Tuesday, July 17, 2012

In the country

I have taken a break from country music for a while, but it always seems to creep back out during the summer time. There's just something about the warm weather that makes me want to blast country music while I'm driving with the windows rolled down -- and lately, I've been doing just that.

If you don't already go to Amazon to get your music, start now. Every week for the past month, they've been running specials on albums for $2.99, and I hit the jackpot on Saturday with their country albums. Not only did I get the new Zac Brown Band album, "Uncaged," I also bought Hunter Hayes' self-titled debut album and Miranda Lambert's "Revolution," which I've been eying for a while. I have been grinning from ear to ear since then when I listen to my iPod.

A curious thing happened when I copied the files to iTunes and then to my playlist. When the albums transferred, they transferred with the song order backwards, and this has turned out to be fantastic. Have you ever listened to an album backwards? I highly recommend it. Not only do the songs at the end get more attention, but you keep working toward the very best songs on the album, since they're always at the beginning and in the middle.

Anyway, if you like country music and you're looking for some new songs to listen to, here are a few of my favorites:

  • "Rain On a Tin Roof" by Little Big Town. I LOVE this band, and this is one of my new favorites by them. It's got a beautiful melody and four-part harmonies. I promise you'll love it. If you want an entire album, go with "The Road to Here." It's fabulous.
  • "Sweet Annie" by Zac Brown Band. Honestly, the entire "Uncaged" album is great, but this song just gets to me. The chorus is "Can I stay with you awhile/'cause this road's been puttin' miles on my heart, sweetheart." GAH. You had me at "sweetheart," ZBB. Love this song!
  • "Goodbye in Her Eyes" by Zac Brown Band. From the same album as "Sweet Annie," this song has amazing lyrics and tight harmonies. Zac Brown is just awesome. Buy any of his albums and you won't be disappointed.
  • "Storm Warning" by Hunter Hayes. Oh, man! This 20-year-old is like a breath of fresh air in country music, and the first song on his album is as addictive as peanut M&Ms to me. Seriously. I have listened to this song so many times since I bought it. His voice is similar to Gary LeVox's, the lead singer of Rascal Flatts, but it's bluesy and smooth like Dave Barnes' voice (whom I also recommend). This song will make you happy, and you'll want to crank it while you're driving.
  • "White Liar" by Miranda Lambert. Miranda Lambert's voice is very distinctive and has a cool edge to it. I like this song a lot just for the melody and the power in her voice. I will warn you, though, this one is more "country" than the other songs. So if you don't like twang, I would steer clear of most of her songs.
  • "The House That Built Me" by Miranda Lambert. This is Miranda Lambert's least country song, and it has a beautiful sentiment. You've probably heard it on the radio, but I love the melody of it and the way she sings it. I'd love to cover it on the guitar if I ever got good enough with chords.

I am a happy camper with all of this great country music to keep me company at work and in the car. What's in your playlist lately?

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