Derek’s Top 10 Country Songs – February 2015

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Two months into 2015, and we’ve had two months of great country music releases. I found February a bit easier to narrow down to ten song, but the music is still, nonetheless, fantastic. From singer songwriters to bands we have a multitude of country styles and songs. I have a diverse top ten list this month:

  1. “Jubilee” by Gretchen Peters – A beautiful song told from the point of view of someone on death’s bed. Reflecting back on what made life meaningful and looking onward with your head held high in acceptance, Peters knocks this one out of the park. “Jubilee” is not only, in my opinion, the best song off Blackbirds, but is also my favorite song of the month.
  2. “Out The Door” by The Mavericks – On an album chock full of energetic and unique productions, this song stands out with is old-school Doo-Wop melody. Even the more somber material of a broken love doesn’t bring down the fun groove of this song.
  3. “When All You Got is a Hammer” by Gretchen Peters – A rough song dealing with the horrors and anxiety that comes from PTSD. This song about a soldier returning home has great detailed writing with a nice, rocking beat that compliments the material well.
  4. “Slow Boat to China” by The Western Swing Authority – A love song about wanting to spend as much time as possible with the one you love. I applaud the band for taking an original approach to a love song. The vocals and melody shine on this track, not to mention a pleasing instrumental break in the song. My favorite off Now Playing.
  5. “Mutineer” by Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires – A love song told with pirate and maritime metaphors. What more can you ask for? I love the stripped down production of the song, and both vocal performances here are top-notch. The better offering off the two-song E.P Sea Songs.
  6. “What You Do to Me” by The Mavericks – Equally as fun and energetic as the other Mavericks’ song on this list, but a more light-hearted and positive love song.
  7. “52 Vincent Black Lightning” by Robert Earl Keen – This timeless song has been a favorite of mine ever since I first heard it a few years ago. An outlaw on a motorcycle falls for a girl, and leaves her his prized motorbike after his untimely death. A unique love story with great writing and rhyme schemes. Robert Earl Keen’s bluegrass rendition of Richard Thompson’s classic is well done here.
  8. “Blackbirds” by Gretchen Peters – The title track to Peters’ fantastic album cannot be overlooked. The intense guitar riffs combined with Gretchen Peters’ haunting vocal delivery and biting lyrics create a wonderfully dark, yet great murder ballad.
  9. Fence Post” by Aaron Watson – Songs that call out mainstream country are always a nice treat. The fearlessness and fun that Aaron Watson sings this song with are great. Watson is a true underdog, and he pulls no punches with this one. Plus, Watson does actual country spoken word on this song and not bogus R&B/Pop/Hip Hop spoken word.
  10. “Losing Side of Twenty Five” by American Aquarium – This is my favorite song off Wolves. As a man right around this age group, I like the way the story and life situations are presented in this song. It’s authentic and well told. Also, the guitar lick on this song is awesome.

That’s my top ten!  I’d love to hear some of your favorites from the month.

 

Billboard Top 25 Country Albums This Week [March 7]

Aaron Watson The Underdog

  1. Aaron Watson – The Underdog (Grade: 8/10)
  2. Sam Hunt – Montevallo  (Grade: 1/10)
  3. Steve Earle & The Dukes – Terraplane 
  4. Jason Aldean – Old Boots, New Dirt (Grade: 3/10)
  5. The Mavericks – Mono (Grade: 10/10)
  6. Florida Georgia Line – Anything Goes (Grade: 0/10)
  7. Carrie Underwood – Greatest Hits: Decade #1
  8. Luke Bryan – Crash My Party
  9. Chase Rice – Ignite the Night (Grade: 2/10)
  10. Miranda Lambert – Platinum
  11. Eric Church – The Outsiders
  12. Blackberry Smoke – Holding All The Roses
  13. Garth Brooks – Man Against Machine (Grade: 7.5/10)
  14. Brantley Gilbert – Just As I Am (Grade: 5/10)
  15. Zac Brown Band – Greatest Hits So Far…
  16. Blake Shelton – Bringing Back The Sunshine (Grade: 4/10)
  17. Cole Swindell – Cole Swindell
  18. George Strait – The Cowboy Rides Away: Live From AT&T Stadium
  19. Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (Grade: 10/10)
  20. Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me Soundtrack
  21. Robert Earl Keen – Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions 
  22. Kenny Chesney – The Big Revival (Grade: 4.5/10)
  23. Little Big Town – Pain Killer (Grade: 3/10)
  24. Lee Brice – I Don’t Dance (Grade: 5/10)
  25. Tim McGraw – Sundown Heaven Town (Grade: 7.5/10)

Notes:

  • Aaron Watson’s new album The Underdog debuts at #1 this week! It’s the first #1 album of his career, so congratulations to Watson on this big accomplishment.
  • Steve Earle & The Dukes enter the top country albums chart this week at #3 with their new album Terraplane.
  • The Mavericks also enter the chart with their new album Mono at #5.
  • Miranda Lambert’s Platinum fell five spots to #10 due to so many new arrivals.
  • Chase Rice’s Ignite The Night jumped up six spots into the top ten, making it the biggest gainer of the week.
  • Two albums tied for the biggest loser spot this week. Last week’s #1 Blackberry Smoke and their new album Holding All The Roses fell 11 spots to #12. Also Robert Earl Keen’s album Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions fell 11 spots to #21.
  • George Strait and his goodbye live album fell seven spots on the chart.
  • Kenny Chesney’s The Big Revival and Lee Brice’s I Don’t Dance each fell six spots.
  • Tim McGraw’s Sundown Heaven Town fell eight spots.
  • The fourth and final new arrival of the week is the Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me Soundtrack.

Source: Billboard

Billboard Top 25 Country Albums This Week [Feb. 28]

 

  1. Blackberry Smoke – Holding All The Roses 
  2. Sam Hunt – Montevallo  (Grade: 1/10)
  3. Jason Aldean – Old Boots, New Dirt (Grade: 3/10)
  4. Florida Georgia Line – Anything Goes (Grade: 0/10)
  5. Miranda Lambert – Platinum
  6. Carrie Underwood – Greatest Hits: Decade #1
  7. Luke Bryan – Crash My Party
  8. Garth Brooks – Man Against Machine (Grade: 7.5/10)
  9. Eric Church – The Outsiders
  10. Robert Earl Keen – Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions 
  11. George Strait – The Cowboy Rides Away: Live From AT&T Stadium
  12. Zac Brown Band – Greatest Hits So Far…
  13. Blake Shelton – Bringing Back The Sunshine (Grade: 4/10)
  14. Brantley Gilbert – Just As I Am (Grade: 5/10)
  15. Chase Rice – Ignite the Night (Grade: 2/10)
  16. Kenny Chesney – The Big Revival (Grade: 4.5/10)
  17. Tim McGraw – Sundown Heaven Town (Grade: 7.5/10)
  18. Lee Brice – I Don’t Dance (Grade: 5/10)
  19. Cole Swindell – Cole Swindell 
  20. Little Big Town – Pain Killer (Grade: 3/10)
  21. Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (Grade: 10/10)
  22. Dierks Bentley – Riser
  23. Thomas Rhett – It Goes Like This
  24. Brandy Clark – 12 Stories 
  25. Lady Antebellum – 747 (Grade: 4.5/10)

Notes:

  • Blackberry Smoke’s new album Holding All The Roses is this week’s #1! (Despite it being more rock than country, it’s still the most country album in the top 10)
  • Miranda Lambert’s Platinum moved up two spots to make the top five this week. Carrie Underwood’s Greatest Hits: Decade #1 fell three spots to fall out of the top five.
  • Eric Church’s The Outsiders fell four spots from #5 to #9 this week.
  • Robert Earl Keen enters the charts with his new album Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions, debuting at #10 this week.
  • Blake Shelton and his album Bringing Back The Sunshine fell four spots this week, as well as Chase Rice and his album Ignite The Night.
  • Tim McGraw’s Sundown Heaven Town moved up four spots from #21 last week.
  • The biggest loser this week was Dierks Bentley’s Riser, which fell eight spots from #14 to #22. The second biggest loser was Little Big Town’s Pain Killer, which fell five spots.
  • And last, but not least Brandy Clark re-entered the top 25 this week with her 2013 album 12 Stories. She continues to experience the “Grammy bump.”

Source: Billboard

Photo Courtesy: Blackberrysmoke.com