What a great month for country music! I was absolutely blown away by the amount of quality music. There were numerous great albums and singles that kept this country music fan quite happy. Narrowing it down to ten songs proved to be challenge, but after much deliberation I’ve narrowed down my top ten country songs for January 2015. Onto the list!
- The Lone Bellow – “Cold As It Is” – There were a lot of great songs on the fantastic new album from The Lone Bellow, but this is the song I find myself playing the most. It’s the perfect blend of country, rock and blues. It’s impossible not to marvel at how great this song is. My favorite country song released in 2015 so far.
- Justin Townes Earle – “Call Ya Momma” – Without a doubt the standout from Earle’s new album Absent Fathers. Earle displays the perfect amount of emotion in his voice to draw the listener in. The bluesy country instrumentation is pretty great too. This song is a home run all-around.
- The Lone Bellow – “Then Came The Morning” – The opener and title track of The Lone Bellow’s new album will floor you upon first listen. The uplifting melody makes this a pretty good song. The harmonies, especially in the last quarter of the song make this a great song.
- Jamey Johnson – “Alabama Pines” – After going years without hearing any new non-holiday material, we finally got a new song from the Alabama artist in “Alabama Pines.” And it’s pretty damn good. It’s the first single off of his new upcoming album and if this is a precursor to it then we’re in for a potential album of the year candidate. Just imagine this is probably not even the best song off of it. To hear it click here.
- The Lone Bellow – “Marietta” – The Lone Bellow make up three of the top five spots in my top ten list. Not a surprise considering it’s the first candidate for Country Perspective’s 2015 Album of the Year. I connected with this stirring love ballad from the first listen. To me the trio perfectly captured the emotion of a love struck person trying to win back their love.
- Cody Jinks – “Cast No Stones” – I’ve been waiting for a while for a country song that tackles judgmental bible thumpers and Jinks delivered it to me. Mainstream country artists today wouldn’t have the balls to make a song like this and I would venture to say not a lot of independent artists would either. Too many would fear they’re alienating their fan base. This is one of the many great songs off his new Adobe Sessions album. Jinks also does a great job getting his message across, without it coming out the wrong way.
- Justin Townes Earle – “Day and Night” – This song immediately follows “Call Ya Momma” on Earle’s album. A tough act to follow, but this song is nearly just as good. This song is all about Earle’s voice guiding the story and the emotions involved. It’s a self-reflective story of how his former life and current life are night and day. Earle is celebrating his newfound happiness and I think all listeners can appreciate this.
- First Aid Kit – “Brother” – Surprise! I bet not too many of you were even aware of this song just being released. I didn’t either until I was randomly searching around the web. Turns out this song didn’t make the cut on First Aid Kit’s 2014 album Stay Gold and was only released as a bonus track on the Japanese version. It was just released this month along with “America” (which was only available before in vinyl) and two Stockholm Session recordings of “Stay Gold” and “My Silver Lining.” This song is dedicated to the sisters’ brother and it’s a really moving tribute. I can’t wait for their next album.
- Cody Canada & the Departed – “All Nighter” – For those who didn’t read about this song in my review of Cody Canada and the Departed’s new album HippieLovePunk, here’s what it’s about:The song deals with how life is short, so you should live it up and not be afraid to have fun. It should be noted Canada is joined on vocals by all four Braun brothers, Willy and Cody of Reckless Kelly, along with Micky and Gary of Micky & The Motorcars. The song is dedicated to Mark McCoy, a former bassist for the latter band who drowned to death in Idaho a few years ago. It’s a pretty cool tribute with a nice story behind it.
- Ryan Bingham – “Broken Heart Tattoos” – Rounding out the top ten is the emotional “Broken Heart Tattoos” from Ryan Bingham’s new album Fear and Saturday Night. I didn’t enjoy this album as much as others did, but I thought there were some pretty good songs off of it. I thought this one stood out the most. From Derek’s great review: “I hear a ton of Bob Dylan influence in Ryan Bingham on this album, and this song is particularly evident of that influence. Here, Bingham is singing to his child. Children are born into innocence, without worry and without pain at first. However, this song encourages, “take your sweet time and walk a straight line. And don’t you be shy of your wilder side or be afraid to let loose with broken heart tattoos.”