Brian Douglas Phillips and Thomas Csorba – “Waiting on a Rain to Rain”
-Everything about this song cries out the swan song of Americana music. The vocals, the instrumentation, and the lyrics are all dripping with the genre’s stylings. That line about “waiting on heaven to touch the ground” works so well. The spiritualism combined with the longing, bedraggled humanity is a beautiful and moving juxtaposition. This is one of those songs that I’d love to get a ton of play time. It’s a modern classic and I hope that an army of Americana acolytes in Nashville and Austin will spread this as it duly deserves.
Shay Martin Lovette – “For Rose Marie”
-I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — a song with a woman’s name in the title is either a love song or a heartbreak song. This one is… well, more of a morality tale. The acoustic style is charming and really well done. The lead vocal tells the story in a plaintive, engaging way. It feels like you’re listening to a friend tell a good story about a person you’d like to know. The clarinet was an unexpected yet welcome flourish on this one. The whole composition is sure to put a smile on a lot of faces.
Joe Bourdet – “Songbird Revisited”
-You’re going to have a hard time believing this is a contemporary tune; everything about it feels vintage in the best way possible. The voice, the guitar work, and the layered composition are all deeply 70s classic folk rock influenced. It’s got the mood, the swing, and the swagger of something you’d expect from a bell-bottom-bedecked artist. The whole spirit of the track comes back to quality acoustic guitar, which I enjoy from start to finish. This one is a lot of fun.