CMT’s Weekly Roundup of new hits this week features a blend of emerging, vaunted, and critically-acclaimed artists delivering as expected — aided by some heaping spoonfuls of Willie Nelson, too — to the high expectations of their material.
Click here to take a listen to the following tunes.
Trace Adkins – Got It Down
“My daddy’s daddy’s grandpa’s daddy passed it down to me, I’m a neckred bred, and cornbread fed hard-headed SOB” is the type of lyricism upon which Trace Adkins has built a 25-year country music career. The “Honkytonk Badonkadonk” vocalist’s latest is from The Way I Wanna Go his August 27-releasing seventeenth studio album. The release features 25 songs, including album collaborations with Luke Bryan and Pitbull for “Where The Country Girls At,” plus Blake Shelton, Melissa Etheridge, Keb’ Mo’, Stevie Wonder (on harmonica), and Snoop Dogg.
Ashland Craft – That’s The Kinda Place
Rising tunesmith and 2021 CMT Next Women of Country class member Ashland Craft’s new single is “That’s The Kinda Place,” a song that fondly recalls rustic, rural Southern life. This falls well in line with her style and inspirations, as her bio notes, that she “[discovered] her honky-tonk spirit while cutting her teeth singing country and rock covers at a hometown bar in South Carolina, Craft buzzes under the influence of musical heroes Def Leppard, Chris Stapleton, Bonnie Raitt, The Chicks, and John Mayer.”
Sturgill Simpson and Willie Nelson – Juanita
Swooping into 2021 like a high plains drifter is Sturgill Simpson and his just-released latest album, The Ballad of Dood and Juanita. The album’s lead single is a Willie Nelson collaboration that highlights the recording’s narrative theme regarding Simpson’s grandfather’s quest to rescue his wife, Juanita after she’s kidnapped by a bandit named Seamus McClure. Via press release, Simpson notes, “I’ve only ever really been interested in concept albums, citing Nelson’s 1975 album Red Headed Stranger as an influence on his current release.
Jenna Paulette – Pretty Ugly
CMT Discovery Artist Jenna Paulette follows up her virally successful single “Country In The Girl” with “Pretty Ugly,” a slow-burning rock-country breakup song. Billboard highlights her for “traditional and contemporary country influences” and “descriptive storytelling,” which are highlighted in this emotionally evocative track.
Miko Marks and The Resurrectors – Whiskey River
“’Whiskey River’ is out now. [It was] written by Johnny Bush and Paul Stroud in 1972 and given its legs by Willie Nelson. Our rendition [was] produced by Steve Wyrman and Justin Phipps. It was pure joy to create,” says veteran folk-country vocalist Miko Marks about her latest, a soulful cover of the “Red Headed Stranger”’s 1972 classic. Though country singer Johnny Bush sang the original in 1972, the song has come to be regarded as one of Willie Nelson’s signature songs and is a staple of his live concerts.