So you all know that July 4th is Independence Day, which marks the anniversary of the U.S. declaring itself its own country. I bet you didn’t know, however, that July 4th is National Country Music Day. It seems appropriate, as I’m not sure there’s a musical style that’s as distinctively American is Country. In honor of National Country Music Day, I’ve created a Monday Mixteen that is centered around the genre. It’s not as homogeneous of a sound as many perceive it to be. The sixteen tracks here explore the different sonic and lyrical avenues that Country music can travel down.
- Joshua Ray Walker, “Burn It”
Most of Mr. Walker’s tunes are mellower and more serious, but this is just such a fun tune that it seems the right way to begin this Monday Mixteen.
- Brian Lambert, “Mama Please”
Some songs of Lambert’s are pure country, some feel kinda folky, and then sometimes his tunes are a little harder to classify. I don’t know if this is country, Americana, or whatever, but I like it.
- Joe Savage, “As Country As I’ll Ever Be”
And this is about as country as you can get.
- Vandoliers, “Cigarettes in the Rain”
Last week, I asked for opinions on the best country acts in the area. Leslie Hudson, mother to the talented Jade Nickol, responded with Vandoliers as a favorite, and specifically mentioned this track. Mrs. Hudson, you made a fine choice!
- Elaina Kay, “Daddy Issues”
This is one of two tracks from last week’s Monday Mixteen to return again this week. It’s a catchy tune, so I’m hoping you won’t have any issues with that. And yes, the pun was intended.
- September Moon, “Abilene”
When I asked for people’s favorite country acts, this band may have gotten more mentions than any other. I liked their EP, but I kinda slept on “Abilene” until now. When you mistake a mistake, own up to it, move on, and add it to your Monday Mixteen.
- Ottoman Turks, “Glass Bottles”
I dig this song, which I heard weeks before its release, and I’ve gotten to hear the next single from Ottoman Turks, “Apathy”. This track is good, but if I’m honest, “Apathy” is a beast of a track. But it’s also less country, so “Glass Bottles” works fine for now.
- Casey Baker, “I Want You to Want Me to Stay”
Because really, what’s a country playlist without a few heartbreak ballads?
- Old 97’s, “St. Ignatius”
True, the Old 97’s are not the most authentically country band. It was their take on alt-country, however, that opened the door for me to even entertain the idea of listening to country music.
- Justin Tipton, “Gimme Back What’s Mine”
Here’s the other track making a return to the Monday Mixteen from last week. Don’t be surprised if it winds up on yet another playlist.
- Ivan Dillard, “Hit Me Back”
Ivan Dillard’s tunes run the gamut from folk to country. Mr. Dillard has also hinted at recording some country tunes that he refers to as “revolutionary”, and that would likely venture into lyrical territory uncommon in most of his country music contemporaries. Sounds interesting…
- Frankie Leonie, “Take All the Good out of the Bye”
Frankie, how are you writing a tune like this? You’re still in high school; you shouldn’t have lived enough to write a song so sad.
- Squeezebox Bandits, “Just a Drink Away”
The zydeco influence in this track is certainly not common in country. Perhaps the band wanted to balance things out since the song’s title is highly typical country music territory.
- Kirk Holloway, “Lonesome in the Lone Star State”
Cool song, and very cool song title.
- Trees Marie and the Heavy Hearts, “Wild as the Wind”
Trees Marie is quickly becoming a favorite of mine in terms of local country acts. She incorporates elements of pop, southern rock, and folk in her country, and writes some solid tunes. This one leans a little pop. I’d even dare say there’s some Fleetwood Mac influence in this song. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am.
- Willie Nelson, “Immigrant Eyes”
Sure, Willie is one of the greatest acts not only in country music, but one of the all time greats regardless of genre. Mr. Nelson recently released a video for this song. Let this tune serve as a reminder that this is a nation built on, and built by, immigrants.