Three alt country tunes with shades of the past and present blended together

Aaron Rizzo – “Back in Five”
-The mix of the electric guitars with more traditional instrumentation really defines this song. The vocal has a good solid base to it. The song has an intriguing stylistic blend that makes it feel both old fashioned as well as quite contemporary. The lyric in the middle of the song, “maybe it’s okay to have a ball” is well timed. This is a philosophical and (maybe?) even theological reflection wrapped up in a spirited genre blending package. It’s definitely worth your time and thoughtful consideration.

McKay – “Naive”
-The acoustic guitar and thoughtful lyricism of this track are sure to appeal to a lot of our readership. The traditional style, especially with timeless vocal harmonies, make for a sound that definitely connects with the style of folk/country/Americana that we appreciate. The “change over time” narrative of the song is a good story, but also a contemplative response to the Divine. The folksy questions about the nature of the world remind me more of Pete Seeger than more recent folk artists and I mean that as a compliment. The only bad thing about this song is that now I feel like I need to go to the doctor.

Eric Hunker – “Me and the Whiskey Now”
-When I first clicked play on this song, I was afraid it was going to be more predictable. But I honestly find it refreshingly sweet, focusing on the smaller details of life after the end of a relationship. It’s not clear why the two are not together, but the heartache is definitely the main character here. Some of my favorite parts of the song are the subtle vocal harmonies on the chorus. Honestly, this reminds me of the kind of country that was popular in the 90s with artists like George Strait and Alan Jackson. If this was the kind of music on country radio, I would still listen to it. There’s a sneaky good steel guitar solo at the 2:20 mark that’s just delightful. I like this one a lot.

Image courtesy: McKay IG

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