Well y’all! 2018 is well and truly here now, so Happy New Year to you from all of us at Lyric. We’re hoping it’s going to be another cracking year for Country music and we’ll be right there at the front of it, bringing you all the latest news, reviews and interviews. First up, a brand new Your Hottest Country Playlist.
Our first playlist of the year is one of our most diverse. The first two acts on it will be going head to head for next year’s CMA ‘Duo of the year award’ we suspect. Reigning duo, Brothers Osborne and five times winners Sugarland. Brothers Osborne are back with the first single from their upcoming sophomore album and it’s a monster – ‘Shoot Me Straight’ clocks in at nearly 7 minutes long and features an amazing guitar solo/outro from John that many of us saw on their recent UK tour but wondered whether it would make the finished version – well it did!!
Sugarland return from 6-7 years on hiatus with ‘Still the Same’, a song that could have been plucked from any of their albums, bearing, as it does, that trademark Jennifer and Kristian sound. We’re looking forward to catching them at this year’s C2C and have also got high hopes that Kristian might compare Songwriters again and bring Jennifer with him this time.
Track 3 is ‘Every Time You Run’ by Frank Ray. Ray is a former police officer out of New Mexico who gave up his job in the force to concentrate on his music career. ‘…..You Run’ has a real classic 90’s, Phil Vassar-type sound to us that will appeal to fans of that era.
Kalie Shorr has been around the Nashville scene for a couple of years now, but may well be one of the big breakout acts of 2018 with a bit of luck and a prevailing wind. Her ‘Fight Like a Girl’ single picked up a bit of media attention and she regularly performs with the Song Suffragettes, who recently released a great version of Keith Urban’s song, ‘Female’.
Track 5 is ‘Bar That’s Open’ by Kasey Tyndall. Tyndall famously won a radio contest as a teenager that allowed her to duet with Keith Urban! She has a more honky-tonk sound than Kalie Shorr and may well appeal to fans of 90’s Country, just like Frank Ray. ‘Bar That’s Open’ is a big song with Miranda overtones mixed with a healthy dose of electric guitar from her debut release ‘Between Salvation and Survival’.
India Ramey takes us further south with her track, ‘Devil’s Blood’ on track 6. Fans of artists like Sunny Sweeny will dig Ramey’s dirty take on the music of the south. ‘Devil’s Blood’ sounds like it should be on a Tarantino soundtrack somewhere as she sings about temptation in a way that makes you believe her when she sings, ‘The devil’s blood’s running in my veins’.
Track 7 is the atmospheric Ruby Boots with ‘Don’t Talk About It’. Fans of Margo Price and Nikki Lane will enjoy Australian born Boots’ take on southern music. Similar to India Ramey, Ruby Boots brings a swagger and a sass to Country music and enough twist and originality to stake a claim for a decent piece of the Country pie in 2018.
Southern rockers, the Scooter Brown Band, are up next. Looking like Zac Brown and sounding like The Cadillac Three and Lynyrd Skynyrd, Scotter Brown has worked up a fairly loyal crowd thanks to extensive touring in 2017. Definite elements of Brantley Gilbert permeate through ‘American Son’, a track that Charlie Daniels appears on also.
London born Irish / American Mark Curran is up next on the playlist. Curran has been around for a fair few years now, starting primarily in the rock market as a Bon Jovi influenced act, Curran’s new song, ‘Better Days’ blurs the line between Country and Rock with his Stereophonics influenced vocals. A February tour with Holloway Road and Shelly Fairchild is being promoted with Country fans in mind and will be well worth checking out.
And speaking of Shelly Fairchild, her song ‘Faster than a Bullet’ completes our first playlist of 2018. ‘….Bullet’ is a sassy, ballsy up-tempo song from an artist who released her but album back in 2005 and has recently been seen supporting both Jason Aldean and Martina McBride has a back-up singer.
Here’s the playlist: