2017 is almost in the books and this year in country music was chock full of new artists and songs that would not give up the number one spot on the charts. I'm giving the ten songs I liked and some did well on the charts, most didn't. Here we go!

10. "Every Little Thing"-Carly Pearce

It's good to see a Kentucky girl back in the country music discussion. Taylorsville native Carly Pearce scored a top five hit with "Every Little Thing" and the song hit number one on the US Country Airplay chart. She hit the road this year supporting another artist in my top ten, Brett Young. And it probably doesn't hurt either that hot producer busbee, yes it's lowercase, was a co-writer.

9. "Marry Me"-Thomas Rhett

I am blown away by how little Thomas Rhett can do with a song and just break your heart. I compare "Marry Me" to how I felt when I heard "Die a Happy Man" the first time. It's still early to see how it will perform on the charts but I'd say Rhett has another number one on lock. Unrequited love songs are some of the best stories.

8. "Like I Loved You"-Brett Young

All three of Brett Young's singles have finished in the top 3 on the charts which means he pretty much earned his share of 2017. Did you know he was pitcher who went to Ole Miss on a scholarship? Lucky for us, he had a career-ending elbow injury in 2003 after he transferred to Fresno State in his home state of California. I like that "Like I Loved You" is his first upbeat, well medium tempo song.

7. "Weakness"-Margo Price

She had my favorite song of 2016 and dang it, I'm putting her back in the mix for this year. Margo Price released her second major label album All-American Made in October. "Weakness" is a toe tapper and the video is hilarious. Margo rocks!

6. "Woke Up in Nashville"-Seth Ennis

"Woke Up in Nashville" is one of those songs that instantly grabs you. Seth Ennis played all of the instruments on the track himself. I can't believe this incredible song didn't chart higher than the 40's?!? Like I said before, this year was jam-packed with new artists; I just hope Ennis doesn't get lost in the shuffle in 2018.

5. "Diane"-Cam

Here's another artist who seems to keep getting lost in the shuffle of new artists and mainstream hit makers. I'm really hoping "Burning House" is not Cam's only imprint on country music. "Diane" proves there's a lot more on the way from the singer/songwriter from California. The track is bold and unabashed. By the way, did you know Cam co-wrote a track on Sam Smith's new album? It's called "Palace" and it's amazing. You can hear it in this Apple commercial.

4. "Drinkin' Problem"-Midland

One of my all-time favorite bands is The Eagles. They were never a straight-up country band, and their popularity had more to do with all the crossover tracks in the 70's. Their music could be played anywhere. Midland, who got their name from the Dwight Yoakam song "Fair to Midland" formed in Dripping Springs, Texas NOT George W. Bush's hometown. Midland's sound is 70's country meets early 80's country. Their second single "Make a Little" gets an honorable mention because it's just flat out country at its best

3. "Scarecrow in the Garden"-Chris Stapleton

I have two Stapleton songs in my top 3. I love him and that's that. This is a guy who can literally sing the phone book. What makes "Scarecrow in the Garden" from From A Room: Volume 2 so special is the melody sounds familiar and the song is in a different key than most of his songs.

2. "She Ain't in It"-Jon Pardi

I know, you may have loved "Dirt on my Boots" or "Heartache on the Dance Floor" better, but oh my gosh this is the first time I've heard a throwback country sound from this year's CMA winner for New Artist of the Year Jon Pardi and I'm sold! And guess where he's from? California.

1. "Broken Halos"-Chris Stapleton

Yes I'm a rebel when it comes to liking what I like and I like all of Chris Stapleton's music. Now I used to correctly predict what would capture the Big BKR Smackdown crown and I've been a little off the past two years, but I believe Stapleton has the winner for 2017. Even if he doesn't win, he'll be back in my top ten next year.

**The Big BKR Smackdown will begin at 7:00 a.m. on Friday morning. Get ready to vote for your favorites via Facebook, our Fence Pros Text Line (270) 883-2573 or our studio lines (270) 926-WBKR (9257) or 1-800-844-WBKR (9257).**

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