Country music singers delivered a lineup of new songs as diverse as fall colors this week. For the first full weekend in October, CMT Roundup is a celebration of all types of love and a dose of the reality of what happens when love turns sour. Hear new music from Darius Rucker, Gabby Barrett, Fancy Hagood and more this week on CMT's Roundup playlist.
Darius Rucker, "Carolyn's Boy" (album): Rucker named the album after his late mother because he said she's the reason "who I am, how I am, what I am."
"She believed in me more than I believed in myself," he told Jan Crawford on "CBS Mornings." "She'd tell me all the time, 'you're gonna make it; you're gonna live your dream. I know you are. I can't wait.'"
Drake White, "Makin' Me Look Good Again": "The original version came out seven years ago, and since then, the inspiration for this song, my wife Alex, has certainly made me look good again," White said. "She helped me walk again, gave birth to our child, and started her own business. She continues to be one of the finest examples of a lady and love on this beautiful planet. She loves me for me, and she loves the simplicity of this version. This is an offering to her and all the people out there making the world look good again."
Fancy Hagood, "Southern Sound": "I think it's a beautiful marriage of who I am as an artist and where I've been in my career, but also where I'm going," says Fancy, a proud member of the queer community, of "Southern Sound." "It's me fully setting my roots down here in Nashville and chasing after that original dream of country music and no longer operating in fear of who can relate to my music. Because I think a lot of people are."
Gabby Barrett, "Cowboy Back": "I was inspired by my wonderful husband, a Texan, when I was writing this one," shares Barrett. "'Cowboy Back' is all about appreciating the hard-working guys out there with strong values – those who are authentically 'country.'"
Old Dominion, "Memory Lane" (album): "There is the self-awareness that we are the ear-worm farmers," said Matt Ramsey. "We do know we have this ability to just throw in everything that can catch your ear without it sounding too cloudy or chaotic. We've really refined that, but that – if we're paying attention – allows us to go off in directions we want to explore because the hook will bring you with us."
Matt Stell, "Breakin' In Boots": "Not too long ago, I was at a bar in Nashville one night – it was early, and I was by myself," Stell said. "I sat there trying to care about July baseball while I watched the place fill up. I was halfway through my last longneck when I saw a girl across the bar. She was so pretty, and it seemed like there was a spotlight on her. She was just glowing from her blonde hair down to her brown ostrich boots. They actually looked a lot like mine, and I decided our boots were going to be how I struck up a conversation with her. She finally looked in my direction, and when we locked eyes, it felt like we were about to have history. I tabbed out as fast as I could and tried to make my way over to her. But I couldn't find her, and I haven't seen her since. The next day, my buddy Ben [Stennis] came into a writing session and said he might have a title for a song. He said, 'It's something like – She'll leave you there with your heart breaking in your boots. I'm not exactly sure what it would be about, though.' And I said, 'Oh, I know exactly what it's about.'"
Chip Esten, "Somewhere in the Sunshine": "My wife and I bring our dogs there, and they absolutely love it. And every time we do, we descend a staircase of railroad ties that was built by our son and his friends several years ago as his Eagle Scout project. So, the spot is pretty special to me," shares Esten. "In a real sense, it's my 'happy place.' That being the case, it seemed the perfect location for me to truly connect with this 'message from Paradise.'"
Jay Allen, "Halfway House": "I wrote this song years ago after going through a divorce at a young age. I never intended on releasing it, but my wife, Kylie Morgan, encouraged me to tease it on social media. The response was overwhelming, and after reading through hundreds of passionate comments, I knew what my answer was. I hope this song resonates with those of us who have been cheated on, have endured the heartache of living in a broken home, or that one person who just needs to be reminded that they're worthy of love and respect."
Kelleigh Bannen, "I Know Better Now": “I am continually inspired by this music community,” Bannen said. “Nashville is bursting with talented vocalists, storytellers and dreamers.”
"Whether it's creating onstage in the moment or creating in the writer's room, there's something kind of magical. I want there to be that invitation for people to just to lean in a little bit with me and be themselves. I hope it feels like an invitation and then I do hope that in sharing truth about my own heart, that it's a life-giving thing in some way.”
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