iPod Check: Recommend Ten Tracks

ipodWhile I know it goes against the proper album listening experience, my favorite way to listen to my iPod is to put it on shuffle and see what pops up. It’s like my own personal radio station without the commercials, talking and music that I dislike. So, today I’m going to put my iPod on shuffle and list ten country songs that I would comfortably recommend to you. In the comments, you can do the same for us.

#1 Steve Earle, “City of Immigrants”

Here is Steve’s tribute to New York City, a city of immigrants. I’m a sucker for this song that celebrates such diversity. The lending of acoustic and world sounds that are employed here is sonically pleasing as well.

#2 The Be Good Tanyas, “The Coo Coo Bird”

This is a haunting sounding song thanks to funky fiddle riffs, intriguing baseline and soft percussive support.

#3 Patty Loveless, “Don’t Toss Us Away”

This is one of my favorite Loveless songs from her early years. It’s a plea not to throw away a relationship despite the hardships. Of course, with Patty, it’s going to maintain a nice progressive traditional sound.

#4 Trent Summar & the New Row Mob, “Louisville Nashville Line”

Nice! I was hoping something from this group would pop up. Thanks to Country California’s recommendation, they’re one of my favorite discoveries of 2009 so far. This country rocker chugs along at an addictive pace, as is the case with many of the songs on the album. I love it.

#5 Trisha Yearwood, “Cowboys Are My Weakness”

Most of you already know this song, but it came up on the shuffle and I still recommend it. Yearwood slides in this song that would be perfect for Suzy Bogguss with such joyous ease that it’s impossible not to get caught up in the infatuation right along with her.

#6 Sweethearts of the Rodeo, “Beautiful Lies”

Their two Sugar Hill albums are excellent. This sister duo harmonize like only family members can do on this song about a woman who buys into her lover’s constant lies, since they were easier to hear than the truth in his eyes.

#7 Vince Gill, “Old Time Fiddle”

Considering the amount of Vince Gill songs I have on my iPod compared to any other artist, there’s simply no probable way that an iPod shuffle session could pass without a Vince song showing up. I love this raucous Cajun flavored fiddle laden song.

#8 Todd Snider, “Easy”

Imagine a nice love song from Todd Snider. Well, this is it, Folks. They do exist.

#9 The Notorious Cherry Bombs, “Making Memories of Us”

Keith Urban made this song famous, but Rodney Crowell wrote and sings the superior version, in my bold opinion. As apart of a pet project with Vince Gill, Rodney takes the lead with Vince providing gorgeous harmony support. Along with Crowell’s emotive rendering, this version has a nice, easy tasteful production.

#10 The Little Willies, “Tennessee Stud”

I can’t get enough of this song or this group. I’m glad it naturally came up on the shuffle, because I might have otherwise been tempted to rig it so it would anyway. The Little Willies are a group made up of people from New York City who have their own music careers separate from this group, but decided to come together to form this side band named after Willie Nelson. One of the members is well known, as she is Norah Jones. The entire project is unshakably fun with this song being my favorite. I typically don’t even like “Tennessee Stud”, but their arrangement and performance is ridiculously addictive, especially the guitar riff and Jones’ jaunty piano throughout the song.


  1. 1. I think I know – Lee Ann Womack
    2. For A Minute There – Garth Brooks
    3. Very Last Country Song – Sugarland
    4. I want to love you – Shelly Fairchild
    5. South Side of Lonesome – Chely Wright
    6. He Aint Coming Back – Ashley Monroe
    7. The Questionnaire – Tracy Lawrence
    8. You Make It All Seem So Easy – The Kinleys
    9. Notorious – Confederate Railroad
    10. When Gentry Plays Guitar – Jessica Andrews

    OK – some of these songs show how old my CD collection is, because I have had these CD’s since there were released…..

  2. Glad you like Trent Summar & the New Row Mob, Leeann!

    The New Green Light – Hank Thompson
    Amber in the Clay – Davie Gayle
    My Prayer – Donna Ulisse
    I’m Where a Memory (Can Die for a Night) – Vern Gosdin
    Today My World Slipped Away – Vern Gosdin
    The Right Place – Aaron Watson
    Honky Tonkin’ – Hank Williams
    Looking for Someone Like You – Kelly Willis
    Big Bad John – Jimmy Dean
    Proud of Me – Tracy Byrd

  3. He Thinks I Still Care – Patty Loveless
    Girl On The Billboard – The Road Hammers
    When I Get Where I’m Going – Brad Paisley
    What I Cannot Change – LeAnn Rimes
    Amarillo By Morning – George Strait
    Starting With Me – Jake Owen
    Love Will Always Win – Trisha Yearwood/Garth Brooks
    Lord I Hope This Day Is Good – Lee Ann Womack
    Proud Of The House We Built – Brooks & Dunn
    You Lay A Whole Lot Of Love On Me – Shania Twain

  4. I love me some iPOD Shuffle…

    1. “Down Came a Blackbird”- Lila McCann
    Such a shame she never made it big…catchy song with a great chorus.

    2. “She Went Out for Cigarettes”- Chely Wright
    Sublime melancholy at its best…

    3. “Sure Love”- Hal Ketchum
    “Sure love” this song and Hal Ketchum’s voice is velvet smooth.

    4. “Daddy Was an Old Time Preacher Man”- Porter and Dolly
    I can remember sitting in my grandma’s living room listening to them sing on the TV every Saturday afternoon. Great memories…great harmony.

    5. “Speak”- Nickel Creek
    Eclectic group who did no wrong in my eyes…and ears

    6. “Justified and Ancient”- The K.L.F. featuring Miss Tammy Wynette
    O.K…so maybe it’s not Country, but if Miss Tammy’s singin’ in it…it’s gotta be good. Loved this song the minute I heard it. Never surprised me that Tammy would take such a risk. She was fearless and boy did it pay off.

    7. “Brooklyn and Austin”- Sara Evans
    Cute song by (IMO) the greatest female country voice of this generation.

    8. “Golden Ring”- Tammy and George
    Can you tell I love me some Tammy Wynette? Never was a big fan of George’s voice alone, but when he duets with someone else…it’s pure country manna.

    9. “Run to You”- Lady Antebellum
    Favorite single of theirs to date…beautiful harmonies by Hillary Scott.

    10. “Little Past Little Rock”- Leeann Womack
    Can’t help but think of Dolly when I hear Leeann sing…her voice is timeless.

  5. Highwayman,
    “Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good” is one of my favorite songs and I had no idea Womack had a version. I just grabbed it from Amazon and I love it.

  6. “Nobody but Me” – Blake Shelton
    “No Time to Kill” – Clint Black
    “Words by Heart” – Billy Ray Cyrus
    “Blue Bedroom” – Toby Keith
    “Fool Hearted Memory” – George Strait
    “When I Reach That Home Up There” – Daily & Vincent
    “Stay” – Sugarland
    “Piece of Mind” – George Strait
    “Story of a Broken Heart” – Johnny Cash
    “The Cowboy Rides Away” – George Strait

  7. 1. Iris Dement – There’s A Wall In Washington
    2. Elvis Costello – Psycho (from his country record Almost Blue)
    3. Hank Williams – I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
    4. Raul Malo – The Great Atomic Power
    5. Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys – Let’s Ride with Bob
    6. Johnny Cash – The Ways of a Woman in Love
    7. Donna Ulisse – Levi Stone
    8. Emmylou Harris – Amarillo
    9. Ernest Tubb – Letters Have No Arms
    10. Lefty Frizzell – Saginaw Michigan

    I clearly need more music from this decade.

  8. 1. Carrie Underwood – Flat on the Floor
    This is one of my fav. Carrie Underwood songs, and for good reason. This song is 3 minutes packed full of energy and fun. I really truly hope this becomes her sixth single.

    2. Jason Aldean – Lonesome USA
    I’ll admit I haven’t listened to this one in a while, nor was it my fav. Jason song when I did. But now that I’m listening to it, I’m quite enjoying it again.

    3. Corb Lund – Always Keep an Edge on Your Knife
    Very clever song lyrically!

    4. Josh Turner – Would You Go With Me
    Probably the only single of his that I truly enjoyed.

    5. Toby Keith – Stays in Mexico
    Brings me back to the old days… when I wasn’t frequently bored with his music.

    6. Emerson Drive – Painted Too Much of This Town
    Not my fav. off the album, but still a pleasant listen.

    7. George Canyon – One Good Friend
    A nice, sweet, simple song.

    8. The Road Hammers – I’m a Road Hammer
    This was the song that hooked me on the Hammers. Excellent!

    9. Carrie Underwood – I Know You Won’t
    Since Kevin likes this song so much (if I remember correctly), I have gave this song a few extra listens. It’s pretty good! Very emotional.

    10. Craig Morgan – International Harvester
    Not my fav. of his singles, but it’s good enough.

    Non-Country recommendations that came up:
    1. Hedley – Narcissist
    2. Jonas Brothers – Video Girl
    3. Jonas Brothers – Burnin’ Up
    4. McFly – Everybody Knows
    5. Green Day – Wake Me Up When September Ends

  9. Rebecca Lynn Howard – Sing ‘Cause I Love To
    She just sounds like she’s having fun singing this.

    Rebecca Lynn Howard – No One’ll Ever Love Me
    This time She’s channeling sadness and completley nails it. I love this song so much, I wish it was better known.

    Kasey Chambers – The Captain
    This is the song that introduced me to Kasey, so it’ll always have a special place in my music collection

    Jessi Alexander – Honeysuckle Sweet
    She’s and amazing writer and this was such a catchy and beautiful song.

    Katrina Elam – Repo Man
    This was never released on any record but I’m hoping one day it will. It’s a fun country song.

    Bobbie Cryner – Lesson In Leavin’
    Other than the original version, I’d say Bobbie sings it best, Jo Dee May have had the hit, but Bobbie’s was way better.

    Terri Clark – She Didn’t Have Time
    This is my favorite Terri Clark song, and she’s my favorite artist so…

    Reba McEntire – The Fear Of Being Alone
    This is one of Reba’s best songs, it’s fun and catchy but the message is still great. In my mind it is the perfect song from 90’s country.

    The Judds – Why Not Me
    They always recorded very simple songs, but they were still great.

    Ashley Monroe & Dwight Yoakam – That’s Why We Call Eachother Baby
    This is still a new song to me, but it’s an awesome duet, and probably the best one I’ve heard in a long, long time.

  10. Kent – you should find Flat on the Floor, sung by Ashley Monroe, amazing, she wrote the song.

    I love That’s Why We Call Each Other Baby – Ashley has an amazing voice for duets……but then again I just love her voice…..

  11. just listened to John Denver “Annie’s Song” again for the first time in forever…has anyone ever covered this to commercial/critical success?

  12. Silver, no, nor should they.

    The first time I heard ‘Annie’s Song’ Baby Dutch, aka John Denver, was sitting tinker style in me Mum and Dad’s lounge, paying his 12 string. Big Dutch, Johnny’s dad served in the airbourne with my Dad. I me him when I was 13 and we became fast friends. I spoke to him the Wednesday before he died; he was so excited about the new plane.

    John had a unique viewpoint and sound, imo.

  13. Shuffle is pretty much the only way I listen to my mp3 collection. If I want to hear an album all the way through, I’ll listen to the CD. So, here’s the first 10 remotely country songs that pop up in iTunes.

    “Hearts on Fire” – Gram Parsons: OK, you can’t go wrong with this one. The production may sound a bit dated here, but Gram harmonizing with Emmylou Harris is timeless.

    “Country Blues” – The Chieftains with Buddy & Julie Miller: If you’re going to explore the roots of country music, you can’t do better than these two.

    “Drive Away Slow” – Abi Tapia: This was a freebie from SXSW, and I know nothing about her. But she’s got a good voice, and in a different universe where country music is still country music, this would be a hit song.

    “Witness Blues” – A.A. Bondy: Another freebie, courtesy of his Daytrotter session. He’s another person I don’t know much about, but he fits very comfortably into that Americana niche that I love.

    “Family Affair” – Abra Moore: She has that little girl-sounding voice like Julie Miller or Kasey Chambers, which isn’t for everyone. She’s also more pop than country, but this is a good song about trying to keep a family together.

    “Airways Motel” – Jack Ingram: This is from one of his earlier albums, so you know it’s good.

    “Old Blue” – The Dillards: Also known as The Darlings from The Andy Griffith Show, this is the band that introduced me to bluegrass. This version of Old Blue is not how Joan Baez sings is, according to bass player/spokesman Mitch Jayne.

    “Wait A Minute” – The Notorious Cherry Bombs: It’s really hard go wrong with a group that has Rodney Crowell and Vince Gill as members.

    “Here’s A Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)” – Travis Tritt: Still one of the best kiss-off songs around.

    “Rolling By” – Robert Earl Keen: For my mind, one of the best, most underrated acts to ever come out of Texas.

  14. Since I almost always listen to my ipod on shuffle, this song came on this morning, and it happens to be one of my favorites – so it had to be a recommendation —

    Terri Clark – The One You Love – something about feeling lost when you cannot help the ones that you love because they have problems that you cannot overcome just hits me at my core….

  15. lanibug – I listened to the Ashley Monroe version you suggested. I felt it lacked the delicious energy in Carrie’s version. However, I felt Katrina Elam’s version was really good too.

    Thanks for the recommendation!

  16. 1. New Again — Brad Paisley & Sara Evans
    2. If Only He Were You — Catherine Britt
    3. Suddenly There’s A Valley — Reba McEntire
    4. Both Sides Now — Dolly Parton
    5. Oh Lonesome Me — George Jones
    6. Walk Softly On The Bridges — Tammy Wynette
    7. Mama’s Opry — Sunny Sweeney
    8. Give My Love To Rose — George Jones
    9. He Called Me Baby — Patsy Cline
    10. If Teardrops Were Pennies — Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton

  17. 1. “Wrong Side Of Memphis” – Trisha Yearwood
    2. “Higher And Higher” – Dolly Parton
    3. “Jubilee” – Mary Chapin Carpenter
    4. “Litte Girl” – Reba
    5. “Bare Skin Rug” – Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert
    6. “If You Want To Make Me Happy” – Alan Jackson
    7. “Rain On A Tin Roof” – Julie Roberts
    8. “Till They Came Home” – Rhonda Vincent
    9. “The Lucky One” – Faith Hill
    10. “I’ll Still Be Me” – Martina McBride

  18. 1. Breathe – Taylor Swift
    2. That’s All it Took – Patty Loveless
    3. Rodeo – Joey + Rory
    4. Little Moments Like That – Brad Paisley
    5. Firebird Fly – Little Big Town
    6. I Think I Know – Lee Ann Womack
    7. If You’re Thinking You Want a Stranger (There’s One Coming Home) – George Strait
    8. Make Memories With Me – Lee Ann Womack ft. Mark Chesnutt
    9. I’m Taking the Wheel – SheDAISY
    10. I Run to You – Lady Antebellum

  19. ““Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good” is one of my favorite songs and I had no idea Womack had a version. I just grabbed it from Amazon and I love it.”

    Aw, geez, Leeann, talk about being late to the party…. Ronnie Bowman and Dan Tyminski are the harmony singers. Ronnie tells a funny story about going in to sing his part on this, then sticking around to hear roughs of some other cuts on the album (I Hope You Dance), and saying “thank you” to blank stares from Lee Ann and Mark when they played him “The Healing Kind” – they hadn’t made the connection that he was the co-writer.

  20. Jon,
    Yeah, I’m a little embarrassed that I didn’t know Lee Ann’s version sooner. I just chalk it up to my general lack of interest in her music, since she’s never been one that I could get into….which I know is a hard pill for most Country Universe readers to swallow.:) As I’ve admitted many other times, she’s one of those people that I’d really like to like, but I just don’t, except for a lone song here and there.

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