With Ben returning to the CU front page today, it is the perfect time to refresh and revisit some of Ben’s best work in the Country Universe archives: his Favorite Songs by Favorite Artists features.
FSBFA: Sara Evans
August 7, 2011
“I was in my early teens when I first discovered Sara Evans… and I thought she was the greatest thing since sliced bread. The rich, throaty texture of her distinct voice reeled me in, and her entertaining mixture of traditional and contemporary influences had me thoroughly hooked. Now that I’ve also become familiar with the likes of Patty Loveless, Pam Tillis, Trisha Yearwood, and Emmylou Harris, my view of Sara is a little more in-perspective these days, but I do still consider myself a big fan, and she holds a special distinction as one of the first female country artists I really got into.”
FSBFA: Faith Hill
November 1, 2011
“I became a Faith Hill fan at a young age, and I became an even bigger fan as I grew older. As I set about acquiring all six of her Warner Bros. studio albums, my admiration for this talented artist only grew. To one who knows Faith Hill only for crossover pop hits like “Breathe,” “This Kiss,” and “The Way You Love Me,” it might come as a bit of a surprise what a strong albums artist she was. Besides that, she possessed genuine country sensibilities in addition to the pop diva persona that she became so well known for.”
FSBFA: Shania Twain
May 29, 2012
“Her astounding commercial success speaks for itself, as does her heavy impact on popular music, but I remain of the opinion that Shania Twain doesn’t get nearly enough credit for the artist she was – as a songwriter, or as a vocalist. Her songs were clever, sassy, fun, and often tapped into deep wells of substance underneath all the catchiness. Her distinct perspective was revolutionary for her time. As an interpretive singer, she had a strong knack for finishing off her lyrical creations through her nuanced, dynamically layered performances. Twain’s remarkable talent combined with Mutt Lange’s musical vision made her one of the biggest record sellers in history. Ever since her heyday, countless young female stars have attempted to emulate her, but the magic Twain herself created with her delicious pop-country confections remains unreplicated.”
Updated today with new artwork and YouTube playlists for all featured songs, Ben’s personal favorites might just be some of yours, too. Let us know below, or restart the conversation on the original threads!
You can also check out the newly updated Favorite Songs By Favorite Artists index, which now includes recent features by Zackary Kephart (Gary Allan, Alan Jackson) and myself (Carlene Carter, Carrie Underwood.) Look for the individual features included in the index to be updated to current formatting standards in the coming weeks.