First Country is a compilation of the best new country songs, videos and albums released this week.
Kelsea Ballerini, “What I Got”
Ballerini tones down technicolor pop-country vibes for this tender acoustic rendition that lists the everyday joys she’s grateful for — including green grass, a dog, a Jeep, and a job she loves. Ballerini wrote the song with Cary Barlowe and Alysa Vanderheym. The track is included on Ballerini’s forthcoming album, Subject to changeout September 23.
Temecula Road, “By You”
A violin intro leads into a flurry of bright, effervescent harmonies from this duet, elevating this Cajun-influenced track even further.
Logan Tucker “Look”
Western swing is at the center of this superb slice of bar music composed by Tucker, Kylie Frey and Stone Aielli. This Texan has previously released tracks such as “Kissed a Cowboy” and “Ain’t That The Truth”, all steeped in the traditions of artists such as Strait and Nelson.
Gabe Lee, “Rusty”
After following his impulse to leave his hometown and find new roads and inspiration, Gabe Lee is exhausted from “too many miles on those four tires and not enough gas” and longs to return to his roots. . Lee’s weathered vocals pair well with streamlined guitars and a propelling beat as crisp as tires on a gravel road. Writer and singer in equal parts, Lee is preparing his next album, The Hometown Kidreleased on October 28.
Bri Bagwell, “Josefina”
Bagwell has been burning the Texas music charts for years, earning numerous honors at the Texas Regional Radio Music Awards along the way. Throughout Bagwell’s New Album Corazon y Cabeza (Heart and Head), this native of Las Cruces, New Mexico, skillfully blends country song styles with imagery that often showcases Spanish culture. One of the album’s many stellar moments, “Josefina” is a classic song of vigilante revenge, pulsating with all the drama (and whirling Spanish guitar moments) of a classic Western film, driven by her lithe vocals. Classic country fans will also want to check out album tracks like “The Dust” and “Table Manners.”
Tenille Townes, “The Last Time”
All the “first” milestones get all the glory – first smiles, first steps, first car – but this song crystallizes those “last” moments, which are rarely acknowledged with such finality and sentimentality when they occur. “The thing about the last time / It’s you don’t know it’s the last time until it is,” Townes sings, as the feather-light instrumental and vocal restraint reinforces the emotional weight of the song. On September 11, Townes will host the 2022 Canadian Country Music Association Awards alongside Blanco Brown. Townes leads this year’s nominees, with nods for honors including artist of the year.