“The Bird & The Rifle” – Lori McKenna
The title track from Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Lori McKenna’s forthcoming album produced by Dave Cobb is a standout among standouts. I had the privilege of attending a listening party hosted by McKenna and Cobb on Music Row a few weeks ago, and this song strongly resonated with me. McKenna, a gifted lyrical storyteller, sings a relational tale about the state of a couple’s union, in which the woman is “the bird” and the man is “the rifle”. Be forewarned, it will give you some serious feels.
“River Run” – Cereus Bright
Knoxville, Tennessee’s Cereus Bright recently announced a new album, Excuses, out July 29th, and “River Run” is the first taste of what we can expect from the folk rock outfit who sounds like Fleet Foxes with an edge. They’re so fun to see live, and I’m excited about what’s to come. Check it out:
“Daddy Lessons” – Beyoncé
Ok, I know Queen Bey’s music generally isn’t anywhere close to being country, but the sixth track on her blockbuster album, Lemonade, comes pretty darn close to fitting underneath the seemingly all-inclusive Americana umbrella. I’ve always been a fan, but never truly viewed her as an artist until I experienced this record, which is on constant repeat in my earbuds. With a jazzy New Orleans-esque introduction, the sound veers towards the wild west as the star recalls advice her father gave her about men, “With his gun, with his head held high/He told me not to cry/Oh, my daddy said shoot…With his right hand on his rifle/He swore it on the Bible/My daddy said shoot/Oh, my daddy said shoot.”
(I scoured the interwebs for an embeddable link to “Daddy Lessons”, but Beyoncé’s team has tight control over those kinds of things…the best I could find was an iTunes sample link, but you’re probably going to buy it, so I just made it easier for you. Happy weekend! https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/daddy-lessons/id1107429221?i=1107429338)