BEST OF COUNTRY 2017
Brett Eldredge is closing out the year on a very upbeat note. His new and exciting “The Long Way” (Atlantic Nashville) is pulling in a great number of early believers. That’s the sign we look for that lets us know that he’s truly on the right track. I’m really loving the new Justin Moore single. “Kinda Don’t Care” (Valory Music/Universal) underscores just how big this guy has become over the past few years. He’s packing venues and breaking hit after hit, so you could also say that he’s had a very good year indeed.
Lady Antebellum are keeping pace with the best of the Country artists and they are doing it in style. “Heart Break” (Capitol Nashville) is their latest and a reminder that this crew has not lost their touch in any way. It’s a solid track that deserves your support and attention. Also happy to see my good pal Lee Brice continue his streak of hits. He does it in a family way as his single “Boy” (Curb) takes flight. One of the true gents of Country, Lee deserves all of the good fortunes that have come his way over the past few years.
Cole Swindell is also on the move and make no mistake about that. His new and powerful “Stay Downtown” (WB/WEA) is keeping pace with the rest of the others in some knee- deep traffic but seems to be holding its own. Happy to see a little love and support to one special Montgomery Gentry. The fans are responding big time to the heartfelt single “Better Me” (Average Joes Entertainment) that is keeping the spirit of this team alive and well. Scotty McCreery is still feeling the love and respect for his large popular following as his “Five More Minutes” (Dagum Music) brings in more stations piece by piece.
The paring of Maren Morris and Vince Gill are bringing good fortune to both. Together they take the single “Dear Hate” (Columbia Nashville) out for a spin and regardless of who’s driving, the song is being quite well received. Speaking of paring up, how about Roy Orbison and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. You can’t do any better than that and together they take “I Drove All Night” (Legacy/RCA) up the Country charts. Dori Freeman has a good thing going from coast to coast. “Turtle Dove” (Mri) is the gem that appears to be well on its way to hit making status so there you go.
Lindsey Stirling has joined forces with Rooty for a real winner. Many of our music and program directors are singing the praises of “Love’s Just A Feeling” (IN2) and for good reason, it’s just that good. Bill Nash is feeling the love with his new single entitled “Back The Badge” (Ind) so you may want to give that one some love and attention. Also in the hunt for adds and spins is Casey Donahew. The new and ever so powerful anthem “Country Song” (Almost Country Entertainment) is helping to make that all happen.
Luke Bryan has another monster single at Country that is already moving to the very top of the charts. “Light It Up” (Capitol Nashville) is his latest and if you saw his special on ABC recently, you learned even more about why this guy is where he is today. Country recording artist Lindsay Ell is wasting no time in getting radio’s attention. The new and exciting “Waiting On You” (Stoney Creek) is the one that our programmers are raving about. Also getting raves is the latest from Jessica Lynn. “Crazy Idea” (Daydreamer) is about as good as it gets and make sure to spend some extra time on this gem.
Chuck Murphy and his band Big Coyote have been having a banner 2017. All you have to do is look at the stats of his “Free To Be Free” (One West) from Country to Mainstream and that will tell you all you need to know. Al & Trey have a good thing going once again at the country format. Their new “Reach Beyond” (Tide Productions) is already reaching new heights and that’s all you really need to know about this fast-breaking masterpiece.
Eileen Carey has also had one of her best years to date. We have to give her big congratulations has her “Good Bad Girl” pulled off some amazing chart success from country to mainstream. All of the above deserve your very special attention when it comes to our annual New Music Awards so get to our sight and get your votes in there. Here’s hoping that all of you have a very Merry Christmas and an even better New Year. I hope to see you in Nashville if you get the chance to do some traveling this holiday season.