Best Of Country 2016

Dierks Bentley returns to the Country format with a real gem to close out 2016. “Black” (Capitol Nashville) is the cut that you can expect will be riding high well into 2017 and you don’t want to be the last one on board this fast breaking hit. Luke Bryan is pulling in some big numbers for his new entry. “Fast” (Capitol Nashville) is the single that is really taking off big time. We’re also getting raves here at NMW for the new track by Dustin Lynch. Seein’ Red” (Broken Bow/Sony) appears to be a real favorite among our panel of music and program directors so you might want to keep your eyes and ears on this gem.

Michael Ray continues to build his fortunes at the format. “Think A Little Less” (Atlantic Nashville) is his current masterpiece and it’s a pretty amazing gem at that. Jason Aldean is also grabbing a massive amount of adds and support for his latest. “Any Ol’ Barstool” (Broken Bow/Sony) is his latest and greatest and make no mistake about this one, it will go all the way to the top in record time. Miranda Lambert is also getting much love and support at Country radio. Most of it is coming with the release of her new single “We Should Be Friends” (Vanner/RCA Nashville). We’ll see if this one does better than “Vice”.

Lauren Alaina has been moving strong and steady at radio and it appears to finally be paying off. Her “Road Less Traveled” (19 Recordings/Mercury Nashville) is one of the best things she’s done to date so we hope she can take this one to the top. Recording artist  Tucker Beathard continues to make a name for himself thanks for the Big Machine label Group. “Momma And Jesus” (Dot) is his new one and this track could take care of the “one hit wonder” syndrome. Josh Turner is rocking big time with another excellent track. “Hometown Girl” (MCA Nashville) is the one I’m talking about and our radio programmers are all over this one big time. It might be time to come aboard the Josh Turner train.

Kelsea Ballerini is the new Taylor Swift, at least that’s what the Black River gang believes. Her new release of “Yeah Boy” (Black River Entertainment) could help her to take those steps in the right direction. She also has crossover in her future and that’s what it’s going to take to mover to an even higher level.  If we’re talking crossover here then nobody is doing better than Chuck Murphy. His new “Peace Be With You” (One West Music) is rocking strong from Country, Hot AC to Top40 and it’s even on the Billboard charts. Please keep him in mind for a potential NMW Award as he is so deserving.

It’s beginning to look a lot like a Country Christmas around here. Nobody is making more of that than newcomer Johnny Dan. His new “A Truck Driver’s Christmas” (Big Hammer) is pulling in some great support from Country radio and why not, it’s just that good. James Younger is taking his “Lonely December” (Hologram) out for a spin and appears to be getting some big time results. Amber Alyssa has new new “Come Home For Christmas” (Ind) and radio is singing its praises.

Eileen Carey has had a banner year at Country radio and deserves your special attention when it comes to our up and coming New Music Awards. Her latest “In The Air” (Rolley Coaster) is hitting the top of the charts from Country to AC. John Ratliff and his band Receptacle have also a major 2016. “Oh My” is the single that made it all happen for them. Alex Smith is getting lots of attention for “Load It Up” (Lila) so you might want to spend some time with that one.

Joey Canyon is a must consider for this year’s New Music Awards. His new “I Can’t Start Loving You Again” (Glo-dot) is moving fast and furious up our Country Top50. Eric Church also continues strong with his brilliant “Kill A Word” (EMI). This is our Best of 2016 and Holiday Issue leading to the NMW nominations. Please keep all of the charted artists in mind as they are all so deserving of awards and acknowledgement. Come see me over at Legends Corner in Nashville Tennessee every  Thursday through Saturday (3:00 to 6:00 PM). Here’s wishing you the very best Christmas ever and an even kinder and gentler 2017. We will pick up where we left off next year.