Darius Rucker Scores 10th #1 Song with “Beers And Sunshine”

Darius Rucker’s “Beers And Sunshine” earns him his 10th #1 as the song hits the top spot on the country charts this week.

Darius Rucker has provided us with so many hits and just downright great music over the past two decades. A staple in country music, Rucker deserves all his accomplishments. His latest single, “Beers And Sunshine” is his first solo country radio single, since 2018. It is no surprise that it is this week’s chart-topping single!

Written by Rucker with J.T. Harding, Josh Osborne, and Ross Copperman, during quarantine, the song is everything we want in a fun and enticing summer anthem. The song reminds us to enjoy all the little things in life, exactly what we need, during today’s day and age.

“Beers and sunshine / Bonfires and summertime / Back porch nights in South Carolina / Ain’t nothing finer than me and my girl striking up a little lighter / ‘Cause everybody’s down in a world gone crazy / Don’t know how to fix it but I think maybe / Turn on the good times, turn off the TV / Yeah, the only BS I need is beer and sunshine”

As always, Rucker is one of the most exciting artists to see perform live, whether it is as a solo artist or as the lead vocalist in Hootie & the Blowfish. “Beers And Sunshine” is sure to be a hit, during live performances. Congrats to Rucker and his team for another smash hit!

Darius Rucker earns #1 with "Beers And Sunshine"

Darius Rucker earns #1 with “Beers And Sunshine”

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about upcoming Darius Rucker announcements and releases.

To keep up with Darius Rucker, follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

“Beers And Sunshine” is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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CRS 2021 New Faces Showcases – The Full Recap

This year, CRS (Country Radio Seminar) looked quite different from years past. We weren’t all gathered at the Omni Hotel in Nashville celebrating the incredible people and artists that make the country genre so popular. Instead, we were in our respective homes or offices, watching on laptops across the country. The virtual CRS however did allow for a spectacular chance to network with radio programmers, personalities, media, and people involved in all facets of the industry. 

New Faces CRS 2021

Each year at the conclusion of this great seminar, five rising talents take the stage for a one-of-a-kind showcase called New Faces. Here at NYCountry Swag, we cherish the new artists that we choose to champion and so many of the artists who were nominated and voted for tonight are not new to our followers however they are just on the verge of their superstar careers. 

 

HARDY kicked off the night of performances with songs from his debut LP, A ROCK including “BOOTS”, “UNAPOLOGETICALLY COUNTRY AS HELL”, and his first number one song as an artist “ONE BEER”. He was also grateful to be able to perform his current radio single, a song for anyone who is missing someone they have lost called “GIVE HEAVEN SOME HELL”. His signature grit and energy was the perfect way to showcase his talent for anyone who already wasn’t a fan. Learn more about HARDY and check out an acoustic session from his last trip to New York City in our video above. 

Next up was Matt Stell who not only performed his back-to-back number-one singles “Prayed for You” and “Everywhere But On” but also included a video package that surely brought the audience to tears featuring his proud mother. Stell’s mix of rock and country and his stage presence absolutely earned him a spot in the five artists featured. Check out our Swag Session with Matt Stell in the video below.

Tenille Arts, one of our 2021 Artists to Watch, showcased her vocal prowess and catchy lyrics with tracks from her most recent album including “Everybody Knows Everybody”, and her current top 15 radio single “Somebody Like That”. She also performed her latest release, “Give It To Me Straight” and her personality and her talent glittered just like her gorgeous hand-decorated guitar. 

Travis Denning was up next, his performance of his first number one song “After A Few” and his next radio single “ABBY” was electric, and he even dazzled attendees with a brand new song, “I’m Gonna Love You”. Denning joined us for a Swag Session in New York City. Revisit the interview and performance in the video below.

 

To close out an already remarkable evening of live music, Ashley McBryde, a current GRAMMY nominee brought her delicate vocals and honest storytelling to the stage. Starting her set with songs from her first album that put her on the map “Girl Goin Nowhere” and “A Little Dive Bar In Dahlonega” she told the story of her journey so far in the industry. “One Night Standards” and “Martha Divine” from her current album Never Will showcased the magic she can bring to a room.

While we anxiously await the return of concerts and live music, it’s a positive thought to know that when we do all gather again, country artists have written and recorded some amazing music for us during this past year. 

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news.

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Niko Moon “No Sad Songs” Is the Perfect Feel-Good Tune

Niko Moon’s new track, “No Sad Songs” is available now, February 19th, on all streaming platforms. Written about music and not wanting to hear any sad songs while you’re busy having a night to remember, take a look below as we dig a little deeper into the track.

Following the release of his “Good Time” remix with Shaggy last month, 2021 NYCountry Swag Artist to Watch, Niko Moon just dropped a brand new track, “No Sad Songs”.

The new tune has a classic Niko Moon vibe and is another great addition to your feel-good playlist that’s probably already loaded with other Moon songs like “Good Time”, “Paradise to Me” or “Dance with Me”. “No Sad Songs” was written by Moon himself, his wife Anna, as well as Joshua Murty, Steven Lee Olsen, and Alysa Vanderheym.

“No Sad Songs” is all about a good night out of dancing and drinking, and wanting to hear all the feel-good sing-alongs that will keep the night going on forever. We’re talking “Wagon Wheel”, “Sweet Home Alabama”, “Chicken Fried”, “Sweet Caroline”, and Moon makes sure to add “Good Time” to the mix, which just so happened to go Platinum this week! This song is everything you want after a long hard week: just to kick back and relax, have a fun night out with friends, and listen to everything but sad songs. 

“I don’t wanna hear no sad songs / I just wanna have some fun tonight / Dancing all the way till last call / Drink in my hand got me feelin’ right / It’s been a long week / A gone wrong week / So keep that GOOD TIME spinnin’ on repeat, yeah / I don’t wanna hear no sad songs / I don’t wanna hear no sad songs”

Niko Moon’s new song “No Sad Songs” is available everywhere now, February 19th

Niko Moon’s new song “No Sad Songs” is available everywhere now, February 19th

Before the pandemic hit, Moon was on the Platonic Tour with Ryan Hurd, which did a two-night run in NYC in what ended up being the last few shows of the tour. Since then, Moon has taken to social media in order to stay connected with fans, much of which he does through two weekly Live shows. “Stir Crazy” is a cooking show he does every Friday night on Instagram and Facebook Live with his wife, Anna Moon. The other is the Live Home Concerts he plays every Monday night. After almost a year of these weekly occurrences, Moon has been able to stay very connected with fans in a very consistent way and fans have been able to hear a ton of music from the singer-songwriter and learn more and more about him each week.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Niko Moon releases.

To keep up with Niko Moon, follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

“No Sad Songs”  is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Kylie Morgan Brings the Heat in Edgy New Single “Shoulda”

Kylie Morgan’s new song, “Shoulda” is available now, February 19th, on all streaming platforms. Take a look below as we dig a little deeper into the track.

Nashville newcomer, Kylie Morgan, is taking the country music scene by storm with her edgy hits and unapologetic lyrics. Best known for the songs “Break Things” and “Cuss A Little” which feature Walker Hayes, the singer-songwriter strikes again with a shameless breakup anthem, titled “Shoulda.”

Hailing from Oklahoma, Morgan grew up with a knack for songwriting and a one-of-a-kind singing voice. It’s been exciting to see these talents create captivating songs. “Shoulda” hits on Morgan’s strengths; masterful storytelling coupled with an edgy melody.

In “Shoulda,” Morgan sings about unabashedly acting on impulse following a messy breakup. The rock-inspired instrumentals are bold and catchy, helping to portray Morgan’s fiery confidence in her own decisions, whether good or bad. The quick-witted and honest lyrics tell an impassioned story around a lack of self-control.

Kylie Morgan’s new song “Shoulda” is available everywhere now, February 19th

Kylie Morgan’s new song “Shoulda” is available everywhere now, February 19th

“Shoulda laid low / Shoulda poured two for one alone… Shoulda hung up when I saw your name / Oh I knew better than to ever think that you could change / Shoulda woulda coulda / I ain’t never been no good at staying home when I know that I shoulda / Shoulda woulda coulda / I ain’t never been no good at saying no when I know that I shoulda”

The fast-paced rhymes and powerful vocals stir up heavy emotion. The singer utilizes vivid imagery, allowing the listener to get lost in the storyline.

“Next thing I know I’m sleeping in your bed again / Next thing I know I’m sneaking out in your jacket / Like a bad habit / High heels in my hand”

Morgan delivers something fresh and exciting with each single released. “Shoulda” stands out with its boldness and is the perfect song to turn up loud and sing like no one is watching. We look forward to all that is to come from this rising star.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Kylie Morgan releases.

To keep up with Kylie Morgan, follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

“Shoulda” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Carly Pearce: ’29’ – Album Review

Carly Pearce’s brand new album 29 is available now, February 19th, everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a look below as we dig a little deeper into the 7-song project.

Carly Pearce's new album '29' is available everywhere now, February 19th

Carly Pearce’s new album ’29’ is available everywhere now, February 19th

What was a hard year for the world was a year just as hard personally for Carly Pearce. Navigating heartbreak, loss, and self-worth, she released “29”, a remarkable 7-song record out today, February 19th.

The first two tracks are the previously released “Next Girl” and “Should’ve Known Better”. The latter is a mid-tempo Pearce, Jordan Reynolds and Emily Shackleton co-write about how she should have known better than to let her ex in and he should’ve known better than to mess it all up. “Next Girl”, Pearce’s current single is a buzzy, upbeat 90s-sounding song where Pearce is warning the “next girl” on what happens ‘next, girl’.  Both are a familiar yet new sound to add to Pearce’s repertoire.

Title-track “29” is filled with guitar and melodic fiddle and perhaps the most country Pearce has ever been. “29 is the year I got married and divorced…From a Ms. to a Mrs. then the other way around/The year I was gonna let it up/Now I’m never gonna live it down”. The sound is reminiscent of The Wrecker’s “Tennessee” – it’s sweet, sad, but there are also hints of acceptance surrounding it as well.

“Liability” is a real stand-out. It has a real groove to it, and it’s clear that this song is meant to be played live. The chorus is incredibly clever: “Your fabricated love’s become a lie… ability, and oh it’s killing me”. Her vocal range on this song is also showcased very well.

Although Pearce’s marriage to fellow singer-songwriter Michael Ray and subsequent divorce is the major theme of “29”, losing Busbee, her longtime producer is another. “Show Me Around” is a gorgeous, spiritual song about when they’ll find each other again. “I think these songs are not just for me, but for anyone who just has life and is trying to get through it and trying to figure it out as they go,” she said in 29: The Interview. Although specific to her experience, one of the strongest elements about this record is how universally personal it feels.

“Day One” is the perfect track to close off the collection. It’s all about making it through and just getting through “day one” – because eventually, you will be okay. You just have to be patient. You can feel through the words that Pearce is not fully healed herself yet, and that’s okay. She knows she will be – she’s already on the mend, and it’s almost similar to opener “Next Girl” in the way it feels like an older sister coaching you through another phase of life.

It’s unclear where Carly Pearce will go next, and that’s part of what makes this such a strong collection. It is cohesive and yet it leaves you wondering. Without the glitz and the glamour that she experiences by being a major country artist, she falls, gets back up, and survives just like all of us. It’s a really great reminder for the time we’re in right now.

NYCS Picks:
1. “Day One”
2. “Liability”
3. “Should’ve Known Better”

Carly Pearce, ’29’ Tracklist:

1. “Next Girl” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
2. “Should’ve Known Better” | Carly Pearce, Jordan Reynolds, Emily Shackelton
3. “29” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
4. “Liability” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne
5. “Messy” | Carly Pearce, Sarah Buxton, Jimmy Robbins *
6. “Show Me Around” | Carly Pearce, Emily Shackelton, Ben West
7. “Day One” | Carly Pearce, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, Matthew Ramsey

produced by Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne
* produced by Jimmy Robbins

 

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Carly Pearce releases.

To keep up with Carly Pearce, follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

29 is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Walker Hayes Debuts New Song, “I Hope You Miss Me” For His Daughter

Walker Hayes’ new song “I Hope You Miss Me” is available now, February 19th, everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a look below as we dig a little deeper into the track.

Walker Hayes’ latest song, “I Hope You Miss Me” was written for his daughter who he believes will go chase her dreams in Hollywood the second she gets the chance.

The song is a beautiful message from a proud and supportive parent who wants their child to chase their dreams even if it means they’ll miss them while they’re doing it. Hayes knows that his daughter’s dream is to be in LA and admits that he always knew that’s where she’d end up and that he knows people like her don’t get old with people like him. He hopes she gets every callback, gets her star on Hollywood Blvd, runs into J. LO, finds someone to run lines with and never gets homesick. He wants her to have the world and for it to be everything she ever dreamed of and more. Only after all of this does he hope she misses him a little along the way.

I hope you’re living out by the ocean / That’s where you always said you were going / LA baby on the sunset driving / City of Angels, you should fit right in / You want the part, baby go get it / can’t wait to see your name in those credits / I hope you find yourself but selfishly, I hope you miss me

Walker Hayes’ new song “I Hope You Miss Me” is available everywhere now, February 19th

Walker Hayes’ new song “I Hope You Miss Me” is available everywhere now, February 19th

Hayes’ latest singles include “Trash My Heart” and “Don’t Let Her”, another touching tribute but instead for another important woman in his life, his wife. In the beginning of the pandemic, NYCountry Swag partnered with Hayes and the ‘Be A Craig’ Fund to feed the front lines in NYC thanks to our “Kindness isn’t Canceled” t-shirt donations.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Walker Hayes releases.

To keep up with Walker Hayes, follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

“I Hope You Miss Me”  is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Lainey Wilson: ‘Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ – Album Review

BBR Music Group’s artist on the rise, Lainey Wilson has released her new firecracker of a debut album Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’, today, February 19th. Take a look below as we dive deeper into the record.

The fiery, smokey, opening track “Neon Diamonds” is the perfect way to set the scene. It sounds like a dive bar meets a stadium show: it will be an absolute number once performed live. There are a bunch of songs on Sayin What I’m Thinkin’ that match this energy. Songs like “Small Town Girl” and “Straight Up Sideways” have that southern rock, outlaw feel to it. It’s reminiscent of some of Brothers Osborne’s more recent work, but at the same time, feels very distinct to Wilson.

The current single “Things A Man Oughta Know” leans on the softer side of the record. Simple kick drum, guitar, and mandolin flood the track beautifully, and you can hear traces of Dolly Parton and Alison Krauss in her voice. Lyrically, it’s actually a very empowering song; the hook is “I know a few things a man oughta know”. Throughout the record, Wilson is able to both enable and break gender and geographical stereotypes, which makes it an interesting dynamic.

Lainey Wilson's debut album, Sayin' What I'm Thinkin', is available everywhere now, February 19th

Lainey Wilson’s debut album, Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’, is available everywhere now, February 19th

Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ was produced by the iconic Jay Joyce, and it’s hard to think of a better fit for Wilson’s sound. Together, they found a middle ground in both the gritty and the sweet parts of life.

“Keeping Bars In Business” is a standout moment on the record. It is conversational and vulnerable and still has that clever chorus. Between Wilson’s vocals and Joyce’s dreamy guitars, you feel as if you’re in a trance. “My best friend’s ship is sinking, she thinks her man’s been cheating/And me I put my dog down yesterday”. The lyrics remain captivating as the song continues – it’s about the highs and lows of life and where you go to celebrate or mourn. “As the world keeps on spinning/we’re keeping bars in business”.

The last two songs are perhaps the best on the record, respectively, “Rollin’ Stone” and title-track “Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’”. “Rolling Stone” has the rhythm of a train on a track, and it’s all about how Wilson doesn’t feel like she can be tied down. “Like a feather in the wind, I can be gone/No you don’t give a rock to a rolling stone”, she sings matter-of-factly on the chorus.

“Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’” is where Wilson’s vocals sound most pristine, and it’s the closest thing to a requited love song, whether it be to a significant other, friend, or herself. “With you, I’ve only ever been who I am,” she sings in a whisper before the chorus. “Even I can’t believe I’m sayin’ what I’m thinking”, she states.

As a whole, Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ is one of the most authentic records released in a while. It doesn’t feel overdone or like a persona, it feels like a mission statement. It’s clear that this is only the beginning for Lainey Wilson, and with 12 songs as compelling as these, the sky is the limit for her.

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Lainey Wilson Giveaway

NYCS Picks:
1. Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’
2. Rolling Stone
3. Things A Man Oughta Know
4. Keeping Bars in Business

Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ Track Listing:

1. “Neon Diamonds”— (Lainey Wilson, McV, Matt Rogers)
2. “Sunday Best” —(Lainey Wilson, Brice Long, Shane Minor)
3. “Things A Man Oughta Know” —(Lainey Wilson, Jonathon Singleton, Jason Nix)
4. “Small Town, Girl” —(Lainey Wilson, Chris Yarber, Dallas Wilson)
5. “LA” —(Lainey Wilson, Hannah Dasher, Frank Romano)
6. “Dirty Looks” —(Lainey Wilson, Smith Ahnquist, Brent Anderson)
7. “Pipe” —(Lainey Wilson, Luke Dick, John Pierce)
8. “Keeping Bars In Business” —(Lainey Wilson, Jordan Schmidt, Matt Rogers)
9. “Straight Up Sideways” —(Lainey Wilson, Reid Isbell, Jason Nix, Dan Alley)
10. “WWDD” —(Lainey Wilson, Casey Beathard, Michael Heeney)
11. “Rolling Stone” —(Lainey Wilson, Tammi Kidd, Brent Anderson)
12. “Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’” —(Lainey Wilson, Jay Knowles)

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Lainey Wilson releases.

To keep up with Lainey Wilson, follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’ is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Maren Morris and Luke Combs Discuss Diversity in Country Music During CRS

During Country Radio Seminar which was held virtually this week, Maren Morris and Luke Combs, absolute superstars and trailblazers in the country music industry were interviewed by NPR’s Ann Powers about important topics facing our genre today including the lack of diversity and inclusion. 

Maren Morris Luke Combs CRS Ann Powers

Ann Powers Interviews Maren Morris and Luke Combs during CRS 2021

Morris who has spoken candidly throughout this time of civil unrest through her platforms was a welcomed guest to the panel, bringing insight and fearless answers to each question.  Combs, who has faced backlash throughout his career when pictures have surfaced standing in front of a confederate flag, was also exceptional at explaining how it’s inexcusable and how he has learned to understand the gravity of the association with something that can hurt so many. 

Powers asked the hard questions, in an uncomfortable but welcoming conversation that was a beacon of hope for the attendees of CRS, hoping to be better, do better, and help the genre to continue to evolve to be more inclusive. Among many different topics, the panel discussed the history of country music, and Morris in particular brought up how we hold our heroes of the genre to a very high pedestal, however, historically, they aren’t the first ones who brought life to country music. “They were our pioneers, not THE pioneers”, she stated boldly. 

When you close out artists or songwriters based on the color of their skin or their ethnicity, you could be closing the door on a song that could be a hit or a song that could save hundreds of lives, Morris stated in a sentiment about the lack of diversity in Music City. 

Of course, the panel ended with the most recent incident that rocked the genre, when Morgan Wallen was caught on tape using a racial slur. Combs was happy to say “People can be changed. I mean, I think I’m a living, mouth-breathing example of it right here.” While Morris stated  “I just think if you love something, you absolutely should call out the parts that are complicit and wrong, so we can move forward in a healthier way. And I think sitting here having this conversation with you, Luke, at CRS, the week of country music (pros gathering), is a huge step. We’ve all got healing to do. And accountability is the first step of that.  I think that we’re on the road to a very hopeful place, but we have to be willing to have these conversations with each other and with our friends. I don’t care if you’re holding them accountable on Twitter or if you’re holding them accountable after a show when people are drunk on the bus — just call them out when you see it happening so we can move forward.”

Many attendees in the comments were exclaiming that this was the best panel in the 50+ years of Country Radio Seminar, something that will open the door for conversations and further discussion on such an important topic. 

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Pops Songs That Would Make Great Country Songs

What makes a song a country song? Is it the instruments? The lyrics? The artist? The label? Those aspects play a role in a song being deemed “country,” but when asking fans what made them fall in love with the genre in the first place, many would credit the visuals and stories country artists depict in their music. However, songs like this are not unique to the genre; there are plenty of pop songs that do the same. Here are a few pop songs we think would sound great covered by a Nashville-based artist.

 

Stephanie Wagner, Founder

Pick: “Say You Won’t Let Go” – James Arthur
Songwriters: Andrew Frampton, Daniel O’Donoghue, James Arthur, Mark Sheehan, Neil Ormandy, Stephen Kipner, Steve Soloman
Who Should Cover It?: Mitchell Tenpenny

James Arthur’s “Say You Won’t Let Go” is one of my all-time favorite pop songs, and as we think about which songs could have their own country versions, I can’t help but feel like this song could be at the top of that list. At its core, the song tells a story of falling in love from the very first meeting and taking the listener through all of those moments when you knew you loved that person and hoping and knowing those moments will last a lifetime. Like true country music, the song makes you feel like it’s actually happening to you and you can envision the story playing out perfectly.

“I knew I loved you then // But you’d never know // ‘Cause I played it cool when I was scared of letting go // I know I needed you // But I never showed // But I wanna stay with you until we’re grey and old // Just say you won’t let go”

When I think about a country version of this song, I can easily picture Mitchell Tenpenny singing it. Adding his own unique flair and distinct vocals to the track, Tenpenny has such a way of telling a story and making the listener feel each and every lyric that this feels like a song that would really resonate with his fans. I’d love to see a cover of it from him!

 

Christina Bosch, Managing Editor 

Pick: “Let It Go” – James Bay
Songwriters:
James Bay, Paul Barry
Who Should Cover It?:
HARDY

Although I do love all genres of music, I have to admit that for the most part, my playlists are mostly country music. Once in a while, though I will hear a song on Top 40 or Pop and be captivated. That was the case with “Let It Go” by James Bay. His simple falsetto voice and storytelling are right on par for the country music world.

“I used to recognize myself / It’s funny how reflections change / When we’re becoming something else / I think it’s time to walk away / So come on, let it go / Just let it be / Why don’t you be you / And I’ll be me?”

I would love to hear someone like HARDY put their own spin on the song, maybe grunge it up a little bit and put his signature sound on it.

 

Lucie Bernheim, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Thinking of You” – Katy Perry
Songwriters:
Katy Perry
Who Should Cover It?: Kelsea Ballerini or Brett Eldredge

Katy Perry is an artist who defined so much of the music for my generation. Many of her biggest songs air on the side of pure, danceable pop, but she also has a vulnerable side. An early hit of hers, “Thinking Of You” is one of my favorites from the last couple of decades. It easily could be a country song based on its melodic and lyrical composition. It’s vivid with imagery and metaphors, with lyrics like, “You’re like an Indian summer in the middle of winter/Like a hard candy with a surprise center/How do I get better once I’ve had the best/You said there’s tons of fish in the water, so the waters I will test”.

Perry’s ability to tell an intimate and epically heartbreaking story is so country. So many of the best country songs are tragic and like journal entries. If you add some more harmony, more guitar, and maybe some banjo or mandolin, it could be a stunning country hit.

As far as who I would love to cover the song, if it were a female, Kelsea Ballerini would 100% nail it. She has the raw emotion and vocal empathy to do an amazing rendition. If a guy were to sing it, Brett Eldredge would also do an incredible job. He has so much vulnerability and passion in his voice that he would without a doubt make it his own.

 

Dylan Bestler, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Lucky” – Jason Mraz feat. Colbie Caillat
Songwriters: Colbie Caillat, Jason Mraz, Timothy Fagan
Who Should Cover It?: Kenny Chesney & Tenille Townes

Virginia-native, Jason Mraz has always been a great storyteller and his musical-style is soft and acoustic, making him a great fit in Nashville! Mraz been making hits since 2002, my favorite of which being his Grammy-winning collaboration with Colbie Caillat, “Lucky.” Its chill, beachy vibe along with its sweet lyrics make it a great song about being in love with your best friend.

I think it makes perfect sense to have Kenny Chesney sing the male part. His subtle voice will fit perfectly into the simple, island melody. For the female part, I want to hear Tenille Townes sing it. She is an up-and-coming artist with a beautiful, unique voice that would compliment Chesney well. All it needs is some banjo backed by a steel guitar to make it a wonderful country cut.

 

Kristina Callahan, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Since U Been Gone”
Songwriters:
Lukasz Gottwald, Martin Sandberg
Who Should Cover It?:
Kelsea Ballerini or Lauren Alaina

If there’s one thing country music does well, it’s break-up songs. “Since U Been Gone” is probably one of the most iconic breakup songs of our generation but it’s not a country song. You won’t hear it on country radio or any country playlist. It’s considered “pop” but anyone who listens to this song could easily close their eyes and hear it turned into a killer country song.

“But since you been gone // I can breathe for the first time// I’m so moving on, yeah, yeah // Thanks to you //Now I get what I want //Since you been gone”

There aren’t many artists that can cross genres, but Kelly Clarkson is one of them. Her powerhouse vocals, bubbly personality, and southern twang make her the perfect fit for a country artist. I’d love to see Kelsea Ballerini or Lauren Alaina to cover this classic, both have already written their fair share of break-up songs and have the sass and energy to do the song justice. As for Clarkson, I’m sure I’m not the only one who hopes and prays the Texas native will put out an epic country album sometime in her career.

 

Erin Crosby, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Best Part of Me” – Ed Sheeran feat. Yebba
Songwriters: Abbey Smith, Benjamin Levin, Ed Sheeran
Who Should Cover It?: Chris Stapleton & wife, Morgane Stapleton

From the 2019 No. 6 Collaborations Project, Ed Sheeran’s “Best Part of Me” with American singer-songwriter YEBBA eloquently suits the vocal ability and artistry present. The lyrics and honest storyline is enough to give listeners heart smiles and fight tears welling up in the eyes. Production-wise, the delicate finger-picking and soft melody only emphasize the significance of the subject material – undeserving love.

Similar to Ed Sheeran, Chris Stapleton stands out from the crowd with his unfiltered, sentimental tracks where lyrics hold the listeners’ ear from beginning to end. Both are talented entertainers and storytellers as well as seasoned, guitar-amplified musicians.

The “Starting Over” Kentucky native force-field who has found himself in the most acknowledged and prestigious class of artists after a few short years, covers a broad range of music, promoting headbangers and the most intensely passionate air-guitar mock-ups around town. Though, despite Stapleton’s tendency to hit the electric, he’s likely to execute a stripped-down and intimate performance as well with his wife, Morgane Stapleton by his side.

A reimagined duet of Sheeran’s “Best Part of Me” with vocal contribution from both Stapleton’s would only add fire to the flame of a well-executed, venerable production. While, at the same time, allowing Stapleton to incorporate his well-known, powerful rasp and unspeakable range to the mix may grant the song a life of its own – separate from itself, from where it’s been.

 

Caleigh DeCaprio, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Lose Somebody” – Kygo and One Republic
Songwriters: Philip Plested, Alex Dilicata, Alysa Vanderheym, Jake Torrey, Kyrre Gorvell-Dahll, Morten Ristorp, Ryan Tedder
Who Should Cover It?: Brett Young

This song has been on my go-to/everyday playlist this past year. It’s a heartbreak song but also one I find myself listening to on my runs. I find it to be very similar to the way Brett Young can deliver a catchy upbeat heartbreak song like “Left Side of Leavin’ ” or “Memory Won’t Let Me”. When I think of my favorite country voices, Brett Young immediately comes to mind. I love how he vocally delivers each song and lyrically, this is exactly the kind of song he would sing. He has a way of telling a story that makes you pay attention to every word. I’d most look forward to him hitting “until it’s gone” just before the chorus of “Lose Somebody”.

“You let go / And now i’m holding on / I guess you don’t know what you got / Until it’s gone / Sometimes you gotta lose somebody / Just to find out, you really love someone /  Oh-Oh / And I do and I do and I do, yeah / Sometimes you gotta lose somebody ”

 

Abby Kaye-Phillips, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Before You Go” – Lewis Capaldi 
Songwriters:
Ben Kohn, Pete Kelleher, Phil Plested, Tom Barnes, Lewis Capaldi
Who Should Cover It?:
Brett Eldredge

Memorable melodies and lyrics that tell a story are the marks of a great country song, and Lewis Capaldi’s “Before You Go” would sound amazing stripped down and covered with a twang. The track is full of imagery (heartbreak described as “troubled water running cold” under the surface) and unlike most songs, there are question marks throughout the lyrics, allowing the listener to ask ‘what if?’ right along with the character. I would love to hear Brett Eldredge cover this song because his tone and heart would be a perfect fit for the powerful ballad.

 

Erica Zisman, Contributing Writer

Pick: “drivers license” – Olivia Rodrigo
Songwriters: Daniel Nigro, Olivia Rodrigo
Who Should Cover It?: Devin Dawson

My favorite thing about country music is the story-telling aspect. Truthfully, I believe that any song that has that “it factor” can be made into a killer country song. Olivia Rodrigo’s hit “drivers license” is one of the newest songs out there that I have fallen in love with. The entire song is a heartbreaking story about lost love, so I can really see the lyrics with a country melody.

“And I know we weren’t perfect, but I’ve never felt this way for no one / And I just can’t imagine how you could be so okay now that I’m gone / Guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me / ‘Cause you said forever, now I drive alone past your street”

After learning about it on Devin Dawson’s livestream, I immediately thought about how cool it would be to see his version of the song, potentially from the male perspective. Dawson also shared on Instagram that he really liked this song, so maybe it’ll actually happen! The moodiness and the overall vibe of the song fits in so well with Dawson’s catalog of incredible original songs.

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What are some pop songs that you would love to see country music artists cover? Head to Twitter & let us know! 

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Kelsea Ballerini Scores Another Number One Song With “hole in the bottle”

Kelsea Ballerini scores another number one song with “hole in the bottle”, overtaking Luke Comb’s “Better Together.”

It is extra special when a female country artist’s song lands at the top of the charts because unfortunately, it does not happen as often as we would like. This week, Kelsea Ballerini’s song “hole in the bottle” made its debut in the top spot, breaking Luke Combs’ three-week streak and claiming Ballerini’s 6th number one song.

Since she came on the country music scene, Ballerini has gotten a lot of love by radio, scoring number one’s with her first three singles, “Love Me Like You Mean It,” “Dibs,” and “Peter Pan.” As of late, it has been a little harder for the talented singer-songwriter to get the love she deserves, as it often is for female country artists on the charts. It is about time that one of the amazing songs from her latest album kelsea, scores the top spot!

“There’s a hole in the bottle / Leakin’ all this wine / It’s already empty and it ain’t even suppertime / Honey, no, I don’t miss him / In fact, it slipped my mind / There’s a hole in the bottle of wine”

Ballerini continues to be a pioneer for women in country music. Fellow artists, Gabby Barrett and Tenille Arts, round out the top fifteen on the charts this week, and we’d love to see them make it into the top ten too with their respective songs.

Kelsea Ballerini Scores Number One Song With "hole in the bottle"

Kelsea Ballerini Scores Number One Song With “hole in the bottle”

Until then, congrats to Ballerini and her team for an incredible feat!

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future Kelsea Ballerini releases.

To keep up with Kelsea Ballerini, follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

“Hole In The Bottle” is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

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Thank You for supporting Country Music in NYC & Beyond!

Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
for ticket giveaways, meet & greet contests, upcoming events,
and all things country music in the New York metro area and beyond!

+ Follow our country music adventures on InstagramTwitter & Facebook: