Derek’s Top 10 Country & Americana Songs – September 2015

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As I’ve pretty much come to expect with each month, September has brought us some great country music releases. Red Dirt bands from Oklahoma, country legends, rockstars and more all contributed to a great month of country music.

Disclaimer: due to George Strait’s Cold Beer Conversation’s limited release availability, I haven’t had the chance to purchase or even listen to it yet. Unfortunately, that means I can’t include his music on this month’s list. I’m sorry for delivering an incomplete list, but I trust that my list would be adjusted to accommodate for a couple of Strait’s songs. With that said, I’m still able to fill out ten songs that still represent the best of September.

  1. “The Bird Hunters” by Turnpike Troubadours I have a hard time believing that this song would be moved from the top spot even with Strait’s inclusion. The Turnpike Troubadours absolutely deliver on this song from the soaring fiddles to Evan Felker’s vocal delivery. “The Bird Hunters” captivates you with its story and holds that attention throughout. Their new album is without a doubt a top-5 album for me this year and “The Bird Hunters” is probably a top-10 song for me this year as well.
  2. “When I Stop Dreaming” by Don Henley (feat. Dolly Parton) Don Henley and Dolly Parton harmonize together beautifully. This duet is a great addition to country’s many male-female collaborations. The instrumentation is fantastic and Dolly sounds great. Henley collaborated with many other country artists on Cass County but this duet with Dolly Parton takes the cake.
  3. “The Man in the Mirror (The Girl On the Plane)” by The Damn Quails This song intrigued right away as I listened to it. The lyrics of this break up tune are very well thought out and brilliantly delivered. The song’s production does a great job carrying the listener through the song with a fitting mood.
  4. “Easton & Main” by Turnpike Troubadours This is a re-release of a song from Turnpike’s debut album, but this new recording sounds even better. The Turnpike Troubadours do a great job with the musical delivery and the production of this song sets a great mood for a country dance number.
  5. “The Cost of Living” by Don Henley (feat. Merle Haggard) A song about the physical and emotional costs of living sung by two old, wise men is just about perfect. Haggard sounds excellent on this track, better even than some of the songs on Django and Jimmie if you ask me. Great lyrics and great production. This is the type of song everyone can relate t0.
  6. “You Still Get to Me” by Clint Black (feat. Lisa Hartman) Clint Black and his wife, Lisa Hartman Black, have a history of great love song duets and this one is no different. Their harmonies are still great, the mid-tempo production is well done, and the lyrics tell a story of long time lovers still feeling the passion and joy of love. It’s a familiar story not written or presented in a fluffy, cheesy way.
  7. “Song of Home” by The Damn Quails “Song of Home” is a beautiful song about a musician and his family. The production rises and falls in a way that helps the song move at a nice pace. It’s a great country music story song.
  8. “7 Oaks” by Turnpike Troubadours This is one of the most fun songs off their new, self-titled album. “7 Oaks” depicts the rough life of a farmer who has the government breathing down his neck for money. Before complying, the farmer burns down his house and ruins his land before moving onto an Indian Reservation to avoid this problem in the future. Fun, unique lyrics and good up-beat instrumentation.
  9. “Dead Bury the Dead” by The Legendary Shack Shakers The Southern Surreal is an album full of great, unique instrumentation on every track. “Dead Bury the Dead” is just one example of the band’s great guitar work. The vocal performance is worth noting as well.
  10. “Faster Than You Think” by The Damn Quails I was really impressed with The Damn Quails’ newest album.  Josh does a great job describing why “Faster Than You Think” is one of the noteworthy songs from the album: “It’s a song about the world changing around you faster than you think. Everything about this song is catchy, especially the songwriting. It’s well done and it’s easy to get stuck in your head.

Honorable Mentions:

  • “The Driver” by Charles Kelley (feat. Eric Paslay and Dierks Bentley)
  • “Long Drive Home” and “How Do You Fall Out of Love” by Turnpike Troubadours
  • “Waiting Tables” by Don Henley
  • “Oklahoma Blue” and “Out of the Birdcage” by The Damn Quails
  • “With a Straight Face” by Mac McAnally