Articles by Leeann Ward
A tender love ballad is always nice, but it’s sometimes those weird love songs that make you laugh or even creep you out a little (I’m looking at you Sara Watkins and Fiona Apple!) that are most memorable. What are some of your favorite quirky love songs? Mac Davis, “Most of All” Kasey Chambers, “The Stupid Things I Do” Sara Watkins & Fiona Apple, “You’re the One I Love” Vince Gill & Dolly Parton, “Pretty Flowers” John Prine & Iris Dement, “In Spite of Ourselves”
Texas is the most sung about state in country music. Musicians and singers can even make a good living by just touring around Texas. So, it’s no wonder that even those of us who have no physical or emotional connection to Texas might still have numerous Texas related songs that we love. Just like the state of Texas, my list of Texas songs is very large, but I did my best to narrow my list down to five of my favorites. Bill Chambers, “Dreaming ’bout Texas” Charlie Robison, “the Girls from Texas” Don Schlitz, “Death in Texas” Laura Bell Bundy, “Texas” Mac Davis, “Texas in My Rearview Mirror”
Ah…Remember the days when a name drop of a country singer actually meant something and made sense within the context of the song? Before Jason Aldean’s gratuitous and inane name checks of Johnny Cash, Alabama and even Joe Diffie? Those were the days, weren’t they? What are some of your favorite songs that refer to country singers or country songs? Don Williams, “Good Old Boys Like Me” (Hank Williams) Vince Gill, “Some Things Never Get Old” (Emmylou Harris’ “Bluebird Wine”) Rodney Crowell, “Walk the Line Revisited” (Johnny Cash) Ashley Monroe, “Hank’s Cadillac” (Hank Williams) Josh Turner, “Loretta Lynn’s Lincoln”
Depending on my situation and mood, artists and songs often fill different purposes for me. If I need to hear a good weeper, I have my go to songs and even artists that I can count on. The same goes for if I need to be inspired. Likewise, there are certain songs that will instantly make me feel happy no matter how many times I’ve heard them. As you’ll see on my list, the songs that make me feel simple happiness aren’t lyrically groundbreaking, but have fun productions and addictive beats. What songs can you rely on to make you feel happy? Shovels and Rope, “Birmingham” Shovels and Rope, “Hail Hail” Brandi Carlile, “Hard Way Home” Sugarland, “It Happens” The Little Willies, “Tennessee Stud”
“Strip it Down” Luke Bryan Written by Luke Bryan, Ross Copperman and Jon Nite How many ways are there to say that a song doesn’t sound remotely country? I wish I knew of a few more, because I’ve been having to make this most common criticism for so long now that I feel like there is no new or creative way to say it anymore.
Just as country music corners the market on drinking and cheating songs, it also expertly explores the emotions that often accompany slowing down on Sundays. Iconic classics like “Sunday Morning Coming Down” and even modern hits such as “Sunday in the South” and “That’s What I Like About Sunday” describe that day of rest and reflection in various ways. What are some of your favorite songs about Sunday? Here are some of mine. Clay Walker, “Seven Sundays” Blue County, “Sunday Driver” Elizabeth Cook, “Sunday Morning” Marty Stuart & Loretta Lynn, “Will You Visit Me on Sunday” Darrell Scott, “It Must Be Sunday“ * Of Course, Johnny Cash’s version of “Sunday Morning Coming down”, along with the others listed in the intro, are favorites of mine too.
Sometimes, just one word is enough to convey a message or intention. When a song has a one-word title, it usually either captures the intent of the song or the most memorable part of the song. What are some of your favorite one-word songs? Here’s my list: Waylon Jennings, “America” Ashley Monroe, “Pony” Brandy Clark, “Hungover” Alan Jackson, “Chattahoochee Johnny Cash, “Hurt”
“Ain’t No Trucks in Texas” Ronnie Dunn Written by Tony Martin, Wendell Mobley and Neil Thrasher With Texas as its central point, Dunn takes a pass at expressing his indifference toward an ex by using anti-factual details of common Texas tropes. “There ain’t no trucks in Texas/ No football in the south.”, all of which illustrates that, in fact, he is not indifferent to the break up after all.
“Gonna” Blake Shelton Written by Luke Laird and Craig Wiseman “Gonna” is a mix of the old and the more recent Blake Shelton. It has shades of his current music trends, but also calls back to his more relaxed country beginnings. First, it seems that it couldn’t be a Blake Shelton song these days if there wasn’t at least a little EDM influence thrown in. Fortunately, it only starts there and then moves away fairly quickly, which allows the song to become a pleasant pop country ear worm.