Here’s our latest round-up of great new releases worth checking out from the world of country/americana!
JAKE OWEN – ‘CATCH A COLD ONE’
We are certainly kept well fed with new music from Jake Owen. The follow-up to ‘Down To The Honkytonk’ which is still slowly climbing the US Country radio charts, is another infectious, bouncy singalong from the guy we call the ‘anthem king’ here at YLIAS.
The only mystery is why he avoids dipping his often-bare toes into a UK performance. He must be one of the few country artists who has released a greatest hits album but has never featured at C2C.
DYLAN SCOTT – ‘NOTHING TO DO TOWN’
2016 ‘MY GIRL’ – #1 on the US Country Airplay Chart.
2017 ‘Hooked’ – #2 on the US Country Airplay Chart.
It’s been pretty quiet for Curb’s star performer since then, apart from an acoustic versions of earlier tracks released in October. He’s back with another potential pop country hit that we guess will be all over country radio in the new year.
BRETT YOUNG – ‘REASON TO STAY’
We featured ‘Ticket From LA’ a couple of weeks ago, and ‘Reason To Stay’ is the latest track released from Brett’s forthcoming album, due December 7th.
Brett’s star is definitely on the up and it’s difficult to see country radio not getting behind this.
‘THE GREATEST SHOWMAN REIMAGINED’ (ALBUM)
The only reason we are featuring this is the inclusion of Zac Brown Band’s interpretation of ‘From Now On’.
Yes, we know Kelly Clarkson also features but her cover of ‘Never Enough’ won’t necessarily appeal to the country crowd.
Zac has completely transformed a song sang by Hugh Jackman and the cast into a fiddle-backed country anthem. It always had a Mumford and Sons-type appeal. It just needed a work over by ZBB. Zac’s a genius.
MIDLAND – ‘EASTBOUND AND DOWN’
Originally a hit for Jerry Reed in 1977 for the soundtrack of the film ‘Smokey And The Bandit’, the Midland guys performed this as a tribute to the late Burt Reynolds on last week’s CMA Awards.
With ‘Burn Out’ still being heavily rotated on US Country Radio (it’s currently #1 on the Country Breakout Chart which calculates spins on country radio), we are wondering whether this will receive any promotion.
Will the guys perform it live on their upcoming UK tour? We won’t have to wait long to find out.
MONTGOMERY GENTRY – ’20 YEARS OF HITS’ (ALBUM)
It basically does what it says on the tin, apart from one important detail. Yes, the album contains 12 songs that were hits from the last 20 years, but several have had makeovers and also feature some heavyweight country stars, including Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Jimmie Allen and Logan Mize.
As a tribute to Troy Gentry, it’s a fine way of bringing to life his memory. Check out Darius Rucker’s cover of ‘Lucky Man’.
Whilst it’s great to hear the new versions and the added voices, the highlight is still Gentry’s ‘Better Me’. Awesome song.
BRAD PAISLEY – ‘BUCKED OFF’
It’s felt like a quiet 2018 for Brad. No new album and barely a sniff on the charts. We know that he has been on tour and fulfilled his usual hosting gig on the awards show, however there isn’t anything like a good quirky Paisley song.
Name-checking George Strait will get you a head start with the traditionalists, but it still needs a touch of class to cement it into your consciousness. Brad has done it many times previously and this, we hope, will be another to add to the greatest hits collection.
RACHEL REINERT – ‘DARK STAR’ & ‘COOL’
When compiling this list, we suddenly realised there were no girls. Not intentional, honestly!
An obvious entry, however, was Rachel Reinert’s excellent ’Dark Star’ and the even more excellent ‘Cool’ which came out a few months ago. You may know Rachel from her time with Gloriana. She’s now solo and is sounding very Fleetwood Mac in parts. The first two releases are top drawer – we can’t wait to hear a full-length album of this stuff.
Dan spoke to her very recently in Nashville about her solo career and her new music. Check out the interview very soon.
ERIC VAN HOUTEN – ‘COME FIND ME’
From the Nashville talent pool, this is someone who isn’t yet being given the attention we think he deserves. Eric Van Houten is trying for the so-far-elusive breakthrough with ‘Come Find Me’. It sounds a little Keith Urban in places and has the ingredients to attract the interests of the radio pluggers.
It’s almost a plea. Come find me and play me on your radio stations. Originally from Buffalo, New York, he has been there or thereabouts for the last couple of years. This might just be his time.
BLAKE SHELTON – ‘TEQUILA SHEILA’
Blake’s out on tour on his 18-date ‘Friends and Heroes’ show with friends Trace Adkins, Lauren Alaina, John Anderson and the Bellamy Brothers.
It should be a feast of fiddles and slides for the country lovers and he has been releasing a few tunes to get us all in the mood. ‘Tequila Sheila’ was originally a hit in 1980 for Bobby Bare, and Blake’s version stays true to the mood and feel whilst adding an overdose of party atmosphere. Absolutely perfect for New Years Eve at Nashville Nights.