First Country is a compilation of the best new country songs, videos and albums released this week.
Little Big Town, “Rich Man”
“I’m a rich man / Without a layer of cash,” LBT sings in this solo songwriting by band member Jimi Westbrook. This heartfelt ballad pays homage to the quartet’s families, love, and the simple things in life, enhanced by the band’s signature sweet harmonies.
Bill Anderson and Dolly Parton, “One Day Everything Will Make Sense” (video)
These two icons come together for a black and white video tinged with retro to accompany this tender ballad on the hope that one day, all the vagaries of life will be reconciled. The camaraderie between these two illustrious singer-songwriters is a sound to behold and a perfect match for this straightforward country-gospel track.
Kat & Alex, “We Bought a House”
This duo reflects on young love and the desire to settle down when the relationship is good, even if society says otherwise. This laid back track is another winner of this duo.
Southerland, “Down the Road”
This catchy track – written by Matt Chase, Chris Rogers, Jim Beavers and Derek George – is an ode to wanderlust and adventure. The duo’s powerful harmonies are front and center and enhanced by vibrant percussion, making this a radio-worthy song.
Billy Dean, The rest is mine
Billy Dean, known for his 90s country hits such as “If There Hadn’t Been You” and “Billy the Kid”, returns with his first album in a decade, The rest is mine, out today (July 22) via BFD/Audium Nashville. On the title track, he teams up with songwriter Paul Overstreet for a tropical treat. The album also includes a 30th anniversary re-recording of his seminal hit “Somewhere in my Broken Heart”, backed by a symphony orchestra.
Ben Burgess, “Tears from the Size of Texas”
Burgess is known for penning hits like Morgan Wallen’s “Whiskey Glasses” and Tyler Rich’s “The Difference,” but here he proves his artistry as an artist in his own right. This cinematic track is a warning to a fictional love, a direct statement that its wild ways cannot be tamed by any relationship. Burgess’ serious, weathered vocals lend authenticity to the song, which is a promising first outing in his journey from songwriter to artist. Burgess wrote the song with Josh Kerr, with production by Joey Moi.
Cody Jinks, “Strong and Heavy”
“Loud & Heavy”, a seven-year-old song from Jinks’ 2015 album Adobe Sessions, is already an RIAA Platinum-certified song and a longtime fan favorite. In a unique business move for Jinks and his team, they’re betting country radio programmers will join them when the song finally gets its official radio airplay in the coming weeks. The track follows Jinks’ album release from last year, the country album Mercy and the metal album None the wiser. With dark instrumentation underpinning the allegorical use of lightning and rain imagery, “Loud & Heavy” synthesizes his country and metal inclinations.
Jon Pardi, “Mr. Saturday Night”
The title track from Pardi’s upcoming album (out Sept. 2) is a clever pun, as he uses his party persona to mask a broken, lonely heart. This track written by Benjy Davis, Reid Isbell and Joe Ragosta continues with Pardi’s signature neo-traditional country bent, infused with fiddle and steel. His friends think he likes late nights and neon lights, but Pardi reveals his secret to listeners when he sings, “I smoke and drink/ Smile and wink and make them think I’m fine/ They don’t know how much I missed her Saturday night.