Luke Bryan continues his winning ways at Country radio. The multi award winning artist will no doubt have more hardware on his mantel come the music award season. He’s also taking his new and powerful “What Makes You Country” (Capitol Nashville) out for a spin and it’s no surprise to see it moving by leaps and bounds. Walker Hayes has had quite a “best of year”. He proves it once again as his new “90’s Country” (Monument/Sony) takes flight. This is another gem from a newcomer that has most certainly paid his dues in Country music. We wish him all the best with this one and with the music awards coming.
Tim McGraw is still the man to beat when it comes to the hottest man in Country. “Neon Church” (Columbia Nashville) is his latest and greatest and this one is another gem from the master, Newcomer Spensha Baker is getting raves from our panel of music and program directors. The just can’t seem to get enough of “Old Soul” (Republic) & for a very good reason, it’s an excellent entry. You may want to save a little room on your list for it.
Old Dominion is as hot as any Country group can be these days. They prove it once again as they take their latest “Make It Sweet” (RCA Nashville) out for a spin. Look for them to do very well when it comes to our New Music Award nominations. RaeLynn has a new song out and about that deserves some special attention. “Tailgate” (WB/WEA) is the one that I’m talking about and this one is to good you just can’t put it down. I’m also loving the latest from recording artist Morgan Wallen. The single “Whiskey Glasse” (Big Loud) is about as good as they get and this one is pulling in big spins at a very rapid pace.
Kenny Chesney continues to get raves with his teaming of Mindy Smith. Lots of good calls and requests from coast to cast for “Better Boat” (Blue Chair/WB) to be sure. Cody Johnson is getting quite a lot of love out there at Country radio. It’s all because of the single “On My Way To You” (Cojo Music/WB) that is really oh so good. Keith Urban is better than ever and keeps the fires burning bright with “Never Comin’ Down” (Capitol). Jake Owen is picking up stations as his new “Down To The Honkytonk” (Big Loud) moves past a very crowded field. Jason Aldean is also killing it out there at Country radio as his “Girl Like You” (Broken Bow) makes bigger and better moves.
Independent artists are making big waves at Country this time out. Tony Watson is on the move with “Life Is A Highway” (Star 1) & that is worth some spin action from our programmers. Ashley Barron has a solid winner in “Wrote A Song About It” (SSM) and make no mistake about that my friends. Duke Henry has a very good thing going with “You Can’t Stay Here” (Nitro Red Orchard) that really deserves some love and respect. Dylan Gerard is taking it to church with “Golden” (SSM Nashville) & make sure to give that a spin on your fast-paced radio list. John R Schneider appears to have a winner with “Can I Buy You A Beer” (Maven Music) so make a move on this one as fast as you can.
All of you should know by now that this is our very special Best of 2018 issue. The nominations are now open on our New Music Awards website. Some artists that deserve additional attention based on their chart activity from the independent arena include the multi-talented Eileen Carey. Her new “Anything That Reminds Me Of You” (RolleyCstr Music) is on fire and what a banner year she has had. Also getting raves and praise are Al & Trey who are closing in on the top spot with “And Now I Know” (Tide Productions). Garrett Young has made his debut at the Country format and is getting much praise for his “My Friend” (West Coast Collective). Kim Lewis also has a good thing going as his “I’m A Donald Trump Voter” moves up in a very crowded field. I would not be surprised to see all of the above on the nomination list for our 2018 New Music Awards. Make sure you help “rock the vote” by visiting newmusicweekly.com See you in the nominations circle.