Back in the day, we used to do iPod checks. Seemed so current at the time! Now, we’re gonna ask you to go to Spotify or your phone or whatever, and just let us know what you’re listening to the most. Two Daily Top Fives Today: Your five most played songs from a 2015 album, and your most played country songs of all time. Here are my lists, sticking to one song per artist:
Some of the most interesting country covers are ones where the artist doing the cover is of a different gender than the artist that recorded the original. What are your five favorite “gender swap” covers? Here’s my list: Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson, “Pancho & Lefty” (Original Artist: Emmylou Harris) Sammi Smith, “Help Me Make it Through the Night” (Kris Kristofferson) Patty Loveless, “When the Fallen Angels Fly” (Billy Joe Shaver) Merle Haggard, “No Time to Cry” (Iris Dement) Reba McEntire, “Ring on Her Finger, Time on Her Hands” (Lee Greenwood)
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? The murder came as a delicious surprise in the song that I’ve chosen as my first choice. Old Crow Medicine Show, “My Good Gal” Vince Gill, “Molly Brown” Johnny Cash, “Delia’s Gone” Willie Nelson, “Time of the Preacher” Gillian Welch, “Caleb Meyer”
As 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: Willie Nelson Dwight Yoakam Emmylou Harris Miranda Lambert Sturgill Simpson Songs: Josh Turner, “Another Try” Vince Gill, “Go Rest High on that Mountain” Dierks Bentley, “What Was I Thinking” George Strait, “Troubadour Randy Travis, “Before You Kill Us All”
Suggested by longtime reader and commenter Jonathan Pappalardo: What are the five most essential albums in your collection? I love this question! Here’s my list: Dixie Chicks, Home Reba McEntire, For My Broken Heart Patty Loveless, When Fallen Angels Fly Trisha Yearwood, Hearts in Armor Linda Ronstadt, Heart Like a Wheel Was going to try to do some equal opportunity attempt and squeeze in an album by a male act. But even without repeating artists, the next seven or eight would still be female artists. So here are my five most essential albums by male artists, for the record Johnny Cash, American III: Solitary Man Dwight Yoakam, Gone Todd Snider, The Devil You Know Willie Nelson, Phases and Stages Alan Jackson, Like Red on a Rose
2014 was a banner year for country music albums. In addition to the predictably solid entries from the Americana, folk, and bluegrass scenes, some excellent albums also surfaced from the unlikeliest of sources: mainstream, radio-friendly contemporary country artists! Here are our twenty favorite albums from 2014. Fingers crossed that 2015 is as good or better than this year has been. #20 Jennifer Nettles That Girl KJC #8 | LW #16 A confident, intelligent solo project that washes away all of the bitter taste left by Sugarland’s preceding studio album, The Incredible Machine. Nettles manages to remind us what was so appealing about the trio-turned-duo in the first place, while also staking out her own musical territory that has room for independence anthems alongside wry, humorous commentary on society and, of course, palpably vulnerable heartbreak numbers. – Kevin John Coyne Recommended Tracks: “Me Without You”, “Know You Wanna Know”, “Jealousy”
100 Greatest Men: The Complete List The Poet of the Common Man. Merle Haggard emerged from the Bakersfield music scene in the mid-sixties, and over the course of time, became the greatest man in the history of country music. Born during the height of the Great Depression, the son of a honky tonk fiddler and a church-going mother, Haggard’s life was a hard one from early on. When he lost his father at age nine, he rebelled to the point that much of his youth was spent in juvenile detention centers. His only positive outlet was country music, and he listened to and studied obsessively the work of his heroes Bob Willis, Hank Williams, and Lefty Frizzell, all of whom would shape his singing and his songwriting.
100 Greatest Men: The Complete List He started out as an unconventional songwriter trying to be a conventional artist. But when Willie Nelson let his hair down, he became a country legend for the ages. Nelson was raised by his grandparents in Texas, who encouraged him to play the guitar and to write songs. When his sister Bonnie married fiddle player Buddy Fletcher, Nelson joined his band as the frontman, staying with him until he graduated high school and did a brief stint in the Air Force.