Dave Spencer’s Ten Favorite Songs of 2013 [VIDEO]
As we were listening to the music and tallying votes during the Big BKR Smackdown, it occurred to me that there were four songs I loved that never even or haven’t yet charted. Two were featured on the BKR Clash in the Country, one will likely chart in 2014, and the other is a duet between two country music legends. And, yep, all four made my top ten. Let’s get started:
10. “HE LOVES TO MAKE ME CRY” KRISTEN KELLY
I love blues music. At its best it WILL make you cry, just because. It just pulls you in. And there’s Kristen now, yanking on my shirt sleeve.
9. “YOU CAN’T MAKE OLD FRIENDS” KENNY ROGERS & DOLLY PARTON
What a shame that the large market radio stations that dictate the country chart numbers will never go near this charming number from two of the industry’s biggest stars and true legends. Best part is they sound as good as they ever have.
8. “WE WERE US” KEITH URBAN & MIRANDA LAMBERT
These two superstars join those two old pros at #9 in a long line of high-powered country duets. What a great time these two are having. What a great time I have when I listen to it. Now if warmer weather will just get here, I can roll my car windows down while doing just that.
7. “OVERNIGHT SUCCESS” ZANE WILLIAMS
Zane has spent a lot of time in Nashville and amusingly relates how long it takes to become an “instant star.” Funny stuff. And maybe kinda sad, too.
6. “SLOW ME DOWN” SARA EVANS
As evocative as it gets. Sara’s never sounded better and the clever turn of phrase–”Hurry up and slow me down”–actually might get past you on the first couple of listens. When autumn weather begins to creep in from now on, play this and just listen to the leaves fall.
5. “LIKE JESUS DOES” ERIC CHURCH
This Casey Breathard/Monty Criswell construct gets the perfect treatment from Eric Church–the last we may ever hear him like this judging by his most recent single “The Outsiders.” The brilliant Waylon reference and a nod to “American Pie” are icing on the cake.
4. “OUTTA MY HEAD” CRAIG CAMPBELL
He’s done everything he can physically do to remove all traces of her, but the one thing about which he can do nothing is her memory. It’s a tried and true country theme sung with much urgency, and Craig’s desperation comes through loud and clear. It’s so good.
3. “DRINK A BEER” LUKE BRYAN
As you will see in a later blog, this release came as quite a relief. Luke bares his soul in a lyric about the loss of loved ones. I’d say he really sells it, but that sounds inappropriate. Let’s just say he’s lived it and now he’s simply telling us about it. His best work to date.
2. “STRIPES” BRANDY CLARK
There is an official video, but I feel Brandy’s Opry performance better conveys the sly tongue-in-cheek approach her infinitely clever tale about why she won’t ultimately do the wrong thing seems to demand. It’s one-twelfth of the year’s best album, 12 Stories.
1. “THE SOUTH” THE CADILLAC THREE
Greasy, southern-fried country rock with vocals to match and powerhouse anthemic support from Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley, and Mike Eli of the Eli Young Band. It would be a real shame if this wasn’t a huge hit and we only got to hear from this vintage-and-fresh-all-at-once-sounding Nashville trio for just a short while longer. Can’t get enough of this. (This live performance from something called the O Music Awards is the only video I could find. The studio version is much better.)