Nostalgia baby! I remember my parents playing this song and hearing the original version (by Elvin Bishop) on the radio and it’s just so smooth and mellow sounding. And then Miranda’s version with a bunch of female artists … swoon! When I first watched the video on YouTube, I was struck by how generous Miranda was with the mic. And by that I mean, she allowed Maren, Elle, Ashley, Tenille and Caylee to have their moments to shine. And shine they did. Elle King (especially) is a powerhouse on this track.
Gabby Barrett – I Hope
We’re all taught to forgive and move on but c’mon … that’s sooo much easier said than done. The INTENSITY in this song by American Idol season 16 alum not only digs the knife in, but gives it a vicious twist. If you’ve ever been cheated on in a relationship, the searing lyrics of I Hope are very un-Christian but oh-so satisfying.
Maren Morris – Girl
Apart from being FANTASTIC to sing along to in the car – the safety of the car where there’s nobody to judge every time you’re off pitch or forget some of the words (and my friends know that happens to me A LOT, haha) – I love the empowering lyrics of this song. It’s okay to feel like crap sometimes but Girl reminds us that we can’t stay moping on the kitchen floor, we need to pick up our crown (we all have them, we don’t need to eye off other people’s – very important to remember!) and get back up. Hold your head high (crowns stay on better that way) and be your own queen. Oh ... and Maren Morris' vocals on this track ... dayum, that girl can SING!!
Kassi Ashton – Pretty Shiny Things
I first heard this song as it was performed live in Nashville in February 2019 and it made me tear up. Mind you, just about ANYTHING can make me tear up, but the thing that touched me with Kassi’s song is that we live in a world where such value is placed on things being pretty and shiny. Pretty and shiny on the outside and don’t worry about being smart or kind or brave. Such a damaging message. The dusky vocals of Kassi Ashton on this track finish with, ‘ain’t nothing pretty about a perfect life” and oh, that’s true. A “perfect life” (Instagram, anyone?) has a lot of things that are not pretty, but these are tucked conveniently out of sight.
Kelsea Ballerini – Miss Me More
I have been happily married for over 13 years but I remember being in relationships where I had to tuck away parts of myself because my boyfriend didn’t like them. Nah. Girls, if you have to do that – if you can’t be true to yourself – then you’re in the wrong relationship. Kelsea’s song frames this message up so nicely.
Tenille Townes – White Horse
Tenille’s big song of the year was Somebody’s Daughter, but I’m more drawn to White Horse. Maybe it’s because I know chicks who have a fairy tale ideal of what they think their life should/could look like and because of this they miss out on some pretty great stuff because it doesn’t fit the image they have in their mind.I want to play this song to those chicks.
Ashley McBryde – Girl Goin’ Nowhere
I have a bit of a thing for Ashley McBryde. Not only am I drawn to her amazing songwriting and singing talents but thank God for an artist who is true to herself. This is another song that I saw performed live in Nashville in February 2019 and she was given a standing ovation by the conference attendees – a radio industry crowd that can be hard to impress (sadly) sometimes. Ashley said she wrote the song after remembering how a school teacher had scoffed after she’d told the class that she wanted to be a singer/songwriter. It’s a nice reminder not to let anyone stomp on your dreams. Rock on, Ashley.
Lauren Jenkins – Makers Mark and You
Addiction. So hard to break. Whether it’s booze or cigarettes or the wrong boyfriend or girlfriend. This song nails it.
Runaway June – Buy My Own Drinks
It’s funny when I sit down and analyze why I like these 10 songs – there’s a theme of female empowerment running through them. And this song is another one. Society has told women for years – MILLENNIA – that they need a man in their life. What utter BS. Is it nice to find someone to share your life with? Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean settle for the wrong person. And the line in there, “I can medicate my own headache, I can be my own boyfriend” … gold.
Lauren Alaina – Ladies in the 90s
Awww c’mon! How did this song not make it at least to the Top 10 on the charts?!! There’s a certain irony though, isn’t there, how women dominated radio in the 90s but now – in country anyway – it’s tough to be a female artist and get played. So many references to 90s singers in this song – how many can you count?