Josh’s Jukebox Journal — Country Hits: 2006

Once upon a time there was a popular feature on this blog called The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music and it’s sister feature The Past Pulse of Mainstream Country Music. It was an enjoyable feature for both you and I, before I decided to take a hiatus from blogging. My own enjoyment of the feature had waned, but I’ve wanted to return to a feature like this ever since.

Kyle over at Kyle’s Korner Blog took over the torch for The Current Pulse and is doing a fantastic job with it, so please go check it out if you haven’t done so. But I was wanting to do a Past Pulse. Unfortunately as I’ve discovered, Billboard has become greedy and decided to lock past charts behind a paywall. Quite an asinine decision in my view. So with this stupid decision by Billboard, I obviously can’t do The Past Pulse. But that sent me down the idea rabbit hole and I got to thinking how I could re-adapt the Past Pulse into something new. Combined with another feature idea I had been tinkering with, I’ve come up with Josh’s Jukebox Journal.

Josh’s Jukebox Journal is a brand new feature on the blog that will be similar to The Current Pulse of Mainstream Country Music, but with a twist. Rather than rely on past charts from Billboard instead I will look at playlists. This could be from any genre, from any year, past or present, various artists or just one artist. I will run through the playlist giving a thumbs up (let it play), shrug (essentially playlist filler) or a thumbs down (skip it). The best song will get two thumbs up and the worst will get two thumbs down. At the end I will give a grade for the quality of the playlist. These playlists can come from any of the streaming services (preferably Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube).

This feature won’t have a set day or time of when it releases. It will essentially be when I want to do one. And of course I want to hear playlist ideas for future versions of Josh’s Jukebox Journal in the comments! Today I will take a look at the Apple Music playlist Country Hits: 2006…

    • Rodney Atkins – “If You’re Going Through Hell” 👎
    • Rascal Flatts – “What Hurts the Most”🤷
    • Josh Turner – “Your Man” 👍
    • Carrie Underwood – “Jesus, Take the Wheel” 👍
    • Jennifer Nettles & Bon Jovi – “Who Says You Can’t Go Home”🤷
    • Brad Paisley – “When I Get Where I’m Going (feat. Dolly Parton)” 👍
    • Jason Aldean – “Why”🤷
    • Kenny Chesney – “Summertime”🤷
    • Phil Vassar – “Last Day of My Life” 👍
    • LeAnn Rimes – “Something’s Gotta Give”🤷
    • George Strait – “She Let Herself Go”🤷
    • Jack Ingram – “Wherever You Are” 👍
    • The Wreckers – “Leave the Pieces” 👍
    • Kenny Chesney – “Living In Fast Forward” 👍
    • Brad Paisley – “The World” 👍
    • Carrie Underwood – “Before He Cheats” 👍
    • Trace Adkins – “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” 👎👎
    • Rascal Flatts – “My Wish (10th Anniversary)” 👎
    • Blake Shelton – “Nobody But Me” 👍
    • Dierks Bentley – “Settle for a Slowdown” 👍👍
    • Steve Holy – “Brand New Girlfriend” 👍
    • Josh Turner – “Would You Go With Me” 👍
    • Little Big Town – “Bring It On Home” 👍
    • Sugarland – “Want To” 👍
    • Toby Keith – “Get Drunk and Be Somebody” 👎

Thumbs up: 15
Shrugs: 6
Thumbs down: 4

Grade: 7/10

This is a pretty solid playlist (until you see a lot of the songs missing I list below that I would have added and then you’re going to get angry like me). I was actually a little surprised, but then as I listened to it more not so much because I remember every single one of these songs vividly. I was 14/15 years old when these songs were popular and this was when my brother and I would watch the CMT music video countdown show every week. So I definitely got some nostalgia running through this playlist. And I can’t get over how much mandolin was allowed on country radio back then!

So many great songs to choose from for the best. Josh Turner was absolutely on fire during this time. I really enjoyed Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley’s material at that time too. Underwood of course just released her debut album and it’s arguably still her best record. Paisley helped Dolly get another hit and that’s always great. But I had to go with Dierks Bentley’s “Settle For a Slowdown” from the excellent Modern Day Drifter album. The ominous and dark atmosphere created by the guitars and the descriptive lyricism that so perfectly lays out the longing heartbreak taking place in the song made me choose it as best.

Not a lot of bad songs to choose from on this playlist, which is nice of course. I enjoyed all of Rodney Atkins biggest hits at first, including the one above, but thank country radio and grocery stores for overplaying them to the point I cringe when I hear them. I don’t mind Rascal Flatts’ “My Wish,” but for some bizarre reason they put a flat and bad 10th anniversary version on this playlist. Long-time readers know how I feel about post-9/11 Toby Keith. But picking Trace Adkins’ “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” as the worst was a slam dunk choice. This song was everywhere, well rather the remix version, which I’m surprised isn’t what was chosen for this playlist. It’s an annoying novelty song that will only age worse with time. (That I’ll also admit that teenager me loved at the time)

Songs I Would Have Added to the Playlist

  • Billy Currington – “Must Be Doin’ Somethin’ Right” (Currington was so good during this time and his omission is bad)
  • Dierks Bentley – “Every Mile a Memory”
  • Brooks & Dunn – “Believe”
  • Little Big Town – “Boondocks” (A cult classic!)
  • George Strait – “Give It Away” (How in the hell was this not on the playlist, yet the sleepy Strait hit was chosen?!?)
  • Emerson Drive – “A Good Man”
  • Eric Church – “How ‘Bout You” (Not a single Church song on the playlist is criminal!)
  • Kenny Rogers – “I Can’t Unlove You” (Rest in peace Mr. Rogers. Also people forget this was a top 20 song for him in 2006 and definitely worthy of this playlist)
  • Gary Allan – “Life Ain’t Always Beautiful” (Why was this not on the playlist either?!)
  • Alan Jackson – “Like Red on a Rose” (I’m just getting more angry at what was not on this playlist)
  • Jack Ingram – “Love You”
  • Van Zant – “Nobody Gonna Tell Me What to Do”
  • Eric Church – “Two Pink Lines” (Incredible song!)
  • Keith Urban – “Once in a Lifetime”
  • George Strait – “The Seashores of Old Mexico”
  • Joe Nichols – “Size Matters (Someday)”
  • Tim McGraw – “When the Stars Go Blue” (Not a single McGraw song on the playlist, especially not this one?! Come on)
  • Billy Currington – “Why, Why, Why”
  • Jake Owen – “Yee Haw”
  • Kenny Chesney – “You Save Me” (Take the two songs he has on the playlist and replace them with just this one, his best hit of the year)

Be sure to weigh-in with your thoughts on the playlist and what you would have added to the playlist too below!

5 thoughts on “Josh’s Jukebox Journal — Country Hits: 2006

  1. Hannah Johnson March 27, 2020 / 1:12 pm

    I agree with Josh that it really sucks that Billboard has made the decision to require a (as far as I know) paid subscription in order to access their charts. It’s good for their business, but still, I see it as coming off as very arrogant.

    I’ll disagree here with Josh’s assessment on Rodney Atkins’s “If You’re Going Through Hell”. I can see why it might not be someone’s cup of tea, but I’ll admit the production and Rodney’s performance are likeable enough, even though the lyrics kinda teeter towards the cheesy side. The fiddle and electric guitar play also help improve the song in my ears.

    “Settle for a Slowdown” is currently my favorite song from Dierks, tied with “I Hold On”. Even though his 2016 album was kinda bad (*cough* Somewhere on a Beach and Different for Girls), I did enjoy his 2018 album “The Mountain”. I think that Dierks Bentley still has the talent and potential to create good songs like “Settle for a Slowdown” and “Riser”. One of the things that makes his music enjoyable is his charisma and his voice, which makes his delivery very convincing (and makes even his worst songs sound somewhat passable).

    Even the song has become an internet meme, I still unironically enjoy Josh Turner’s “Your Man”. Of course, his baritone is one of the things that makes his music sound so good. As for the Jennifer Nettles and Bon Jovi song, it’s a pretty middle-of-the-road song, but I still prefer the original version. I still enjoy Jack Ingram’s “Wherever You Are” because of how relatable the song is. To me, it’s sort of the prequel to Chris Young’s “I’m Comin’ Over” (both songs I enjoy). Eric Church’s “Two Pink Lines” is also a really good song also because of how relatable it is. Church’s songwriting makes the song better than it already is, especially on how he focuses on specific details (such as his description of himself and his ex). It’s still something that to this day makes for great Eric Church music.

    On the other hand, I absolute hate “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” and “Get Drunk and Be Somebody”, and both of those songs wholeheartedly deserve the thumbs down Josh gave them. In my opinion, those two songs were the first examples of bro-country. Although “Like Red on a Rose” was one of Jackson’s weaker album, it was still a nice listen. It really sucks that Jackson’s last couple of singles flopped, with his last single “The Older I Get” (a solidly written song) failing to chart at all.

    RIP to Kenny Rogers, BTW. I’d easily put “I Can’t Unlove You” up there with any of his more obviously well-known hits like “The Gambler” or “We’ve Got Tonight”. I really love the fiddle play at the beginning of the song.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh March 27, 2020 / 1:53 pm

      Thanks for weighing in Hanna! I agree the charisma of Dierks is one of the things that makes him so appealing because as you said it even helps his worst songs sound passable. I didn’t know “Your Man” was a meme, but yes Josh Turner’s baritone is fantastic. Very few have this quality of baritone in country music and that’s why Turner to this day has a lot of loyal fans.


  2. Zackary Kephart March 27, 2020 / 1:16 pm

    I like this idea! It’s loose, fun and takes the edge off things – those are usually elements I strive for with my own features, haha. I figured you were either tinkering with the Pulse or the Hodgepodge!

    Anyway, we’re only a few years apart for the nostalgia factor (mine is basically anything from, like, 2007-10), so I definitely know what you mean by that. My personal favorite here is probably Brad and Dolly’s song followed closely by Dierks (though “Would You Go with Me” is another favorite, even if I can acknowledge it’s not “amazing” by any stretch, it works for what it is). Oddly enough I’ve never heard the LeAnn Rimes song or the Toby Keith one, though I don’t disagree with many picks here.

    It’s weird to think how many artists were just starting out around this time and how many are still left “in the game,” for lack of a better term. Then there’s acts like the Wreckers and Ingram who were poised to be bigger and then just … didn’t really meet those expectations. Also, I miss when Brad Paisley was a bigger force in the mainstream. Also love all the missing songs you mentioned!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh March 27, 2020 / 2:10 pm

      Thanks man! And haha you know me well! You said it best. This is something light and fun that I really enjoy doing and look forward to doing more of.

      I can definitely understand the Brad and Dolly pick. I’ve come to appreciate that song even more with time. Time Well Wasted has so many good songs. I understand what you mean with “Would You Go with Me,” as I’ve always enjoyed it. For me it’s that soaring feeling created by the instrumentation that makes it so appealing. And plus it has kind of a different feel being paired with the deep voice of Turner, who you wouldn’t normally imagine with this lighter sound.

      Yeah it’s crazy how many were fresh faced and new. Now they’re mainstays and/or on the way out. It was definitely a transitional period, as post 9/11 country was faded, the Dixie Chicks were out, Taylor Swift hadn’t even come on the scene yet and checklist country would arrive a few years later. This was also still when people bought CDs. I still have my Jack Ingram CD haha. But yeah I wish both of those acts had gotten bigger.

      And I miss Brad Paisley being a bigger force too. I hope he just focuses on putting out the best albums since radio won’t play him now. Personally I would like to see him try his hand at a concept album similar to Marty Stuart’s Way Out West.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Zackary Kephart March 27, 2020 / 2:19 pm

        I’d love to hear that from Brad too. Honestly, though, I think “Accidental Racist” has made him steer clear of anything too “out there,” which is a shame because, for as bad as that song, the lesson wasn’t “don’t experiment,” it was just … you know, don’t do it badly, haha. Hopefully he realizes this one day.

        Liked by 1 person

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