iPod Check: Hidden Treasures

This edition of iPod Check is all about those great songs that you love which aren’t that well known.  Put your iPod or favorite playlist on shuffle, then list the first ten songs that come up which weren’t singles or widely heard album cuts.

Bonus  points for a little blurb with each song!

My list is after the jump.

1. Shania Twain, “Whatever You Do! Don’t!”

Only four of the sixteen tracks from Come On Over weren’t released as singles for one market or another.  It features the creative use of fiddles that would become so prominent on Up!

2. Todd Snider, “Maybe You Heard”

From the Kris Kristofferson tribute album The Pilgrim, it’s a powerful challenge to friends who aren’t friends in need: “Don’t you condemn him. Leave it to strangers.  You oughta know to give him a hand if you can.”

3.  Bonnie Tyler, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain”

Creedence Clearwater Revival as arranged by Jim Steinman?  As the opener of the album that features “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, it’s surprisingly effective.

4. Willie Nelson, “Rainbow Connection”

A lot of his covers don’t work – “Time After Time”, anyone?  But this one does, taking a Kermit the Frog standard and elevating it to the league of “Imagine.”

5. Bruce Robison, “Can’t Get There From Here”

Why Tim McGraw or Keith Urban haven’t covered this yet is beyond me: “I’m on a road that’s going nowhere, looking for a place that I belong. The wind’s pushing me in all directions, and none of them look like home.”

6.  Tim McGraw, “Tickin’ Away”

Time is running out, and not just because closing time is drawing near.

7. Johnny Cash, “I See a Darkness”

This time the friend in need is there, but that’s not enough to halt his desperation from spiraling out of control.

8. Lorrie Morgan, “Greater Need”

“It seems like I want you around me a little more than you want to be, so I guess I’m the one with a greater need.”  Killer.

9. Joe Diffie, “Good Brown Gravy”

They didn’t call him Joe Ditty for nothing.  But this one’s a riot!

10. Madonna, “‘Til Death Do Us Part”

From her post-divorce classic Like a Prayer, this is one of the most nakedly revealing songs I’ve heard.  “The bruises they will fade away. You hit so hard with the things you say. I will not stay to watch your hate as it grows. You’re not in love with someone else. You don’t even love yourself. Still, I wish you’d ask me not to go.

What are your ten hidden treasures?


  1. I have plenty of hidden treasures, but these are the first ten that came up.

    “Gone,” by Kelly Clarkson

    “Running Through the Garden,” by Fleetwood Mac
    From the band’s 2003 reunion album “Say You Will.” Excellent chorus with great vocals from Stevie Nicks and some awesome guitar work from Lindsey Buckingham

    “In My Car (I’ll Be the Driver),” by Shania Twain
    Shania could write an awesome song about whatever happened to be on her mind at the moment. This one is directed toward male backseat drivers. It’s a fun song to listen to on the road.

    “Say Goodbye,” by Fleetwood Mac
    Also from the “Say You Will” album

    “Holdin’ You,” by Gretchen Wilson
    Beautiful country love song. Gretchen has a lovely voice!

    “Together, Forever, Always,” by LeAnn Rimes
    This song is from an album that was mostly pop, but it actually does have a bit of a country tinge to it.

    “Calling In the Wind,” by the Judds
    From their early ninties album “Love Can Build a Bridge.” It has such a fun melody and some great backup vocals.

    “You Win Again,” by Martina McBride
    A Hank Williams cover from the “Timeless” album. I loved how Martina was able to put her own spin on so many old songs in a way that was still respectful of the originals.

    “Dry County Girl,” by Rascal Flatts
    This song is from the good old days when Rascal Flatts’ music actually sounded like country.

    “I’ll Have What She’s Having,” by Reba McEntire
    Oh, yeah! Now we’re talkin’! This song is a cute, funny, Western-swing-style ditty that served as the closing track on Reba’s current album “Keep On Loving You.”

    These didn’t come up in the shuffle, but Sara Evans’ “Restless,” “I Learned That from You,” “Low,” and “Momma’s Night Out” are deserving of honorable mention. Great songs.

  2. Patty Loveless – “Diamond in My Crown”
    Ray Scott – “Bear With Me Lord”
    Old 97’s – “Old Familiar Steam”
    Holly Williams – “Let Her Go”
    Pat Green – “Count Your Blessings”
    Mark McGuinn – “Done It Right”
    Chris LeDoux – “Every Time I Roll The Dice”
    Dailey & Vincent – “I’ll Go To My Grave Loving You”
    Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Comin’ Back For More”
    Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson – “Adeline”

  3. 1) Alan Jackson, “Look At Me”

    The original version (from the soundtrack of Billy: The Early Years) covered by Carrie Underwood on her latest album. I simply adore the Jackson’s muted vocals.

    2) Morgan Evans, “Big Skies”

    A promising young Australian artist.

    3) Steve Earle, “Goodbye”

    The live version of this with Emmylou Harris is simply breathtaking (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW81S6Pfv2Y)

    4) Dolly Parton, “Love Is Like A Butterfly”

    Enough said.

    5) Wilkinsons, “Fast Car”

    An underrated cover.

    6) Delta Goodrem, “Not Me, Not I”

    Australian ‘noughties’ music at it’s best.

    7) James Morrison, “Man In The Mirror (Acoustic)”

    Another cover. On a roll.

    8) Keith Whitley, “Long Black Limousine”

    From Sad Songs & Waltzes, my favorite Whitley record.

    9) Tim McGraw, “Telluride”

    Far superior to Josh Gracin’s interpretation of the track. I love imagery evoked by the lyrics and the final bridge: “It ended just like a movie scene/And I had to play the part/Of the lover who stood there and watched her leave/And me with the frozen heart”

    10) Catherine Britt, “Too Far Gone”

    A splendid ballad delivered by one of my favorite vocalists (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmqVYIhwwf0)

  4. There’s a very “Donkey Kong Country 2” thing going on with that treasure chest.

    1) Dusty Springfield, “I Can’t Make It Alone”

    Not an especially interesting song by itself, but Dusty Springfield doing a Gerry Goffin/Carole King co-write means a great-sounding track.

    2) Mindy Smith, “Train Song”

    Ooo, she said “shit”!
    But seriously, this still stands one of Mindy’s most distinctive songs. I like when she gets folky.

    3) Foo Fighters, “Virginia Moon”

    This is so serene, and you’d never see it coming because it’s Foo Fighters. Norah Jones adds harmony, and it sounds exactly like something she’d do.

    4) Alison Krauss, “Sleep On”

    Teenage Alison lies in bed with someone who’s already broken her heart in the past and wonders whether this time could be different. Such a well-captured moment, and it’s fascinating listening to Alison’s recordings from before she had polished her vocal technique.

    5) Son Volt, “Windfall”

    This is actually one of the band’s most well-known songs, but they’re not super well known to begin with, so whatevs. This is a good one for those lonely late-night drives.

    6) Bruce Robison with Kelly Willis, “Friendless Marriage”

    Title says it all.

    7) Justin Townes Earle, “Hard Livin'”

    I feel like you can tell whether or not you’ll like Justin Townes Earle just by listening to this one song. Catchy and swingin’.

    8) “Weird Al” Yankovic, “Trapped in the Drive-Thru”

    R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet” series is pretty much a parody of itself, but this is still pretty damn funny.

    9) Aerosmith, “Road Runner”

    They took a blues standard and turned it into a giant steamroller of sound. One of the most audacious, awesome things ever.

    10) John Fogerty with Don Henley, “Garden Party”

    Nice feel-good track.

  5. George Strait – I Found Jesus On The Jailhouse Floor – Your Average Foot Stompin Good Old George

    Josh Turner – So Not My Baby – Nice steel guitar licks

    Randy Travis – Love Is A Gamble – Nice message

    Mindy Smith – Highs and Lows – Just a feel good song.

    Lee Ann Womack – Time For Me To Go – What can’t she sing

    Toby Keith – Rodeo Moon – One of his better ones.

    Joe Nichols/Rhonda Vincent – Cash On The Barrelhead – Good cover.

    Faith Hill – Stronger – One of her best vocals

    Jamey Johnson – Stars In Alabama – Nice

    Carolyn Dawn Johnson – Room With A View – Great song about losing a loved one.

  6. 1) Emerson Drive – The Devil Went Down to Georgia
    I much prefer this version to the original, mostly because I prefer Brad’s more colorful vocal.

    2) Jonas Brothers – A Little Bit Longer
    Not my fav. of theirs, not my least fav.

    3) My Chemical Romance – The Sharpest Lives
    Not that I listen to MCR very much, but this is probably the one I listen to most.

    4) Faber Drive – Sex and Love
    A catchy little diddy.

    5) Linkin Park – The Little Things Give Yo Away
    One of my fav. tracks off of Minutes to Midnight, it has bone chilling vocals and lyrics.

    6) Faber Drive – The Lucky Ones

    7) Keith Urban – I Can’t Stop Loving You
    There were many songs on this album that I preferred, but this is still good.

    8) Doc Walker – The Show is Free
    A generally good song.

    9) Josh Gracin – Unbelievable
    This was a single, but it didn’t do particularly well, so I’ll include it. One of my favs. on Josh’s album, even if it’s lyrics are blander than dust.

    10) The Road Hammers – I’m a Road Hammer
    Fantastic. Love it!

    Since half of those weren’t country, I’ll post a few more country songs:

    11) Josh Gracin – No One to Share to Blame
    Not my fav. on the album, but a very emotive track that I enjoy nonetheless.

    12) Jason Aldean – Back in This Cigarette
    The verses are boring, but I love the chorus.

    13) McFly – Down Goes Another One
    OK, so this isn’t country, but it is one of my fav. songs. McFly outdid themselves here! Fantastic!

    14) Dierks Bentley – Train’ Travelin’
    I really like the vibe going on here, and the train sounding guitar.

    15) The Road Hammers – The Hammer Goin’ Down
    Another fav. from their debut disk.

  7. Averaging my one post every 3 months, here is my results. I find them quite surprising, I didn’t realize how few artists I have delved further into the catalogs of then just the greatest hits.

    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers~Dreamville~Live Anthology
    Much Prefer this to the studio version.

    TPHB~Fooled Again~Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
    Love Love Love the entire album, they were at their best in the late 70s imo.

    Sooo Catchy!

    Miranda Lambert~What about Georgia~Kerosene
    Love the Whole album.

    TPHB~Kings Highway~Into the Great Wide Open
    Only song I like off the album.

    Mudcrutch~Orphan of the Storm~Mudcrutch
    My Favorite song off the very country influenced
    “debut” for Tom Petty and COs original band.

    Alison Krauss & John Waite~Missing You
    Love the original, even better as a duet, technically a single.

    Statler Brothers~Walking Heartache in Disguise~Live, Sold Out
    Never realized this wasn’t a single, I grew up with this album and still love it.

    Rhonda Vincent and the Rage~Kentucky Borderline~Ragin Live

    TPHB~Image of Me~The Live Anthology
    Cover of the Conway Twitty song, love the slide electric version of the steel part.

    I swear I listen to more country then this…my Zune was in a Tom Petty mood. I am too, just coming off seeing them both nights at the George last weekend.

  8. Natalie Merchant, “Down on Penny’s Farm”
    I don’t know how much attention the album that this song is on got in the country music world, but it’s purposefully rootsy. It’s good too.

    Dailey and Vincent, “Don’t You Want to Go to Heaven”
    I’m normally not big on a cappella music, but this album is pure gold.

    Patty Loveless, “I Miss Who I Was (with You)”
    Written by Jim Lauderdale and John Leventhal (Mr. Rosanne Cash).

    Paul Overstreet, “What Are Friends for”
    A sappy friends song, but Paul gets away with Sappy with me.

    Rodney Crowell, “Topsy Turvy”
    The upbeat production will fool you, but this song, from Crowell’s largely autobiographical album, is dark.

    Drew Kennedy, “ I’ll Make it Home”
    I really like this Texas artist’s music. The9513 is sponsoring his New Voices Tour with Rodney Hayden, which, incidentally, is what made me check him out.

    Jakob Dylan, “All Day and All Night”
    Bob Dylan’s son can sing. Go figure. This is from his great, debut album, which is acoustic. He just released an album produced by T. Bone Burnett, but I still like this one better.

    Pat Green, “the Balad of Arkansas Dave Rubaugh”
    This is before his music got all glossy and generic. Good stuff.

    Drew Kennedy, “Livin’ or Dyin’”
    What do you know? Drew Kennedy again.

    Jacob Jones, “the Blues Ain’t got Nothin’ on Me”
    I learned about this guy through Country California. Need I say more?

  9. Ooh! I wish Willie Nelson’s “I Ain’t Goin’ Down on Brokeback Mountain” had popped up in time! Hilarious.

  10. Reba: “Roses”. American Gothic. “And the roses heard it all..”

    George Strait: “He Must Have Really Hurt You Bad”. Wonderful performance by the King.

    Sara Evans: “Three Chords and the Truth”. The type of traditional material she’s so good at.

    Toby Keith: “Nights I Can’t Remember, Friends I’ll Never Forget.” Sometimes we forget how good a lyric TK can write.

    Chely Wright: “Emma Jean’s Guitar”. Wonderful performance. There’s a million stories in Nashville..

    Faith Hill: “My Wild Frontier”. One of Faith’s best. Great performance

    Pam Tillis: “Train Without A Whistle”. Terrific Tillis! So is the whole “Rhinestoned” album

    Brooks & Dunn: “When She’s Gone, She’s Gone” A gem, with Kix taking the lead

  11. HA! LOVE Dan’s Weird Al selection! Brilliant!! Here are my ten:

    George Strait, “Arkansas Dave”
    From The King’s latest album, written by his son, Bubba. Good story song.

    Taylor Swift, “The Way I Loved You”
    Co-written with John Rich. I actually really enjoy this song with it’s “Jekyll & Hyde” kind of vibe, if you will.

    Easton Corbin, “Leavin’ A Lonely Town”
    Definitely one of the best songs on this new-comer’s debut album.

    Miranda Lambert, “Easy From Now On”
    The closing song for her sophomore album. I love her softer side.

    Daughtry, “Tennessee Line”
    Am I the only person here who thinks they’ve almost got a country-ish vibe? Especially in this song. Really enjoy both their albums.

    Alan Jackson, “Wait A Minute”
    Loved this album, and this song is one of my favorites from it. Simple and sung with passion.

    Garth Brooks, “Mr. Right”
    This song really captures Garth’s playfulness. I will forever be a fan. [*sidenote: If you haven’t seen his Vegas show, they just announced new dates! Highly recommended!! :^) ]

    Merle Haggard, “Sing Me Back Home”
    I absolutely love this song! I wish I had a more comprehensive Hag collection..

    George Strait, “Too Much of Too Little”
    Any country song where the singer is talking to “The Bottle” is a good song, in my humble opinion.

    Kenny Chesney, “Grandpa Told Me So”
    Was this song a single? It wasn’t part of his first greatest hits collection. I was never this close to my grandpa, but I still like this song. Guess this song was the first in a series of old-man-giving-advice-to-younger-people songs from Chesney. Ain’t Back Yet? More like Gone Back At Least Once An Album.

  12. 1. Tent Willmon – Island

    2. Bo Bice – Valley Of Angels

    3. Carrie Underwood – The More Boys I Meet

    4. Lonestar – I Pray

    5. Carmen Rasmusen – Be With You

    6. Due West – Sweet Gravity

    7. Clay Aiken – Measure Of A Man

    8. Due West – Due West

    9. Josh Turner – In My Dreams

    10. Rachel Proctor – We Did It Our Way

  13. This was interesting. The first ten that I don’t think are well known:

    Stepping Stones – Blackhawk : From ‘Love & Gravity’ a song that I used to listen to a lot back when I listened to complete albums on CDs. “Only you, and you alone, can turn my stumbling blocks into stepping stones.”

    Ferdinand the Bull – Sean Watkins : From ‘Let It Fall’, this is an instrumental from the guitar player of Nickel Creek fame. A wonderful song named for the classic Disney cartoon. Even better live.

    Oo-De-Lally from Robin Hood: From ‘Heigh Ho Banjo: Bluegrass Salutes Favorite Disney Songs’ a fun bluegrass instrumental take on the Roger Miller tune from Robin Hood. Sing along if you know the words!

    Yellow – Brooke White : Yes I have a couple Brooke White albums. Yes one is mostly covers. Yes it’s about what you’d expect. But it is relaxing.

    Somewhere Out There – Mutual Admiration Society : From the self titled album. A great band and album. Go get it now. DO IT!!!

    January Wedding – The Avett Brothers : One of my new favorite bands with one of my new favorite songs.

    I’ll Take Today – Ty England : Emotional connection for me with this one, which was out before the crappy Gary Allan version.

    Fault Line – Eliot Morris : Saw him open for Nickel Creek, liked the tunes, bought the album, feel it was a good decision.

    Sleeping With the Lights On – Teitur : One of only three songs that I like from this dude. “I still sleep with the lights on. I still stay up late alone. I still love another one.” Who hasn’t been there?

    Where Will You Be – Sara Watkins : From her solo debut album. Simply beautiful song about the fear that love will become the mundane and the special newness that exists when you first fall in love disappears. Or at least, that’s how I hear it.

  14. “Nah” – Shania Twain

    I’m suprised that this never was released as a single, it’s one of the better tracks on Up!

    “The Whisper Of Your Heart” – Trisha Yearwood

    This one is off of her debut album, and is such a great song that makes you believe in yourself.

    “Hotel Paper” – Michelle Branch

    Off of her second album with the same name.

    “I’m Not In The Mood (To Say No)!” – Shania Twain

    I haven’t listened to this one in a while.

    “Losing Grip” – Avril Lavigne

    For those hardcore pop-rock fans.

    “Hole” – Kelly Clarkson

    Another very pop-rock sound from My December.

    “Easy Silence” – Dixie Chicks

    One of my favorite songs from the Dixie Chicks Taking The Long Way album!

    “Irreplaceable” – Sugarland

    A great cover of the Beyonce song, from Live On The Inside.

    “Welcome To The Club” – Tim McGraw

    Yeah I thought his first album was pretty lackluster, but it was one of my first cds I got as a kid and this was the only song I have on my I-pod from it.

    “American Baby” – Dave Matthews Band

    I just like the way the music is arranged.

  15. Jon Randall – “Somebody Else”
    From walk among the living, this song is much like the rest of Jon Randall Stewart’s fine albums. There’s his beautiful tenor voice, interesting production and poetic lyrics.
    Chris Knight – “Run From Your Memory”
    Like many of his songs, this one –from his debut –features a strongly developed story about a man who is doing everything he can to get away from a just broken up memory with tasty lyrics like “I can drive this beat-up truck to Timbuktu or lay down flat on a bed of nails and I’d still dream of you.”
    The Wallflowers – “After The Blackbird Sings”
    Taken from the group’s pre-stardom self-titled debut, “After The Blackbird Sings” showed off the groups Americana leanings with a song that doesn’t sound as dated as one might expect something from 1993 to sound.
    The Warren Brothers – “Running Out of Heroes”
    “Gotham heard the news today, batman up and moved away, said he couldn’t stand to live in a lonely cave no more” and other super hero based lyrics start off an interesting power ballad from one of country music’s most underrated groups. “Heroes” is off of their great “Well-deserved Obscurity” album.
    Mark Selby – “More Storms Comin’”
    The title track to his debut solo album for Vanguard Records, this song is a bluesy piece of southern country soul from the songwriter behind hits like “There’s Your Trouble” and stuff for Kenny Wayne Shepherd. Selby has written many more hits but most of his own music is better than the songs he’s had cut by other artists.
    Wynn Varble – “The Jackass Song”
    One of the songwriters behind “A Little More Country Than That” and many Darryl Worley co-writes, Wynn Varble is also a damn good singer in his own right and some of his best written tunes are on this album from a few years ago. This one is chock full-o-humor with great lines like “I’d rather be a stubborn mule than that jackass you got now.”
    Tim Mensy – “That’s Love”
    The songwriter behind many hit singles of the 1990s and 2000s, Tim Mensy is also a very good vocalist in his own right. He isn’t as twangy as Mark Chesnutt but it’s easy to see how Chesnutt would go on to record some of Mensy’s songs like “She Dreams.” The songs are traditional as traditional can be. Another song Mensy wrote was the Shenandoah hit “Mama Knows.”
    Vince Gill – “Let Her In”
    Surprisingly not a single off of Vince’s fine –if underrated –album ¬“The Key,” “Let Her In” features a strong lyric that feels like it was inspired by Amy Grant while also showcasing stellar traditional country music instruments and Vince Gill’s beautiful voice. Such a great song still, 12-13 years after I first heard it.
    Delta Goodrem – “The Guardian”
    I’m the guardian, I am the soul protector, all I have has been abused. I won’t let love do me in again, I can’t just run to the light or the fire and jump in, risk a poison kiss just to have my thirst unquenched again, let love do me in.”
    This may one of the best power ballads that hasn’t fallen into the hands of the rafter rasining vocal divas in America. It’s something that easily could be sung by Faith Hill, Martina or a pop diva like Leona Lewis or Celine Dion. It’s a ballad that seems to get better with each listen. It’s a shame it was lopped off of the USA release Of Goodrem’s “Delta” album.
    Chuck Cannon – “Strange”
    This is fun little ditty from Cannon and it made its way to Randy Houser for his “Anything Goes” album. I still like this version from Cannon’s own “Love and Money” album better. I also can’t recommend Cannon’s “God Shaped Hole” album enough either.

  16. 1. Allison Moorer – “A Soft Place To Fall” – Alabama Song – 1998

    Quite possibly the best debut single of any artist from the 90’s. Why this one never caught on I’ll never understand.

    2. Joey+Rory – “The Life Of A Song” – The Life Of A Song – 2008

    The title track of their debut album, it’s about how the singer wishes she could be a song cause they have such a lasting impact on the world.

    3. Kathleen Edwards – “Independant Theif” – Back To Me – 2005

    Never was sure how to read this one to tell the truth but it’s a great sounding song from a really great artist.

    4. Tift Merritt – “Virginia, No One Can Warn You” – Bramble Rose – 2002

    Much like “Independant Theif” it’s just a great Americana song that really needs to be heard.

    5. Brooks & Dunn – “Again” – Hillbilly Deluxe – 2005

    They had two slow ballads on the album and while they went with “Believe” and had many awards for it, “Again” is not only a better vocal and lyric, but a better song overall.

    6. Emily West – “New Girlfriend” – Her Myspace – 2008

    “It could be worse, I could be her, your new girlfriend” is a song much in the same vein as Carrie’s “Before He Cheats” but this is more happy, and imo better for it.

    7. Lisa Brokp – “You Already Drove Me There” – Every Little Girls Dream – 1996

    “I don’t need this house / So you keep the keys / I won’t need that rug / won’t be down on my knees / I packed up this heart / and I’m moving across town / to the arms of someone who cares / And I don’t need the car / you already drove me there” beautifuly sad.

    8. Deana Carter – “The Girl You Left Me For” – The Story Of My Life – 2005

    Deana at her least country sure, but this is a great song about still wanting to be with someone, even if it means not being yourself.

    9. Emma Jacob – “Julianna” – 2,232 Miles – 2009

    An advice song from a very gifted young vocalist, sounds like a mix between Martina McBride and Taylor Swift.

    10. Shannon Brown – “Why” – Corn Fed – 2006

    Sure everybody knows Jason Aldean’s version, but it sounds different from the other view, would’ve made for a great duet.

    one for good luck…

    11. Allison Iraheta – “Scars” – Just Like You – 2009

    The rocker of American Idol season 9, a beautiful ballad written by P!nk, about everybody has scars.

  17. Kelly Clarkson, “Beautiful Disaster”- Although I think Kelly has a fantastic voice, she (and her label) often make the mistake of chosing singles that are nothing more than enjoyable ear candy. With this song, Kelly shows that she can pair killer vocals with a stellar lyric and give a fantastic result. Plus, it’s live, so there is no autotune, screaming, straining or overdubbing here. Kelly can come up with magic when given the right material.

    Kelly Clarkson, “Cry”- Another well-written ballad that really shows her skill as an interpeter and vocalist, which is too often overshadowed by some of her more popular songs.

    Christina Aguliera, “The Voice Within-” This woman probably has the best voice the pop industry has ever heard, in my opinion. There’s something about this song’s message that strikes a chord with so many, and Christina’s emotional delivery is chillingly accurate. Christina is criminally undderated, and with a performance like this it’s easy to see why.

    Carrie Underwood-“Flat On The Floor”- Although this song has a similar lyrical themes as several of her upbeat songs, this one manages to blend an intresting fuse of country, pop, and rock elements incredibly well, paired with clever lyrics and a convincing vocal, complete with sass, smarts, and even a few snarls.

    Carrie Underwood- “Someday When I Stop Loving You”- Although I’m a huge fan of pop-flavored country music, Carrie uses her talent best when going for a simple but beautiful song that shows off nothing but the incredible vocals and interpetive power that made her famous on Idol.

    Rascal Flatts- “He Ain’t The Leaving Kind- So many country artists seem to lend themselves to religious songs that are so simple, they become cliche by defult. Thus the songs lose the real meaning they’re trying too hard to convey. This song is simple, but compelling enough to let a simple but powerful message seep through.

    Rascal Flatts- “Like I Am-” This pairs a great love song with a vocal so emotional it seeps through the recording better than many songs in recent memory.

    Lady Gaga- “Speechless”- Under the flash and showmanship lies an emotive vocalist and sharp storyteller named Lady Gaga. Thus comes the story of Lady Gaga telling the story of having to witness the shock of almost of losing her father.

    The Wreckers, “Stand Still Look Pretty”- Few songs can tell about the perils and emptiness of fame in such a simple but extremely sharp way. “I am slowly falling apart, I wish you’d take a walk in my shoes for a start. You think it’s easy being me, you just stand still, look pretty.”

    Katherine McPhee- “Say Goodbye”- Although Katherine placed second to Taylor Hicks on American Idol, she never got the support she deserves as an artist. “Say Goodbye” tells the emotional story of hiding pain over a loss so it “won’t hurt so much when we say goodbye. One of the most emotional vocals I’ve heard in a long time, and Katherine is an underated vocalist.

  18. 1. Martha Byrne: “The Other Side,”
    -The former As The World Turns released an album in the early 2000s, and this deliciously good track has kept me hooked on this song, and has elevated to one of my essential favorites.

    2. S Club 7: “Never Had A Dream Come True”
    -This BritPop group released this song in their peak, it remains one of my favorite songs of theirs.

    3. Terri Clark [ft. Sara Evans, Martina McBride, & Reba McEntire]: “Nashville Girls”
    -This collaboration is one of the guilty pleasures of mine, it is an awesome infusion of some of the strongest female voices of the late 90s to early 00s.

    4. Shania Twain: “Ka-Ching!”
    -This was only a real single in Europe (and relativly unheard mostly in the US), so I guess it counts on this list. It was one of the first Twain singles to captivate me to her Up! album, which I would come to love.

    5. Lee Ann Womack: “The Healing Kind”
    -One of my favorites from Womack’s I Hope You Dance album, her emotion in her voice is so strong.

    6. Dixie Chicks: “Bitter End”
    -I LOVE this song, the emotion in it, and how it is a celebration of ‘BFFs’ even though we may be far apart. Especially relevant at this point in my life. And who doesn’t love the Chicks?

    7. Carrie Underwood: “Lessons Learned”
    -Underwood’s Some Hearts may have been more pop-leaning rather than country, but it had some great songs (like this) that showcased her brilliant voice, which we’d come to know as a common association with some of this past decade’s best country music.

    8. Lady Antebellum: “Long Gone”
    -This song is one of my favs from the trio’s debut album, Scott’s voice shows great intensity.

    9. Jennifer Hudson: “Can’t Stop The Rain”
    -I LOVED Hudson’s debut album, and this song was one of my favs on the album. She just has an amazing voice. Shows that you don’t need to win Idol to WIN.

    10. Dolly Parton: “Sugar Hill”
    -I just love Parton. :)
    (From her Halos And Horns album).

  19. @Zack
    You’ve got some good stuff! I also have “Bitter End” among the hidden treasures on my iPod, and I love that song to death.

    It seems like the awesome treasures on Shania’s “Up!” album might not be so well hidden after all, since they’re showing up on so many people’s lists (including mine).

    I’ll have to check out “Nashville Girls.” I’ve never heard of it, but I would think that getting all those talented ladies together could only result in something awesome.

  20. 1. Dixie Chicks- So Hard

    The tale of the struggle of becoming pregnant when all you desire is family and the toll it takes on a relationship. Great song

    2. Please- Pam Tillis

    Underrated artist even more underrated song.

    3.Whiskey Won the Battle- Ashton Shepard

    If I could sing and if i was female- THIS would be my American Idol audition song.

    4. Chely Wright- What If I Can’t Say No Again

    Tale of a love that you know is just bad for you and those late night what if’s. Almost like a one sided Lady A’s Need you Now but something I never grow tired of listening to.

    5. Deana Carter- Make Up Your Mind

    Deana you will always be Strawberry Wine but your second album was outstanding.

    6. Holly Williams- Mama

    Both of this young woman’s albums are amazing. This song speaks volumes for her mother.

    7. Remain- Jennifer Nettles Band

    Yes a GA boy here who has followed Jennifer Nettles before the glitz and glam of country and Sugarland.

    8. Story of Your Bones- Jennifer Nettles Band

    Yes a repeat, I love her older material. The soul that lies in the voice and the amazing songwriting just makes me fall in love (and forgive her for Down in Mississippi….)

    9. Men and Mascara- Julie Roberts

    Yes I know it was released but it tanked and I have always thought country audiences were just missing out on the wonderful voice that is Julie Roberts.

    10. You Should Have Lied- Lee Ann Womack

    On the much maligned follow up to I Hope You Dance, Womack hit the nail on the head to the question is it always better to tell the truth?

  21. So many great songs already listed that I love —

    1. Die by my own hand – Half way to Hazard

    I really like these guys and they have some really good songs – something about the lyrics hit me.

    2. Love her and lose me – Heidi Newfield

    Something about this song touchs me. The wronged woman but just hopes it is what he dreamed about.

    3. The Questionairre – Tracy Lawrence

    Short to the point.

    4. Maryann’s Song – Trick Pony

    Coming from a very traditional family, this song touchs me, because I miss the traditions and I like that this song touchs on these. Love the intro by Kristofferson.

    5. If I don’t Make it Back – Tracy Lawrence

    I actually think this song was released but this song is amazing and deserves more listens.

    6. He Aint Coming Back – Ashley Monroe

    I think every woman has had a break up that they feel this way – and she sings this song with such emotion.

    7. A night to remember – SheDaisy

    I love this song – sounds like something I would so do….

    8. She Told Me So – George Strait

    Such a tongue in cheek song, but such a good George song.

    9. Fear of Flying – Shelly Fairchild

    I love the way the song equates flying with love, and I wish Shelly had been given a better chance on radio.

    10. You’re Still Here – The Kinleys

    Something about the fact that the fact that an ex is always still with you. Always did like the Kinleys.

  22. 1. I Got It Bad – LeAnn Rimes
    LeAnn shows off an edgier, rockier side on this album track from “This Woman”.

    2. Same Old Fool – Dolly Parton
    Campy and hilariously dated disco-pop that still brings a smile to my face every time I hear it.

    3. All I’ve Ever Wanted – Mariah Carey
    A gorgeous ballad from Mariah’s vocal peak.

    4. Roses – Mary J. Blige
    From Mary’s “Growing Pains” album. Has a great vocal, and a creative pistol cracking sound in the background.

    5. Getting Over You – Deana Carter
    From her excellent and overlooked 2005 album “The Story Of My Life”. This featured some of her best songwriting, and this song is no exception.

    6. Soulmate – Josh Turner
    One of the few songs where Josh’s material is on par with his voice.

    7. She Never Stopped Loving Him – Patty Loveless
    From her underrated “Strong Heart” set. Arguably her best vocal ever.

    8. Don’t Forget Your Way Home – Reba
    The album closer to her album “Have I Got A Deal For You”, this melancholy ballad was always one of my favorite Reba songs.

  23. I somehow clicked Submit by accident; here are the last two:

    9. Mr. Pain – The Judds
    One of the earliest songs to demonstrate Naomi’s excellent songwriting chops. Wynonna’s vocal is as usual, spot on.

    10. The Boy Back Home – Linda Davis
    The story of Linda’s career is a tragedy, which is a real shame as she had a great voice and a knack for picking great songs like this one.

  24. Wheel of the World- Carrie Underwood
    This Time- Carrie Underwood
    Someday When I Stop Loving You- Carrie Underwood
    Get Out Of This Town- Carrie Underwood

  25. I saw “Hidden Treasures” and thought this was just about naming songs on albums you really like that were never released as singles. Sorry, I didn’t read through the directions before posting. You would think I would have noticed all these posts had 10 songs listed lol. Anyway, those are some of my top favorite Carrie songs that were not released as singles in case anyone is at all interested.

  26. …ten more:

    just passing time – dwight yoakam
    happiness – lee ann womack
    a cowboy and a dancer – tracy byrd
    la to the moon – linda davis
    if hell had a jukebox – travis tritt
    have a nice day – mindy mccready
    writing on the wall – george strait
    cowboy bill – garth brooks
    we’ve tried everything else – michelle wright
    lefty’s gone – george strait

  27. 1. Thriving Ivory-Alien
    2. Police- Every Breath You Take
    3. Taylor Swift- Teardrops On My Guitar
    4. Joe Dee Messina- Silver Thunderbird
    5. Lonestar- Front Porch Looking In
    6. Sugarland- All I Want to Do
    7. Shania Twain- You’re Still the One
    8. Duffy- Hanging On Too Long
    9. Eskimo Joe- Childhood Behavior
    10. Carter Burwell- Bella’s Lullaby

    Some are new, but some are pretty random. Either way, I love shuffle!

  28. John Mayer – “Free Fallin”
    This is a live cover of the Tom Petty classic. It may be slightly blasphemous, but I prefer John’s remake. His interpretation just works better for me.

    Martina McBride – “Love Land”
    Easily the best track from Waking Up Laughing. This is the Martina I like. It has a hopeful message, but it tells a great story along the way.

    Kelly Clarkson – “Addicted”
    This track should have been the fifth single from Breakaway. It’s one of Kelly’s best songs to date and definitely one of her best vocals. The bridge is just to die for.

    Lee Ann Womack – “Either Way”
    Lee Ann tells her man to stay or go, it doesn’t matter, because she won’t love him either way. Ouch. Fantastic song, though.

    George Strait and Patty Loveless – “House of Cash”
    I really wish that this would’ve been the third single from Troubadour instead of “River of Love.” This song has much more heft and probably would have performed well on the charts.

    Adele – “Hometown Glory”
    This was never released in the USA, so it counts right? It’s an absolutely beautiful song. This is what every song about being proud of your roots should strive to be. Adele’s haunting delivery just makes the song.

    Rob Thomas – “Wonderful”
    The big band sound really suits the Matchbox 20 frontman. This song is anything but boring. The production and vocals keep this in your head all day long.

    Sara Bareilles – “Gravity”
    This song is beautiful. It’s really the only way I can describe it. I didn’t know how much vocal ability Sara had until I heard this song. She has quite a range and a lot of power.

    Reba McEntire – “All Dressed Up (With Nowhere to Go)”

    This was always my favorite from the For My Broken Heart album.

    Paramore – “All I Wanted”
    It’s not much lyrically, but vocally it’s very convicting.

  29. So, not a ton of country here, but here I go:

    1. “The Bees” by Lee Ann Womack
    -With harmonies by Keith Urban, this is a fantastic story song.

    2. “Love Profound” by Little Big Town
    -A celebradion of the deepness of love, very great harmonies as always.

    3. “I Wish I Was The Moon” by Neko Case
    -A great song after a long, hard day.

    4. “Oh, Maker” by Janelle Monae
    -She combines folk, R&B and gospel, SOMEHOW. I highly recommend her album, The ArchAndroid.

    5. “A&E” by Goldfrapp
    -A hit in England, but not here. One of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard and wonderful imagery.

    6. “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)” by Florence + the Machine
    -Harp? Yeah, she’s that cool.

    7. “Play On” by Carrie Underwood
    -My favorite from her new album.

    8. “Everybody’s Here” by Brad Paisley
    -This song made me a fan of Brad. Should be a single, for sure.

    9. “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart” by Alicia Keys
    -Probably in my top 10 of R&B songs, should have been a much bigger hit.

    10. “Gravity” by Alison Krauss & Union Station

  30. Here’s a few more:

    “Heart Like Mine”- Miranda Lambert
    “Virginia Bluebell”- Miranda Lambert
    “Bleeding Love”- Leona Lewis
    “Wheel Of The World”- Carrie Underwood
    “What Can I Say”- Carrie Underwood
    “Oh Love- Brad Paisely ft. Carrie Underwood
    “Things That Matter”- Rascal Flatts

  31. 1) “Easy From Now On”, Miranda Lambert
    Miranda does wonderful job with this bittersweet gem.

    2) “Chinese”, Lily Allen
    A sweet song about just wanting to have spend some time with a loved one without doing anything special.

    3) “White Trash Wedding”, Dixie Chicks
    Not my favorite song off of Home, but such a fun and catchy song. Love it’s sound.

    4) “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”, Miranda Lambert
    Miranda at her trashiest.

    5) “Makes Me Wanna Pray”, Christina Aguilera feat. Steve Winwood
    Not one of my favorites by her, but my god she can sing!

    6) “Snowblind”, Rob Thomas
    A touching snog about a troubled relationship, but they refuse to give up just yet.

    7) “As If By Magic”, La Roux
    La Roux is honestly just the coolest thing out there right now, this song is no exception.

    8) “Burn This Disco Out”, Michael Jackson
    A great track off his fantastic Off The Wall album. There’s an innocence to it that disappeared from Jackson’s music after Thriller.

    9) “Desperation” Miranda Lambert
    Okay well Miranda keeps popping up on shuffle tonight. Great song, once again it shows Miranda’s sensitvie side, definetly one of my favorite’s by her.

    10) “Take Me As I Am”, Sugarland
    Sigh, Love On The Inside had so many missed single oppertunities. This is one of them. It has some of that “Something More” spirit in it and Jennifer’s voice soars on the chorus.

  32. 1. DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?–Elvis Presley
    Really heartfelt but not overwrought ballad originally from the Memphis part of the King’s 1969 double-LP FROM MEMPHIS TO VEGAS/FROM VEGAS TO MEMPHIS.

    2. SHE’S A VERY LOVELY WOMAN–Linda Ronstadt
    Never released on an album until October 2009, when Australian import label Raven put it at the end of the single CD that otherwise combined Linda’s first two albums (1969’s HAND SOWN, HOME GROWN; 1970’s SILK PURSE). Originally released as a single only by Capitol in January 1971.

    3. SIX MORE DAYS OF RAIN–Tift Merritt
    A track from Tift’s new album SEE YOU ON THE MOON, this is a perfect example of why Tift is, for me, the finest female singer to come around in recent times–a wonderful combination of her own singer/songwriter gifts and old-school country-rock.

    4. IT’S YOUR WORLD NOW–The Eagles
    The final track on the second CD of their 2007 magnum opus LONG ROAD OUT OF EDEN, this passing-of-the-torch-to-a-new-generation song has a decidedly Mexican influence to it. If EDEN was this group’s last recording, then it’s a wholly appropriate “Adios.”

    I’m not much on teen idols, but here Mandy sounds very grown up and spunky on this track from her 2009 album AMANDA LEIGH, sounding at times very much like Linda Ronstadt from 1977.

    6. HAD IT ALL–Katharine McPhee
    She may have finished second to Taylor Hicks on “American Idol”, but this track from her most recent album UNBROKEN shows that she has a lot of staying power as a vocalist.

    7. AIN’T NO SON–The Court Yard Hounds
    The sister two-thirds of the Dixie Chicks hit hard with this swipe against homophobic behavior. Starts out almost as bluegrass, but then develops an ominous rock drive to it.

    8. FAREWELL TO CHEYENNE–Ennio Morricone
    Jaunty theme that Morricone composed as accompaniment to the roguish bandit Cheyenne (Jason Robards) in director Sergio Leone’s masterful 1969 western epic ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST. The film itself is a must-see for anyone with a taste for Westerns.

    9. ABALONE SKY–Allison Moorer
    Fine, minor-key, piano-based ballad that opens her recent album CROWS.

    10. STRANGER IN MY OWN HOME TOWN–Elvis Presley
    Another track from the King’s 1969 Memphis recording sessions, this version of the Percy Mayfield blues standard is done by Elvis and the session boys under producer Chips Moman’s aegis with incredible gusto

  33. He Gets That From Me-Reba(a single, but not a real big hit)
    Something Bout A Woman-Lady Antebellum
    The Bridge You Burn-Reba
    The More Boys I Meet-Carrie Underwood
    Drives Me Crazy-Dolly Parton
    She’s Not Just a Pretty Face-Shania Twain (Was this a single or not?)
    I’ll Have What She’s Having-Reba
    Somebody’s Everything-Dolly Parton
    That’s Important To Me-Joey and Rory
    All We Are-Sugarland

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