I don’t know why, but warmer weather always put me in the mood for country music and so when the weather starts transitioning from spring to summer, I always find myself looking for new country music to add to my playlists.
Now before all of you country purists see this list and get all worked up… ya’ll just cool your jets.
I am admittedly a purist (*also see snobby) about a lot of things, but when it comes to country music I pretty much am a fan of all of it.
I think George is the king, I was born and raised in the 90’s and Kris Kristofferson’s “The Austin Sessions” is one of my all-time favorite albums. Until streaming became a thing, I owned every Kenny Chesney album to date, I did one of my high school AP English Language and Comp projects on Johnny Cash and I spent every extra penny I had in college (and then some) going to every red dirt and Texas country concert that came to town. My point is that I don’t think country music has just one sound, and I think some of the styles that have become popular in the last decade or so have a place too, and I personally like quite a bit of it. So if you don’t like it, don’t listen to it. Problem solved.
So now that we have that out of the way… I have been adding to and loving this playlist of recent country releases over the whole past month. For the most part, quite a bit of it was released in 2018, but there are a some from 2017 that I didn’t find until just recently. But if its from a relatively new artist, chances are it took a while for the song to pick up and hitting its stride just in time for summer isn’t a bad thing.
Hope you enjoy it! Let me know what’s new that you’ve been jamming to!
Also, wishing everyone a fun, safe holiday weekend! This always feels like the unofficial start of summer, but it is also important to remember that this weekend is a time to honor and remember those who aren’t with us anymore, and especially those who fought and continue to fight for our freedom.
I’ve said many times before that my taste in music stretches far and wide. But if I had to listen to only on genre of music for the rest of my life, it would be country music. And if I had to be more specific, I would choose 90’s country music (followed closely by outlaw country and Texas/red dirt country).
I can’t help it. It is what I was raised on, and honestly, I think it played a large part in why I love good storytelling.
This was by far the hardest playlist so far to keep under a certain number. I could have easily created this long of a playlist with just a small handful of my favorite 90’s country artists, but there were also quite a few single hits that I could not overlook. So I limited myself to 1-2 songs per artists and for the most part, kept it to upbeat songs, though there were a few slow songs that snuck in. I also did quite a bit of double checking to make sure that the songs featured really were from albums that came out between 1990 to 1999. I had so much fun picking through these albums, since so many of them we had a home growing up.
And just so no one yells at me… I am well aware that there is no Garth Brooks on this list, but his music is not on Spotify.
I hope you enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed putting it together! Happy Friday!
One of the main things to know about me is how much I love music. My taste is very diverse — continually being shaped by an unique combination of people, places and experiences. I never try to pawn myself off as someone who “knows music,” because I have too much respect for those who do. I did dance and took piano lessons growing up, but trust me, you do NOT want to hear me sing. But music is a topic that I never tire of and I love swapping recommendations, so I am starting a new version of my Friday Jam Sessions that I hope will become a weekly series. Please join in and share your own picks! Also, you can read my past Friday Jam Session posts HERE.
1.Favorite New(ish) Album Dream Your Life Away – Vance Joy
So this album came out almost a year ago (September 2014) but it is still the default CD in my car. I bought it on a whim because it was $8, after only hearing “Riptide.” But when I accidently found that debut song that summer I remember texting my best friend Megan and saying something to the effect of “this guy’s sound is one that we are going to be obsessed over for a LONG time.” Just an FYI though, his music videos are really weird. I also really like “Georgia,” but really you should check out the whole album
2.Favorite New(ish) Collaboration Locked Away – R.City ft. Adam Levine Listen HERE.
I was sold at Adam Levine.
3.Favorite New (new-to-me) Artist/Band Tori Kelly
I always say there is something special going on when I LOVE someone’s whole album, especially if it is their debut. Great lyrics, an unique sound and I. LOVE. HER. HAIR! #curlyhairdontcare. And on top of that she has a song featuring Ed Sheeran…but we’ll get to that obsession another time. Her album is called “Unbreakable Smile” and besides the song above I’m also digging “Nobody Love,” “First Heartbreak” and “I Was Made For Loving You.”
4.Jam I Have on Repeat Crash and Burn – Thomas Rhett
The day I made the connection that Thomas Rhett was Rhett Atkins’ son my mind was blown. Though he has already followed his Dad’s footsteps into some successful songwriting, he has definitely created his own successful behind the mic. This song and video continue to crack me up.
5.Favorite Cover, Remix or Mashup Trap Queen – Ed Sheeran (original by Fetty Wap)
I am pretty sure Ed Sheeran could sing a chemistry equation and I would love it. I have been a fan since his first EP came out and some of my favorites are covers that he flips, which lead me to this one. I am not really a fan of the song itself, so I would not advise scrutinizing the lyrics too closely, but I bookmarked the video on my browser so I could get to it easily…
6.Favorite Spotify List “Better Off Without You” by Spotify
I don’t even have anyone do be angry at but this playlist almost makes me wish I did.
7.#SoulMusic I’m Obsessing Over Bright – Echosmith
In college my roommate and I started referring to certain songs as #SoulMusic. To me is usually refers to something that moved me a bit with its lyrics or sometimes just its sound, and it’s usually something that gets a spot on one of my permanent playlists. But I think the main point is it kind of different for everyone.
8.”Oldie, But a Goodie” I Heard This Week Lip Gloss – Lil Mama Listen HERE
PEOPLE, do you remember this song!? I was out last weekend and this song came on in the bar, and this guy could sing it, in rhythm, word for word. I was so impressed! Now I don’t know if this was ever considered a “good” song by anyone, but I’ve been laughing about it all week so I decided it was worth a shout out and a shared laugh or two.
9. Current Beat That Makes Me Want to Dance…in the Car…Jamming With the Windows Down I Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd
10.Taking Me Down Memory Lane The Future Freaks Me Out – Motion City Soundtrack
As I was writing each of the categories for this new version of Friday Jam Session I kept thinking of all the songs usually trigger certain memories or represent certain times in my life. Yeah, I am one of those cheesy people. Then, conveniently this very song came on later that day on my iTunes. When I met my best friend in Megan college (you’ll hear that name a lot in this series) we bonded quickly over our love for music. She introduced me to this really weird band, basically by saying, “don’t actually ever try to figure out how they come up with this stuff, just accept the fact that you are going to love it.” Well, six years later I can say cheers to friends and weird music that make the best road trip jams.
11. Work, Work it Out Don’t Look Down – Martin Garrix ft. Usher Listen HERE
Get this on your running playlist stat!
12.Making Me Want to Fall in Love What I Love About You – Logan Mize
I have legitimately lost count of the amount of times I have seen Logan Mize perform. I know every word, to every song. His music is everything I love about Kansas and it has been fun to watch him over the past few years grow from Aggieville’s stages to his growing success in Nashville. I think his fans in Kansas can be selfish, we love his music, but sometimes what to keep him as our undiscovered, best kept secret. But no, his music should definitely be listened to.
13.Guilty Listen of the Week Drag Me Down – One Direction
Don’t even start to judge me. Every generation has its boy bands that you pretend “oh I only know this one song because it’s always on,” but most of us are liars. I listen to a lot of music, most of it objectively really good, but my theory is that boy bands should go into their own shame-free, this-is-wonderful-but-terrible category to every now and then listen to, guilt free. And honestly, I was extremely amused the hysteria created by the one member leaving, so I just really wanted to see if they could hold it together with their new stuff.
14.Song That I Originally Loved, But Is Now Overplayed See You Again – Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth
When my sister (who is abnormally obsessed with the movie series) texted me this song immediately loved it. And then in the theater at the end of the movie?! Cue the tears again. But then hear it everywhere I went and on EVERY Spotify playlist and it just started to get old. On another note…Charlie Puth is extremely awkward to watch, both in this video and live TV performances.
15.Popular Song That Is Making My Ears Bleed Cool For The Summer – Demi Lavato Listen HERE
16.Country Pick of the Week Save it for a Rainy Day – Kenny Chesney
Growing up Kenny was my favorite country act, so he will always have a special place. Years later, I think I’m just really impressed that he continues to find/write songs that fit his beach bum country persona.
One of those was that I love the “fascination that country music has with singing about summer.”
It’s romantic, care free and fun. There’s a reason that authors and song writers alike, can pull so much from those themes. Every summer I make a playlist that is a mix of my favorite new hits from that season and old ones that are always a staple in my summer adventures. There are honestly a million different ways that I could categorize a summertime music playlist. But this time around I am making it simple. Today’s Friday Jam Session features a few favorites that are specifically about summer and a few others that I consider staples on my summertime playlists. For me, that means most of them are country songs because that’s what best describes my perfect summer. But hey that’s just me. What songs describe your summer?
Oh and because work came first last Friday, today’s list is a double-feature.
Summertime by Kenny Chesney
The King of Summertime has built his entire career around his own theme of beach bum country jams. This song never gets old.
Drunk On You by Luke Bryan
As reigning Entertainer of the Year, Luke is the biggest thing in pop country music right now and has given summer tunes his own flair. I think a pretty strong argument could be made for this being one of the biggest songs on the radio in summer 2012.
Runnin’ Out of Moonlight by Randy Houser
Summer nights. Enough said.
Ocean Avenue by Yellowcard
No this is not country and no, it is not about summer at all. But let’s go back to the summer when my best friends and I were 16, and our driver licenses’ were hardly broken in. THIS was our favorite song to belt out at the top of our lungs with the windows rolled down going down good ol’ 395 HWY. And years later it still remains on my summer playlist.
Barefoot Blue Jean Night by Jake Owen
Besides being a great summer song, for some reason that we’ve never actually been able to determine, this was the song that my AFA team labeled as ours. Regardless of the reason, because of them it will never be skipped and always have a special place in my heart.
That Summer by Garth Brooks
I spent a long time when I was younger liking this song before I actually realized what it was about. Whoops. Oh well, now that I do, I still love it.
Road Trippin’ by Josh Abbott Band
What’s summer without a road trip, long weekends or Boone’s Farm?
Night Train by Jason Aldean
I’m a very critical, and conditional Aldean fan. But I do really like this one off his most recent album.
Brighter Than The Sun by Colbie Caillat
Another non-country, favorite from Summer 2012. Normally not a huge Colbie Caillat fan, but this one is fun, catchy and meets the shades on, car windows down criteria.
Fishin’ in the Dark by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Hearing the first few chords to this, is the only introduction it really needs. Let’s put it this way. There are two things that I am sure of… 1.) Without this song, I’d bet that country music and summertime just wouldn’t be the same 2.) We can’t be friends if you don’t like it.