Cody Johnson Skyrockets On MusicRow Radio Chart

Cody Johnson’s “’Til You Can’t” bolts from No. 4 to No. 1 this week on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart. Matt Rogers penned the single with Ben Stennis, and it appears on Johnson’s sophomore effort Human The Double Album which contains songs originally rejected by other Nashville artists for what Johnson considers being “too country for country.”

“It’s so hard to watch the fight to get the cowboy back on the radio, so I told them to bring those songs to me because that’s who I am and the lifestyle I live,” Johnson shares. “There was too much good out there to let go of, so I just said, ‘We’re going to cut all of them.’ There are ones I wrote on, there are ones I didn’t write on, and there are ones that I wish I’d written.”

In addition to the release of Human, Johnson also released a Christmas album in 2021 and made his silver screen debut with his autobiographical documentary, Dear Rodeo: The Cody Johnson Story.

Click here to view the latest edition of The MusicRow Weekly containing the MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart.

DISClaimer Single Reviews: Eddie Montgomery, Tanya Tucker Lead Week Full Of Strong Releases

Eddie Montgomery. Photo: Michael Gomez

Today, we shower country record makers with a plethora of praises.

The award for Best Drinking Song goes to Adam Doleac. The honor for Best Comeback belongs to Pat Green. The Best Performance By a Superstar salute goes to Kenny Chesney. Best Production is Caitlyn Smith. Best Song is Tom Douglas. Elvie Shane gets the Best Rocker prize. Rayne Johnson wins the Best Topical Record award.

Returning to our traditional DISClaimer honors, the Disc of the Day goes to Eddie Montgomery & Tanya Tucker for their fiery duet. Happy listening.

Writers: Caitlyn Smith/Miley Cyrus/Jennifer Erin Decilveo; Producer: Caitlyn Smith; Label: Monument
–Her earth-shaking vocal performance is backed by booming percussion, dancing fiddle and a celestial choir. Originally recorded by Miley on her Plastic Hearts CD, Smith reclaims the song by self-producing this whisper-to-scream epic. The definition of power ballad, this single confirms the widely admired songwriter’s status as a first-rate record maker. This gal has the goods in every department.

Writers: Morgan Wade/Sadler Vaden; Producer: Sadler Vaden; Label: Sony
–A repeated guitar figure and steady-state percussion hypnotize you. Then she lays on the drama of escaping from a bad relationship and finding freedom. Her hurtin’ vocal is an emotional bullseye. I remain a fan.

ELVIE SHANE / “County Roads”
Writers: Dan Couch/Elvie Shane/Oscar Charles; Producer: Oscar Charles; Label: Wheelhouse/BBR
–Elvie bites off a piece of snarling country rock, chews it well and sends it south. It’s about growing up wild and restless, learning about life and love on the streets. The pounding track will have you pumping your fist in the air, and his vocal performance will have you shouting, “Amen!” If this ain’t a smash, there’s no justice.

Writers: Jim “Moose” Brown/David Wade/Shane Grove/Erik Michael Westfall; Producers: Noah Gordon/Shannon Houchins; Label: Average Joes
–These two strike twin vocal matches and burn this duet to the ground. It sounds like neither one held anything back as they created this romantic inferno. Fierce and forceful from start to finish. Applause, applause, applause.

RAYNE JOHNSON / “Who-Dey Nation”
Writers: Eliot Sloan/Joe Jordan/Ronnie Vaughn/Kevin Fox/Michael Star/Greg Jackson; Producers: Mark Liggett/Jerry Lane/Ronnie Vaughn; Label: Mountain Road/Verge
–It’s official: The Bengals now have a bona fide anthem. It’s a smashing, crashing fusion of rock guitars, hip-hop beats and hillbilly sass. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I know where my heart is gonna be on Super Bowl Sunday. Rock on, Rayne.

BRANTLEY GILBERT / “How to Talk to Girls”
Writers: Brantley Gilbert/Brock Berryhill/Brian Wayne Davis/Brandon Day/Chase McGill/Josh Phillips/Michael Ray/Taylor Phillips; Producers: Brock Berryhill/Brantley Gilbert; Label: Valory
–Very nice. This artist has always excelled at the softer ballads, and this one is a pip. He knows how to ask for dates and how to use a good bar pick-up line. But when it comes down to the serious moment of asking her to be his bride, he’s tongue tied. And when it comes to talking to his daughter, he’s at a loss for words.

PAT GREEN / “Miles and Miles of You”
Writers: Jon Randall/John Scott Sherrill; Producer: Dwight A. Baker; Label: Empire
–Finally! This million-selling Texas fave hasn’t issued a new collection since 2015. Here’s the title tune of his comeback album, a gorgeous romantic ballad with wave-on-wave of echoey atmosphere and liquid ripples of mandolin. A welcome return.

KENNY CHESNEY / “Everyone She Knows”
Writers: Shane McAnally/Ross Copperman/Josh Osborne; Producers: Kenny Chesney/Ross Copperman; Label: Warner
–A steady thump and ringing guitars lead you into this toe-tapping ode of female independence. “She’s stuck between being 17 and everyone she knows.” This gal wants nothing to do with marriage, babies, sobriety and settling down. She enjoys the freedom of being single on Saturday night, even though the boys bore her and the men are too old. A portrait of a character you’re bound to love, sung by a master storyteller.

ADAM DOLEAC / “Drinkin’ It Wrong”
Writers: Adam Doleac/Cary Barlowe/Jordan Schmidt; Producer: Jordan Schmidt; Label: Arista
–This is a boatload of fun. The rump-shaking percussion and scampering banjo let you know you’re in for a good time on this rollicking rocker. If you’re still thinking about your worries and your work, you’re drinkin’ it wrong sez this hearty-sounding merry maker. The party anthem is a delightful change of pace for the newcomer.

IAN MUNSICK & CODY JOHNSON / “Long Live Cowgirls”
Writers: Ian Munsick/Aby Guitierrez/Phil O’Donnell; Producers: Ian Munsick/Jared Conrad; Label: Warner
–It’s a slow waltz with weaving fiddles and a languid mood. The singers swap verses in praise of the brave ladies of the west. Gently persuasive.

TOM DOUGLAS / “Van Gogh”
Writers: Tom Douglas/Allen Shamblin; Producers: Andy Skib/Alyson McAnally; Label: Monument
–This track teases a documentary titled Love, Tom that will start streaming on Paramount+ on Feb. 24. The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member is joined on its soundtrack album by some of the folks who have made his works come to life (Miranda, Tim, Collin, Lady A, Chris Janson). But he’s singing solo here. Accompanied by sighing harmonica, he advises courage in the face of adversity. When you pour your heart into your work and they reject you, persevere. Soul piercing, touching and true.

Are You InCharge? Applications For MusicRow’s 2022 InCharge Print Directory Now Open

MusicRow is currently accepting applications from candidates for its annual InCharge print issue, the published directory of Nashville’s music industry decision makers. Now in its 35th year, InCharge serves as the April/May issue of MusicRow Magazine and is slated for an April release.

Applications for the 2022 edition of InCharge have closed. All applications will be reviewed by a selection committee to determine the candidates chosen for this year’s InCharge print issue.

For advertising opportunities, please contact Sherod Robertson at

For questions regarding the directory, please contact LB Cantrell at

Dolly Parton To Host ACM Awards

Dolly Parton. Photo: Stacie Huckeba

Global superstar Dolly Parton will host the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards, it was announced on Thursday (Feb. 3). Parton will be joined by co-hosts that will be announced at later date.

The two-hour show will stream live on Prime Video on Monday, March 7 at 8 p.m. EST/7 p.m. CST/5 p.m. PST from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The 57th ACM Awards will mark the first time a major award show has been exclusively livestreamed, and will not include commercial breaks.

Nominations for this year’s awards will be announced next week.

“I am so excited to be hosting the ACM Awards on March 7 from Vegas. Watch for us because we’re going to have some fun,” shares Parton.

The beloved entertainer, who earlier this week was announced as a nominee for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2022, is also set to release her album Run, Rose, Run on March 4. The album will accompany her original novel Run, Rose, Run, written with James Patterson and releasing March 7.

“We are honored to welcome Dolly Parton back to be the centerpiece of this landmark 57th Academy of Country Music Awards show at Allegiant Stadium. Dolly is the most iconic and multitalented artist of all time, and we are proud that she is a friend and supporter of the Academy, a previous host, and a 13-time Academy of Country Music Award recipient,” says Damon Whiteside, CEO of the Academy of Country Music. “There is no one better than Dolly to represent the ACM Awards brand and country music on a global scale as we move to streaming and show the world that ‘this is how we country’ by delivering one of the most exhilarating and innovative shows in our history to audiences worldwide.”

“Dolly Parton’s status as a beloved and inspirational icon is a testament to her ongoing impact as an artist, philanthropist, and human being,” adds Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios. “As we bring the Academy of Country Music Awards to our Prime Video customers worldwide for the first time, we are thrilled to showcase the power of Amazon in creating these impactful global entertainment moments with an icon like Dolly as host, as well as must-see performances and collaborations. Amazon is excited to create 360-degree entertainment experiences and engagement with fans that continue beyond the credits rolling in what is sure to be the most fan-centric event of the year.”

The 57th Academy of Country Music Awards is produced by MRC Live & Alternative. R.A. Clark is executive producer of the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards. Whiteside is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music.

My Music Row Story: The AMG’s Rob Beckham

Rob Beckham. Photo: Courtesy The AMG

The “My Music Row Story” weekly column features notable members of the Nashville music industry selected by the MusicRow editorial team. These individuals serve in key roles that help advance and promote the success of our industry. This column spotlights the invaluable people that keep the wheels rolling and the music playing.

Rob Beckham is the co-founder of the Artist Management Group (The AMG) and currently serves as its President and Chief Execuitve Officer. The AMG is an independent, full-service entertainment company that supports artists in all career stages and offers a range of services including management, publishing and records. Notable clients of The AMG include Brad Paisley, Chris Young, Kameron Marlowe, Kat & Alex and Payton Smith. The AMG is also home to several rising stars including Jordan James, Chris Colston, Essex County, Grey Zeigler, Liv Charette and Nolan Sotillo.

Beckham has spent the last three decades shaping the careers of some of country music’s most successful artists and has received some of the industry’s top honors. The well-known industry veteran has been named CMA Touring Agent of the Year, TJ Martell Ambassador of the Year and honored by the Nashville Association of Talent Directors at their annual gala.

Prior to forming The AMG, he was a Partner at WME and Co-Head of the agency’s Nashville office.

Beckham recently spoke with MusicRow about his journey to The AMG, building artists’ careers, and The AMG’s success over the last few years.

How did you get into the music industry?

In college, I ran student activities. It was called ASUM in those days: Association of Students from the University of Montana. They had a famous industry program to get into the entertainment space, especially into the agency space. My first show was Poison and Warrant—in ’89, that was a really big deal.

I got turned onto country when I booked The Judds farewell tour, where Garth Brooks was the opening act. He and I struck a relationship there. The last [country] show I did was Reba, Clint Black and Vince Gill. That’s where my relationship started with Trey Turner and Narvel Blackstock. The on the job training that I got [while in college] was pretty extraordinary.

What happened after graduation?

The last show I did [in college] was Scorpions and Great White. The promoter of that show was from a Seattle promotion company. They liked the job that I did on the show, and offered me a job. I ended up taking it and moving to Seattle. I was there for about two years and got to work with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Queensrÿche, Alice In Chains, and bands like that. One day out of the blue I got a call from Rick Shipp at Triad [which would later become WME] and he offered me job in Nashville.

That would have been 1992. I was there through [the transition from] Triad, to William Morris, and to WME. It’s interesting, I moved to Nashville to be Greg Oswald‘s assistant, and then he and I would end up running the office together for a number of years.

Pictured (L-R): Bill Simmons, Brad Paisley, Rob Beckham. Photo: Courtesy The AMG

After over two decades with WME, you left your position as co-head of the Nashville office to form The AMG with Bill Simmons. What went into that decision?

It took me a minute to figure out what I wanted to go and do. I had a great run at WME and I wouldn’t change anything for it, but it was time to do something where I could be more creative. I always thought I was really good at artist development throughout my years of doing that, and I wanted to be more hands on with the artists.

Larry Fitzgerald [who managed Brad Paisley and Chris Young with Bill Simmons] was retiring and he had been a superstar manager for many decades. And Bill and I are very dear friends. I’ve been with Brad for 22 years and with Chris, at least more than 10. So with Larry retiring and Bill and I creating our partnership, it just turned out to be a perfect move.

How has The AMG grown since it opened its doors in 2019?

We have 26 on staff now. We started very small and as we started growing, COVID allowed us to have some luxuries to bring in people that we probably wouldn’t have been able to bring in.

Pictured (L-R): Chris Young, Rob Beckham. Photo: Courtesy The AMG

Chris Young had a great year last year, in-part due to the success of “Famous Friends” with Kane Brown, which earned the distinction of being the most-played song on the Billboard Country Airplay Songs chart all year. What was that like?

[Prior to “Famous Friends”] Chris’ “Drowning” was such a monster song, but it was a casualty of COVID. The radio stations didn’t want to play that with COVID going on. So we pivoted really quick and set the launch up for “Famous Friends” brilliantly. And it’s an undeniable hit—when it’s an undeniable hit, it has a life of its own.

It’s an amazing song. He did a great job on it, and the video turned out great. We performed that song on all the different awards shows, so it got a massive look for him and really re-centered him in the country music lane as being a superstar.

In addition to navigating Chris Young and Brad Paisley’s career, you’ve had success with new artist signings such as Kat & Alex, Kameron Marlowe, and Payton Smith. As a manager now, where are you looking for potential new clients?

We found Kat & Alex on an online talent show. My assistant at that time set up a meeting for me to meet with them. As soon as they walked in the door, you just knew. It didn’t take me three minutes to figure it out. They’re the fastest thing I’ve ever seen happen in Nashville.

Pictured: Kat & Alex with Rob Beckham. Photo: Courtesy The AMG

Right before that was Kameron Marlowe. Kameron was the second fastest thing I’ve ever seen happen in Nashville. Organically, he happens to write this breakup song, “Giving You Up,” and submits it to the Spotify editorial team, not knowing anyone there. John Marks fell in love with that song and blew it up. It’s at about 250 million streams right now and is going to be a monster song at country radio.

How have you guys navigated the pandemic as a new management company?

We were fortunate in the sense that Brad was one of the first tours out, with Kameron as support. They got through his entire tour with no issues and no problems. The only problem that we ran into in late summer, early fall was [the COVID protocols]. At Bridgestone arena, for a while you either had to show a negative test or you had to have a vaccine card to get in. As these stipulations are going away, then you can start to see the world coming back to normal.

A lot of people thought that there was going to be a tremendous amount of demand for live music. What most of us in the industry didn’t count on is all 8,000 artists going on tour at exactly the same time. So for us, Brad was able to get through. We pivoted on Chris a little bit and moved it to March and April, just hoping the world is a little bit less crazy by then and a lot of these rules and regulations at local municipalities will all go away.

Pictured (L-R): Kameron Marlowe, Rob Beckham. Photo: Courtesy The AMG

When do you feel most fulfilled in your role?

Having a multi-week No. 1 song with Chris; and putting together a plan last October and actually seeing that plan far exceed our goals in what we thought it was going to be was really cool. I got to be a part of all the different award shows, which was super cool. In my previous role, I just went backstage, shook hands and went away.

I also realized how glamorous our jobs as managers [seem], but it’s really just hurry up and wait. You go and do a sound check at 9:30 a.m. and you don’t do a show until 8:00 o’clock at night. It can be pretty taxing and draining, but seeing the success of Chris, being a part of Brad’s career his whole life, seeing Kameron and Kat & Alex explode are all fascinating things to watch and be a part of.

What is some of the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

Never assume. Never assume that something’s ever going to be done. Early in my career, I would make assumptions on things and normally they were wrong. (laughs)

Mark Your Calendar—February 2022

Single/Track Releases

Kenny Chesney. Photo: Danny Clinch

February 4
Sarah Darling/Pretender/Be Darling Records
Dan Bremnes/Hold You Tight/Curb | Word Entertainment
Johnny Dailey/Trouble/Johnny Dailey Music

February 7
Gabby Barrett/Pick Me Up/Warner Music Nahville
Elvie Shane/Country Roads/Wheelhouse
Juna N Joey/’Til Your Heart Breaks/River Run Records
Tom Sexton/Tonight’s Like That/Lot’s To Do Music, LLC

February 11
CJ Solar/The Future’s Neon/Empire/Raining Bacon
Stars Go Dim/This Is Love/Curb | Word Entertainment

February 14
Kenny Chesney/Everyone She Knows/Warner Music Nashville
Eli Young Band/Lucky For Me/The Valory Music Co.
Ward Davis/Where I Learned To Live/Thirty Tigers
Mary Heather Hickman/Baptist Parking Lot/Moro Bay Music
Miku Martineau/When I Cry/Whattaguy Music

February 15
Drew Taylor/18 Wheelin’ Soldiers

February 17
Luke Combs/Doin’ This/River House Artists/Columbia Nashville

February 18
Sean Williams/Where You Left Me (Unplugged)/Sincerely Music Group
Tommy Townsend/Southern Man/BFD Audium Nashville
Matt Jordan/Heart of the Heartland

February 22
Ryan Hurd/Pass It On/Arista Nashville
Jackson Dean/Don’t Come Lookin’/Big Machine Records
Kelly Monrow/You’re the Reason I Drink/Summit Arts
Chance Tomke/Why Can’t You

February 25
Love & The Outcome/I’ll Find You/Curb | Word Entertainment
Sarah Reeves/Years (Skytech Remix)/Curb | Word Entertainment



Album/EP Releases

February 4
B.J. Thomas/In Remembrance – Love Songs & Lost Treasures/Real Gone Music
Muscadine Bloodline/Dispatch To 16th Ave
EmiSunshine/Diamonds/Little Blackbird Records

February 11
Joe Nichols/Good Day For Living/Quartz Hill Records
Priscilla Block/Welcome To The Block Party/Mercury Nashville

February 18
Del McCoury/Almost Proud/McCoury Music
Sean Stemaly/Product of a Small Town/Big Loud Records



Industry Events

February 23 
MusicRow‘s 20th annual CountryBreakout Awards (virtual)

February 23 – 25 
Country Radio Seminar

Date & Venue Announced For CMT Music Awards

CBS and CMT have announced the new air date and venue for the 2022 CMT Music Awards, following its rescheduling for the Grammy Awards.

The CMT Music Awards will now broadcast live on Monday, April 11 (8:00-11:00 p.m. LIVE ET/delayed PT) from Nashville’s historic Municipal Auditorium, and various locations in and around Nashville. This will be the inaugural broadcast of the awards show on the CBS Television Network. The show will also be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.

“The biggest and best moments in music are coming to CBS this April,” says Jack Sussman, Executive Vice President, Specials, Music, Live Events & Alternative Programming, CBS. “The CMT brand is preeminent in the world of country music, and we are thrilled that their team was able to coordinate a new date to bring this marquee event for television to CBS, and maximize the power of the ViacomCBS universe behind it.”

“It’s official: Our three-hour Nashville extravaganza will be live on CBS on April 11 for the first time as part of the Network’s biggest month of music ever,” shares Margaret Comeaux, John Hamlin and Leslie Fram, Executive Producers, CMT Music Awards. “Expect the most unforgettable CMT Music Awards yet, jam-packed with the most star-power, world premiere performances and one-of-a-kind collaborations from in and around Music City.”

The 2022 CMT Music Awards are executive produced by Comeaux (CMT), Hamlin (Switched On Entertainment) and Fram (CMT). Jackie Barba and Heather D. Graffagnino are executives in charge of production; Shanna Strassberg and Taryn Hurd are talent producers.

Nominations, voting and additional details on the 2022 CMT Music Awards will be announced in the coming weeks.

Parker McCollum Looks Back On Year Of Successes In 2021 [Interview]

Parker McCollum. Photo: Courtesy of True Public Relations

MCA Nashville recording artist Parker McCollum had a busy year in 2021. With the release of his major label debut album Gold Chain Cowboy, a rigorous touring schedule and the launch of his first fan club, the Texas native celebrated many milestones.

On the touring front, McCollum entertained 17,000 people at the stage he graduated high school on, becoming the highest paid act to ever play there. He also sold out venues such as Dallas’ Dos Equis Pavilion, the AT&T Center in San Antonio, and the Paycom Center in Oklahoma City, among others.

Parker McCollum. Photo: Courtesy of True Public Relations

After touring shut down in 2020 due to the pandemic, McCollum and his band were among the masses happy to hit the road in spring of 2021. From mid-April through the end of the year, the guys played approximately 90 shows across the country, including as the opening act on Dierks Bentley‘s 22-date “Beers On Me Tour 2022.”

“Dierks is the definition of a superstar. The attention to detail, commitment, and energy that [he and his crew] put in every night on that tour is impressive,” McCollum shares with MusicRow. “Every single thing that you could think about from the beginning of the day to the end and throughout the show is thought about, taken care of, and prepared for. To have that level of commitment after you’ve been doing it for as long as he has is pretty impressive.

“Being the first-of-three on a tour, you’re [often] forgotten about. I think he realized that we weren’t like most first-of-three’s that he’s had, though. We’ve played over a thousand shows and sold out shows all across the country, so it wasn’t like it was our first time,” McCollum explains. “He really catered to that, understood that, and let us do our thing.”

On the radio front, McCollum earned his first No. 1 hit with his Platinum-certified debut single “Pretty Heart” in late 2020. He was also the most spun new artist on MusicRow‘s CountryBreakout Radio Chart throughout 2020, earning him MusicRow‘s Breakout Artist of the Year award in early 2021.

McCollum’s current radio single, “To Be Loved By You,” is nearing Top 10 at country radio. The track reached the top of the MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart on Dec. 10, 2021.

“When I was a kid, I would hear about my favorite artists and albums going Platinum or Gold and it just sounded so cool,” he shares. “Now to sit in my house every day and have a Gold and Platinum record, and hopefully another one coming… It’s almost cliche to say, but sometimes I pinch myself and say, ‘Is this shit real?’”

Both “To Be Loved By You” and “Pretty Heart” are featured on McCollum’s major label debut album, Gold Chain Cowboy, which was released last summer. The record’s success comes on the heels of his major label backed Hollywood Gold EP from fall of 2020 and his previously released independent projects.

Though not new to the country music scene, McCollum found himself on a plethora of artist to watch lists in 2021 from the likes of Rolling Stone, Billboard, HITS Magazine, SiriusXM, CMT, RIAA and more. He also notched his first ACM nomination for New Male Artist of the Year and made his Grand Ole Opry debut early last year.

“I knew what I wanted to do when I was really young. I knew I wanted to sing country music for a living, and I knew that I wanted to do it on the highest level. I didn’t really set much of a timeline for myself,” McCollum offers. “I knew from the very beginning, one way or another, that I was going to be doing this for the rest of my life.

“I’ve always said I want the slowest, sweetest, most wonderful ride to the top that I could possibly have. My goal was to do this for a long time, so as long as I’m still doing it when I’m 50, 60, 70 years old, I think that would be pretty cool.”

Towards the end of 2021, McCollum unveiled his Gold Chain Cowboy Club NFT in partnership with MusicFX, a digital community connecting artists to their fan bases through NFTs. Marking his first fan club and one of the first artist to have an NFT fan club, the campaign features multiple tiers of membership, including the Gold Chain Cowboy Black Card: Signature Edition which saw a first week sell-out.

Parker McCollum. Photo: Courtesy of True Public Relations

“When I heard ‘fan club,’ I really perked up. Fans pay money to come see me play, they stream my music online, they buy a shirt and a hat in merch. My fans are the bomb. They are unbelievably loyal and committed, and they’ve been with me a long time,” gushes McCollum. “For $100 they can be winning all kinds of exclusive stuff and own a digital copy of something that belongs to them and to me. It seemed like a great way for my fans to be one step closer to me and what we’ve got going on.”

With his eyes locked on 2022, McCollum has high hopes. The goals at the top of his list involve new music.

“If I could put out a second full album that was way better than the one I put out six months ago by the end of this year or even the first quarter of 2023, I’d be really happy. If I can pull that off this year then that would be a miracle,” he sums.

Sam Hunt Graces The Top Of MusicRow’s CountryBreakout Radio Chart With ’23’

After 18 weeks climbing the MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart, Sam Hunt’s “23” moves to No. 1. The single is the first of new music for Hunt following his chart-topping album, Southside, which features three back-to-back No. 1s: “Breaking Up Was Easy in the 90’s,” “Kinfolks,” and “Hard To Forget.”

“23” was co-written by Hunt, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, and Chris LaCorte. LaCorte also produced the track.

Hunt played a stripped down version of “23” at the iconic Ocean Way Studios in Nashville.

Click here to view the latest edition of The MusicRow Weekly containing the MusicRow CountryBreakout Radio Chart.

DISClaimer Single Reviews: Americana Releases Bring Warmth To Cold Nashville Winter

Keb’ Mo’. Photo: Jeremy Cowart

The winter wind is chilling, but the sounds of Americana are warm indeed.

This week’s overview of the genre’s current music boasts the star power of Rodney Crowell & Lisa Morales, John Hiatt & Jerry Douglas, Old Crow Medicine Show and Jackson Browne.

Towering above ‘em all is Disc of the Day winner Keb’ Mo,’ an artist who never fails to impress.

The DISCovery Award this week goes to Sarah White of Richmond, Virginia.

Writer: John Hiatt; Producer: Jerry Douglas; Label: New West
–The album is titled Leftover Feelings, but there is nothing “leftover” sounding about it. Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Hiatt unfurls yet another stunning set of his creations on this current collection. We generally think of him as a rocker, but with dobro master Douglas and his band “singing along” with their instruments, Hiatt touches the soul with aching ballads and, in this case, a lively bluegrassy pop outing with a bleak, lost-love lyric. This disc is presently nominated for a Grammy as the Americana Album of the Year.

Writers: Lisa Morales/Rodney Crowell; Producer: David Garza; Label: LM
–This single is a teaser for Morales’s upcoming album. With an ultra-subtle production of sighing strings, gently brushed drums and acoustic strumming, the duet achingly delineates a lost relationship. Rodney’s seasoned tones match Lisa’s resonant delivery exquisitely. She was half of Sisters Morales until sailing on as a solo with two prior CDs. Her sibling Roberta died of cancer last year. Mexican American Lisa Morales hails from Tuscon and is a cousin of the legendary Linda Ronstadt.

Writer: Ketch Secor; Producers: Matt Ross-Spang/Old Crow Medicine Show; Label: ATO
–The string band rampages through this divorce song with breakneck fearlessness. If you’re going through the Big D, the best approach is to dive into the unknown with guts and glory, say these Opry stars. That’s Molly Tuttle providing the hot-damn banjo licks. Raucous and delightful, this is the second single from the band’s upcoming CD, following in the footsteps of the title tune, “Paint This Town.”

KEB’ MO’ / “Good to Be (Home Again)”
Writers: Kevin Moore/Mark Ramos Nishita; Producers: Kevin Moore/ Vince Gill; Label: Rounder
–Languid and loose-limbed, this contemplative groover celebrates the artist reconnecting with his roots. (The Nashvillian recently bought his childhood home in Compton, California and renovated it.) It is the title tune of an album that dropped last Friday. You’ll find collaborations with Darius Rucker, Kristin Chenoweth and Old Crow Medicine Show on the new collection, but as this sterling track demonstrates, Keb’ Mo’ soars even higher when he’s on his own. He remains one of the Americana genre’s greatest song craftsmen. Put this one on “repeat” again and again.

JACKSON BROWNE / “Downhill From Everywhere”
Writers: Jackson Browne/Jeff Young/Greg Leisz; Producer: Jackson Browne; Label: Inside
–Browne’s comeback Downhill From Everywhere is Grammy nominated as 2021’s Americana Album of the Year. Its title tune is a punchy folk rocker with a downcast ecological, anti-pollution lyric bolstered by intense vocal bursts. It’s very much in tune with his classic sound. He’s still that Laurel Canyon boomer you’ve known for all these years.

Writer: Sarah Jarosz; Producer: Sarah Jarosz; Label: Rounder
–Sarah’s current Blue Heron Suite has a Best Folk Album Grammy nomination this year. This ethereal lead-off track has a lovely simplicity with her deftly plucked acoustic guitar backing her breathy, wistful, poignant soprano.

Writers: Nathaniel David Rateliff/Patrick Blair Meese/Sam Cohen; Producer: Brad Cook, RMB & Elijah Thomson; Label: Stax
–Drawn from this act’s new album, The Future, this dramatic funk-rock track mixes shuddering horn blasts with stinging electric guitar zaps and a stop-start undertow rhythm track. Atop it all is the front man’s seering, fierce lead vocal. It’s a wild ride.

Writers: Katie Gustafson/Sam Ashworth; Producer: Sam Ashworth; Label: Mother Trucker
–Her echoey soprano vocal is surrounded by a swirl of electronics and a deep pool of twang bass. The introspective lyric took on extra significance to the Nashville singer-songwriter when she overcame breast cancer last year.

BRENT COBB / “When It’s My Time”
Writers: Brent Cobb/Layne Cobb/Mike Harmeier; Producer: Dave Cobb; Label: Ol’ Buddy
–Already one of the Americana genre’s standout singer-songwriters, Cobb turns his talent to gospel music on his upcoming CD. This advance track luxuriates in his captivating Georgia-accented phrasing with stately church keyboards and guitars. Not to mention soulful, Southern-fried backing vocals. Righteous in the extreme. Essential listening.

Writer: Merle Haggard; Producer: none listed’ Label: Yep Roc
–Now here’s a concept. White soul singer Reed is releasing an entire album of Merle Haggard songs, reinterpreted as horn-punctuated R&B tunes. It’s not my cup of tea, but you have to admit that it is intriguing. His blistering vocal attack threatens to overwhelm the story telling in “Mama Tried,” but otherwise the soul-music setting brings out new shades in the Hag’s hit.

TYLER CHILDERS / “Long Violent History”
Writer: Tyler Childers; Producers: Tyler Childers/Jesse Wells; Label: Hickman Holler
–This is the title tune of Childers’s 2021 CD, which is somewhat oddly nominated as a Best Folk album at this year’s Grammy Awards. His stone-country vocal on this struggling-Appalachia lyric is backed in waltz time by twin fiddles, perfectly picked banjo, mandolin chops and thumped bass. I don’t care what you call it, this man’s music is simply electrifying.

SARAH WHITE / “Different Drum”
Writer: Michael Nesmith; Producer: Stewart Myers; Label: White Star Sound
–White’s cover of this Linda Ronstadt/Stone Poneys classic is an intriguing introduction to a creative alto vocalist. Her slightly behind-the-beat phrasing and conversational pauses are wonderfully ear catching. The deep twang in the production is cool, too. It’s a marvelous tribute to the late, great Michael Nesmith.