Songwriters: Bob Dylan, Ketch Secor The year is still young, but this is likely to be the oddest pairing of song and singer that country music will have to offer in 2013. On one hand, you have “Wagon Wheel,” the ragged-but-right traveler’s anthem that Old Crow Medicine Show recorded in 2004 and are probably sick […]
Songwriters: Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally and Kacey Musgraves To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction, no? What might work as Newton’s third law of motion does not, regrettably, apply to the law of emotion. On her new single, “Mama’s Broken Heart,” Miranda Lambert peels back the disguise of prim and proper women […]
Songwriters: Blu Sanders, Natalie Hemby and Lindsay Chapman No longer content with slight traces of pedal steel and fiddle, country-leaning American Idols have taken to teaming up with traditionalists: Carrie Underwood with Randy Travis, Scotty McCreery and Josh Turner and, now, Kelly Clarkson and Vince Gill. Credit goes to Clarkson for pairing up with one […]
Songwriters: Mark Bright, Phil O’Donnell and Tim James Like the smitten suitor he’s playing, George Strait doesn’t so much sing his new single as he does slowly sink into it. The tingly anticipation and excitement of new love (or lust) is palpable in the opening lines of “Give It All We Got Tonight,” tumbling out […]
“Merry Go ‘Round” isn’t just the best debut single shipped to country radio in 2012, it’s one of the best singles of the year in any genre. Kacey Musgraves, who also co-wrote Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart,” writes with a maturity beyond her 24 years, delivering an unflinching look into small-town life that’s more nuanced […]
Songwriter: Keith Gattis If age is wearing on Kenny Chesney, it’s nowhere more obvious than in his single choices of late. While the stadium superstar hasn’t fully abandoned the boisterous country-rock anthems he’s made a career on – cue his recent collaboration with Tim McGraw “Feel Like a Rock Star” – a pattern of riskier […]
Songwriters: Eric Church, Marv Green Like a rattlesnake’s trademark warning, Eric Church’s new single “Creepin’” starts off like a spare, swampy threat. With only an acoustic guitar and a tangle of vocal effects, Church sets an ominous tone for a love story fit for a Louisiana voodoo queen. Of course, it’s only a matter of […]
Songwriters: Chris Tompkins and Josh Kear Its brooding intro sounds more like background accompaniment to a Desperate Housewives commercial than traditional country. Its storyline is bleak and unrelenting, with very little indication of a happy ending. And its singer demonstrates the vocal chops that have made her an international superstar. Above all, “Blown Away,” the […]
Songwriters: Zac Brown, Wyatt Durrette, Levi Lowrey, and Zac Brown Band Flipping through the radio dial, it’s easy to mistake Zac Brown Band’s new single for the kind of traditional romps usually relegated to token off-hour, old-timey music shows. Past that initial confusion, there’s little to begrudge from “The Wind,” a rare gem of high […]
Written by Barry Dean, Natalie Hemby, Luke Laird Motorboatin’, anyone? Little Big Town has emerged as the unlikely source for the season’s most devilishly catchy hook with the first single from their forthcoming studio album. The vocal quartet made a splash on this month’s CMT Music Awards with “Pontoon,” a slinky mid-tempo number that’s more […]
- Leeann Ward: Sheesh, Paul, that's a random/strange dig!
- Jack Williams: After reading that New Yorker article, I canceled my pre-order of the Basement Tapes box set. I love Bob …
- Leeann Ward: Wow! How terrible for Dixie Hall and Tom.
- Ken Morton, Jr.: Another twisted collection of songs to put into the Friday Five Hall of Fame, Juli.
- Arlene: I'd have included "Omie Wise." Doc Watson's is the version I'm familiar with but I think it's been recorded by …
- luckyoldsun: I think the number one country murder ballad is "Frankie and Johnny"--by Jimmie. Also, how about "Delia's Gone" from Harry Belafonte …
- Juli Thanki: Colloquial use of "fantastic" as a synonym for "excellent" dates back to the 1930s. And if it's good enough for …
- Paul W Dennis: I think "Banks of The Ohio", "Miller's Cave" and "It's Nothing to Me" are far creepier than several of the …
- Paul W Dennis: The Hight article is interesting, although I don't know that I would describe it as fantastic, but then I know …
- Dana M: I'm actually excited to hear a new Reba album. As for the Alan Jackson tour, I hope he announces Canadian …