ZAC BROWN BAND – ‘YOU AND ISLANDS’
We were pleasantly surprised and mightily relieved when we heard Zac’s last release, ‘The Man Who Loves You The Most’. It seemed a return to the old country band that we cherish so much.
We hope that Zac has purged the EDM influences that underpinned much of their output in 2019, and the release of their second digital single of 2020, ‘You And Islands’ provides optimism that the band who thrilled the crowd at C2C in 2018 is back.
Written by Zac with Ben Simonetti and Adam James, it was recorded in lockdown.
JAMES BARKER BAND – ‘MAMA’S COOKING’
From one mega Country band in the US to arguably their Canadian equivalents, James Barker Band have certainly been on a roll lately. The follow up to ‘Summer Time’ which we featured in June, with 7 million streams, is ‘Mamas Cooking’, co written with Hardy who seems just about everywhere these days, although it seems that this one was written in 2014.
It’s the first track from a fan-dedicated project called ‘JBB-Sides’, and we can expect a track every week for the next three weeks.
We expect JBB to resume their presence in the UK after the restrictions are lifted, and build upon their acclaimed performance at C2C in 2019.
BRITTNEY SPENCER – ‘COMPASSION’
There’s a perception that Country Music is a predominately white industry which excludes black artists. There are exceptions, but there are few black women country singers who manage to pursue their dreams.
Brittney Spencer was born and raised in Baltimore. She decided to pursue a music career in Nashville having been raised singing Gospel Music but loving the Dixie Chicks.
‘Compassion’ is the first release from an EP of the same name, and conveys a message that will resonate in these troubled times.
THE TUTEN BROTHERS – ‘MAKE ME WANNA BE’
Originally from Athens, Georgia, but now based in Nashville, Walker and Sam Tuten have been on radar since we featured ‘Monica’ towards the end of 2019.
They say that they grew up on Country and Rock & Roll, but ‘Make Me Wanna Be’ is directed at those of us that enjoy the more soulful spectrum of country music.
They are building a following and steadily creating their own song book. Definitely ones to keep a close eye on.
LAINEY WILSON – ‘SMALL TOWN, GIRL’
Broken Bow Records have big ambitions for Lainey Wilson, and they’re certainly helping the buzz that is growing in Nashville. She has certainly thrown the proverbial kitchen sink at this powerful, sassy statement of intent.
The top table is becoming crowded with aspiring female singers, but the Lainey really seems to be going places right now.
ALLIE COLLEEN – ‘BEST FRIEND’
The recent Netflix documentary detailing the career of Garth Brooks featured interviews with his daughters. It was abundantly clear that they were not brought up to live off their fathers name and fortune. They were encouraged to forge their own ways in life, and Allie Colleen has done just that.
She has released two singles – ‘Road You Take’, and ‘Best Friend’ as a project fostered by Joe Costa at Costa Gold Studio. She describes ‘Best Friend’ as the love song country music has always needed!
She’s recovered from Covid-19, which is great to hear.
DAN + SHAY – ‘I SHOULD PROBABLY GO TO BED’
It’s been a little while since we have been able to listen to new music from mega-stars Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney.
‘I Should Probably Go To Bed’ is hugely pop-inspired, created whilst the duo were in lockdown and writing music at the piano in Dan’s house.
The background vocals are Dan’s wife, Abby. She’s no stranger to the job. She also featured on ‘Tequila’ which has been their biggest hit to date, so expect similar here.
NIKITA KARMEN & WALKER HAYES – ‘THEN SOME’
Walker Hayes has been nurturing new talent in Nashville, and ‘Then Some’ is the result of his collaboration with newcomer Nikita Karmen, conceived when both were opening for Bobby Bones.
She describes this as an empowering breakup song. It’s her fifth single release of 2020 and we featured the Aussie native back in June when she released ‘Better’.
LAUREN ALAINA – ‘RUN’
We are loving the new music from Lauren Alaina. ‘Run’ is another preview from her six-track EP, ‘Getting Over Him’ which is due on 4th September.
It goes without saying that this anthemic track will be a mainstay in her live shows. It was written with Ben Johnson and Kennedi.
The EP features duets with Jon Pardi and Lukas Graham.
GWEN LEVEY AND THE BREAKDOWN – ‘ONE LOVE WISER’
We finish our list this week with an awesome country song from a new artist to our ears, Gwen Levey, who is another lady who has chased her dream and moved to Nashville.
The Breakdown features Mike Scott on guitar, Tammy Scarbrough on bass, Jonathon Plevyak on rhythm guitar and Ben Reiff on drums. Prior to Covid-19, you may have seen them performing at the familiar venues in Nashville.
The song was written after a breakup and her move to music city. She states that the song helped to clear her soul.