First Country: New Music From Thomas Rhett, Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan & More

Thomas Rhett
John Shearer

Thomas Rhett

Thomas Rhett, “Want It Again” and “Growing Up”

Two offerings from the first half of Thomas Rhett’s forthcoming double album, Country Again: Side A, display the reigning ACM entertainer of the year’s thoughtful side. “Want It Again” is a poignant, beautiful ballad of unrequited love and keeping your life on hold waiting for the one who got away to come back again, while “Growing Up” looks at those moments when you realize that, intentionally or not, you’re maturing, and that’s a good thing.

Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert and Jon Randall, “In His Arms”

The opening track from The Marfa Tapes, a May 7 album from Texan songwriters Ingram, Lambert and Randall written over the years and recorded in Marfa in five days in November, is a low-key charmer. Wistful and romantic, Lambert, backed by Ingram and Randall, sings of a lost love as she wonders where he is tonight instead of holding her.

Luke Bryan, “Drink A Little Whiskey Down”

As Bryan comes off his 26th Country Airplay No. 1, “Down to One,” he previews the deluxe version of Born Here Live Here Die Here with this heartbreaker. For all his uptempo, light-hearted songs, Bryan still brings it when he digs deep into regret. Though his heart is healing from being torn apart, he admits there are still moments when he turns to the bottle to drink his ex off his mind in this understated mid-tempo ballad.

Midland, “Cowgirl Blues”

Before they they broke through with “Drinkin’ Problem,” Midland's Mark Wystrach, Jess Carson and Cameron Duddy went to Texas’s Sonic Ranch studio to get down some early tracks. That journey from Texas to Nashville is captured on the Midland: The Sonic Ranch documentary and soundtrack, coming Mar. 19. “Cowgirl” is a toe-tapping, strummy tune that shows off the burgeoning talent that arrived on the scene a few years later much more polished and pristine.

Brooke Eden, “Sunroof”

Eden follows up “No Shade" with this lilting track about being with the person who makes you as happy as those 75-degree days when you open up the sun roof and all seems right with the world. The breezy video, featuring Eden with her real-life girlfriend, feels as liberating, warm and lovely as the song itself.

Brandy Clark, “Remember Me Beautiful”

Included on the new deluxe edition of Clark’s fantastic 2020 effort, Your Life Is A Record, this poignant track, presumably about a loved one's passing, is a lovely remembrance of a life filled with love and smiles generously shared. Clark beautifully recounts what loss feels like, both for the person left behind and for the one slipping away, who wishes to be remembered as her vibrant  younger self. Whether you lost someone you love deeply  during this horrible year or 20 years ago, Clark’s song instantly recalls the pain and beauty.

Scotty McCreery, “You Time”

As McCreery’s latest continues to climb up the charts, he debuts a sweet video that intersperses performance footage with a couple living out the first flushes of married life. There’s a lot of life imitating art imitating life here, as the groom in the video joins McCreery’s band and then McCreery’s real-life wife, Gabi, shows up at the end to take her man home.

Brett Kissel, "Make A Life, Not A Living"

Juno Award-winning country artist Kissel — a star in his native Canada — continues to try to find an audience in the lower 48 with this charmer from his Apr. 9 album, What Is Life. Celebrating the simple things that money can’t buy, Kissel delivers the message in a low-key, pleasing way that would sound perfect coming out of any radio speaker.

Raleigh Keegan, "Handyman"

In the mid-tempo track, Keegan muses that he’s your guy if your need your car fixed, a leaky faucet repaired or that new shelf hung, but, in a twist, this handyman can fix anything but the thing that is in most need of repair: himself. “I can mend a lot of fences, but I end up behind these walls/I can build a stair case, but it just leads to empty halls… I would use some help too, but I can’t bring myself to ask.”

Miranda Lambert & Husband Brendan McLoughlin on First On-Camera Debut in 'Settling Down' Video | Billboard News