Day 19 features tracks from Mary Chapin Carpenter, Eric Church, Sara Evans, Lynn Anderson, and Rosanne Cash.
Mary Chapin Carpenter
Written by Roger Linn and Robb Royer
Mary Chapin Carpenter earned her first Grammy nomination for this hit, which is yet another example on this list of a great songwriter being a great interpretive singer. Absolutely love the drum riff that ends the instrumental interlude, too.
Other Favorites: “You Win Again,” “A Keeper for Every Flame,” “The Last Word”
Written by Eric Church and Jeff Hyde
Songs about songs are hit and miss. This one’s a bull’s-eye. The records referenced are believable influences on the record itself, which might just be the difference between a name check song that works and one that doesn’t. I never believed Jason Aldean was riding down the road listening to Johnny Cash, but I can totally believe Eric Church alternating between Willie Nelson and James Brown.
Other Favorites: “Give Me Back My Hometown,” “Mr. Misunderstood,” “Cold One”
Written by Matt Evans, Sara Evans, and Marcus Hummon
I still can’t believe this wasn’t a single. A killer vocal performance and fearless production make it soar, but the song is truly powered by the metaphor the song is built around. I don’t even want to spoil it, if you’ve never heard this before. But I’ll take this over “I Hope You Dance” any day.
Other Favorites: “I Thought I’d See Your Face Again,” “A Little Bit Stronger,” “Backseat of a Greyhound Bus”
Written by Joe South
Lynn Anderson pulled off a nifty trick here, much like Linda Ronstadt did when she covered “Different Drum.” “Rose Garden” is a song written and originally recorded by a man, and the lyrics are remarkably condescending when sung by a man to a woman. The role reversal – along with those killer strings – give her version a potency and wry humor that no male singer could match.
Other Favorites: “Cry”
“Seven Year Ache”
Written by Rosanne Cash
“Seven Year Ache” introduced a new point of view for women in country music. It was young, it was intelligent, it was street, but it had the pulsating heartbreak underneath that connected it to the roots of the genre, not to mention the roots of her gender in the genre. I love that she’s been celebrated for her Americana work in recent years, but I’m still a sucker for her eighties stuff.
Other Favorites: “Never Be You,” “September When it Comes” (with Johnny Cash), “Blue Moon With Heartache”