CMT’s Roundup is a celebration of favorite voices this week with new music from Jon Pardi and Little Big Town along with Love and Theft and Billy Dean, the latter of which hasn’t released a new studio project in many years. So, crank up the speakers and lost in the voices on which you grew up – and maybe find a new favorite song or two, as well.
CMT’s full Roundup playlist is linked at the bottom of the story.
Jon Pardi, “Mr. Saturday Night”: With twin fiddles and lines about smoking, drinking, and losing the girl combined with clever wordplay, Jon Pardi dropped the quintessential honky-tonk standard this week with “Mr. Saturday Night.”
Written by Benjy Davis, Reid Isbell and Joe Ragosta, lyrics include: That’s why they call me Mr. Saturday night| Mr. always in| Mr. never missed a good time| I hear them say, I’m jealous of that guy| But they’ve only seen me in a neon light|Yeah, I smoke and drink| Smile and wink| And make ’em think I’m fine|They don’t know how much| I missed her Saturday night
“I feel like everybody wants to be Mr. Saturday Night at one point on the weekend and have a good time,” Pardi said in a statement. “But then you hear the song and – the way it’s so well written – it’s a sad song, but you don’t go there right away because it’s also a fun song. That’s the thing about ’Mr. Saturday Night,’ it’s more than meets the eye. It’s all fun until you get to the chorus.”
“Mr. Saturday Night” is the title track to Pardi’s upcoming new album that he co-produced with Bart Butler and Ryan Gore. The album will be available on Sept. 2.
Little Big Town, “Rich Man”: Little Big Town’s Jimi Westbrook spent the better part of a decade tweaking and reworking the band’s new song “Rich Man.” Westbrook wrote the tender mid-tempo about how being rich doesn’t equate to the bottom line on the bank account himself.
As his life evolved, so did the song. Lyrics include: Yeah, I’m a rich man| Without a lick of money|A better than blessed man| Had all I ever wanted| I got everything I need|I got everything I need|Got love and a family
“’Rich Man’ has a special place in my heart, and it feels like the most honest me song I’ve ever written,” Westbrook said. “It is about my love of family and their role in laying the foundation that anchors me.”
The song’s lyric video reflects that sentiment, filled with personal footage of the band and members’ children.
“Rich Man” is from the band’s new album “Mr. Sun” which is set for release on Sept. 16.
Billy Dean, “Somewhere In My Broken Heart”: Billy Dean resurrected his 1991 smash of a brokenhearted love song by adding a full orchestra and re-recording the ballad that launched his career.
Written by Dean and Richard Leigh, the song is originally from Dean’s debut album “Young Man,” released in 1990.
“’Somewhere in My Broken Heart’ has been such a gift to me and my family, and I credit Hall of Fame songwriter Richard Leigh for teaching me so much about writing on the day that we put words to this beautiful melody that he had written on the piano,” Dean said in a statement. “It’s a melody I always thought should be surrounded by a luscious orchestra. What better time to celebrate than the 30th anniversary of becoming the Academy of Country Music’s Song of the Year?”
The re-recording of “Somewhere In My Broken Heart” is from Dean’s new album – his first studio album in 10 years – “The Rest Of It’s Mine,” which is out now.
Love and Theft, “Better Off”: Written by Love and Theft members Eric Gunderson and Stephen Barker Liles with Jared Mullins and Chris Stevens, “Better Off” is the title track to the duo’s new EP – the act’s first new studio project in seven years.
The men agree it’s the most country-sounding song on their new six-song EP. The happy, up-tempo love song is about how much better life is with your favorite person.
“We’re both married to wonderful women, and we’re just so much better off with them, and that’s kind of how it is,” Liles said.
“The whole song is kind of very tongue-in-cheek,” Gunderson added. “A few people have said it has a nursery rhyme-type vibe, at least in the chorus. I think it gets stuck in your head and is kind of like a little of a like earworm kind of thing.”
The duo agrees that “Better Off” is a bridge from their previous more country-sounding songs to the progressive pop sound they lean into with the new EP.
Listen to the full Roundup Playlist: