Author Archives: Leeann Ward

Daily Top Five: Murder Monday

Not only is the alliteration kind of fun, Murder Monday seems appropriate, because who doesn’t want to murder Monday?

What are some of your favorite  murder songs?

Johnny Cash American RecordingsThe murder came as a delicious surprise in  the song that I’ve chosen as my first choice.

  1. Old Crow Medicine Show, “My Good Gal”
  2. Vince Gill, “Molly Brown”
  3. Johnny Cash, “Delia’s Gone”
  4. Willie Nelson, “Time of the Preacher”
  5. Gillian Welch, “Caleb Meyer”

 

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Daily Top Five: Not Better With Time

Brad Paisley OnlineJust as songs can grow on us over time, songs can lose their shine just as easily. These are the songs that I once enjoyed and even loved in some cases, but have lost their appeal either due to over exposure or changing tastes.

What songs did you once enjoy, but now no longer appreciate?

Here’s my list:

  1. Tim McGraw, “Don’t Take the Girl”
  2. Garth Brooks, “The Dance”
  3. Garth Brooks, “The River”
  4. Brad Paisley, “Online”
  5. Dolly Parton, “Think About Love” (Though I’d like this one again with updated production)

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Single Review: Jake Owen, “Real Life”

Jake Owen Real Life

“Real Life”
Jake Owen

Written by Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley, Shane McAnally, and Josh Osborne

Everclear is one of the few pop bands that I liked in the late 90s/early 2000s. While a lot of their music sounded similar, their grooves were addictive and their tunes were memorable (“A.M. Radio”, Anyone?).

As a result of enjoying Everclear, I’ll admit that I actually guiltily enjoy Jake Owen’s “Real Life.”

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Daily Top Five: Better With Time

Willie NelsonAs we grow older, our tastes change and some would even say that they mature. Such is the case with me, as you’ll see in the list below. There was a time when I did not like these artists (gasp!) and a time when I didn’t like these songs. However, something made them grow on me to the point that I absolutely love them now.

Which artists and songs have grown on you over time?

Here are my lists:

Artists:

  1. Willie Nelson
  2. Dwight Yoakam
  3. Emmylou Harris
  4. Miranda Lambert
  5. Sturgill Simpson

Songs:

  1. Josh Turner, “Another Try”
  2. Vince Gill, “Go Rest High on that Mountain”
  3. Dierks Bentley, “What Was I Thinking”
  4.  George Strait, “Troubadour
  5. Randy Travis, “Before You Kill Us All”

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Album Review: Kristian Bush, Southern Gravity

Kristian Bush Southern Gravity

Kristian Bush
Southern Gravity

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Although there is already a long list of great albums that have been released this year, Southern Gravity, Kristian Bush’s first solo album apart from Sugarland, just may end up being the most pleasant surprise of 2015.

First of all, lets address some of the elephants in the room. Frankly, the biggest surprise of the album is the discovery that Kristian Bush can actually sing. Without the long shadow of the Powerhouse Jennifer Nettles, Bush has a chance to find his literal and figurative voice and it’s a good one.

Additionally, whether it was deserved or not, Bush had developed the reputation of being the intense, mysterious half of Sugarland. So, another surprise is that the album is relaxed and accessible and avoids drowning in over thinking or overproduction. With that said, the final surprise is that the album is more country than we had heard from Sugarland in quite some time.

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Single Review: Chris Stapleton, “Traveller”

Chris Stapleton Traveller

“Traveller”
Chris Stapleton

Written by Chris Stapleton

With all of the lamenting that many of us do regarding mainstream country music, those of us who are practical are aware of the conflict of knowing that the songs that we would choose to be played on radio must at least maintain a balance of quality songwriting and sounding country while still being accessible to a mainstream audience, which is what much of nineties country music did so well.

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Daily Top Five: Favorites from your Least Favorites

Thomas Rhett Beer With JesusIf we’re honest with ourselves, we don’t like every single music choice that even our very favorite artists make, which  is what inspired  us to share our least favorite albums from our favorite artists. In that same spirit, there are also times when we catch ourselves enjoying a  stray song or two from artists by whom we’re  typically  not impressed.

So, what are five songs that you like from artists that you normally don’t enjoy?

Here are mine. I should note that I actually enjoy more than one song from most of these artists, but will only list one for the purpose of this exercise.

  1. Jason Aldean, “Two Night Town”
  2. Rascal Flatts, “What Hurts the Most”
  3. Taylor Swift (feat. The Civil Wars), “Safe and Sound”
  4. Scotty McCreery, ” Carolina Moon”
  5. Thomas Rhett, “Beer with Jesus”

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Daily Top Five: Favorite Songs by Your Favorite Songwriter

Guy ClarkThere’s a cool Guy Clark documentary Kickstarter campaign happening right now that I encourage country music lovers to check out and, perhaps, make a pledge toward. Long time publicist, biographer and Guy Clark champion, Tamara Saviano, is in the process of producing and directing a documentary on Clark, a revered songwriter in country music.

The campaign is already almost fully funded, which is a testament to the wide and strong impact of Clark. However, while they’ve almost raised the initial funds, any extra money on top of that modest goal will only allow the documentary to be even better than it already promises to be, not to mention the opportunities for various perks that are offered to backers of the project.

After reading about and pledging to this campaign, I’ve been going down a Guy Clark Rabbit hole for the last couple of days, which has included listening to songs written by Clark that others have recorded and listening to his own excellent albums.

Luminaries such as Vince Gill, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Jerry Jeff Walker, Ricky Skaggs, Bobby Bare, John Conlee, The Highwaymen, Rosanne Cash, Kathy Mattea, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley , Ashley Monroe and Kenny Chesney, among many others, have been mentored by and have recorded Guy Clark songs.

With that said, today’s Daily Top Five is : What are your five favorite songs written and/or recorded by one of your favorite songwriters.

Since Guy Clark is one of my favorite songwriters, here are my top favorite songs of his:

1. Guy Clark & Emmylou Harris, “I Don’t Love You Much Do I”

2. Rodney Crowell, “She’s Crazy for Leaving”

3. Jerry Jeff Walker, “L.A. Freeway”

4. The Highwaymen, “Desperados Waiting for a Train”

5. Kathy Mattea, “The Cape”

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Daily Top Five: Albums You’re Most Looking Forward to Purchasing

Chris Stapleton TravellerI’ve listened to this phenomenal Chris Stapleton performance from last night’s Late Night with David Letterman at least 8 times so far today. As I watched it last night, I was extremely proud to be a country music fan. If Stapleton represented what mainstream country music predominantly sounded like these days, I could proudly declare that I was a country music fan without all of the clarifications that I currently have to make.

Stapleton’s new album, Traveler, will finally be released on May 5, which can’t come fast enough. So, as a Part 2 to last night’s Daily Top Five discussion of our five most recent music purchases, tonight we’ll ask you what you hope or expect your next five music purchases will be.

Since I’ve already preordered the Stapleton album, these are the top five albums that I’m looking forward to purchasing (in release date order).

1. Alabama Shakes, Sound and Color

2. Shelby Lynne, I Can’t Imagine

3. Zac Brown Band, Jekyll + Hyde

4. Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, The Traveling Kind

5. Darrell Scott, Ten

What albums are you most looking forward to?

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Daily Top Five: First Favorite Songs by Your Favorite Artist

Vince Gill I Still Believe in YouToday, let’s list our first favorite songs by our favorite artist. Vince Gill is my favorite artist and the first song that I had heard of his is “Trying to Get Over You”, which started the beginning of my love for his voice and music. However, the songs that cemented my love for Vince were “Don’t Let Our Love Start Slipping Away” and “I Still Believe in You.”

This list isn’t necessarily my  top five favorite Vince Gill songs now, but rather, they’re the first five songs that turned me into a serious Vince Gill fan:

  1. “Trying to Get Over You”
  2. “I Still Believe in You”
  3. “Don’t Let Our Love Start Slipping Away”
  4. “When I Call Your Name”
  5. “The Heart Won’t Lie” (with Reba McEntire)

What are your top five songs that made you a fan of your favorite artist?

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