Here’s a selection of some of our current favourites…well worth checking out!
JASON EADY – ‘BARRABAS’ (FROM SELF-TITLED ALBUM)
On the basis that you only have one chance to make a first impression it seems logical to open your album with a killer track. Jason Eady’s latest album does just that. It’s an understated, mainly acoustic gem with a religious theme. Barrabas was imprisoned alongside Jesus and when Pontius Pilate asked the crowd who they would chose to pardon they chose Barrabas. The rest, as they say, is history.
Eady wrote the song with Larry Cooper, Adam Hood and Josh Grinder. It has a magical feel to it and is a fine introduction to a very fine album.
ANDREW COMBS ‘ROSE COLOURED BLUES’ (FROM ‘CANYONS OF MY MIND’ ALBUM)
An early contender for album track of the year. Andrew Combs opened with this song on his recent UK tour. It has a huge ‘Gentle On My Mind’ type vibe and is perfect for a drive preferably along Highway 1 in California, but the M6 will have to do.
SAM OUTLAW – ‘BOTTOMLESS MIMOSAS’ (FROM ‘TENDERHEART’ ALBUM)
You probably know that we love Sam Outlaw and just about anything he’s ever done. If we had to chose a current favourite it would have to be the standout track from his latest album.
Sam recent told Dan that it was a nod to the Los Angeles brunch culture. Hung over and guilty execs staring into their bottomless mimosas. “Start of a brand new day”. Soulful country music doesn’t get any better than this and if this doesn’t push you towards Sam’s music, nothing will.
TRACE ADKINS – ‘WATERED DOWN’ (FROM ‘SOMETHING’S GOING ON’ ALBUM)
If ever a song fitted the singer, it has to be this one. Trace’s alcohol consumption has been well documented. It has all the traits of a song that a singer-songwriter would pen but Trace isn’t a songwriter. It’s actually a song that’s a product of Music Row. Shane McAnally, Matt Jenkins and Trevor Rosen to be specific. They have created a hugely appealing ballad that tells Adkins’ tale better than any rehab-inspired press release.
It’s a song that really out to play well on radio but we suspect that it won’t be appearing on too many playlists.
COLT FORD – ‘YOUNG AMERICANS’ (FROM ‘LOVE, HOPE AND FAITH’ ALBUM)
He has released 6 albums and his albums usually feature an impressive list of co-performers and vocalist’s. Although Ford sings, he is predominately a country rapper which alienates a large section of the country music community.
He does have a market for his material however. His last album ‘Thanks for Listening’ sold almost 100,000 copies and debuted at number 2 on the country album charts.
His new album features collaborations with Brad Paisley, Toby Keith Tyler Farr and Granger Smith but it’s the hook up with Charles and Josh Kelley that stands out. Lady A fans will love this one. To be hyper-critical, the song would actually be improved without Colt Ford’s contribution but nevertheless it’s a worthy inclusion and should be given exposure.
CATHERINE MCGRATH – ‘JUST IN CASE’
If there was a sweepstake for the next UK country music star, our money would be on Catherine McGrath. If you have been attending a Shires concert or Kelsea Ballerini’s gig in London recently you would have seen Catherine opening for both. She’s from Northern Ireland, lives in London and is signed to Warner Brothers.
She’s also a great singer and writes pretty awesome songs. ‘Just In Case’ is made for radio and has that ‘something’ about it that means you will be singing it in your head whilst you are cleaning your teeth. A great talent and personality. We predict big things for Catherine McGrath.
THE SWON BROTHERS – ‘DON’T CALL ME’ (FROM ‘PRETTY COOL SCARS’ EP)
Another ‘wow’ song. The Swon Brothers came to everyone’s attention with an appearance on NBC’s ‘The Voice’ in 2013. They finished third and then signed a record deal with Arista. Their first single ‘Later On’ sold reasonably well and reached 21 on the US airplay charts but after that their career seems to have stalled.
‘Don’t Call Me’ is the standout track from their ‘Pretty Cool Scars’ EP and will be the lead single. It’s a song that is basically all about becoming stronger and moving on from the past, which may just be where these guys are professionally right now. They need a hit single to kick-start their careers again and this really deserves to be it.
LEVON – ‘RUNAWAY LOVE’ (FROM SELF-TITLED EP)
Will 2017 be the year of the country male trios? BMLG have Midland and now Sony Music Columbia Nashville counter with Levon, featuring Michael David Hall on guitar and lead vocals, Jake Singleton on harmonies, bass and percussion, and Ryan Holliday on guitar, mandolin and banjo.
They write their own material although it doesn’t have the traditional country sounds that Midland have demonstrated on their recent EP. The standout from their debut 5 tracker is this summer pop country swayer that has a definite “Style Council” soulful ambience. All we need now is the sunshine!
JAKE WORTHINGTON – ‘A LOT OF ROOM TO TALK’ (FROM ‘HELL OF A HIGHWAY’ EP)
A product of Team Blake on The Voice USA in 2014, Jake Worthington is part of the rare breed of artists delivering straight-up, traditional honky-tonk music with every release. His self-titled debut EP in 2015 was a huge favourite of ours at YLIAS and he will return on Friday with his new EP ‘Hell Of A Highway’.
Following the lead single ‘How Do You Honky Tonk?’, Jake released a second track from the EP, ‘A Lot Of Room To Talk’, slowing the pace right down for a beautiful traditional country ballad that George Strait would be proud of. Another artist who truly deserves so much more success and we hope to see him in the UK soon!