With this publication, I’m starting a blog entirely dedicated to one of my passions, country music. It would have been quite unoriginal if I had been an American guy. But the fact is that I’m French and that France is not particularly a nation where country music is popular, unfortunately. Well, I wouldn’t be so wrong saying that French people know almost nothing about this genre. Luckily, Internet is here. Smartphone apps let me enjoy listening to my favorite genre from my city of Toulouse, in Southwestern France. And social networks let me share about this music on Twitter and Instagram (you can follow me at @countrymusicfr on Twitter and @countrymusicfrance on Instagram).
Of course, I will have the opportunity of explaining you how I came to country music, and why I love it so much, but for the moment, as the first week of 2018 is ending, I’d like to talk to you about 15 country songs of the past year that I loved to listen. Of course, it’s a very subjective choice I made between so many songs released in 2017, and it’s far from being exhaustive. The truth is that it was difficult for me to pick up only 15, because there were so much more that I wanted to share here.
I remember a musical journalist who made talk a “veteran country songwriter” on condition of anonymity in an article published on the last days of november 2016, and making him say that he was “trying to think of any country act that’s being brave right now“. I still wonder if this “veteran country songwriter” really exists or if he’s a fictional person invented to back the journalist’s point of view. For me, 2017 was a year of excellent country music and those 15 songs are only a little sample of this tremendous quality.
Spotify users will find, at the end of this article, a playlist including these 15 songs.
Oh… and the most important: happy new year 2018!
#15 Wildflower lane – Steven James & The Jaded
“Wildflower Lane“, released in october, is an awesome song of Steven James & The Jaded. South Texas band has a very typical sound, easily recognizable. This single represents it perfectly. And the music video is awesome!
If you like it, don’t forget to listen at the other excellent single of the band released in 2017, “Dance with me tonight“.
#14 Who I wanted you to be – Julia Hatfield
This song was released at the end of the year 2016 but it’s included in the 2017 album “Hopeless romantic”, that’s why it appears in this list of 2017 songs. Julia Hatfield is a very talented singer and this song is representative of her traditional country style. Young Texan artist will have a great future if she keeps on singing as she does it in this awesome single.
#13 It ain’t my fault – Brothers Osborne
Brothers Osborne is now one of the main country music duos and their style is very characteristic. First, I listened to this catchy song. Then, I watched the awesome music video. And… is it my fault if I love both?
#12 Everywhere – Mo Pitney
This is a very inspired and catchy song, with beautiful lyrics. Illinois native Mo Pitney released his first album, “Behind the guitar”, in october 2016 and the single “Everywhere” is probably the most representative of the style and the talent of this young artist.
#11 God and George Strait – Rich O’ Toole
“George and Jesus have always been my best friends”. Released in the summer of 2017, this song is a masterpiece. Beyond its impressive musical quality, lyrics is why I love it. Rich O’ Toole’s message is very powerful. Texan artist’s song is very inspired and its success is completely deserved.
#10 Broken Halos – Chris Stapleton
Chris Stapleton released two albums in 2017 and this single is the first song included in “From a room volume 1”. It’s an excellent song, very representative of Kentucky artist’s style.
#9 My old man – Zac Brown Band
It’s a magnificent song, nostalgic, probably the best tribute members of Zac Brown Band could give to their fathers. Lyrics are beautiful and the way Zac Brown perform it is just hearthbreaking.
#8 Day of the dead – Wade Bowen
My Colombian wife is a latin music lover as strong as I am a country music one. So, this song means a lot for me. Wade Bowen’s “Day of the dead” is probably a perfect musical description of what Tex Mex culture is and it’s another reason for me to praise Texas country music. All the song is perfectly written and the final part is a fantastic tribute to Mexico Mariachis. Thank you, Wade Bowen, to let people know more about what represent “Day of the dead” for Mexican people. And for those who like this song as much as me, you can also listen to the other excellent single of the album, Acuña.
#7 Tin man – Miranda Lambert
Miranda Lambert’s voice is more beautiful than ever in this inspired song. The way she performs it is unique. Heartbreaking!
#6 Bottle by my bed – Sunny Sweeney
I just can’t understand why country radios played this song so little. It’s perfectly written, very well performed and musically excellent. The theme of this song, which concerns all of us who can’t have a child, is sad, but the way Sunny Sweeney talks about it is beautiful. This song is another example of what is the essence of country music… and what should play country radios.
#5 Every little thing – Carly Pearce
The debut single of Kentucky native Carly Pearce is beautiful. Lyrics are very inspired but what makes this song awesome is the way Carly Pearce performs it. 2017 ended with Carly Pearce’s first album, and with such a beautiful voice we are waiting with impatience her future works.
#4 Country music’s dead – Mike and the Moonpies ft John Baumann
If you love country music, you will love this song. Musically, it’s the essence of the genre, with all those characteristic instruments we love to listen. Mike and the Moonpies and John Baumann made a song very catchy that remains in our mind long after we’ve heard it. If radios were playing this kind of song here in France, I wouldn’t need my TuneIn app and I would turn on inmediatly my old radio! No, country music’s not dead. It’s more alive than never with this awesome song! Oh, if you like it, listen also to the other single of the band released in 2017, “Beaches of Beloxi” which will be included in their future album, “Steak Night at the Prairie Rose”. With its typical 80’s sound, it’s awesome too!
#3 The Housefire – Turnpike Troubadours
This song is undoubtedly one of the best surprises of 2017. The entire album of Turnpike Troubadours is absolutely excellent, but “The Housefire” stands out particularly. If country music bands or singers sometimes forget the importance of the harmonica, it’s not the case of Evan Felker and the result is an incredible authenticity. Oklahoma band, with this kind of song, is able to reconciliate traditional country disciples and modern country lovers. Awesome song !
#2 Drinkin Problem – Midland
Well… what can I say about this song that hasn’t been said before? Drinkin problem deserved all the success it had all along the past year for its impressive quality, its lyrics, its music, its video, the way Midland perform it… Months after it was released, we have no problem listening to it more and more. Special message to those of my readers who live in another galaxy and didn’t hear about Midland: stop reading this and listen inmediatly to this song.
#1 She ain’t in it – Jon Pardi
I’m a great lover of “Head over boots” and I couldn’t think that there would be antoher single from Jon Pardi’s album “California Sunrise” that I’d love more. Well, I was wrong. I loved this song at the first time I listened to it and I still think it’s one of the best country music songs I’ve ever heard. That’s why I chose it to lead this list. It’s because of this kind of songs that I love country music and I created this blog. For its lyrics, its music, the way Jon Pardi sings it, it’s my very favorite song of 2017. Please, country radios, keep on playing the other singles of Californian artist if you want but never forget this one, that is the most representative of country music is and should be all the time.
Now waiting with impatience the music video!