Melancon "By Her Side”
A beautiful, haunting ballad from Melancon's EP, LA 14, that tells of a love that transcends even death.
Sunny Sweeney "Everybody Else Can Kiss My Ass"
No one else does sass, and pure truth, better than Sweeney.
Shawn Colvin & Steve Earle "You're Right (I'm Wrong)"
From the duo's upcoming collaboration, Colvin & Earle, this number mixes Earle's gruff vocals with Colvin's airy for an overall dark smoky effect.
In an on-going collaboration with Kasey Stone who helms her own blog, Hitting All The Right Notes, this month's offering is a list of some songs that we think might sway your ear to country music. To me, there seemed to be a multitude of ways to approach this list: I could have gone completely classic, highlighted the 60’s or the 90’s, but I chose to begin in the present. These are five artists who, right now, have my earbuds on fire. They fall largely under that Americana umbrella (if you like to classify stuff), and infuse country, roots music and more into their songs.
Rx - Ryan Beaver
The song, from his upcoming album of the same name, is simultaneously beautiful and devastating. Powerful lyrics and an accompanying melody that brings the song to life…and me often to tears.
Pour One For The Poor One – Randy Rogers Band
The Texas band released their latest, Nothing Shines Like Neon, in January and this, the closing track is a tear in your beer song if there ever was one. Traditional country in sound and sentiment, it’s also quintessential RRB who capture truth, heart and sadness as only they can.
Set Me Free - Reckless Kelly
I cannot have any sort of positive song list without including personal favorites, Reckless Kelly. Also from Texas by way of Idaho, RK are roots rockers who have been around for twenty years and counting. They haven’t had a new record out in a few years, but theirs is the music I return to on a daily basis, and for me, never gets old. “Set Me Free” captures me in a nutshell.
Just Like Heartache - Jamie Lin Wilson and So This Is Life - Courtney Patton
I cannot pick one, because both of these ladies voices and songs move me beyond words. With two of my favorite albums from last year, Holidays & Wedding Rings and So This Is Life respectively, these women are country, singer-songwriters who capture real life and emotions in beautiful, touching songs that move your heart and soul.
Ringing In The Year - Turnpike Troubadours
The Oklahoma quintet garnered much critical acclaim for the 2015 self-titled album, and rightly so. Excellent song-craft, superb musicianship and melodies that touch your heart and your toes. This song fits the bill perfectly. Plus, their live show is beyond compare.
Willie Nile "Forever Wild"
The infectious opening track to Nile's latest disc, World War Willie, sets the tone for an album that's rocking, tender, socially aware and incredibly humorous.
The Band of Heathens "Out On Each Other"
Ten years strong, BOH released a fandirect EP, Green Grass, that can be purchased at their shows and on their website. This is one of five (including a cover of The Band's "Bessie Smith") that you want to get your hands on.
Nate Currin "Let Grace Fall Down On Me"
The gorgeous closing prayer-like ballad from his upcoming The Madman and the Poet that leaves me an emotional wreck every time I listen.
Shooter Jennings “I’m Left You’re Right She’s Gone”
From Countach (for Giorgio), this tune plays like some electronic country punk hybrid that quickly becomes a song you find yourself pressing repeat on again and again.
Dolly Shine "Rattlesnake"
The first track from their upcoming album Walkabout which they're in the midst of a Pledge campaign for. Listen to this one and help 'em make a record here.
Ryan Beaver "Habit"
"Why can't love stay like it is when it's brand new?" Strong songwriting with melodies that compliment and convey, Rx isn't out until May 6th, but I implore you to pre-order it and yes, thank me later.
The Grahams "Broken Bottle"
The duo perform a rendition of this Alejandro Escovedo song on the deluxe edition of Glory Bound and the result is perfection.
Town Mountain "Whiskey With Tears"
The closer on Southern Crescent is a honky tonk ready (and humorous) tune about a down on his (love) luck guy who stumbles into his second home to have his favorite beverage when he's on the rocks.
Hayes Carll "Love Don't Let Me Down"
Some serious truth in this song from his new album Lovers and Leavers which releases April 8th (you can stream the album at RS now).
Elle King "See You Again"
She's not technically country/americana/red dirt but she's GOOD. Utterly unique and totally badass, this song closes Love Stuff and guts me every.single.time.
Silver City Bound "Take My Picture"
These genre fusing New Yorkers have released a gem of a roots rocker with an infectious melody, smooth vocals, horns and...accordion!
Brett Harris "Lies"
The singer-songwriter's latest disc, Up In The Air, is glorious celestial pop with "Lies" being a standout track mixing horns, piano and harmonies into a song with a great groove.
Henry Wagons "Head or Heart"
I've said it before, but Wagons' album After What I Did Last Night... is filled with songs composed of humor, heart, and depth that will both resonate and send a smile across your face. This one finds him debating which to use for guidance in the game of love.
Rich O'Toole "Back To Back"
Melody, lyrics, and O'Toole's vocal delivery combine in a song that you just feel. It's an impassioned plea with ache and genuine remorse that heighten the song's strong impact.
Jane Kramer "Good Woman"
On Carnival of Hopes, Kramer writes with an incredibly honest awareness of imperfections, insecurity, and regret while still maintaining hope. On album highlight, “Good Woman” she finds herself kicked out by a lover for the final time truthfully telling him,“I tried to settle down my soul, but the damn thing just wandered away."
Melissa Ratley "The One That Said It All"
Ratley's latest is the story of a marriage, knowing it can be difficult, wanting to actively put the work in, yet ultimately realizing it is time to move on.
Bart Crow "Top of Rock Bottom"
Not his current single from The Parade (that's "Dear Music"), but the one that's currently on repeat. Blending honky tonk and rock, the cleverly written (by Jonathan Terrell) tune laments the state of radio and where not following the trends will leave him. “If they don’t have to think, boy that’s when you got ‘em……..Just because you’re hungry don’t mean you’ll eat it if it’s rotten/We’ll have a beggars banquet at the top of rock bottom.”
Kaitlin Butts "Damage I Could Do"
Have I said how much I love her album Same Hell, Different Devil? This girl's writing is unbelievably honest and clever, particularly on this tune about possibly being too much for a suitor to handle.
Turnpike Troubadours "Fall Out of Love"
Honestly, I love a good "make your chest swell tear-jerker", a song that packs an emotional wallop in the best way possible, and this song, from TT 2015 release, does just that. It's sadly beautiful and perfect.
The New Offenders "Don't Let It Getcha"
Bluesy southern rock at it's best with soulful vocals and guitar riffs that ya feel in your bones. From their upcoming album, Stones To Throw. Check out the video here.
Cody Canada & The Departed feat. The Brauns "All Nighter"
What's there to say about this song....beautiful.
Green River Ordinance "Life In The Wind"
There's a whole lot of goodness on their latest, Fifteen, but closing track "Life In The Wind" with it's carefree, live life to the fullest message along with an island vibe is one that you just cannot ignore. "You only get one life to live and it's too damn short to be safe with it." Amen.
Julie Rhodes "End Of The Line"
Rhodes' upcoming album, Bound To Meet The Devil due February 26th, will quite simply, blow you away. Her voice is big and emotive and particularly shines on this tender ballad.
Aubrie Sellers "People Talking"
Introspection and reflection can be found on this New City Blues standout. A song with that “hit you in the heart feel” dealing with the loneliness and anxiety of others’ words, yet reminding us in the final line to remember “It’s only people talking, it’s not true.
Randy Rogers Band "Pour One For The Poor One"
The final track on RRB latest, Nothing Shines Like Neon, is a “tear in my beer” song if there ever was one. Left by the one he loves (in the middle of the night no less), he finds some solace drowning his sorrows in alcohol, a pitiful and "sad sight to see” that leaves you melancholy.
Sunny Sweeney & Brennen Leigh "But You Like Country Music"
This song was released late last year, but as the election looms closer, take a listen (maybe again) to this sharp, funny tune of liberal vs conservative where music truly unites.
DARIUSTX "Wildfire Waltz"
The piano and the gorgeous harmonies grab a hold of your heart on this romantic tune of a burgeoning relationship of two people with "wildfire hearts, daring each other to spark."
Bill Carter "Last Tear (Delaney’s Song)”
Another impactful, hit you in the heart tune, that deals with whether a relationship is over or can stand the tests it endures. “Maybe time and a little space will bring us back to where we belonged in the first place.” From his upcoming album, Innocent Victims and Evil Companions.
Adam Hood "Bar Band"
The latest from his 2014 album, Welcome To The Big World, chronicles the life of the bar band and that scene many of us "all across America" look forward to at the end of the week: heading out to hear them play.
Charles Kelley feat. Dierks Bentley and Eric Paslay "The Driver"
Not a huge fan of mainstream, but this collaboration with Bentley and Paslay about the fan, the bus driver, the singer, the dreamer......touches.
Bonus Track: Reckless Kelly "I Never Liked St. Valentine"
Because really, neither have I.